I bought some BLING on Ponte Vecchio ….

It sounds like a song, doesn’t it?!

It was the glass beads in Roma. In Firenze it’s the gold filagree brooch – a fan with blue and green enamel decoration. Well ….. what the heck!!! I stopped counting how much money I was spending well before I left home. And I would have well blown the budget, had there still been one, when I hired the car in Sicily, from the world’s most expensive car hire firm, of course 😦

Museums tend to be closed on Mondays but that was no problem. I wandered at leisure and filled in the day very happily.
The Duomo – stunning. But I didn’t climb the campanile – 414 steps, no lift. I climbed up Notre Dame in Paris, that was enough! And I didn’t go up to the dome either. I could see people on the walkway inside – the parachute jump tested my fear of heights; I didn’t have to go through that again!!
Santa Trinitata – has one of my favourite paintings, a Nativity by Ghirlandaio (sp?) or one of his school – I think!
Palazzo Vecchio – how the other half (more like 0.5% I suspect!) lived!! As you were leaving you could peak through a crack in the door to a debating chamber … city council?? Up to that point I had wondered where all the yelling was coming from!
San Lorenzo – I did go there yesterday for half of Mass – same old story though 😉 the sermon was going on too long and I was hungry after my no breakfast early start to catch the plane. Anyway, today …. the basilica like so many, but the library …… !! More of a reading room that was on show, plus a rotunda addition to house more books. Great space but not exactly efficient for its purpose. Cost per book held would have been pretty high I reckon. Considerably less will be spent on the new library at work but we’ll shelve a lot more books! On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind going up Michelangelo stairs to get to work every Tuesday to Friday!!
Santo Spirito – I loved this space! Really classical with all its pillars. Probably not ‘classical’ in the true architectural sense but no matter.

Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series is truly trashy but such fun and easy reading for travelling holidays. Today in my meanderings I passed many of the shops (places of worship!) so beloved by the heroine: Armani, Gucci, Feragamo, Prada, Cartier, etc – places I wouldn’t consider going into – even though I wear Armani Code perfume …. thanks to Hilary’s last Christmas present to me!

Do you know how to tell a shoe-string traveller from a dressed-down wealthy traveller? The latter eats at cafes and restaurants; the former is covered in stains from where the tomato slid out of the foccacia eaten in the street!

And I have to brag ….. it was a gelati-free day today. Only because I couldn’t decide on flavours, but that’s OK 😉

Bells!! I love them, of course. There are some very big bells here with a beautiful sound. I don’t know if it’s my imagination but those that swing seem to have a much better hum than those hit by hammers. Someone will tell me, no doubt. Come to think of it, someone on Ringing-Chat is an expert. I’ll ask!

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