For Lent I decided among other things, to take 2 days off a week from my computer. Entirely.
Wow that is easier said than done. The first day I had to avoid the 'elephant in the room,' but found my day was long and enjoyable and I spent time doing things I always mean to do: read a book, study Italian, walk around Florence, try a new recipe. One day I felt lousy and watched a movie. Now I am lenient with myself, and let myself at least check email---but I cap my time.
The best part of meaning to take off 2 days a week is that it is encouraging me to traipse off and enjoy Florence with increasing abandon. I am more likely to pop out of the house if just for an hour or two. Which means I will go to the farmers' market---the long way around.
Every Thursday there is a garden market---with seasonal flowers, plants and herbs---under the Loggia on Piazza Republicca. If I am around, I generally walk through it. Last summer, the boys bought little cacti there. I usually just peek, but this time I bought fresh thyme. I continued onto the Mercato---the largest market near San Lorenzo---and bought fresh mozzarella, polpettini (small meatballs) and some tomatoes.
Other forays last week included:
- spending some time at Orsanmichele with Anthony (used to be grain market and open loggia with miracle-giving painting of the Madonna and Child (a place for hope during the plague). Now it is a church (still with grain chutes), with fantastic statues commissioned by the various guilds and an impossibly ornate and breathtaking tabernacle housing a newer painting of the Madonna (by Daddi). The museum above the church houses sculptures under restoration and glimpses of the grain mill (only open Mondays).
- walking/exploring the streets near Tornabuoni, toward the train station and Santa Maria Novella. I found Antinori's Piazza and wine bar, a mozzarella bar (really!) and bought some Italian cookies to sample with the boys.
- I snapped a photo of a street-cleaner; it made sense to take a picture since we see and hear them all the time near our flat. The token moment: after I snapped the photo, the driver and I caught each others' eyes---and both laughed-out-loud.
- drank coffee at the posh coffee bar (Caffe Giacosa). I say posh because it is by Tornabuoni---the shopping street lined with all the high fashion name brands. And with magazine-spread photos on its walls, is consistently packed with well-dressed Italians and truth be told: the coffee is good.
- I made tortillas. From scratch! The boys and I gobbled them up for dinner.
- Anthony, Caleb and I also went for a walk around town recently---we found pastries and visited the Academia (Michelangelo's David), laughed at silly t-shirts and bought souvenir sweatshirts.