Florence, Tuscany, a set on Flickr.
How do you follow up a place like Venice? Reluctantly.
I was eaten alive in Florence. Mosquitoes attacked me and I think it was mostly while in the hotel room. I have marks on my arm still. Dozens of bites and I guess I couldn't quite handle it because the swellings got huge. I took a lot of Reactine by the time we got to Rome.
Florence had such beautiful photo opportunities from bridges though. Stunning, even. The sky, the reflections in the water - day and night - I enjoyed walking to those.
Traffic was crazy with cyclists, vespas / scooters / whatever they're called, cars and tour buses, pedestrians who also took the stop lights as suggestions --- but this proved to be even more amplified in Rome so perhaps it was good we got a taste of this in Florence first.
Noticed that the locals who drove about on bicycles were well-dressed! It wasn't odd to find gents dressed in suits. And it was beautiful to see the confidence of the women who took to the middle of the streets, gliding down hills and turning corners without hesitation.
Passed a make-out spot that was a circle of stone benches that hung over part of the water. It's in some of my night photos but at that point I hadn't walked past it and didn't realize that there were couples laying atop each other practically having sex but still clothed. I wonder if it's the sound of rushing water beneath them (some sort of dam thing) that moves them, too - or just plain old exhibitionism.
It inspired me to give kissing my partner a try a little later on against the low brick a distance on. I wanted to see if we had anything going on there. (We did / do) Admittedly, I've become a prude this past year and I sometimes wonder if I can bring it anymore. He doesn't push the issue which I'm thankful for but not used to - in that, I've always had partners that were highly sexual and aggressive with their wants (which I didn't mind) but yeah, I have to learn not to take his patience to mean he's not interested. I need to allow myself to have intimacy with my partner but it's taking me some time. I didn't use to be this way. Isn't this strange to be writing about when I just got married? Ah, it was a rough year. I'm grateful to have an understanding partner who is also my best friend.
I hope you skipped that previous paragraph if you're only interested in hearing about the trip and not my weird emotional sexual issues.
Oh! I saw the statue of David. The real one. We weren't allowed to take photos (and I didn't even try to sneak one) because apparently they want you to buy their postcards of him instead. Seeing David was one of those moments that I didn't tweet about but was one of THOSE MOMENTS. Also, for someone who was a bible thumper until 16 years old, I can't believe I never connected the statue of David to the David & Goliath story. Perhaps it's because his representation in statue form is nothing at all like the boy that was in the bible story. And so I learned something about art and a fair bit about Michelangelo.
One of the highlights of the trip to Tuscany was being able to visit a castle / winery. A family actually lives there, too. The place was called Castello del Trebbio and wow, is there ever an interesting history to the place! Even if you only go back a few generations with the homeowners, it's pretty fascinating. But WAY back, wow, brutal stuff happened.
After touring the place, we were treated to a proper wine tasting that included some tasty bites of food. This is the moment where my husband figured out what had evaded us before in our previous attempts to do the bread / olive oil thing --- salt! Sprinkle some salt over the oil on the bread and it's amazingly delicious. Thanks to that tour for teaching us that. We purchased a bottle of chianti wine (it was quite cheap, actually!) and the idea is that we'll drink it on our one year anniversary.
Oh! We also learned a lot about olive oil in general. During my travels through Italy, I definitely became a fan. I think the oil is what makes all the difference in the pasta sauces, too. I shouldn't be writing about such delicious food while I'm fasting, sigh.
There was something else I noticed in Florence ---- the signs! They have these clever alterations done to them. I enjoyed seeing those although I think there was some activism motivation behind them - not merely for amusement.
I'm going through these photos in sprints. I'll try to update more (about other stuff too) but I've been having some health problems. Let's just say the pill that was supposed to stop my period for two months, didn't. Thankfully, I didn't bleed during the honeymoon but on the plane home it started. Welcome home, indeed. It's been a painful week or so. To think I have to wait until February for the gyno appointment - I'm not sure that I can.
Ah, TMI and all that. To clarify, I am thankful that I was able to make it through the two weeks of traveling without that bother. What timing though, eh?
related: post about Venice, Italy here!
& one for Como, Brunate, Lake Como here!