Italy, UK & Transatlantic Cruise 2019 travel blog


We headed to the Duomo for the Gregorian Chant worship service but had a slight delay. As we exited our apartment we saw that our bridge was closed to car traffic. In fact, we witnessed a real Italian confrontation between an unhappy scooter rider and a police woman. Really funny to hear them yelling at each other. Finally the police woman gave a signal to "cut" & it was all over! Over the bridge came a parade of hundreds of horses being ridden by military, police, & citizens of all ages. It was quite a site. We were glad we were running a little late. Of course then we hoped we didn't get lost on the way to the Duomo! We arrived in time to still wait in line a few minutes. We were greatly disappointed in the service. Nothing had much feeling in it. The only highlight of the service was the man sitting next to us. He appeared to be someone important in the church. He had a wonderful voice and was very welcoming to us. We decided our worship would have to come in the evening when we went to the Gregorian Chant at the San Miniato church on Michelangelo Hill.

We wandered town towards home and came upon another vendor market at Piazza Santa Croce. Karen found a beautiful silk Monet scarf. We walked through Piazza Santo Spirito and there was another street market! This one was mostly produce with just a few vendors with clothing, wooden products & a lady making bookmarks out of copper. It was quite interesting to watch. Karen found a dress until she heard the price 156. Euro! Most of the clothing at street markets are one size fits all & those don't usually work anyhow. It was 3:30 by the time we got home. We took a quick nap then off to catch the bus for San Miniato. We should just have time to get there before the service.. We didn't realize there were a lot of steps to climb to get to the church. No one mentioned that in the reviews. As it turned out, the service started about 15 minutes late and people came and went during the service. We were again very disappointed. This was supposed to be a completely sung service by 6 monks & there was very little singing in it. We left about 3/4 of the way through the service. The church sits very high on a hill giving us a spectacular view of Florence.. We headed down the hill to the Piazza Michelangelo to view the sunset. Us and another several hundred people! We took a few pictures and wandered home, walking along the river. We had our own beautiful sunset as it reflected off of the river. Much nicer than being in the crowds. We stopped at Oltrarno Pizza. Since they had a wait for a table we ordered pizza to go. In Italy 1 pizza serves 1 person but the two of us were lucky to finish 1. The pizzas are ready in about 10 minutes, amazing. We took the pizza home and enjoyed the relative quiet of our balcony. Of course, we followed the delicious pizza with a trip to our gelato spot. Jim got salted peanut and chocolate & Karen had to compare this lemon with all the others so she got 1/2 lemon and 1/2 salted peanut. Not a great combo but still very good. The lemon gelato in Rome still is the winner. Now it's time to pack for Venice. We aren't sure we are ready to leave Florence. The city, location of our apartment & our hostess have been wonderful.



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