Firenze on the Arno.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 8 March 2019

So all the friends dropped in envelopes filled with money and birthday cards. Even though it's not my birthday till after we leave the European Union, that's if we do leave the European Union, whether we ought to leave the European Union is another question, whether we should leave the European union, and all the other permutations of Euro frenzy is yet another debate. But please do not talk to me about democracy, we are about as democratic as a pack of hyenas at the watering hole of a confusion of wildebeest. However, when the shit hits the fan lessons will be learned. Whose shit and which fan, I wouldn't venture to say.

Having got that off me chest here's the thing, we Easyjetted off to Florence, really easy given that we are all euro citizens at the mo, on the back of a stash off money from friends and family. Better to have that kind of memory than presents that will gather dust on the mantlepiece, and I'm not interested in shoes, bags, jewellery or tickets to go and see a coming back, comeback tour of four hairless men singing songs from their youth in an arena the size of the Duomo's dome - see what I did there? - better that everybody chipped in for our very own Grand tour....

And grand it was. There was David in his naked glory. A synagogue worth its weight in copper. A science museum full of astrolabes and scientific children from Sweden. There were feasts under arches, dinners under glass, breakfast in caffs, lunches in trattorias, ice creams, bridges, walking and a good deal of coffee. There were tram rides, Japanese tourists, warm weather, there were train rides and Chinese tourists, there was free entry for Culture week and murmurations of children from Italian high schools. There was a lot of noise, chiming bells, beggars and walking.

We walked so far my right big toe turned the colour of a red cabbage and hurt so bad I had to take off my trainers and bathe it in Epsom salts.

We didn't 'do' Florence in any way at all. We went for three days cramming in as much as is humanly possible given that I am 70 and he is older. We followed the suggestions from The Rough Guide to get us to recommended restaurants which made homemade pasta and cubes of focaccia with home cured meat and bottles of organic local wine.

We stayed in an apartment that was dark, cool, with a broken Jacuzzi and a plug less bath. We slept in a bed, up ten steps, that were so noisy I ended up sleeping on the down stairs sofa bed. I wrapped meself in bath towels to keep off the Tuscan cold, whilst the old git snored in the eaves.

We're home now, after three days in Florence, which felt like ten. I have medical Manuka honey on my big toe which is no longer as red as cabbage more a dull purple like a wizened radish. It's good to know that the old git is as good company as he's ever been. It's nice to say that we have actually been to Florence. It's terrific that we saw a bit of the River Arno a lot of pizzas, a fantastic amount of leather ware, a delight that we could talk to each other without interruption, it's so nice to go travelling to Florence, Pisa or Rome, it's so nice to go travelling but it's oh so nicerer to be home.

Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes

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