We managed to fit a lot in this weekend while the Calabrese were visiting Florence, silently chanting the mantra, "We can sleep when we're dead." On Saturday we lunched at the colorful Trattoria Za Za before climbing Brunelleschi's infamous Duomo, something I had never done before, having been constantly waiting for visitors with whom I could visit it!
The Duomo was spet-tac-o-lare! The views of the city were unparalleled from this highest point, and we could take in all the sights, including Fiesole and Villa Le Balze. The small deck at the pinnacle of the Duomo is covered with ornate marble arches, arches that I had hardly even noticed from below. Still, perhaps the coolest part of the experience was the climb, as we were ascending between Brunelleschi's 600-year-old curved double dome, weaving around and around, examining the herringbone pattern of his ingenious brick construction and the close-up of the dome's interior frescoes.
Sunday we weaved through the markets and stopped by the Porcellino for good luck. You're supposed to rub his nose, place a coin in his mouth, and make a wish. If the coin bounces off the grate instead of falling in, your wish will come true! Azzurra and I were both lucky, but Alessandro didn't get the game. He thought he had to make the coin stick in the hog's mouth, so he spent forever blocking children and trying to wedge his coin in between the teeth, hooting and hollering at his success to a crowd of blank stares. We all had quite a laugh after we explained to him his misunderstanding.
We found our favorite street band relocated to Santa Croce, where we spent about an hour resting and preparing ourselves for the hike up to Piazzale Michelangelo, where the gorgeous panorama never gets old.
After an aperitivo at La Dolce Vita in Piazza Carmine, we got gelato and hung out on Ponte Trinita (I had the pleasure of teaching Alessandro the bridge's proper pronunciation), enjoying the Ponte Vecchio's effervescent atmosphere before we had to say our good-byes. I'm still recovering from such a jam-packed weekend, but if I could I'd do it all over again!