Day 5: Firenze… Quietly and Slowly

“Work is a blessing. God has so arranged the world that work is necessary, and He gives us hands and strength to do it. The enjoyment of leisure would be nothing if we had only leisure. It is the joy of work well done that enables us to enjoy rest, just as it is the experiences of hunger and thirst that make food and drink such pleasures.”

-Elisabeth Elliot

Couldn’t have said it better myself Lizzy. It’s easy to be thankful for gelato, fresh formaggio, or good wine. When was the last time we thought to ourselves however, “I’m so thankful to wake up in the morning to go to work”. I thought about this a bit yesterday as Sarah and I finally enjoyed a down day; one of those where you sleep without setting an alarm, meander without checking a map, and make plans without already having plans… get it? Of course we’d rather be here, on vacation in Europe, but I value the opportunity I have to work, be productive, enjoy my job, and take time away. Elisabeth mentions rest and leisure above, but if she needed one word to outline the point she’s trying to make, I’d bet it starts with “B” and ends with “alance”. Wanna bet…? Liz and I talked, I know, she told me.

Sarah and I were able to enjoy the Florentine market yesterday which consists of 7-8 streets, maybe 100 meters in length, lined with carts and stands dedicated to local goods. We were hoping to run into more of a fruit and veggie scene at some point, but the vendors seemed content to dabble in, mainly, soft leather purses and coats, gorgeous hand-painted ceramics, and fashonista shoes of course. Something I certainly did not expect seeing in Italy though was the huge population of  Moroccan, Indian and Pakistani people. They spend most of their time walking around with cheaper knock-off goods: umbrellas, sunglasses, etc. Many restaurants here even allow them to walk around the outdoor seating areas trying to sell customers roses and chocolates… Okay I guess for now, but very glad I won’t have to put up with that back in The States. In my experience they’ve been pushy, borderline rude, and impersonal. If you’re really going to try to sell me something, at least be able to talk to me… The two men we ran into the other night at dinner (one who sold us a perfectly acceptable umbrella for 2.5 euro and the other, who nearly stole 1 euro and gave me a dilapidated rose in return) could say hardly anything outside of “hey baby” and “nice price, nice price”.

 

Anyways… the quantity is limited regarding pictures from our quiet Monday in Florence, quality is excellent. I thought il duomo in Milan was astounding. Il duomo in Firenze is simply captivating. You actually stop walking when you see it for the first time, not wanting to move and risk missing a detail that your brain hasn’t absorbed yet. Architecturally not even on the same page as the goth-influenced duomo in Milano, but beautiful in its own regard.

…also a quick shot of two Italian men singing to Sarah at dinner last night 🙂

 

duomo duomo2 sarah

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