Sunday, November 3, 2019

Pictures, You Need Pictures: Part 3: Florence

Enough! you say? Well, Henry and I left Rome on a train after two glorious days and headed to Florence where he's been living and studying at the Gonzaga University campus. After Los Angeles and New York, Florence is my very favorite city. I can't adequately explain the impact on me when I first visited in 1985, but it hit me all over again fifteen years ago and yes, all over again in 2019.

I did my pilgrimage to the monastery where Fra Angelico painted the frescoes, where strangely amongst the din that is Europe and its tourists, the place remains supremely quiet and near-empty.

And then, of course, around the corner and up the stairs...

The Annunciation.



I might be smiling in the above photo, but I am also slowly dying as we walked through the city over the river and up the steepest hill I've ever climbed in stupid shoes to the Piazza Michelangelo. It overlooks the entire city, and the view was entirely worth the effort. In fact, if I'd died up there, it would have been just fine.

On our last night we ate at this famous restaurant called 13 Gobbi. We had anchovies first, followed by pasta with mozzarella, and then I had eggplant parmesan and Henry had Milanese. It was easily one of the best meals I've ever had, but to tell you the truth, all the food in Italy is crazily sublime. How is that even possible? (It feels ridiculous posting these poorly lit photos, but I'm going to, anyway):

This is just a crazily lit photo of a gorgeous building near the restaurant. We walked the long way home. Henry dropped me off at my pensione, hugged me good-bye and left for his own. I left the next morning for the west coast of Los Angeles, filled with gratitude for this time spent away.

P.S. For all those who've asked after us, we are safe and far enough away from the fires to only be affected by smoke and bad air quality. We have many friends who were affected, though, who had to flee in the middle of the night. My heart goes out to all those who lost their homes, their possessions, their livelihoods. California is a fiercely beautiful state, and I am grateful to have lived here for over twenty years.


  1. Visiting Florence 3 Glorious times over the Years I'm sure you've noticed differences and what has never changed!? Enough... never... it's a Virtual Delight to come along here in the Land of Blog, Thank You. Glad the Fires have not impacted you, it looked Apocalyptic and terrifying on the News coverage, I couldn't even imagine the horror of it all!

  2. Florence truly has to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
    I love that picture of David. Great angle. When I laid eyes on it at the age of eighteen, I burst into tears. It is so magnificent. The entire city is one trigger after another for Stendhal's Syndrome, aka Florence Syndrome.
    You and Henry are beautiful too.

  3. Welcome home, Elizabeth. The travels sound wonderful. So many of the pictures you posted remind me of my own visit to Florence in 2007. I went to the Piazza Michelangelo too, and I remember that uphill hike! Still, it's worth it for that view. I went to the Uffizi but I don't think I saw the monastery with the Annunciation. Somehow that got past me. Now I have to go back!

  4. Every bit of it, including you and Henry, divine. Thank you.

  5. Wonderful photos. What a special time you had with your older son. Could Henry be ANY more handsome? I don't think so.

  6. Oh Florence.....Oh Tuscany....and the food is SOOOOOO good. I actually saw American tourists eating Mc Donalds in front of the Uffizi. And I felt embarrassed. For them.

    You and your son are beautiful.




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