un vasaio e il suo cane (a potter and her dog)

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Yesterday was the last night in Firenze on what I’m quickly learning is an epic and ambitious trip. The itinerary includes Roma, Firenze, Vinezia and Paris.

We had hit all the main sites on our agenda in Florence and decided to visit one more before departing today. Our “wrong” turn led us up a monstrous hill to see this potter working on a clay teapot. While watching from the street a woman came up and slowly opened the door to the workshop revealing the friendly dog.

The potter started speaking Italian, then when she saw my face, which can best be described as that of a person who is lost, drunk or supremely disoriented, she began speaking English. She said she’d been working on the teapot all day.

“I hate it,” she jokingly growled before picking it up and giving it a look of a displeased parent.

I love it when wrong turns turn out to be the best turns.

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Persone che guardano la gente

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Whether at the grocery back home or wandering the streets of Firenze, I always enjoy people watching. Yesterday was my first full day in Firenze. While there are fewer unique characters than in Roma, the more relaxed pace and overall calmer vibe are a welcome relief to the overwhelmingness of Roma.

The leisurely tempo can best be seen in workers taking a moment for a cigarette or to stare out the window looking at the tourists.

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Ballare in Santa Croce

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After traveling by rail from Roma to Firenze, we wandered around Florence after checking in at hotel Montreal. The best part–which there were many stellar moments, including seeing Michelangelo’s David–of yesterday was swing dancing in Santa Croce. We walked there after dinner. Big piazza. There was a group of people playing music. One guy with glasses had an acoustic. There was a young woman with blonde hair playing a keyboard that had a mouth piece to power the sound–think Stevie wonder. Another woman with short brown hair and a tattoo on her wrist sang. And a guy with a snare drum and brushes.

One of their friends was snapping pictures with his dSLR.

They played songs in Italian, French and English. When I heard the syncopated rhythm of Ray Charles’ “hit the road jack” I took that as my queue to dance on the piazza.

One of their friends pointed as we started to dance. Tuck turns. She goes. Under arm turn. I busted out all my moves for the piazza. Add Italy to the countries I’ve gone swing dancing.

And to think we almost stopped in a bar that offered live jazz. Truly a great moment on my 29th birthday.

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