November 21, 2005

11.23.05-- The Perfect Man

What was most interesting to me during my time with Leslie was the fact that she didn't seem to know much about the city. Though she'd been there a day longer than I, she didn't really seem to have her bearings much. This, married with Carmela's quizzical expression in response to my profession of how easy to navigate Florence seems to be, leads e to believe that perhaps it's not necessarily as user-friendly a city as I think. In the pottery shop, Leslie and I spent an hour pouring over all the preciously painted "knick-knacks." Having lived in Seville, I've seen my fair share of pottery, but this shop was special. Owned by a lovely woman named Elisabetta, each piece-- plates, vases, tiles, etc.-- was painted with scenes of fields in vibrant colors. The opportunity to watch her work, too, made it more interesting. I had a 4pm appointment for the Accademia, so I invited Leslie along. The Accademia is the home for the plaster moldings used as models for sculptures. It also houses The David. What a masterpiece. He's perfect. Simply perfect. The care Michaelangelo took to get every detail just exactly so-- down to the veins in his hands, and the pupils in his eyes-- is extraordinary. It's much bigger than I imagined. But, still, everything is to scale, even his fingernails. Amazing. The things people could accomplish before the invention of Desperate Housewives... After the Accademia, we went to my favorite cafe for Cappuccino. While chatting, who should we run into but Stacy and her parents, my friends from the train! What a small city-- earlier in the day, I had run into this couple I met on the train from SC who have a friend who went to Furman. Now, I ran into the CT family!! It was so nice to see them again-- it confirmed the feeling I have that Firenze is a very friendly, family-like city. Finally, Leslie and I parted, as I headed to dinner at Carmela's. Dinner was fantastic! It was everything you could imagine for the "typical Italian Family Dinner"-- the type Olive Garden likes to pretend their oily, nasty fettuccine can recreate. In total, 6 of us gathered around the big oak table-- Carmela an Pino, Melissa-- a woman from Hawaii who moved to Florence 6 months ago on a whim-- her friend Sergio (wonderful cook, that one!) and Franco. We don't really know WHO Franco is. I think he's a guest at Carmela's Hotel, but not realy cause he lives in Flroence and I think he just seems to be around, so they invite him to dinner. The food was scrumptious!! Toasted bruschetta with oil from freshly harvested olives-- such a bite to it! Pasta with sausages and a veggie that may have been spinach, but I'm not sure. That was followed by meat in a tomato sauce with peppers, onions, pease and who-knows-what-else! And Garlic!! I almost forgot to mention the fresh garlic and fresh parmesan! So good! (Fa would be miserable in Italy!! His 2 least favorite flavors accompany every dish!!) We had wine and chatted for a good 2 hours. Then they brought out biscotti and the "real" alcohol. Carmela gave me a shot of Lemon Liquor (which tasted like cleaning products) and everyone else drank grappa (shocker that I refused that one. Something about the chilli in the botom of the bottle...) Plus, there was anis flavored liquor to dip the biscotti. So good! In all, a wonderful evening! Such kind people! Florence is really a city where you meet the Carmelas of the world, not Venice. I'm glad I came to visit here!

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