Well, I had intended to write long before now! I had a post all queued up about shopping for and preparing our first Thanksgiving dinner in Italy - but then that post became a combined “Holiday” post (Thanksgiving and Christmas) - which didn’t get written. So, I thought I’d write a combined Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year’s screed - and somehow it didn’t materialize, either, alas. And here we are, in the middle of January, in a new year. Where DOES the time go??
But, let me back up. We’ve been living in Florence for 18 months now. How did THAT arrive so quickly?! It’s been an amazing, frustrating, nail-biting, nerve-wracking, wonderful, exhilarating experience. Above all, very edifying. And a great opportunity to practice what I preach: Acceptance & Allowing.
Our first year was hectic and sort of crazy. After moving from our large Seattle home - with Samantha the Samoyed - into a furnished Florentine apartment in “tourist central” Piazza Santa Croce, in March of 2018 we moved into our current home, where we intend to spend many years. We had lots of crazy experiences that first year you can read about here. And the adventure has continued…
So, from June through Christmas, a wrap up:
We remembered, from the previous summer, how important it is to get out of the house early and then scurry back into the A/C before completely wilting from the heat. It starts getting really hot about mid July and stays that way for something like 6-8 weeks.
The day before our 32nd Anniversary, I went to my local hair stylist and, because of a language misunderstanding, (I guess) I emerged blonde! haha! Oh, well. At least it was summer.
August in Florence is almost unbearably hot and humid. We (including Samantha) had a short stay at Borgo i Vicelli, a gem of a tiny resort in Bagno a Ripoli and only a 20 minute taxi ride away. Important, since we don’t have a car!
Borgo i Vicelli is family-run, the setting is absolutely divine, the food is amazing, the wine is sourced from nearby, the olive oil is made on-site, and it has a lovely pool and spa. Also, dogs are accepted (see photo above). Highly recommended.
My cherished friend/client/chiropractor, Dr. Vivian Ledesma, had 4 days open between her trip to Romania and before she joined a biking group in The Lakes district - I was overjoyed that she chose to spend it in Florence! She stayed a half block from us in Hotel Liana, so we were neighbors for a few days.
….and we cooked zucchini flowers!
In September I had yet another Permesso di Soggiorno complication, but it was resolved and I enrolled in more Italian classes.
We had visitors and good news!
I rejoined the Italian class I had been unable to finish the prior April (due to a severely sprained ankle) and, this time, was a stellar student! Our son, Nick, arrived to pursue his Italian dual citizenship through Bob…
…AND Bob received his Italian citizenship recognition! It was a big, big month!!
The weather became colder, though not bitterly cold, yet. I decided to make Ringraziamento (Thanksgiving) dinner and we were delighted to have guests from Seattle, Susan and her daughter Jen, and our new friends from Scotland, Ellen and her daughter Frances, join us.
Finding cranberries was another story. Eventually, I rehydrated dried mirtilli rossi (cranberries) to make my favorite Silver Palette cranberry sauce recipe.
It was quite an undertaking, sourcing the ingredients for a semi-traditional American feast, while not being in America. The menu:
Olive, nocce, crema di tartufo e croccantini (olives, nuts, truffle spread & toasts)
Confettura di mirtilli rossi (Cranberry sauce)
Risotto con zucca e pistacchio (Pumpkin risotto with toasted pistacchios)
Cavoletti di Bruxelles con cipolla rossa e avocado (Brussels sprouts w/ red onion & avocado - from Heather Christo)
Verdure grigliate (roasted veggies from Ellen)
Torta di cioccolata e nocce di pecan (Chocolate pecan pie - David Liebovitz’ recipe)
An absolutely stunning Pavlova - brought by our Scottish neighbors
Prosecco, vino rosato e vino rosso (Sparking, rosé, and red wines)