fanciful field trip to Firenze

One thing we do get for free in Tuscany, is the famed natural aesthetics. This place is gorgeous. Florence has its own medieval perfection.

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Is that the sewer, mom?

No, honey, that’s the river.

Kind of reminds me of the Thames River in London. Mud, with water. Caffe latte, but with pretty arched bridges mounted over top.

Can I imagine living here? Absolutely. Am I making an announcement? No. Some believe Italy might go the way of Greece, but I will happily inject my share of turista Euros into the economy.

We found ourselves searching for dinner outside of Firenze, as dinner begins after 1900 for Tuscans. We wandered until we found ourselves back at San Gimangnano again, ala local Tratorria. One can eat enough Pasta Carbonara or Arrabiata, but one can certainly not get enough Chianti especially when in Chianti region. At home, I thought of Chianti like a pleasant red wine vinegar, not good wine. Not here though. More like a Sangiovese-Malbec mix. Yum, yum, yum. Wine on an empty stomach, not a good idea, but dinner was a happy dream.

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Don’t worry, we weren’t starving, as my kids like to suggest. The kids’ eyes nearly bugged out when Jim purchased a second gelato, for himself. What has the world come to? This stuff is good. Try the coco (coconut)—definitely my favourite, but the bacci, or anything cioccolati (chocolate), limon—really anything gelato. But don’t buy it downtown Florence at 3,80 Euros a scoop. Medieval highway robbery. That’s like $5 a scoop. I wouldn’t have guessed that our shared cannoli would be $7 either. Eat off the beaten path.

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We’re learning to spend one day consumed with activity, the next with quiet. Better formula for familial happiness.

No matter how memorable, how grand, how perfetto the view twelve feet below Michelangelo’s David is, Jim declares he’s 100% saturated; no more muses or galleries, no more Duomos or frescoes. When we head to Venice, we’ll have to find something else to do. We can take a boat trip halfway up the Adriatic, I don’t care, but, please, no more museums! Lucky for him, I, too, am saturated. Uffizi and Leonardo da Vinci and another Mother Mary will just have to wait till next time.

Since we stood in the line for an hour, perusing the trinkets occupied some of the time. But the masks of Venice, Papal plasticware, Firenze keychains and wooden Pinocchios only occupied so much interest. I took a turn creating stories for their amusement. We never did come to the end of Michel and Angelo’s day at Scuola. They’d been writing lines for reasons only Mrs. Leonardo Vinci could understand. I’d pop a latin phrase from my latin app into every second sentence; my indirect way of teaching latin. Then Jim started a ladder game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. He is the King of amusing the kids at boring moments.

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Why not just lay down to watch the science movies?

We didn’t just visit the Accademia though. We also hit the Museo de Scienza, where Galileo’s instruments were housed. Leonardo da Vinci had his instruments preserved there too; he wasn’t just an artist, but a scientist too, making his first attempts at flying machines and bicycles, sketching out human anatomy.

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How Hannah, Zach and Madelyn came out…

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Medieval terracotta obstetrical presentations explained to his mini-medical students…

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How Rachel came out…ouch.

I’d not understood the connection between longitude and the cartographic brilliance in finding your way from one place to the next…and I still don’t, but the Museo de Scienza has officially introduced me to it.

I’d not understood that people actually enjoyed playing with inclined planes to prove gravity, or build time telling instruments for fun, or stare at the moon every evening wondering why it shifted location… but I am so glad they have, that they do, and that I don’t have to. And I’m glad their mothers didn’t insist they just complete the standard schedule of subjects… The world is a more interesting place.

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