i cannot begin every post w OH MY GOSH but OH MY GOSH! We left our hotel this morning at 10:30 for a supposed half hour ride into Florence. Almost two hours later we were dropped off, walked to our meeting point and had 70 minutes to power shop and eat Florence style. The secret when you are part of group travel is to go in small groups and go fast as soon as you are “let go”! Neil and I took two girls and we were on a mission!!!!!! We headed to a small store and bought sandwiches and used facilities and started the hunt! Both girls and I bought dresses, leather items and gelato. Neil bought an apple. 😀
Back to the square to meet our tour guides. We split up into three groups which were much more manageable. There are soo many of us. We saw the beautiful doors of the Baptistry, the Duomo and bell tower, and then headed to the Academia to stand in line to see Michaelangelo’s David. Stand in line, stand in line. Believe it or not there was NO whining. Well, maybe by ME! I don’t like weather or traffic issues!!!!! It seems that cruise ship traffic has also invaded Florence. Like Venice isn’t bad enough! SCSS was in Florence ten years ago and I must say it has gotten so much more popular. Don’t misunderstand, a beautiful city and everyone should see it but it really was crowded today.
Met back up in the square once again and this time had about 40 minutes. A day without multiple gelatos is like a day without sunshine……! Found another fine establishment!!! Coffee and dark chocolate. Bellissimo!
Walked to bus. You really should see us heading through towns. Weaving in and out of little alleys, crossing streets, dodging scooters, yelling CAR! Quite the site!!!!!
Short drive to IMPRUNETA, small village town up the hills in Tuscany. Beautiful. Passed wineries, olive groves and tastings. Make note that I said passed……! Up the hill to this very quaint village. Dropped our concert attire in the cinema and headed to dinner. Dinner…..four courses! Bruschetta, three types, pasta with meat sauce, sautéed spinach and braised pork and a huge fresh cream profiterole drizzled in chocolate! Oh and water!!!!!!
Quickly sent girls to change. Then the guys. Out on the piazza with electricity for the keyboard to perform some of our secular pieces. Started w Rocky Top, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Blue Skies and then Disco Fever. Definitely crowd pleasers and good advertisement for our concert.
The church/community choir shared four of their pieces first and were quite good. Then it was our turn.
The most beautiful music in a most beautiful setting. It was magical. I so wish you could have been there. The church was packed. The church gave us a standing ovation. The mayor was there. The president of the Village of Hope was there. (We gave a donation to them at the conclusion of our concert) the priest was there, basically anybody that was anybody was there. Such a phenomenal experience. Then they had a reception for us! So charming!!!!!!! They even had bottles of white wine on the tables. Sorry, no grazie!
Tomorrow morning off to Siena and biking in the Tuscan hills!
Thank you families, for allowing your young and old ones to have this opportunity. It’s 12:30 time for bed!