Florence · Italy

Last couple of days in Florence

It’s 10:15 at home, but we’re tending towards late afternoon here in Florence. This is our last night here, tomorrow we take the slow, regional train to Assisi.

We spent a pleasant day yesterday in Siena and San Gimignano with a stop for a typical Tuscan lunch and some wine tasting at the Sant’ Appiano winery.

There were seven wines on offer:

  • IGT Toscana White
  • IGT Toscana Rosé Secretum
  • Chianti DOCG “Dominico Capelli”
  • Cottaccio Chianti Superiore
  • Super Tuscan Cipressaia Merlot
  • Super Tuscan Monteloro 2010
  • Super Tuscan Syrah

Trish liked them all, but preferred the Chianti DOCG “Domenico Capelli”. I had a sip of each of them (probably the most wine I’ve ever had in one sitting) and liked only the white and rosé wines.

The owner of the winery was an excellent host. He explained the fermentation and storage processes, and told us about Tuscan customs related to how and when the different kinds of wines of the region are drunk.

Although some parts of San Gimignano were damaged during the Second World War, much of the 13/14th century walled town is original. It’s been preserved and conserved, of course, but it hasn’t been rebuilt.

It’s high up on a hill, making it easier to defend when defence was needed, but requiring some effort to mount the ramparts.

Today we spent nearly three very interesting hours in the San Marco museum, once a Dominican convent and home to the rebellious Girolamo Savonarola. The library and its exhibits were the highlight for me.

We had a light lunch, Florentine salted focaccia sandwiches, and then visited the Basilica di Santa Croce. Dominicans in the morning, Franciscans after lunch.

Here, among many other famous Italians, Galileo, Michelangelo, and Marconi are entombed.

There’s also a bronze plaque commemorating Enrico Fermi. And I think this is also where NASA got the idea for the original Apollo command module latch mechanism–these are the main doors of the Basilica:

Tonight we’re thinking about sampling bistecca alla Fiorentina–a gigantic T-bone steak. If we do, I think we’ll share.

Next stop–Assisi.

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