Ciao! It’s the evening of our second full day in Florence. Steve suggested I title this post “Shock & Awe,” because we are sorta shocked that we actually made it here and we are awed by our surroundings. Nevertheless, I chose another heading because, with all due respect to the guys at the Pentagon, that term has always sounded kind of vulgar to me.

My first impressions are: February is a great time to visit Florence, because the weather has been beautiful and mild (mid-50s and sunny during the day, chilly at night) and it’s not crowded; putting balsamic vinegar in a spray bottle on the table is a great idea; sharing an entire bottle of wine at lunch every day is overdoing it, so on some days, one should order by the glass; covid isn’t too much of a buzz-kill, as restaurants and sightseeing venues are accepting our CDC vax cards (so far no one will give us a Green Pass, the EU vax certificate); it seems like almost all the study abroad kids in town are women, and they move in packs; and the light here is magical. Indefinably beautiful. Our artistically-inclined son, The Weez, who has an amazing eye for color, design and composition, would be as happy as a pig in you-know-what if he were here with his camera.

Our initial plan is to see as many of the tourist spots as possible during February, while the lines are short or non-existent and the venues are not overcrowded. To that end, we climbed to the top of the Duomo this morning. Brunelleschi clearly did not see my strapping, 6’6″ husband coming, or he might have designed the stairwells with a tad more vertical space. Steve was actually pleased that he only hit his head on the stones five times. It is supposed to rain tomorrow, so we are going to visit the Uffizi.

I fear we were tacky Americans today, because we asked our server at lunch for a take-home box. There was NFW I was going to walk out of that restaurant without my cacio e pepe leftovers. Also, pro tip: Chianti isn’t all that great by itself, but when paired with Italian food, it sings.

Addio per ora, amici miei!

This view will never get old: