Still Christmas!

Today, January 6th, is a Christian holiday and is observed in Italy.  It is Epiphany, the 12th day of Christmas, and the day of the Magi (three kings, 3 wisemen).

“In Christianity, January 6 is the feast of the Epiphany (the 12th day of Christmas) and churches celebrate with the Adoration of the Magi as the realization that Christ is the Incarnation of the son of God.

In Florence, the celebration involves a long, grand parade in magnificent costumes that evoke the arrival of the three Wise Men to the little town of Bethlehem in search of the Messiah.”*

I’m looking forward to this procession in just an hour or so!

In 2017 so far I have been eating well, traveling well, and sleeping (short nights! But) well.  A new years resolution to exercise more (as it seems to be a repeated resolution each year for the majority of Americans) has been put into action with walking over 6 miles each day. I took a cooking class, went truffle hunting, and even joined some Italians for some hybrid swing dancing!  I’ve met some lovely Florentines and foreigners.  There’s so much to write about, but there’s much more left to still experience.  So, the posts will have to wait. But keep up with my pictures on Instagram  – @willandwit. Below is a picture of me on my awkward writhing seahorse as we rode into the Uffizi yesterday…

Now, I’m off to eat this lovely sight of a speck and marscapone pizza at Trattoria Nerone.

* source: https://www.visitflorence.com/florence-events/cavalcade-magi.html

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Happy New Year’s Eve!

Wow, blogging while traveling is much harder than expected! When you’re meeting new friends, trying great foods, and following a packed itinerary, it’s hard to get a written word in edge wise… currently I am eating chocolate for sustenance before treating myself to a New Year’s Eve dinner. Toughing it out, clearly.

The 29th was a full travel day, wrapped up with a nice meal and a comfortable stay at Hotel Palazzo Guadagni before my much needed sleep. 

Yesterday was my first full day in Firenze.  I spent the morning at Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens.  It was great weather, but even without, I would have still taken on the steep greens of Boboli. I was very pleased that this was my first site back in Florence (besides the lovely musical performance on my walk the night before over the Ponte Vecchio.)  The Fashion Gallery inside the palace was showcasing an exhibit of famous female Italian clothes designers (women being famous for dressing women? What a great idea!)  The designs were drastically different, and there was a wide variety in fabrics and materials.  Details later if you’re interested!

After grabbing my heck-ofa-backpack and taking a few more lovely pictures of the view from Hotel Palazzo Guadagni, I hit the road to grab a bus: direction = out of the city. (Not already sick of florence, the plans just happened to work that way.)  I had one of those moments where, because I bought the tickets and some other necessities from a supermarket using only Italian, I felt like I was in store for a smooth and rewarding few hours at least.  However, that’s when flags should start raising instead… I almost got onto the wrong bus, then spoke with someone (in English) who told me I bought the wrong type of tickets and that the bus doesn’t have a designated number as stated on the schedule… however, after watching the first correct bus drive past me, I got on the next and correctly landed in Bargino.  Then the hospitable Chiara picked me up and brought me to La Ginestra, a Bio-agriturismo farm and guesthouse.  More on this unique place soon, it deserves it’s own post!  But, the rest of my day was just as enjoyable as the morning, be assured!

So, right now, I’m off to enjoy the rest of my YEAR… these jokes never get old.  Happy New Year!  Share with me by being grateful for this year despite some downfalls that may have happed, and look forward to what’s to come in 2017.  I’m so happy to be waking up in Florence tomorrow morning! 

Countdown: 1 Day (Tomorrow!)

In a little more than 24 hours, I will be on a plane to Florence!  I am quite looking forward to this opportunity to travel alone again with an extensive itinerary and a writing project.  In the past nine days as the countdown has been plugging along, my itinerary has taken sme exciting turns!  Luckily, I’m quite addicted to my little spreadsheet that has each day mapped out, and then my maps, that are literally mapped out, so I should be good to go!

A few new things that have unfolded to keep an eye out for on my future blog posts:

  1. A truffle hunting tour: Yes, I will be truffle hunting in the Chianti region of Italy.  We will not be with a pig, but apparently a dog and her owner will be our guides!
  2. Agriturismo: Because I couldn’t go a whole month without honeybees, I have sought out a Tuscan farm to stay at for a peaceful and experiential night.
  3. Swing dancing: The Italians can just do it all… There are three swing dancing societies in Florence that I found, and “Lindy Hop in Florence” will be having an Epiphany inspired dancing event.

    Get ready for some reading in the next few weeks, that is, if I get a moment to type on the journey ahead!  As long as I don’t have to hold up any leaning towers while a baby is being cooed at in the background, it’ll all be okay. Keep the comments coming!

    Countdown: 5 Days (5 Dining Secrets of Florence)

    This blogpost is a reposted by me for The Traveling Professor

    From Snacks to Cocktails to Bakeries to Chocolate

    food in florence

    Melanie Wilson is a colleague who lived in Florence for some time as a student.   She is like a food detective who goes out early in the morning or late at night to satisfy her culinary desires.   In today’s blog post Melanie tells about her favorite places in Florence.   I suspect you won’t find too many of these food spots in a guidebook, so when they ask you how you found the place, tell them Melanie sent you.

    For Unique Tuscan Atmosphere

    La Cite Libreria Florentines love their books, coffee,and music.   So be like a Florentine and visit La Cite Libreria.  It’s best in the morning for a wake-up call of expresso and croissant but even better in the evening for music and a glass of vino.  It’s just south of the Arno River where tourists are hard to find.   For any time of day – Cantinetta dei Verrazzano Named after a bridge connecting Brooklyn with Florence …

    Source: 5 Dining Secrets of Florence