We love our apartment, but I wonder if it loves us back. Our televisore (television set) was broken before we even moved in; the colors were all mixed up. And, the other day, our lavatrice (washing machine) died on us.
After living in Europe for many years, I have never taken any food home from a restaurant. In France, the waiters would balk at me if I even suggested such a thing. In England, I don't remember ever taking food home unless it was a take-away restaurant. And, in Italy, most Italians seem to finish their plates and I have never seen anyone leave a restaurant with a doggie bag.
This morning we woke up to the sound of the Santissima Annunziata church bells. I stood out on our terrazza (terrace) and looked out at the piazza below, which was incredibly quiet: I saw only two people walking around the piazza. It was beautiful and sunny outside, and the temperatures were even a little warmer.
For the vigilia di Natale (Christmas Eve) instead of shopping, Dave and I were preparing for yet another aperitivo (appetizer party) although I think we can officially say it was more of a cena (dinner). This time, we invited a few less people in the hopes of eating more and enjoying the company of our guests.
An old family friend emailed me to say that he and his daughter would be visiting Rome this week. I was really excited to go to Rome to see them since I had not seen him in 14 years and I have never met her because she's only 10. We hopped on a train this morning to go to Rome by Eurostar to have pranzo (lunch).
When we lived next to Santa Croce church, I used to never see the Duomo unless I was walking down via Calzaiuoli. But, even then, I'd only really see the Duomo if I went to Pegna or the Paperback Exchange bookstore. I get to see the Duomo almost every day now when I walk out to via dei Servi to go to via Calzaiuoli. This evening I had to go downtown to fare delle commissioni (run some errands).
Things have been going a million miles a minute for the last few weeks. We changed apartments, we went out to get things for our new apartment, and we had our first party. On Monday morning when I woke up, I decided I wasn't going anywhere. And, yesterday, I felt the same. I didn't leave the apartment for two days and it felt great! This morning; however, I finally decided to go outside.
This entire week I had been stressing out about our aperitivo (appetizer party). Every day I had something to do for it. I invited about 30 or so people and then had the fear that they would not all fit into our apartment. The weather has been rather cold in Florence, so standing out on the terrazza (terrace) wasn't an option. The only thing we had on the terrazza was Christmas lights, a stella di Natale (poinsettia) on the table and bottles of spumante (sparkling wine) to keep them cold.
After we moved, I had thought of going back to my old parrucchiere (hairdresser), but I figured that a change would be good for me. I liked my parrucchiere because he was very nice to me. We used to talk about traveling and restaurants every time we saw each other. The only issue I had with him was that he never told me his name. I only found out his name through a friend of mine who sees him as well. I just thought he could've introduced himself to me, but after seeing him for almost two years, I realized it was probably my fault for not asking him.
At our new apartment, we have a brand new flat screen HD televisore (television set). We were so happy to have it because we imagined ourselves having a few friends over for movie nights. We knew that even if our apartment didn't have one, we'd buy one anyway. We were a little sad when we did our walk-through of our apartment and saw that the televisore didn't work properly.
Florence is all lit up: via Calzaiuoli as well as a few other streets perpendicular to it have lights hanging between the buildings to light up the street below. Many of the shops are decorated for Christmas as well with lights and decorations. Even though the weather is a little brisk, most people seem quite content walking in centro (downtown) with all the festive decorations.
Now that we are in our new apartment, we've been to IKEA three times in the last three weeks. Once, before we moved in, Simone drove us there and we bought some things that we knew we needed. And this week, we've been twice: Monday and today. Simone wanted to join us both times, but was too busy fixing his place up.
Last night I went to see a production by the Florence International Theatre Company (FITC), called The Eight: Reindeer Monologues with Dave and my friend Sara. I had been wanting to go see it because I had heard so much about it. I wanted to go when the author Jeff Goode will be in Florence next week, but Saturday night seemed easier for us all.
Last night when I peeked out onto the piazza, I saw that they were marking the ground with chalk. It looked like there was going to be a small mercatino (small market). I was so excited that I couldn't wait for morning. Today is the Festa dell'Immacolata Concezione (Immaculate Conception Holiday), so most people don't work in Italy although many shops downtown were open. Via Calzaiuoli was so busy that we had to take the back streets and walk behind the Duomo to get to via dei Servi.
After last night's heavy storm, we woke up this morning to clear blue skies and warm temperatures. For most of the day, the sun was shining on our city. As the sun set this evening, I went out to our terrazza (terrace) and took this picture. I caught it at the right moment because just a few minutes later when Dave joined me, the sun continued to set and the sky became a little darker.