Fiesole and Florence. 12/21/18

Today we pack ourselves up and head to Florence with a side trip to Fiesole. It is a chilly, misty day and we are hoping to dodge the bad weather when it is time to do some sightseeing. We are also on a schedule to return the rental car at Florence airport and arrive at our apartment to meet the greeter at 5 PM. So many moving parts!

Fiesole is on a hill just outside Florence. If it were not for the rain and fog we should be able to see Florence from an overlook. We drive all over Fiesole looking for a parking space to no avail. Our crap rental car is straining to deal with the steep inclines. John is getting annoyed and frustrated. Finally some ways down the hill he finds a quasi-space and parks. Now we must walk up a lot of steps in the cold rain.

I am very slow on the steps and by the time we reach our goal, St. Romulus Cathedral, I am also annoyed, frustrated and wet! Happy times! And when we go inside the church this is what we see.

84E99CE7-020B-46EB-9327-F0CAC831B6B5
Dark St. Romulus with scaffolding blocking the altar area.

The church is almost entirely unlit and then the whole front area is blocked off. We cannot see what I suppose is a beautiful early altarpiece of Bicci di Lorenzo. This is about the best picture I could find on the internet.

Bicci di Lorenzo 15th century altarpiece in Fiesole Cathedral

There are a few other odds and ends.

A Madonna and Child painted in the Gothic manner which I cannot find anything about
St. Sebastian dubiously credited to Perugino

We leave the church in a fouler mood than when we went in. I suggest we take a look at a small church that I had read about. It is only across the square. It turns out to be locked up.

Looking back across the wet and misty square in Fiesole toward St. Romulus

We decide to give up and go find some lunch. The first place we look at has a bunch of treacherous, slippery stairs. We then head back to a cafe that John had seen on our walk around the square. We are taken aback when we are given the menus.

The menu at Bistrot Caffe al No. 5

Huh. So we turn the menu over and read it back to front. It seems that they have a lampredotto risotto. John is eager to give this a try. I figure, it couldn’t be worse than yesterday’s slime so I order it too! Oh, don’t know what lampredotto is? It is a tripe-like meat made from a cow’s fourth stomach. And it is delicious!! However before we have the lampredotto risotto we start with bruschette with cavulo nero (black cabbage.)

Bruschetta with cavulo nero
Lampredotto risotto for John and me while Sarah has beans with sausage

We have a wonderful discussion with the cook about how she seasons the lampredotto. It turns out that it has nutmeg and cinnamon in it. We will never have such a dish at home and I am glad that I tried it.

After lunch with nothing left to do we head to Florence airport to return the rental car. The traffic is horrendous and it is difficult to figure out where we are supposed to go. We fuel the car up and manage to make the correct turn to get us to the rental return. We are so glad to be rid of the car.

We call our greeter and hop in a taxi to take us into the old city part of Florence. We meet Miki and Franco whose apartments we are renting. After being chastised for being early and having every aspect of the apartments explained to us, we are on our own in Florence.

Our apartment has a large living room for space enough for us all to gather
And the kitchen is fairly large plus there is space around the table for five
Sarah likes her living room
The cupboard in her living room is a mini-kitchen!

Since this is the third time staying here we know where everything is and what stores are nearby. John hurries out to buy some chopped liver and bread for our dinner of hors d’oeuvres tonight.

Chips, chopped liver, wine, and the internet – we are all set!

Tomorrow Ryan and Jon arrive. I am nervous about their needing to catch trains and get to Florence. Everyone assures me that they will be fine. (And they did great!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s