Ok, it seems ages since I have updated this blog and I will try to be more on top of it in the weeks to come. There is a lot to share, but right now, time is short. My friend Sam is still with me in Florence. As she is leaving on Friday morning, I am doing my best to try to show her the best that Tuscany has to offer. Needless to say, we have been staying up late, drinking too much, and walking a lot. Yesterday we saw Cortona and today, Siena. Last weekend, we hit Lucca, Pisa, and the Cinque Terre. Hopefully, we can squeeze in a day trip and a half to Rome on Wednesday and Thursday before she flies out. It has been great to have her here helping me make the adjustment back to Italian life and soon it will be time for me to go it alone! ARGH! What a scary thought…somehow I’m sure I’ll survive, as I always do.
So upon my arrival in Florence (now three weeks ago!), I found myself the renter of what I am calling the best apartment in all of Florence. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I also have the best landlords in all of Florence. When I got into town, the Signore was not in Florence. He was on vacation by the sea, but his wife remained here for work and let me into the place. She apologized for the lack of light bulbs (which had mysteriously vanished during the last tenant’s stay) and told me not to worry about the rent or utilities until her husband returned to town. The apartment is apparently his deal, not hers. So, today, three weeks later, the landlord finally came over and what a charming man he was! He spent over two hours here cleaning up our lovely backyard/garden and listening to my concerns about the apartment, not the least of which was the state of the couch. It had been ruined by the last tenant as well. In fact, from where I sit now, I can see the springs resting on the floor below the couch…ouch! We also took a tour around the kitchen and he was appalled at the lack of utensils and state of the various pots and pans. But what concerned him most, was the fact that I had inappropriate glasses for serving Chianti and espresso to guests. Now that’s an Italian for you!!! He left my apartment with a list and said he’d see me in few days to drop off new items for the kitchen! Before leaving, he recommended that I take Sam to see Siena before she left. So, after he left, we promptly left for Siena!
We arrived in Siena somewhat late and so we decided to just enjoy a long aperitivo in the Piazzo del Campo. About an hour or two into our Bellinis, my phone rang and it was a number I did not recognize. We answered the phone and it was my landlord, asking if he could come over and leave some stuff for the kitchen. I was shocked…he wasn’t supposed to come back for days! So I said sure, why not! Upon arriving home tonight, Sam and I found a treasure trove of kitchen goodies on the table and all new light bulbs in the lamps. Above are a couple of pictures of the gifts from a very generous and concerned landlord. I should also add that he gave me the option to not pay my rent for September and October until I received my money from school, but I insisted on at least paying the rent for September. As well, he would take no rent money for the 4 days I was here in August or for the overnight mailing of some important documents that I asked him to send a few months ago to North Carolina. He told me that I should instead; take Sam out for a nice dinner on him and his wife. Now, I have to admit, I may not be lucky at many things in life, but for the last few years, I have been very lucky in landlords! My new ones are no exception!!! Things are certainly looking up today!