Sunday, 5 October 2014

Things seen and done

Briefly resting in the hotel room, sitting on the bed, resting my weary and sore feet before going in search of food, I find there is much to reflect on.

There are many more really large and fat people to be seen, including children. And there are hordes of smokers, keenly puffing it into your face. Probably recent research shows that smoking doesn't cause cancer, or anything else nasty. Older women must learn to keep out of the way of all others. Here the footpaths are extremely narrow, so when someone comes from the other direction, I am the one to give way. Why is it so?

The traffic is interesting. You cannot take your eye off it for a second. Lots of bicycles, and motor scooters. There seem to be receptacles for rubbish permanently in the streets, and my two days here have not been enough to work out the intricacies of when the rubbish is collected.

Yesterday I visited the pietra dura museum, l'Opificio di Pietra Dura, which was wonderful. I am totally entranced by this art form a of making tables and pictures out of intricately  and precisely carved stones, marbles, granites and semi-precious stones into wonderfully beautifal things such as tables, and the decoration of churches and public buildings, and private palaces and homes. (In fact, I lust after it.)

I packed a lot in today, and my mind was on that and not on watching what I was doing when preparing myself to go out.  After arriving back at the hotel, I realised that I had my top on inside out. At last, I must have looked trendy. As I am about to go out for dinner, I readjusted reality.  And I deleted most photographic evidence. My mother used to say (and I repeated it to my own children, ad nauseam) 'You can't go out looking like that!' But I did!

When I set out this morning I intended to vist some gardens, I Giardini dei Semplici, which apparently meant plants useful for various remedies and purposes. Alas, they were closed, due to damage from a tornado in September. I did not think Italy had tornados, but there was one some years sgo on Isola Bella, and now this.

It was a very active day. I found myself at San Marco. So I made a leisurely tour, seeing the cell used by Cosimo di Medici, and aldo Savaronola's quarters they were all austere and their life seemed to have few comforts.

The piazza has a pottery market this weekend, but I resisted not so later in the day, when I lashed out and bought a tea towel and an apron, all Tuscan cotton and linen blend, blue and white with a deisign of bees. I wended an accidentally circuitous route to San Lorenzo and the markets, resisted all the enticements(?) - around Ponte Vecchio is much better value. I have indulged myself by having a small raspberry gelato each day, but finding somewher to eat each night is not easy. Tonight I found quite a good place and fell into pleasant conversation with an American couple from Oregon, celebrating their silver wedding anniversary.

Tomorrow, very early, I am going on a bus tour to Carrara. i love marble, and have always wanted to go to Carrara and the marble quarries, but it is not an easy place to get to. I am going on a bus tour, and hang the expense! I may never get another opportunity. The crack of dawn awaits me, and I am being picked up at 7.30 am. Eek

1 comment:

Elephant's Child said...

You are packing a lot in. I envy you Carrara. Somewhere which has always called to me.
And I wince in rueful recognition at discovering you had spent the day with your top inside out. Surprisingly recently I did exactly the same thing.