Sunday, May 04, 2008
Monday in Fiesole
The weather was fine on our Monday in Florence, so it seemed like the right day for more panoramic views. We walked past St. James' American Church to catch a number 7 bus.
We saw advertising like this on both trains and buses, tied to the luggage racks with string. I don't know if you are allowed to take an advert if it interests you, or whether they are friendly commercials which do no harm when it is time for them to be removed. This one was for a patchwork exhibition which, sadly, we had missed. They wave about as you go along, so grab the attention.
The bus took us up the very high hill through suburban Florence and out of the city. Eventually, we arrived at the end of the route and our destination, Fiesole.
We had not set out very early in the day, so it seemed the right thing to do, to sit at a table at Number 5 and have our lunch alfresco, overlooking the main square with views of a fascinating stonemasonry shop, and watching the local people make their leisurely way to a bench for a chat, while the tourists disappeared up the hill in search of the sights.
The well-pruned trees stretched their naked many-fingered hands into the blue skies.
The iris is the symbolic flower of Florence and the origin of the fleur-de-lys which crops up all over the city centre. These provided a glorious display in the sunshine as we made our way up the hill.
Toiling up the slope, these tidy steps intrigued me, but not enough to explore them: too steep!
Here is a dramatically wrought war memorial scuplture sitting in the park made on the hillside, where if necessary one can enjoy the far-reaching views to the hills beyond Florence in the shade of the rounded pine trees.
As well as the crop of olives from these trees, a local product is wine, which we tried later in the week - delicious. The air is so clean and fresh up here.
After a long conversation with a local gentleman, who told me a lot about Fiesole and the new football stadium in Florence, amongst other things, in Italian, so I only derived a little benefit from his wisdom, breath was sufficiently recovered to try for the summit, and there we found a convent.
You certainly felt much closer to heaven up there.
Then it was time to descend back to the town square and the bus stop, after making the decision to save the Roman amphitheatre for another occasion.