So today I finally visited the Bargello, a beautiful collection of statues, tapestries, carvings, ceramics, and other hand-made antiques housed in the most amazing old palace. I don’t know why I haven’t been there yet, because with my Amici degli Uffizi card that I bought when I first got here, I get in for free. I had barely even entered the courtyard before I decided that it is my favorite museum in Florence, and perhaps my favorite museum that I have ever visited. The collection is housed better than the collection at the Uffizi, which makes for a more rewarding visit. Also, though there are many things of interest, it is not as overwhelming as the Uffizi and therefore less daunting and much more enjoyable. Not to mention that the palace itself is absolutely incredible. It is truly amazing… this city never ceases to enchant me. I spent the rest of the afternoon navigating the now-familiar streets, trading up the tourist routes for the much quieter little side streets. It is amazing because you can be in the middle of tourist mayhem, and simply turn a corner and you find yourself completely alone on a shady little street. I have never seen another city quite like that.
I cannot believe that I have less than two weeks of class left! I have a lot to anticipate because W is coming to visit on the 28th. So I think I have been kind of willing that date to come more quickly, and I forget that I don’t actually have that much more time here. I remember talking to my dad when I first got here and he kept telling me, “Oh you will be home before you know it!” I told him not to tell me that because I wanted to really live it up. But of course the only reason I did not want him to say it aloud to me was because I knew that it was painfully true, that he was absolutely right, that life goes by so slowly and so quickly all at the same time. And so here I am, approaching the end of my stay in this magical city, and it makes me so profoundly sad. So today I decided to just live it up! I wandered around the Bargello, walking around and around and around, then I stopped by one of my favorite gelaterie and got a granita, a frozen ice drink (I chose grapefruit and strawberry… delicious!). I savored every single drop while wandering through some of my favorite streets, always choosing the narrower ones that offer more shade from the hot mid-day sun. Then I went over to the other side of the river, stopped in one of my favorite little clothing shops, owned by an American girl from San Francisco, and we chatted a bit. After that I met up with Alex again for some more conversation practice, and we chose the rooftop terrace of one of the big department stores here for a caffe shakerato (iced coffee) overlooking the city. We stayed and chatted for almost two hours before I finally wandered back home for the evening. It was pretty much a perfect day. I can honestly say that I savored every single second of it.
I cannot wait for Thursday to come! My best friend Andrew works for Delta and he has a flight into Pisa! He is only here for a day and a half, but we take what we can get. He will return sometime in June for several days, and when he does we (me, W, Andrew) will rent a car and drive around Tuscany! I anticipate that we will make many stops at vineyards along the way! It looks like W and I will spend about a week here in Florence when he comes, then maybe a few days in Rome, then a few days driving around with Andrew, and then finally ending up in Sicily for a week or so! Altogether it will be about three weeks… I am such a lucky girl! I hope in my life to come I always get to travel.
Well, that is all I’ve got for today! I have posted more pictures, which I will try to organize tonight. Right now they are a jumbled mess! Thank you all for continuing to read, and for having patience with me when I don’t write everyday. You will never know how much it means to me that there are so many people out there interested in my life!! What did I ever do to deserve such blessings??!