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Report 454: Florence On My Own: Three Weeks of Studying Italian and Very Slow Travel

By Marian from New Jersey, Spring 2004

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Page 15 of 21: A Diva, but no concert

photo by Marian

Drinks with Diva at BZF

Thursday, 20 May: When morning comes, I decide that I will get out of bed in time to get to class after the break. So I have a leisurely awakening and an equally leisurely stroll to class, taking time to look in at the shops that are usually closed when I pass by. By now, I have a set route to get to Koinè, which is right near the Bargello. I cross over the Ponte St Trinita (I’ve got a couple of ways to get there, depending on my mood) then turn right at the Via Porta Rossa, which becomes the Via Condotta. This street leads into Piazza di San Firenze and ecco: there I am.

When I get to the school, I buy myself a nice drink in the sweet little bar. Then when I go to my classroom, I am truly touched to find that the young students have actually missed me! They wondered what had happened to me this morning! The rest of class is quite nice; I have not missed much.

Today I am to meet the famous Diva (Judy Witts Francini) of Divina Cucina for a drink near her place in the Mercato Centrale area. And then I have a ticket for a concert at the Téatro Verdi. Will I actually go to the concert? Will I find some reason to skip it?

Rosemarie and I have lunch together at the Yellow Bar, which Chris & Shannon of ST both love, and which Diva also recommends. I have really great fresh pasta; very reasonably priced. By then it is getting toward 3 pm, and I am to meet Diva at 5 pm. So I walk over to Vivoli for a gelato. I select cioccolata e melone verde; it is delicious and refreshing, but overpriced compared to other gelaterie. Then I just go back to Koinè, sit in the reception area, and read one of my Donna Leon books. Very relaxing.

I meet Diva in front of Trattoria Mario and she leads me to a great bar nearby called BZF. It’s also a jazz club, etc, and has an interesting history in publishing. Diva and I have a great time, as she reintroduces me to the concept of the 5 pm drink. We both have negronis, and we talk for a few hours. I look forward to seeing Diva again at our lunch next week.

I head back for my apartment, totally cool with Florence, and having decided to skip the concert. So it goes. Only one more day of class! I will be sorry when it is over. Tomorrow two of our number are to give little concerts: Ayuki and the lovely Tatiana.

I’ve bought some bread, and have the salami with tomatoes and arugula. It is delicious, my first meat in over two weeks. (I try to get some prepared mustard, but apparently it’s not as popular here as in the Stati Uniti.)

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