We’re leaving Florence this morning. I’ve woken early, as you do when it’s time to head off to the next destination. Before I go I must tell about a treat (Ye another one) Bev and I had yesterday.
The Royal Apartments at the Pitti Palace which is practically next door. So next door it’s where we catch the bus and take our rubbish. But we hadn’t been back to see them. So as a break from packing (Bev’s nearly finished. I haven’t started) off we trot. No queues at all. Up three grand staircases. No red carpet. A notice on the information desk announces a tour of the kitchens in 20 minutes. Wow! We put our names down and quickly look around a few rooms before heading off with guide, and her very large key, in the other direction through the barrier in the ballroom, into another ornately decorated room, down a contrastingly plain white painted corridor to the double doors of a kitchen the size of a house.
On the right is a huge overhanging chimney built of very hard rock. The Medici only ate meat so this is where it was cooked over a large open fire.
Chimneys on the other two walls were added later, presumably when they ate vegetables! Now they hover over more modern wood stoves and grills. A lot of the original kitchen implements were on display. Two enormous mortar and pestles which would tax the average person to use. Instead of paintings and frescoes copper pots and pans adorn the walls.
A freestanding bench with a metal top, which we thought was just another horizontal surface, has cupboards underneath for holding trays of hot coals to heat the metal surface and keep food warm. Ingenious. Up to 50 people worked on producing food here.
We took a shortcut back to the Royal Apartments (I’m not sure who was actually king and queen here) through the King’s bedroom - all gold and a surprisingly small canopied bed.
So that was another treat for us on our last day. I can hear Bev’s hair dryer going so I had better get going too. So much more to tell you about Florence but will do that when I see you next.
Most afternoons this week we have been seranaded by a local piano player in one of the apartments overlooking our
courtyard. They are practising again this morning.
After dinner last night we wandered along to the Ponte Vecchio for a last look. As usual it was covered with people enjoying the sunset over the Arno and the live music which happens every evening.
Bev has been a great touring, shopping, art admiring and museum going companion. She sets off this morning for Zurich, Singapore and NZ on Sunday.
Caio from Firenze.
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