This morning, I am greeted by a kiss on each cheek by the owner of the local bakery here in Fiesole while drinking a coffee with Anna. I was a good customer, as I’m sure you can imagine, but after almost four years away, I thought I would be forgotten.
The number 7 bus takes me into Firenze where I am able to get a sim card and now have an Italian phone number. So I can talk, text, and use the internet, like all the Italians on the bus.
In Dante’s church I enjoy some solitude until the tour groups arrive. Even though they only stay five minutes, after the third group, I decide it is time for me to leave.
( you can read a very rough draft of “Letters to Beatrice” a page on this blog)
I still know the neighborhoods in the Centro but I forget how the areas are all linked together, so I am often lost. I ask directions and most of the time I understand the instructions. I’m very proud when I am asked to give someone else directions and they pretend to understand.
There are white tents set up at Piazza Santa Maria Novella for a Chocolate Festival. Chocolate fountains to dip strawberries in, Chocolate-covered coffee beans, chocolate salami, cremino (chocolate cream, essentially the Italian equivalent of fudge) and chocolate kebabs, are just a few of the specialties. The smell inside the tents is buttery and rich, yet I refrain from buying anything, knowing that whatever tempts me will never make it home without breaking or melting.( or being eaten) Though I consider buying a chocolate motorcycle, as photographed below, I decide against it.
I find the Santa Maria Farmacia changed. A recent renovation stripped the library of all its books and a tearoom with a modern ceramic display replaces the perfume museum. Though still lovely, I miss the apothecary jars and recipes from ancient times.
By the time I return to Fiesole oit is dinnertime, so we go out for pizza. Italian pizza is so different from what we eat in North America. The pizza here has a thin crust and only a few choice toppings. Each person orders their own and it is shocking when your huge pizza is set before you. Yet somehow we all manage to clean our plates! Must be the thin cracker-like crust.
There are four dogs here at Anna’s house in Fiesole and here is what dinnertime looks like. I was only able to get three of the dogs into the photo below.
Today there was also opera in the piazza and warm Italian sunshine and did I tell you about the flowers?