Writing this morning as dawn approaches from the rooftop of the Hotel Brunelleschi in Florence, Italy. Listening to the bells of the Santa Maria del Fiore and recalling all of our memories from Day 2. Beautiful morning here and not a cloud in the sky! What a great day 2 we all had!
The day started bright and early for me as my body clock has not adjusted to the time here in Italy, so i was up at 4am. Fortunately, I was able to receive a call on a new project in Pheonix whch we were able to close a deal on so that was a very nice way to start the day and this vacation! I headed down to the bar to write my blog, check emails and get ready for day two. I love the mornings in the Italian towns and cities because you basically own it. No vespas, people, nothing - quiet stillness. It is very hard to come by when in the cities in Italy. So I make it a point to always get up early, enjoy the start of the day, then catch a nap later in the afternoon. This was definitely the plan today!
After blogging and catching up on the emails, I was coaxed into a morning jog through the streets of Italy by fellow traveler, friend, and fabulous interior designer, Kim Colletti. We ran and walked our way on a nice loop through Florence past the three main churches of the city, Santa Maria Novella, the Duomo - Santa Maria del Fiore, and the Basillica San Croce. Now this was a great way to start the day and get the blood moving and fend off that damn jet lag!
Following our run we hooked up with some of our travelers in the hotel restaurant, grabbed a quick bite, some much needed coffee, grabbed a shower in the room and it was off to our walking tour through Florence. The walking tours in Italy are great and in particular the one in Florence. Three hours walking tours truly enlighten you to so much that you simply take for granted when ignorantly strolling the streets. It is amazing all of the significance each corner, square, street and church offers and the multitude of stories and history this place is filled with. Basically, in our modern world and culture, despite our problems, it is nothing to what life must have been like in these cities during the Dark Ages or the Renaissance. Now those were some rough times to be a human being. You were either a slave or commoner with virtually a meager existence or you were wealthy and having to constantly fend off your rivals who wanted to quarter you or burn you at the stake in the square....we have nothing to complain about - trust me. I could write a whole blog about the stories we were told - all fascinating and all brining such a new layer of understanding and appreciation of how this place ever came to be!
After the walking tour we grabbed lunch in a familiar trattoria just around the corner from the Palazzo Vecchio and then it was off to the airport to retrieve my lost bag! Thank God it was located and so I was fortunate to not lose a beat on the trip. Grabbed the cab ride back to the hotel and proceeded excitedly to my 2-1/2 hour siesta!
Woke up, and we all rendezvoused, in the hotel bar, a few cocktails, glass of wine, and then it was off to dinner. Our dinner was little more low key tonight - basically a small trattoria across the alley from the hotel! But it was nice, quiet and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. A great bistecca fiorentina, a glass of wine and then, it was off to the streets of Florence for a little fun! And fun we had!!!
Night life in Florence is quite the spectacle! Street performers. Mimes, and musicians all fill the fabric, sites and sounds of the evening. We grabbed a gelato and a cigar – nice combo by the way and the girls took a ride on the carousel in the Piazza Republica and we then proceeded to the River Arno and Harry’s Bar! This a a great spot and home to the founding of the Bellini. We enjoyed a little desert and then it was off to the Westin to listen to our piano player, playing of course American music, and share some final stories before walking home and saying goodnight to beautiful Florence!