27 March 2009

Something Sweet from Florence, Italy

I promised some photographs of Caffe' Gilli. The sweets are to die for ... well, not literally of course but, they are simply mouth watering tidbits of heaven.

16 March 2009

A Peek at One of My Favorite Piazzas

You will find a lovely carousel tucked away in the back corner of the Piazza. But, you can miss it if you don't look closely.

The carousel horses are decorated with brightly colored paint and mirror details mimicking jewels; and, feather plumes atop their heads.

If you enlarge this picture you will see the lovely painted scenes that ring the top of the carousel along with the sweetest cherubs. My new blog header is the scene painted of Florence and the Ponte Vecchio.

If you continue on through the archway you find an assortment of designer boutiques and little restaurants. Evenings in the Piazza were my favorite past time while in Florence; sipping a cup of hot chocolate, nibbling on a sweet treat and watching people. It is relaxing after a day of adventures in the countryside.
The Piazza della Repubblica became the center of Florence during the years 1865-1871 when Florence was the capital of the newly unified country of Italy. It was the site of the Forum, the main square of the Roman City of Florentia, and in medieval times it was the city's principal food market.

The Piazza is lined by some of Florence's oldest and best known caffe's:

Giubbe Rosse (1897)
Gilli (1910)
Caffe' Donnini (1893)
Concerto Paskowski (1846)

Cafe' Gilli is the most notable of the quartette. It's interior is done in Belle Epoque style. I will share pictures of Gilli's wonderful pastries and sweets in another post. Gilli's is famous for its hot chocolate that comes in five flavors: almond, coffee, orange, gianduia (which is 50% hazel nut paste and sweet chocolate) and cocoa.

The plaque above the arch which is at the rear of the Piazza says: "The ancient heart of the city brought to new life after centuries of squalor ".

08 March 2009

something pretty

I have returned from my two week adventure in Italy. It was a most wonderful trip. I forgot how great traveling alone is. There is something to not having anyone underfoot nor discussing what is on the days agenda.

I wandered about Florence, Siena, Assisi, San Gimigiano, Orvieto, Anzio, Ostia Lido and Rome unfettered and alive (from Joni Mitchell's "Freeman in Paris"). Each day I planned out day trips (actually I had done some planning before arriving checking train schedules and such so I could squeeze in many day trips) was up early-6:00 a.m. and to breakfast by no later than 7:30 a.m.; then it was off the the train terminal to catch a train. I had miles to walk once I arrived at my destination and returned often just as it was turning dark. I snapped over 2500 photographs, of course not all meet my critical eye but, many are keepers.

Will start my travel journal next week. For now I am sharing some lovely purple crocus with you. Today it was 82 degrees in the valley. Quite a far cry from the snow storm of last weekend when temperatures dipped into the teens.
I have posted my first photographs from my trip on my other blog The Road Not Taken. Click to see the Mercato at San Lorenzo.

Until later.