Monday, May 25, 2015

Sunday-free day

Sunday was our free day. Our last day together before people start heading home. Katie and Kim went to a High Mass at the Duomo, the rest of us went to the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, the oldest public building in Florence. The museum is a fortified palace built in the 1200's. In the 1500's it was used as a prison where executions took place until they were abolished in 1786. In 1859 it was converted to a national museum displaying Italy's largest collection of Gothic and Renaissance sculptures.

Afterwards, while we were sipping our cappuccino at an outdoor cafe, we noticed Katie and Kim strolling by. We waved them down from across the street and then we all spent the rest of our long day leisurely stepping in and out of shops in the leather district, picking up souvenirs. Along our way we ran into Alexandra, our brilliant tour guide from earlier in the week, leading a herd of college students from San Diego. Later we passed Beata and her cousin and family, and still later Rosa passed us by. How funny to bump into so many people you know in Florence!

We ended our day crossing the Ponte Vecchio again to have dinner at the trattoria around the corner from our villa, where we were served a glass of Prosecco (Italian champagne) upon arrival. Another fun but bittersweet evening; it's one of our last. Lots of toasts to each other, to a wonderful 10 days, to camaraderie, to art, to Debra and Ivano, to Italy, to art, to meeting again next year, to art, to Italy, to art...

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