First week: HOT.
So this is where they have been hiding the sun. This first week in Florence has been all about orientation to the city, adjusting to the heat, and searching for a long-term apartment.
We are not overdoing the tourist sites; they are currently swarmed. But we have been cycling circles around and through the city, as sort of a meet and greet. I can tell you the location of major piazzas, gardens, food markets and iconic museums, churches and statues. I cannot tell you much about the restaurants, since we have only been to one. We have not seen the inside of museums or leather shops, but we have toured one possible school for the boys (an endearing, 4' 2" bilingual nun included).
Besides getting a general grip, we have been learning to go out and about all morning, cycle home around lunch, stay inside the air conditioned space until late late afternoon then consider our options. Usually we eat dinner in, then go out for another spin about the city.
Our favorite repose so far---and the one that has felt most like vacation---was a full afternoon at the largest, public pool in Florence. We were lucky to have found it while cycling routes to varying calcio (soccer in USA, football in EU) clubs. It was brilliant: huge doses of Vitamin D, an enormous pool, nowhere to go, nothing to do, nobody to see. Just chill. Even on our cycling trip we were busy packing, moving, mapping, eating, and entertaining ourselves.
Besides the pool and cycling around the city, we have been reading through 'learn to speak Italian' books, visited Boboli Gardens (see pic), Piazza San Marco, the largest outdoor market (mercado) near Piazza Lorenzo, have crossed the infamous Ponte Vecchio multiple times, and are quickly adapting to our gelato-eating habit.
Not that you find it interesting, but our preferred flavors:
Janelle: Hazelnut (nocciola)
Anthony: ranges from chocolate to walnut, caramel, tiramisu... and strawberry.
Caleb: Mint (menta) and Vanilla (vaniglia), with some chocolate thrown in.
And rule of the day is: whatever Anthony orders is usually so good we all envy him. So if we eat at a restaurant and he orders carbonara or we slide into seats in a gelateria and he orders some unknown but yummy looking gelato... it will be the best plate/cup/flavor on the table.