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Published: October 1st 2018
Took the early morning “rapido” train to Florence arriving at 10:00 AM. The taxi line was almost 100 yards so we hoofed it to our hotel on the Arno at the Ponte Vecchio (quite a ways with our luggage over cobblestones). Got into our room and changed for a hot day in the city, then hoofed it over to Santa Croce for a visit and to chat with Barbara Gori, the woman who runs the Leather School, Scuola del Cuoio. This business was created by the Franciscans to teach the poor a skill back in the Renaissance. Now it is one of the foremost creative leather product producers in Florence. Had a nice visit with Barbara Gori who runs the place now that her sister has retired. She is very savvy about the business, about the creative process and about how new designs from the Leather School are picked up, copied and are on the street in a few weeks.
We went into Santa Croce from the Leather School and visited some of our favorite monuments and frescoes. What an exquisite barn of a building. Then a very leisurely lunch at Café Cibreo not far from Santa Croce. They served
an antipasto that was ten different tastes, each one different and unique. Peggy had a meat ragu and John had tomatoes with a new-to-him pasta. Both were fabulous. And we made reservations for dinner on Peggy’s birthday at their trattoria across the street.
It had begun to rain but we braved it and stopped at a leather atelier recommended by the Leather School. Peggy was fitted for a leather skirt (the wonderful gentleman tried to get her to buy an entire outfit but she settled for the skirt). A quiet walk back to the hotel via the Straw Market (lots of leather vendors with every conceivable color and type of product). A brief rest before going up to the reception for a sprite and then out for a walk and a glass of wine. People watching and relaxing into Florence and the evening. Ended at the Loggia on the Piazza della Signoria and its striking statuary. Glad to be here and looking forward to seeing some of our old friends in the various museums.
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