For your average Sunday in Florence we had quite an evening out. It doesn’t seem that “closed on Sunday nights” applies in Florence because the city was alive! It seems Mondays are more of a day of rest here, from what I have seen.
We began our Sunday with a visit to Santa Croce. When we arrived in Florence back in October 2017, the Santa Croce was closed indefinitely. Tragically a man and his wife had been walking through the church and a piece of stone, a “peduccio” bolstering the base of wooden structures, fell down hitting the man on the head instantly killing him. Due to this, I wasn’t counting on it reopening in time before we left.
Fate would have it otherwise. It opened in November and we got to go.
You may know Santa Croce from the movie, “A Room With A View,” or you may know it as being the location of the tomb of Michelangelo.
Although at this point I think Paul and I have both reached our cap on Western European cathedrals, I can always find something to appreciate at every cathedral. The gold triptych at the altar, the Donatello sculptures, and Michelangelo’s tomb were my favorites.
Outside the cathedral they offer an exhibit of items now removed from the church. They also focus on the flood of 1966, a flood that hit Florence hard and caused lots of damage. The flood damaged or destroyed millions of masterpieces of art and rare books. Far more tragic was the death toll of 101 people. At its highest, the water reached over 6.7 meters (22 ft) in the Santa Croce area.
We saw restoration efforts in a “Last Supper” painting they restored in the Croce. This part of the exhibit was quite impressive. They had a video of the process and showed the before and after.
After the Croce visit we crossed the Arno river during sunset and took selfies. The sunset as a backdrop is perfect for this.
We wandered into the “Oltrarno” neighborhood. It’s name translates to “beyond the Arno”. Santo Spirito is one of the “hip” neighborhoods around there; great for food, nightlife and relaxed, local vibes. We stumbled upon an evening market in the piazza. There were many vendors from the nearby Tuscan farms. I bought “nuovo olio” – new oil. This is the olive oil they have just harvested from October-December. It’s a strong olive oil flavor that has a spicy bite to it. This type of olive oil is not transparent! It’s a solid, fresh bright green – full of all the flavors you get from recently pressed, autumn olives.
After wandering the market we had a fabulous dinner at Tamero’. Tamero’ specializes in pasta but the other dishes were great as well. Paul had one of his favorite meals at this restaurant: Suckling pig with roasted veggies, herb infused yogurt, and an amaro to “finish the meal.” The taste of this pig was like pork belly – on crack.
The head chef is from the island of Sardinia and you see those influences in his dishes.