Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Italy, Day 2

Today I got up early and went with Jendar to where she works, Villa la Pietra. We took a tour of the garden and then ate at the cafeteria there, which was all really really good for being a cafeteria. Well, I guess the fact that we are in Italy probably makes a difference. After lunch I took the back down to Florence and then up to Fiesole. I was planning on walking, but it is literally like climbing a mountain. They call it a hill but it is just as high as Y mount. So I took the bus. On top of the mountain and just off the main square is an old Roman theatre. But it was closed today. :( I may go back tomorrow. I was almost defeated since that was the whole reason why I went up. But I decided to just keep looking around instead of going back down. I'm glad I did. I walked up the rest of the hill to the very very top where the old Etruscan and Roman acropolis were and where had been built a monastery and church later on. I had a hard time figuring out how to get in, but I finally managed to and it was very special. Before I got to the church I walked (hiked) past a little park with a gorgeous view of Florence and all the Tuscan countryside. I seriously could see forever. Looking at the city in that context was interesting.

So the church was tiny inside, recently restored, and just as lovely as can be. It was free, which was a plus because I hate paying to get into churches. Just off the nave were lovely cloisters and another (free!) museum, a Franciscan missionary museum so it was full of stuff from China. It also had Egyptian stuff like a mummy. cool. and some great Etruscan pottery. There was an Etruscan wall there too that the church had used instead of tearing down. It was very impressive, as ancient engineering feats tend to be. I loved this building so much. Probably because no one was there and it was free.

Below the church was a path that lead down the hill through a wooded park. Gorgeous. I strolled down it and in the main piazza I went into another church. It was again really lovely and nice and cool. (It has been SOO hot the last few days. Way up into the 90s. and the churches are usually the coolest places to be.) There was a huge group of German tourists there who were really really loud. I kept running into them in places, and when they showed up I left. After that I wandered down the hill to the north where there was supposed to be a cemetery. I wandered a bit too far, past the road I was supposed to go down (easy to do since it seems like none of those tiny roads are labeled), and found a little park with benches overlooking the north side of Fiesole. (Florence is to the South).

When I finally found the cemetery it was extremely interesting. All of the headstones have little tiny photographs of the people who died. There was also a loggia (a covered arcade used for hanging out it. Florentines love them) and I was a bit suprised to find that inside it was full of tombs, not just on the walls, but in the floor as well. It was weird walking on all of those graves like that.

After the cemetery I walked back down the hill to San Domenico to see the church. Inside was a painting by Fra Angelico that I really loved and was glad to see. Then I caught the bus, went back to Florence, got on another bus and came back out of the city to Villa la Pietra. I changed into a little nicer attire and watched a production of the Comedy of Errors in the "limonaia", the building where they store lemon trees in the winter time. It was fun, part of it in Italian and part in English. And I actually saw some kids there that I knew from an italian class a long time ago and who are living in Italy now. Weird. After that was a reception with free yummy food and drinks. It was a nice evening. Then we came back down, stopped by the gelateria and I got myself yogurt & nutella and coccoarancia (chcolate orange) gelato. Nearly died again. Love it sooo much. yogurt flavor is definitely my favorite so far.

I dont' know what i'll do tomorrow, but I think shopping is in store... I'm going to buy me some sandals and I know exactly what ones I want!


  1. im glad you are having fun.

    roma this weekend! cannot wait!

  2. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO jealous. Just so you know. But I'm glad you are having such a fabulous time. Can't wait to hear more.