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Friday, November 16, 2007

Florence - Day 40

Today marks our last full day in Florence and it begins with out morning ritual of coffee at the market. We haven't got a lot planned today as we need to pack up but our first stop is the Post Office to send off another parcel of stuff back home.

If I was thinking that this visit would be as painless as the previous I was surely mistaken. I had the misfortune to be served by Roselle. Her attitude towards me ranged from disdain to being totally ignored - her interest lay in talking and listening into the conversation between her fellow worker and the man she was serving. Eventually she deigned to look at me - the works spoken just the cost of mailing. It took me a second or two to realise she was finally speaking to me. On handing over the money she scanned my notes and then very slowly gave me my change without a word or another look.

Paalo had watched this unfold so when I returned to his spot he knew what had happened and we lingered briefly to make sure she actually placed the paperwork on my package. It's all a matter of wait and see if it ever arrives.

Our next stop was, once again the Chiesa di San Salvatore a Ognissanti but guess what, it was closed!

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I did however, notice that on the façade there's a marker indicating the water level here during the 1966 flood - Paalo helpfully points to it and it's stands about 7 feet above ground level! We would have drowned standing here but you can also imagine the damage that must have been done inside this church with that level and force of water.

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The church has a long history and has gone through many changes - founded in the 13th century by the Umiliati Order of Monks it eventually passed into the hands of the Franciscans. It was rebuilt in the 17th century and subsequently restored in the 18th century and after the 1966 floods

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Coronation of the Virgin Mary and Saints, 17th century glazed terracotta work above main doorway.

Since we had some time to kill before lunch we went over the river again once last time.

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This is the Uffizzi

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the rowing platforms are on the banks in front of it

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I should mention that there's quite a lot of work going in at the Uffizi, with one side under scaffolding. After 10 years of the work getting approved it is finally happening. That is fast action for Florence.

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On the approach to Ponte all Grazie with Ponte Vecchio as a backdrop a wedding party with photographer have stopped on the bridge to take their photos and then bundled themselves back into the waiting van to speed away.

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The final view of Ponte Vecchio...for this visit at least.

Lunch was had at the wonderful Ristorante Fagioli, marking my third and paalo's second visit, so you know it must be good.

For starters:

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Paalo has the crostini con lardo

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and I have the Affetati misti

For mains

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we have Bistecca Fiorentina - 1.2 kg of wonderful beef cooked perfectly. A fine way to finish off our dining experience in Florence.

We enjoy it with a side of oven baked fennel and their deliriously good potatoes casalinga.

For dessert

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Paalo can't resist the Pear Tart

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and I have the apple, ricotta and sultana tart

Both are still warm from the oven.

We leave very satisfied and extremely content.

What's left of the day is spent in the apartment getting ready for tomorrow's departure - our bags packed for the next leg of this adventure.

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