Tuesday brought less perfect weather, so we decided it was the occasion to visit the Palazzo Strozzi for a cultural change, as it was the location of an exhibition of Chinese art from the Tang Dynasty, "China - From the Court of the Emporers". What a stunning exhibition it was, too. We all happily spent a couple of hours there. Florence is a centre for Renaissance art, and the Tang Dynasty "era was a renaissance for the arts, crafts and literature, a time of great social, economical and cultural development for China. The Silk Road, linking the Far East to Asia and the Mediterranean, opened China to foreign influences resulting in a remarkable cosmopolitanism which was reflected in the art of the time." Photos were not allowed, so I did not miss my camera, but I did buy a book - and a bag to carry it in - so I could enjoy the wonderful exhibits again and again.
Afterwards, we felt in need of refreshment. We made our way through the Piazza by the Duomo, beset by the whining begging ladies who are adept at begging in many languages, and into the shopping streets. A kind local man directed us to Perche No! for Italian Ice Cream at its best. I found Pistachio, Mandorla and Nocchiola a very successful combination: heaven in a tub!
We then happened upon the Casa de Tessuti where the girls and I had a delightful encounter with Romulo Romuli, one of the brothers who own and run the shop, while having the additional pleasure of seeing and feeling some of the extraordinary stock of fabrics. We left with some linen herringbone suiting in a purply french navy shade, with which to make Sarah her first work suit, safe in the knowledge it would always harbour memories of one of those golden meetings that make holidays so memorable. Signor Romuli is a consummate salesman but he certainly loves cloth, too. Casa de Tessuti is an essential port of call for fabriholics in Florence.