A-see-si and Florence (Day One)

I’m convinced that in my bloodstream now flows some sort of concoction of olive oil, mozzarella, chunky marinara and chianti. I’m, as they say, “eating my way” through Italy.

After Rome, I was drained of energy to the point of mild sickness. I was in need of a designated day of rest (if you’ve been reading my past blogs, I needed to be “Greek’d”).

So I pulled into Assisi Saturday afternoon, and as I was flipping through the pages of my guidebook for an accommodation on the bus ride up in elevation to the mountainside destination, and I was recommended by a young lady in the seat across from me to check out the hotel where she had been staying. I took her advice, followed her from the bus stop through the town square, down an alley and into a gateway swimming in flowers and ancient medieval stones that led to the five rooms that this house/hotel consisted of. The middle-aged Assisian woman who owned house/hotel greeted me speaking 100mph in Italian, and showed me to my room. She continued spatting off information to me in Italian, and after repeated “I do not have a clue what you are saying to me” gestures, I just stuck to smiling and nodding whenever she’d point to stuff and talk. I gazed in awe of my view of Tuscany’s rolling hills outside my window, and left for a mild introductory stroll.

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I enjoyed dinner on the edge of the mountainside as the sun set in the distance and the pasta and wine set in my stomach.

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Like I said, I needed rest, so I didn’t set an alarm and slept for 11 hours. My day consisted of sitting in a cafe, strolling, sitting, blogging, and sitting on a park bench reading my new book on St. Francis. I punningly call it A-see-si because that’s about all I did. Sit there, and look at it. It’s prettier than most things on Earth. Except for Nellie.

I felt like a new man and boarded my train for Florence. But not before a brief conversation on the bus with a traveling Scottish couple, who, upon hearing that I was backpacking and going to work for a Christian non-profit in the Fall, sought me out half an hour later in the train station to hand me twenty bucks and tell me that my dinner that night was on them. #payitforward.

I arrived in Firenze and almost dirtied my drawers when I walked into my accommodation for the next three nights as I wiped my eyes in disbelief at the most swankified youth hostel I’d seen/head of yet. Like, totes.

I made friends with two Swissmen and two Cali-gals (Well, one of the girls is Californian/Swiss, long story) and spent the slightly overcast day with them on some free walking tours through the Renaissance capital of the world.

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And I ended my day with a meal. ‘Twas no ordinary meal. I’ll never again forget my camera when I go out to eat. Ever again. It was one of those meals so good, you just wanna slap ya mama (I do love you, mom, it was just that good). I wish I could post pictures so you could see, but… what? What is that you ask? You’d like to hear all about it… in poem? Well gawlee, that seems a little odd, but if you insist:

*Eh Ehm*
‘Twas a Monday in Florence
and all throughout town
not a soul was unjoyful
not a bicker, nor frown.
With a belly a’growl
and no time to waste
I surf-ed the net
to find a fix for my taste.
I found a neat place
unbeknownst to the masses
where the air’s filled with melodies
of the clinks of wine glasses.
I strolled down the street,
took a seat, and said “Question:
I’d like to hear what
is your finest suggestion.”
The waitress said “Pasta wiff bazil
ees are finest meal”
And I said “Add chianti and Bruschetta
and we’ll call it a deal.”
Observing the legs
of my chianti, so slowly
then was brought my bruschetta
’twas so good, ’twas near holy.
Had a balsamic glaze
on the top, ’twas a drizzle
made me ‘t’want to stand up
and exclaim “for shizzle!”
I received my main course
and my senses ran rampant.
After licking my fingers,
with approval, I stamped it.
I gave thanks for Wayne and Susan
who taught me fine dining
as I strolled back to my room
with a taut stomach lining.
Whilst I’m in Europe
for cheap food, I’ve abhorrence.
I bid farewell with “When in Rome”
even though I’m in Florence.

Carlyle

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