Mar 10, 2008

So today was my last full day in Florence, as tomorrow I be off to Bologna and the next day back to New York. And since I had pretty much done everything I'd come here to do, it was just a day of wandering through the rainy, misty streets (this is my favorite weather!) and doing whatever lovely thing I felt like.


1. I went to Procacci for its truffle sandwiches and a glass of prosecco. I don't really love prosecco but I had read somewhere that Proccaci was, among other things, the kind of place where women met for an afternoon snack and a glass of prosecco after shopping, and that sounded so lovely I figured I had to have that, too. And my god, those sandwiches! The softest warm rolls and the richest, most wondrous truffle butter that just melts on your tongue and is as much a feeling as a taste. So sumptuuooous. Look:

And in the most charming old place.

2. I also went back to Beatrice's church on Via Santa Margherita, where she is supposedly buried (but I think an article just came out saying this isn't true) and where a basket next to her tomb/shrine overflows with bits of paper, love prayers from people asking her for help. I sat down and watched a group of giddy girls very earnestly writing out their notes and dropping them in the basket. Here are two of the girls, bent over their paper, and the basket:

I'm not going to lie, I then went to have a coffee and write my own note to Beatrice, not asking for help with love but help with writing a novel about her, and then I returned to the church and elegantly dropped it in. I also wrote it in Italian so she'd understand. Because that is how sophisticated I be.

3. After, I went and saw an exhibit on Chinese art from the years 25 to 907 at the Strozzi Palace, which was extremely cool and full of Buddhas and emporers and silver lotus flowers and fantastic animals, but it was this Li Bai poem hanging from the wall at the end that stole mah heart:

Endless Yearning (I)

I am endlessly yearning
To be in Chang'an.
Insects hum of autumn by the gold brim of the well;
A thin frost glistens like little mirrors on my cold mat;
The high lantern flickers; and deeper grows my longing.
I lift the shade and, with many a sigh, gaze upon the moon,
Single as a flower, centred from the clouds.
Above, I see the blueness and deepness of the sky.
Below, I see the greenness and the restlessness of water.
Heaven is high, Earth wide; bitter between them flies my sorrow.
Can I dream through the gateway, over the mountain?
Endless longing
Breaks my heart.

4. I also bought more gorgeous shoes, making a total of three pairs for me and two pairs for Joi. Here are hers and one of mine:

5. I then stopped and had some pistachio and nougat gelato, which I believe came straight down from heaven, and I was there looking out at the beauteous street, the one I stayed on in November, Via dei Neri, when I realized that playing on the TV overhead was some song where some guy is singing "big women are beautiful" whilst dancing down the street with 50000 buxom, lingerie-clad, burlesque-y women laughing and dancing behind him. As a buxom lass mahself, I found this VERY ROOD, especially whilst trying to enjoy GELATO. Anyway, here is said beauteous street, all slick with rain:

6. I then went to the glamorous glamorous theater I am madly in love with to see There Will Be Blood showing in English. I sort of wanted to see the movie but really would have seen anything playing there that wasn't dubbed in Italian. Because I am not sure many things make me happier than sinking into a big velvet seat at an old glamorous theater and waiting for the lights to go down, especially on a lazy rainy Monday afternoon in a foreign city. To me it is puuuure magic.

I would also like to point out that at said theater one can buy RITZ CRACKERS.

7. And then finally at the more italiano hour of 9:30 I went to dinner at this place where Joi and I discovered ribolletta before, the kind of boisterous friendly place with red and white checked tablecloths and a loud "BUONA SERA SIGNORINA!!!!" yelling owner behind a counter who sat yours truly right near said counter and talked/yelled all through dinner ("HOW DO YOU LIKA!"), and lots of meats and bottles of chianti hanging down from archways. It was so cozy and lovely and I had wine and ribolletta and tomatoes and it felt like being at a relative's house but at the same time I could just enjoy being there and take tons of notes for my book and not feel at all weird. Being alone but feeling not alone is something I vedddy much like. And as I was leaving I was invited to partake in some limoncello drinking with a group of laughing people who'd surrounded the owner, but I smiled politely and vamooosed to my cheapass home away from home. Because I am some ready for bed.

The end.