25.09.2016 - 26.09.2016 28 °C
Sunday was the annual parade of the harvest in Impruneta so no decision on what to do – we all decided to attend. It was the 90th year of the festival where 4 local towns vie for the trophy each year. The floats, the dancing and the costumes were amazing – but the banner waving display that started the show was also very impressive. Here’s a link if you’re interested in seeing the ‘official’ photos.
Watched the first two ‘presentation’s’ then gave up and walked back to the villa – spotting the other 2 sets of floats and costumed parade participants on the way. It was definitely time for a swim again.
As the supermarket was closed on Sunday (oops, missed that one), we had picked up some fresh pasta, parmesan cheese and salami for another of Phil’s wonderful creations. The salad selection was a bit meagre but was made up for by the pasta. Don’t think we’re going to let Phil off chef duties!
The next day the Wallarchies and Cathy went over to a locals to help pick & crush the season’s grapes. Sounded very similar to small vineyard production in Martinborough so it was a day trip to Firenze for Team Thomson and Rob and Jill with Phil in tow. It is only 14kkms to the centre of Firenze from the villa and it wasn’t a complicated trip so we were soon parked near the Boboli gardens and wandering over the Ponte Amerigo Vespucci bridge in search of espresso.
Duly imbibed, we headed towards the railway station to the Basilica S. Maria Novella – black and white stripping of the marble intrigued us all. Then on to find a Perfumery just around the corner that I’d read was worth a visit. Well that was a highlight for me – as it was originally part of the abbey attached to S. Maria Novella, where the Dominican monks cultivated medicinal herbs used to prepare medications, balms and ointments for their infirmary, it was painted like a church. High arched ceilings etc. and shelves filled with beautiful glass bottles. The shop is still producing high quality herbal products (soaps, creams, perfumes, candles etc.) and has a wonderful aroma to it – not overpowering like Lush!
From there it was off to the Basilica di San Lorenzo – except we got side tracked by the leather markets in the Plazza San Lorenzo and then found the Mercato Centrale, a huge indoor food market. So a beer and lunch became the next item on the tour.
Then round the Basilica and off to the Cathedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore – which Sarah remembered from 2000. The striking green and white marble is impressive. So too the security presence….there and as we walked on towards the Palazzo Vecchiio and the Galleria degli Uffizi. Too many tourists around and far too hot, so crossed the Fiume Arno via the Ponte Vecchio and gelato in hand headed past the Palazzo Pitti and (unfortunately missing the Boboli gardens by a street – on the list for next time) reached the cars. Hope I got all the names in there – it was a walk around the high spots for Sarah – we intend getting back in more detail next week.
Back to the villa for a swim and another of Phil’s pasta creations – carbonara based this time.