So I've been wandering around Florence with a smile on my face, happy. This is a beautiful, lazy, ugly, intoxicating warm temptress of a city. I love it. The familiar streets and sounds and the glorious, impudently brilliant buildings which abound and both make you feel totally insignificant and as if you rule the world all in one go - all this by itself would make Florence one of my favourite urban sprawls.
But then I turn my feet with fixed purpose towards Santa Croce, hoping yet again to find with ease the ridiculous back alley wherein is hidden Vivoli's, simply the best ice cream parlour in the world.
Of course I get there with no hassles at all. My legs are on auto-pilot, or divinely inspired. Who knows?
And then the choosing. First the price bracket. I went for a middle of the range 5 euro cup. And then the flavours. Always start with old favourites. This is no time for experimentation! So it was raspberry, chocolate mousse & a dab of meringue.
Taste buds dancing. The sky a little bluer. Crowds parting and clearing a bench so I can sit before my legs give way. Somewhere in my mind's ear, an orchestra plays Italian love songs.
I buy a second. And then walk and walk around the city, partly in guilt at the amount of ice cream I have just eaten, partly to walk it off, and partly because I am just simply happy. I climb up to Piazza Michaelangelo for the view. And back. And what the heck, it's ages till supper. And I won't be back for who knows how long. Should I get my third and experiment a little this time?
What do you think...
I have just been served the biggest steak I have ever seen. 3lbs of it. It didn't say it was big on the menu, just that it was "special". You will be relieved to hear I only managed half. The rest has come back to the hotel with me & will be lunch tomorrow! Though that still makes it pretty expensive... What the heck. I'm home tomorrow night, so I'll stop eating again soon enough.