frolicking thursday: touring the Oltrarno

Huh? Well, I cannot frolic as well on Fridays without my partner in crime. James is in the states, following up on job leads---and so the boys and I are left up to our own devices.

Which means frolicking fridays just aren't the same. So I have replaced them with other-day frolics.

I frolicked thursday this past week. Which in its most elementary form means: I pushed myself out the door and never looked back. If there is one thing I have learned these past few months in Florence: I never regret walking out the door. There is so much to see and experience and notice.  

This is big coming from a home-body such as myself. I adore being home, cooking, being cozy, listening to music, eating a meal, organizing our lives, watching a movie or being online. But here and now, I experience so much and enjoy so immensely every time I step out my door.

This day wasn't particularly monumental. But it was relaxing, and peaceful and interesting. I am grateful for those feelings.

When I left the house, my first stop was my favorite new place for pastries: Rifrullo. It is a bar/cafe in Piazza San Niccolo, and it is always chock-full of people. It has that certain hum. This was a return visit, in which case I ate the same pastry I had enjoyed so much the first time: sfoglia. Blackberry heaven wrapped in puff pastry yumminess. And the coffee divine. I stood, smiled a few times to make up for my lack in language and consumed my pastry. Next up: walking.

I explored streets that I hadn't walked on, fell in love with this little cove in the Oltrarno and aimed for a museum. Which, incidentally, was closed. No matter, I kept walking on new streets and found cute cafes, overpriced pottery and hordes of antiques. I walked by a jewelry design school, peered into windows full of ornate silver pieces, nosed around sandwich shops and made my way to Santa Maria del Carmine. This church has uncannily high ceilings compared to its footprint---and is home to Branacci's chapel. Branacci is the name of the guy who funded the amazing frescoes lining the chapel; frescoes of Saint Peter's life were painted by Masolino, Massacio and Lippi. My favorite part of the viewing wasn't on the walls---it was the humming and sing-songing of a 2 year old french toddler (whose parents kept trying to get him to shush).

After the good pastry, the nose-following walk and fabulous frescoes, I headed home. One last stop for some verdura at a nearby stand (veggies), then I hoofed it back across the Ponte Vecchio and made it home just before the boys.


  1. Beautiful! How I love your rambles. :-) I do the same thing when I move to a new country/city. Just head out my door and walk wherever the mood takes me. The scary becomes familiar and comfy so quickly. :-) Love this!

  2. Ramgling tart: thanks;) Isn't it a treat to just walk freely and explore?

  3. Perfect to stroll and discover new places. I love those planted baskets.

  4. Nothing better than walking without a map! I am so happy that you are finding so many new gems in the Oltrarno. I can imagine your delightful smile as you uncover new stores and savor the local fare. I look forward to having you lead me to your favorite new digs arm-in-arm.


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