Florence Archives

March 30, 2007

Florence here I come

Sitting on the canape` in the flat on rue saint Jacques listening to Caetano Veloso's Perfil thinking of the last minute things that I need to take to Florence for next week. Basically everything is last minute because I didn't pack anything yet.

I looked at the meteo for the next week in Tuscany and it is 23,24 degrees Celcius far from the rainy day here in the city of light. Who ever gave that name to paris, a city so grey. Can you imagine Francis Mayes coming to Paris and buying some run down trashy Parisien flat and fixing it up under the Parisien SUN?!!

I am worried that I am going to like it too much back in Florence and not want to come back to my atelier in Ivry with the panorama on the smoke stacks and train tracks and other urban sites far from the beauty of Piazza Santa Croce where I used to go every two hours to walk my little doggy.

Why did I have to fall in love with someone so far from my dog and from Vestri's hot chocolate?

I bought a plane ticket air France to go and come back then the next day my ex husband said that yes he would like for me to bring the car back, so when i called air France they told me that if I did not take the aller flight the retour flight was null; a no show. I didn't pay the extra 8 euro to make the ticket changeable so basically threw away 250 euro.

Worried that I might get stuck in Florence (sounds enticing) being so close to Easter I bought a train ticket just in case I cannot use the air France flight back. Who knows i might drive the car back.

Yesterday I counted the paintings that I have done since i have been here 2 1/2 months 41. Twenty-four are going to Le Botteghe in Castellina in Chianti. I love Castellina. I wish I could beam me up scotty and be there right now have an expresso and beam myself back to rue Saint Jacques.

Time to pack my bag.

April 2, 2007

back in Tuscany

Yesterday I drove down from Nice where winter was raging, I packed spring weather clothes because the weather forecast for Florence was 23,24 ° for all week. Friday we left from Paris and drove to Lyon, on the way it snowed. Aside from the cold it was very beautiful to see the green fields of Borgougne frosted white but the driving conditions were bad.
Saturday morning in Lyon the weather was good but we had to go to Nice and the driving got worse. Nice was a party.

After two days with lovely family I left by myself to drive to Arezzo. As soon as I hit Tuscany the sun came out and it is warm spring weather. I feel at home here. It is so nice to see my dog and friends, it is just relaxing after 2 1/2 months in Paris. Today I go to my lawyer, tomorrow the parucchiere and the notary. It is a week of passion (not in the romantic sense), funny that it is the week before easter.

Last night I felt like I was dreaming being here. I couldn't decide if the dream was being in Tuscany - the last 21 years that I spent here or if the dream was the last 6 months with the man that I love in Paris. I feel split in two. How to bring the two halves together? That would be great to know how to answer.

Tuscany is so beautiful. The light is really beautiful. It feels like medicine.

April 3, 2007

a ride on the scooter and Florence Florence Florence

Yesterday evening after I spent a lovely night and day at the Fattoria Tabarrino with Mascia I was back in Florence. I had an appointement with my future ex husband to meet our lawyer. We decided to go together on the scooter because she is in piazza Dalmazia and it is the only way to get there.

What a harrowing experience riding as a passenger with my ex. He is a maniac at the handle bars, has to pass every car, bike, pedestrian, bus, truck or flying object. He squeezes in between parallel cars on the viali sandwiching us as they close in together. He passes on the right, the left. Traffic rules and good sense do not exist. It is a jerky start stop hair raising ride where I scream because we are on the roundabout getting almost hit by some driver. I screamed several times and know that he is not driving like he normally does because I am behind him. I think that they he could sell a ride to tourists that want a thrill. NOt my idea of fun.

Last year he was racing down Viale Petrarca a major artery of Florence traffic and the dog that was tied to the foot board of the scooter fell off at 50km an hour in the middle of the 4 lane viale with rush hour traffic. She rolled in the middle of th road with cars speeding both ways and came out with a big cut between her eyes. It was amazing that she made it alive.

Next time I think that I'll walk.

Today I am at the hair dressor that I have been going to for the last 20 years. As if there are not any hairdressors in Paris, I had to come to one in Florence.

Then I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off to get things done knowing that I will leave on Saturday with the train to go back to Paris without finishing any business because everything takes so much time to do. Documents, documents buroucracy bla bla.

I do have to get some shoes before I go though. I went to my two favorite shops and was terribly disappointed that they are proposing the same ballerini shoes that are all over Paris. Where am I going to get any shoes? Maybe at Cappelletti in Castellina in Chianti.

Tomorrow I get to see Judy Witts and then on Thursday am going to see a friend in Miniera di Murlo that produces olive oil.

April 6, 2007

Easter tourism in Florence, bleh!

When people used to ask me when was the best time to come to Florence and suggest Easter as an answer I would try to tell them that Easter is the worst time to come to Florence. It is packed with hoards of tourists. 4 hour lines to get into the uffizi. Taxi's are unavailable, restaraunts are packed. It is almost impossible to walk down the street. No, it is impossible. Usually the weather is terrible but not this year

I have nothing against tourists I am one alot of the time, at the moment I feel like a tourist in Florence, just walking around feeling useless in the town where all my work was for 21 years, all my life. Not knowing where to go to go to the bathroom when before I didn't even have time to go to the bathroom; wanting to take a nap because this hot sun and bright light are tiring after being in pARIS the grey city of light. The emotions of coming back and seeing all my friends and my lovely jack russell have exhausted me and i am ready to go home to Paris. Funny, home to Paris.

August 31, 2007

recuperating from the road trip to Florence

All I feel like doing is sleeping. Last Friday we went to place Italie to get the super 6 speed Mercedes Vito van that I rented to transport my 44 larg format paintings to Florence.

It was raining and my feet got soaked, I have to get some rubber soled shoes for Paris, all these leather soled Italian shoes just don' cut it here. We arrive early to the Europecar so were first to be served. Rented the truck and headed to Ivry, a 2 minute drive.

By 10am we were on the road with just enough room in the van to breath, it was the limit minimum space. We were sweating like animals after carrying down the 44 canvases that I had previously packaged in twos, three days of packing.

Then on the road A6 down to Beaune for lunch. We stopped an hour at some table de hôte just outside the historic center. We were the only ones there, the place looked nice, the furniture was beautiful the wine was good but all the food was heated up in the microwave.

Then off to Nice. The traffic from Lyon to Nice was heavy so we arrived late at Nice just for dinner and to go to bed.

Saturday morning we woke up and went to the olive mill at Opio to get some of those incredible cosmetics that they make, creams, soaps etc then headed off to Florence through Genoa. I hate the autoroute Genova Pisa, too many tunnels icky!

Just pas Genova we exited at Recco and parked found a nice pizzeria by the water and ate the special foccacia pizzata with sparkling water then hit the road again.

Finally in Florence we went straight to my garage and deposited the paintings sweating like pigs in the 35 degree weather, argh! I heard my dog bark on the terrace but my ex wasn't answering the phone so I did not call her, she would have freaked because I couldn't get into the apt to get her. We then walked all the way to Via San Gallo where my new apartment is sweating even more to go take a shower and rest before going to dinner.

The apt hasn't been lived in for months so the hot water heater had been turned off and we couldn't get it to turn off after various phone calls to the ex owner, so after an hour or so of trying a cold shower was what we had.

Then dinner at Borgo Antico in piazza Santo Spirito an antipasti of mussles, vongole, shrimp and scampi, then spagetti all chittara and a spagetti al pomodoro and basilico washed down with a collio. Heaven! it was even cooling off.

We had a nice sleep then woke up early Sunday and managed to get the hot water on took a shower and thent headed down to Vescovado di Murlo to have lunch with a friend. It was hot. She had booked us at a restaurant in Buonconvento so we went down there in the flatlands to this nice place to sit outside in the midday sun under the canopy that seemed to make the sun hotter. It was boiling and there was no breeze, I thought I was going to faint so kept putting water on the crown of my head, there was no breeze, it was hot as hell but I managed to get through lunch and then had to ly down. My friend saw me going white and got us in the air conditioned car and back to her cool stone villa where I napped on the couch like a bad guest as everyone else chatted. Then I awoke and my boyfriend napped. We're just not used to this heat after the freezing summer we've had in Paris.

Finally we get the energy to move on and go to Castellina in Chianti for an aperatif where I see several friends and then head down to Florence. At 7pm it was 27 degrees in Castellina so Florence was killer hot.

We got home parking the truck on via San Gallo, amazing to find parking there then take a shower and go to piazza Mercato Centrale to eat something. ZaZa was packed with and Pomodoro Rosso was too so we opted for the place next to ZaZa and ate something but i can't even remember at this point. It was good though. Then back to the apt to sleep.

Monday awake and out at 8am, cafe and brioche at the nice bar under the flat and on the road. By 9pm we were in Paris!!! i'm exhausted just thinking about it. I think I'll have a nap.

September 13, 2007

I'm in Florence!

Florence, So much to do. I love my new apt even if it is filthy and I am scrubbing the terracotta tiles individually with VIM a comet-like powder bleach. Alot of elbow grease and they change from a wicked black to a vivid red, the warm color of the baked earth from Impruneta. Luckily there are no mosquitos to I can really enjoy the terrace. The other people whose windows look on to the terrace are calm enough, some TV and talking but quiet at night.

My house is so close to the central market that i can walk out the door and do the shopping and be back up the 54 stairs in 1/2 hour. Via San Gallo is a new area to me. It is fun to discover a new place in a city so small where I lived for 21 years. It is less touristy on this end of Via San Gallo.

A few nights ago i wanted to go the the oldest vegetarian restaurant on via delle Ruote but it was closed so I walked across the street to a wine bar, VinOlio, and had a super duck breast cooked with a honey mustard sauce and mashed potatoes, I love mashed potatoes. Then for dessert a mousse of Ricotta. It was so delicious.

Today is the first time that I have been able to look at a computer since I arrived a week ago, not to mention the week before I came, so much to do its nuts.

Luckily I have my banged up but trusty "chocolate" bike (it is brown) for cruising around the bumpy streets of Florence. When I painted my second hand, perhaps seventh hand bike the color brown, everyone said yuck. I looked at it and said, "It looks like milk chocolate to me." So then two of my friends painted theirs brown too.

today i go to Murlo to see a friend and tomorrow go to Arezzo to spend the weekend of Fattoria Tabarrino the home of the most important Jack Russells in Italy. It's great to be "on vacation" in Florence in September. The sun is shining and the light is limpid. So much to do.

February 14, 2008

Cuori Infranti

Today is Valentines day. Three years ago started the show in Florence Cuori Infranti - tutto passa anche l'inverno e i cuori infranti. - Broken hearts - Everything passes even winter and broken hearts. The painting that I have in the show is the Othello on my homepage

The idea was to do a funny painting to bring up our winter blues moral. My freinds that participated in the first show that was held in my atelier gallery in Florence are not deppressive people so anything to have fun is always a good excuse to get together and party. Today the show has taken on a different dimension and is hosted at

Da Carnicelli Photo Import, piazza del Duomo 4 rosso, Firenze.
The artists participating are:

Sergio Staino – disegnatore satirico
Giuliano Rossetti – disegnatore satirico
Lido Contemori – disegnatore satirico
Massimo Cavezzali – disegnatore satirico
Franco Bulletti – pittore
Alessandro Reggioli – pittore
Silvia Silvestri – pittrice
Luca Alinari – pittore
Silvano Campeggi - pittore
Piero Tredici – pittore
Elio De Luca – pittore
Paolo Albani - poeta visivo
Massimo Mori – poeta visivo
Franco Solfiti – regista
Vincenzo Mollica – giornalista
Mario Spezi – giornalista
Giampaolo Talani – Pittore
Stefano Giraldi – fotografo
Guido De Maria – pubblicitario
Mauro Pispoli – grafico
Tommaso Balladore – disegnatore
Gabriele Gotti – artista concettuale
Angie Brooksby – pittrice
Andrea Zanfei – operatore culturale
Valentina Baldini Libri - nonna papera
Francesco Beccastrini – pittore
Andrea Sacchetti – pittore
Maria Chernova – pittrice
Amedeo Lanci - pittore

March 12, 2008

FAVIV's Le False vs Mercedes

I missed the show of the year of the year.
My dear FAVIV is wearing the red wig.

You can check out his blog

March 30, 2008

Sunset on the Arno

How much I miss Florence. I miss so many things, my friends, my dog, the light. Last night I watched the sunset over Il Cestello on this webcam and a few tears came out. Just writing about it chokes me up. I think of crossing the Ponte Santa Trinità with my litle Jack Russell Lira and stopping to see the sun go down reflecting itself in the Arno, the warm colored buildings while. I crossed the Arno on my way home from work.

It's been 5 months since I was last there over looking those beautiful reflections in the Arno and meeting friends for a aperativo at La Dolce Vita or going to Giogoli to hang out, three more months to go before I see it again. Paris is growing on me but no place will steal my heart like Florence has.

Big sigh.

April 13, 2008

party on my terrace

The first day I got the keys to my apartment in Florence I had a party. We were really loud, poor neighbors.

May 11, 2008

amici di Firenze e Milano

Ieri sera sono arrivati Alessandro e Alessandra i primi a conoscere la piccola.

O' voi altri quando venite, merdaiaoli!

Ci vediamo in 4 settimane li da me, uno strappo da Peretola?

June 11, 2008

Florence here I come

Today I am travelling to Florence. It is the first time in 8 months that I will be there. The longest period absent in 21 years. I am so excited to see the Ponte Vecchio, my dog Lira, all my friends, to live in my apartment with the sun drenched terrace. To have a real expresso see some nicely dressed people and a milion other things that I can't remember right now.

It will be an adventure getting to CDG with a baby, baby carriage and big luggage on the RER.

March 8, 2010

apartment for sale in Florence with terrace and AC

I'm selling my apartment in Florence. Here is the link-

angie - Tuscan Feeling

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