I left Florence in late November of 2019, expecting to return in the summer to spend time in the Vallembrosa forest with Cristina to learn how she makes her natural remedies. Of course, that was not to be, due to the Pandemic. It is now 2022 and I am in Italy for the first time. Is Italy different now? Have my friends changed? How have I changed? These are the questions I ponder when I prepared for this trip. And now that I’m here I’m paying attention and hope to find some answers.

Church of San Lorenzo, near where I’m staying on Via Della Stufa

Not sure how I feel about this sculpture but it does speak to me about these past three years of COVID lockdowns and being forced to make a home in Toronto. I resisted but in the end, I surrendered and made a garden, tried and failed at making sourdough bread and adopted a rescue dog from Mexico.

I wander around Florence, shocked at how crowded it is in late October. I visit one of my favourite places, the Farmacia of Sant Maria Novella, which is unlike any pharmacy I have ever stopped in before. It is part of the church, Santa Maria Novella. There are frescoes on the walls and even if one had no interest in the remedies they create and sell, the setting alone is cause for wonder.

The entryway to the Farmacia

Looking up!

it seems to be a purple day- Viola is always popular in Firenze!

Even my drink at the Gucci Garden Bar is Purple, made from butterfly flowers

The shop windows of Florence do not disappoint. I do not allow myself to enter too many stores because it is devastating to my pocketbook. Paper Stores and art supply shops are the most tempting.

lucky for me this shop was closed when I passed by!

I found that Dante’s Church was open. In 2019, the last time I was in Florence, it was always locked. I am fascinated with the letters to Beatrice and have written about them on this blog as well as a very rough draft of a novel.

Beatrice’s tomb with her letters in the basket
close up of the letters on the day of my visit.

Then I decided to go to my favourite bookstore, Todo Modo where I could also have lunch while I browsed. Some would call this a busman’s holiday and they wouldn’t be wrong.

beets, smoked herring, grapes and purred finnocchio at Todo Modo
The best dog I’ve met so far in Florence

The next post will be about my escape to the countryside, then my escape from the countryside to the ABSOLUTE REAL COUNTRYSIDE and the beginning of the olive harvest.

Saturday Night in the neighborhood

14 thoughts on “Finally.

  1. Beautiful pictures. How lucky you are to have found a spiritual home. I can’t wait to hear about the olive harvest and Cristina’s natural remedies.

    • I’m truly in the best place for me.
      But I miss our writing group. It’s very hard to connect and have access to zoom and with the time difference, it is even more challenging.
      I will be back, soon enough!

  2. What a wonderful and fascinating post and so much to see and do. I also loved the pharmacy’s vibrant and almost magical colours; I have never seen anything like that before. And of course, thank you for sharing the photo and link to the bookstore – the books are beautifully presented. Their art and architecture section must be especially fun to explore. Looking forward to the next post, Marcie!

    • I will know more soon- one of the reasons I’m here now is to see how to bring back Pronto Marcella after the pandemic.
      I will let you know!

  3. thanks, Zane! My son, Steve and his partner are expecting a baby in April. So I think that will big a huge magnet to bring me back to live in the bay area. I know from you that grandchildren make life very sweet!

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