A (Very) Rainy Day in Florence
Our plan for our final day in Florence, Saturday, October 5th, was to do more walking. I was interested in maybe touring the Basilica of Santa Croce, to the east, and then the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, to the west, and then if we had time, walk through the Boboli Gardens south of the Arno.
Mother Nature, however, had different plans for us. Sometime in the middle of the night I was disturbed by a rapping noise, which proved to be our shutters banging against the side of the building. To say that it was pouring outside was an understatement. This was a four alarm storm, complete with wild lightning and peals of thunder load enough to wake the dead. I leapt out of bed and proceeded to batten down the hatches, hoping that the rain would stop by morning.
By the time we were ready to hit the streets, it was still dark and rainy outside.
Undaunted, we purchased a couple of cheap umbrellas from street vendors, and set out. I think we may have made it as far as the Cafe Gilli, and then the sky opened up once again. This seemed like a great time to have a few more cups of coffee and a second breakfast, hobbit-style. Gilli is a famous cafe and confectionary in Florence, with a very interesting 200 year history. It was fun to sit inside and admire the decor and the pastries in their tall glass containers, as we watched the rain and the passers by from our table next to the window.
When we could procrastinate no longer we went back outside, but the rain was coming down in sheets for a good part of the day. We couldn’t do our planned walking tour because of the rain, and we couldn’t really go to any of the more popular museums, because we didn’t have advance tickets, and to top it off, we really couldn’t shop much because we found that a lot of the shops were closed, because of the weather.
We did try to traipse across town in the rain just to go to the “Ortolano” deli – we have friends by that name and wanted to bring them back a souvenir – but when we arrived the place was buttoned up tightly for the day.
The best plan seemed to be to go back to the hotel and take a rest. We’d been pushing hard for seven days now, and a long nap on a rainy day just felt like a great idea.
By evening, the rain had stopped, and we were able to stroll along the wet streets and enjoy our last evening in Florence. Noi ti amiamo, Firenze!