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