We have been back in Florence for one week and are thrilled to be here. We had been “on the road” in the U.S. for over two weeks in our 13-year old station wagon since we left Asheville, NC in mid-January, and it’s lovely to be settled for a whole month.

Our Florence apartment is quite near our first place from last year, which is a great location in the historical city center. It’s not as fancy as our first apartment from 2022 that overlooked the Arno River, but in a way, it’s more authentic. We are once again in a beautiful old building, and this time we have exposed wooden beams on the ceiling, prettily tiled floors and bathrooms and a darling bunk bedroom for guests.

On our fourth day here, we took a day trip to Venice on the train. This has been a bucket list item for a long time and it was bigger and more magical than I expected. We viewed this quick visit as a sort of scouting trip, and plan to go back later this month for a night or two. It was very cold (1° Celsius) and the city was cloaked in a dense fog, which made it otherworldly and mysterious. You get off the train, walk outside and get on a boat to travel down the Grand Canal to St. Mark’s Square.  The canals were much more extensive than I had expected, which was a huge treat. We had time to see the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Cathedral, stroll a bit on the Riva degli Schiavoni and, as we are wont to do, eat a delicious lunch. There are pictures on the Photo page.

I have committed to doing yoga at least three times a week this year. I found a great yoga studio in Asheville, then did some Yoga with Adrienne online while we were driving from Asheville to Savannah to Tupelo to Tulsa. Adrienne rules! When we got to Dallas, I was ecstatic to find that my studio from back in the day, Sunstone, was still going strong and offered my favorite hot yoga class twice while we were there. It was exactly like I remembered, although, sadly, my body is not the same as it was when I started there almost 20 years ago. Let’s just say I’m currently “building strength.” It’s not pretty but it’s getting better.

I immediately checked out a studio here in Florence that offers vinyasa flow classes, and meditation on Sundays, and it’s going to be my yoga home for this month. In Italy, you are supposed to get a doctor’s certificate to take yoga classes (seriously, it’s a law here), so I went straight to my old pal, Dr. Silvia, for the requisite EKG and check-up, which set me back 80 euro. I’ve been to three classes so far, and the studio hasn’t asked to see it, which should surprise no one. Anyway, they teach in Italian and English (and Sanskrit), and the people I have seen in class so far are seriously good at yoga. I can walk to the studio from my apartment in less than 10 minutes, and the classes are held in this old vault-like stone building that has a huge sky light. It is around the corner from the Medici Chapel, which I had not visited before, and which is free to visit on the first Sunday of the month. That was today, and when I walked past after my meditation class, incredibly, there was no waiting line so I sashayed right on in. I love this city! I’m hopeful that I’ll find a similar yoga sitch when we get to Portugal next month.

Namaste and ciao for now!