Monday June 18th, Day 9 of our 2007 Italian Adventure!
Well an early morning wake up call had us up and about at 6 am. Another road trip was scheduled for the day in the Jag. Our plans were to go to the coast and then drive back to Florence. Our travels took us to Pisa, for photos and and another view of the Tower and the Duomo. Along the way, we stopped for some ciccolatte brioches and water for the trip. Pisa was crazy…people and tour buses coming from every direction! This was the first time we had ever driven in Pisa and with the assistance from “Scanducci”, our plans went off without a hitch!
Soon we left the city of Pisa for the Mare…….we headed out to the Marina di Pisa. What a beautiful drive along the coast and the traffic was great! We found a place to park along the main street and took a stroll down on the beach. The sun was very hot and the sea was spectacular…a very green-blue color. Reflections danced across the surface. People swam and boats sailed on the horizon. We were soon hungry for lunch so we made our way into the Ristorante di Cliff. A great spot for lunch, we opted to sit inside the air conditioned rooms, instead of outside, which is something we rarely do, but the sun was intensely hot today.
I opted for spaghetti with seafood and fritto with calamari and shrimps. Don had spaghetti bolognese and the fastest wood fired pizza I have ever seen cooked right in front of our eyes! The pizza oven was not quite fired up and ready for the day, when the ristorante opened for business that day. So the baker fired it up and waited for some coals, while we enjoyed four first course and my house bianco frizzante. He prepared Don’s pizza in front of our eyes, then placed it in the hot coal filled furnace. Within 4 minutes the pizza was cooked to perfection. After lunch we enjoyed more scenery as we headed south to Livorno.
As we headed south along the coast we admired the scenery and beaches and longed for more time to spend near the sea! Perhaps next year….. Our time in Italy is running out on us, so now my thoughts of sadness start to enter my mind. Soon we will be on our way home to the States and my travel addiction will begin again. What is a travel girl to do?
After returning to Florence via the scenic route we decided to on a bit of SHOPPING Therapy! To cure my heartache. So off to San Lorenzo market we headed. As we headed through the streets thoughs of purses ran through my head! What size, what color, what texture, what shape? Whatever! I love a good bargain, in fact my husband would probably refer to me as the “Haggling Queen”. I’ll give them a run for their money. I walk up, pick out an item, being careful not to show too much excitement. Ask the price, then say ahhhhh, I’m not sure….then slowly start to walk away, brings the attention back to me for another round of price dealing. I have it down to a science now.
Don purchased some soccer shirts for Christina, Ron, Liam, and Aaron, then retired to the steps of San Lorenzo Church. I, on the other hand shopped for scarves, jewelry, calenders, purses, more soccer shirts, and anything else that came to mind. I made a big find when it came to jewelry, earrings and necklaces for gifts! I came away with a great orange purse for ME! We were exhausted from shopping so we stopped for a gelato on the way back to our hotel. I had my cocco & nutella combination, and Don has his usual concoction. Real good gelato, in fact some of the best in Florence nearby the San Lorenzo market.
We finally made it back to our room and dropped our bags in exhaustion…..afterall shopping does wear one out! hehehhehe After a relatively short siesta we decided to go back to the Golden View Open Bar for dinner again. We were greeted at the door by a familiar face and seated with a prosecco on the house. I perused the menu and decided upon a delicious caprese salad with bread and lots of EVOO once more and a Filetto di Manzo. While Don decided on his penne bolognese and Filetto di Manzo. The steak was cooked superbly. Very tender, moist and flavorful. Accompanied by spicy arugula….great! I opted for another 1/4 liter of house bianco to wash things down.
We strolled over to the Ponte Vecchio to watch the festivities of the evening and to take some more photos of the bridge at night. The ponte Vecchio is magical, especially at night! Filled with people, music and life! Florence is always difficult to leave, and this time was no exception, we alwasy savor our “lasts” while in this city. Last meals, last gelatos, last photos, last walk…….etc. For sadness had started to overwhelm me. Thinking about packing for home and the long flight. To be continued….
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