Again this morning Stefania dropped off some baked goods she just whipped up for us. She gave us hugs and a bottle of Lambrusco frizzante, because we are so "sympatico". And she knows we like our wine.
Driving in Italy is a two-person job. On our way back to Bologna to return our car, Matthew maneuvered the hairpin turns while I interpreted the gps. No time for distractions like the radio or napping.
It took just 35 minutes to get to Florence. Bologna to Firenze on the italo train cruzed quickly through sunflower fields and farmhouses.
Il Guelfo Bianco, our hotel, is an old convent. high, wooden-beamed ceilings with gold flowers, and brick arches. It is close to attractions, but not too close. a quintessential hotel room for our stay in Florence,
We had booked Galleria D'Accademia reservations long ago for 3 in the afternoon. We came prepared and yet first we had to stand in line to swap the internet reservation print out for actual tickets and then we could stand on another line for those who already had tickets or a Firenze Card. Line-standing is inevitable.
We both pressed play on our Rick Steves audio tour and the crowded museum noise faded away. It was me with Rick and the David, both of which are impressive. Michelangelo's David is perfection. He is frozen in the moment right before he slays Goliath. Mich's Prisoners were neat. They embody the artist's philosophy that the sculpture is already in there, he just chisels away the excess to free it. These are unfinished.
We enjoyed Rick's tour so we downloaded another and went on his Renaissance Walk. It gave a nice overview. We ended in the Oltrarno neighborhood (the name translates to "the other side of the river"). We wandered over to the Piazza Santo Spirito for a Rosé and so that I could show M Eurocentro, my school during my term abroad, exactly 2 decades ago.
Consulting Rick, we went deeper into the Oltrarno to Trattoia Al Tranvai. They had the menu on a little wooden easel that they bring over to your table and the specials of the day are written in chalk. We ordered the house rosso, which came in a wicker basket.
We split the primi: gnudi (pronounced noo-dee) al Gorgonola. melted in our mouths. Then we shared two different secondi: coniglio (rabbit) fritto con zucchine and tagliata d'anatra (duck breast) in red wine sauce. We had to switch to heartier wine, of course, so we ordered a heavier Chianti and then split dessert, creme custard. (Note to self: custard= yucky texture.)
Italian word of the day: dividere - to share.