Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A Perfect Ramble in Perfect Weather

I don't know when I've seen a day with more perfect weather.  It's sunny, not a cloud in the sky, but breeze and in the mid-seventies now; it was almost cold this morning, and I wore a sweater and a scarf most of the day. 

After class today, I sat in Piazza Savonarola as usual.   I wrote a few postcards, then started walking along the route of the 13 bus.  I bought pizza and an apple at a bar and ate in a little strip o graass with benches across from the old cemetery.   Sometime, I'd like to explore the old place.  Anyhow, I read my new A. S. Byatt book while I ate: The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye.  I read Possession a few weeks ago, and Elementals over the summer.   She is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.   Her characters are usually from within the field of literary scholarship, and she makes many interesting references to mythology and literature.   What she writes is what I wish I were writing, or, at the least, living. 

After I ate, I took the 13 bus.  The guy sitting behind me asked me in broken Italian how far to Piazzale Michelangelo, and some other questions, before we realized that we both spoke English. He turned out the be Mexican, but lived in Switzerland for some time, and is now from Chicago.  He, Rafael, and his fried were traveling through.   We talked the rest of the way to the Piazzale, and for a while while we took pictures.  

It was of course a perfect  day to take pictures, and I took quite a few from up there.   I kept trying to put my camera up, but I had to take it back out again because I kept noticing more good shots as I walked down the trail to the river.   I crossed over at the bridge before Ponte Vecchio from that direction.   I took a few pictures in the Piazza degli Uffizzi, and of the states there--the copies of Michelangelo's David and Donatello's David being two of the most famous. 

About that time, my camera batteries finally died.   I wondered over a few streets, and bought some gelato, half chocolate, half strawberry.   I ate it leaning on a light post in Piazza della Repubblica.   And now, here I am on a bench next to the carousel; a street performer is playing sweet, sad music across the square, which seems so fitting to this angelic, almost too-good-to-be-real sunny day.  The crowds wander through slowly; the horse-drawn carriages are out in full force today--I have caught the faint smell of them all afternoon.  As I've sat here, the piazza has gone from sunny to mostly in shadow as the sun moves lower. The top of the Duomo's bell tower is visible over the Savoy hotel.   It's my favorite time in the city---late afternoons with warm slanted sun rays, with the crowds out but unrushed, relaxing after the day. 

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