Un Piccolissimo Negozio e Due Uomini

Ieri sera, last night, we went out for a walk after our dinner. Florence is so beautiful and alive in the evenings, especially where we are on the Oltrarno. There’s a wonderful little paper shop set into a building that ends in a triangle. The owner was lovely. I wanted to buy something, but it will be a challenge if I can even close my suitcase.



Next we wandered over by Piazza Santo Spirito and stopped at a Fiaschetteria for a glass of wine of Via dei Serragli, a wonderful street full of neighborhood Florentines stopping by after work. We sat in the little area outside, and the owner, Carlo, sent out little plates of the best spaghetti arrabiatta (angry pasta sauce– with peppers). It’s a law in Italy that you can’t serve alcohol without food to go along with it. Then it was time for gelato at our favorite place across town, Vivoli. So we were walking through the Piazza della Signoria to admire Perseus and Medusa by Cellini, when a handsome man came out of nowhere and greeted Melissa. I thought of Dad, who referred to her as the Lady Melissa, and it certainly seemed that this man was greeting her as if she were royal. His name is Francesco, and his friend is also Francesco. As soon as we told him we were from Austin, he said, “Stevie Ray VauG-h-n! I love Steve Ray VauG-h-n, pronouncing the G. Italians have no silent letters. It’s interesting how Europeans revere him, and too many Americans, outside of Austin, don’t even know who he is. Francesco was impressed when I told him I heard him play in 1982. We began talking in Italian and English, and both, but especially Melissa’s Francesco, were very entertaining. He immediately tagged me estraverso and Melissa as introverso, and is a psychologist studying different problems, such as dyslexia and autism in children. So, they walked with us over to Vivoli. My Francesco, an avocato, speaks no English, but we had a conversation in Italian all the way to Vivoli. They paid for our gelati and then we strolled back. They wanted us to go out with them for longer, but we parted ways near the Ponte Vecchio. Melissa’s Francesco was so smitten, he kept hugging her goodbye, kissing her on both cheeks, hugging her again, then kissing me on both cheeks. It was hilarious and so Italian.
Today is our last day in Florence. We’re going to get the most out of our Amici degli Uffizzi cards by going to the Pitti Palace, the Biboli Gardens, and the Bargello sculpture museum, mainly to see Donatello’s David.



About ssteven2

I'm a reader, writer, swimmer, and school librarian. I love my summers so I can travel.
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4 Responses to Un Piccolissimo Negozio e Due Uomini

  1. sandra062013 says:

    Sara, I’m so impressed that you seem to be getting along so well with your Italian – those lessons paid off big-time, it seems! Loved the story of your two admirers. Also loved the photos of the paper shop, as you can imagine 😉 It looks a lot like the one of the two that I explored when we were in Florence last time, where I was like a kid in a candy shop.

    • ssteven2 says:

      Yes, I can imagine. I can’t wait to give you the papers I’ve gotten for you. Another Italian detail I love is how they wrap every package like a present. I bought something else yesterday (What has happened to me!) and the woman wrapped it in more wonderful fleur de lis paper I’m saving for you. I even watched the man wrap up documents at the copy shop. See you soon! That part’s good, but leaving Florence tomorrow makes me sad. We leave on the 11 o’clock train for Rome, so I’m hoping to go to Mass at 9. Also, we will store our bags at the train station and spent some time in Rome before checking into our hotel right be the airport. I apologize in advance for being a zombie at work on Tuesday. Thanks for holding down the library. I hope it hasn’t been too crazy.

  2. jmkennon says:

    You have the most interesting encounters with men in Italy! I love this story and your photos. The paper shop is darling–I want to search out more little shops like it when we are in Italy later this summer.

  3. ssteven2 says:

    Jana, I can’t wait to read/see about your travels and keep up with you vicariously. Buon viaggio!

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