- We are having a blast together, renewing our sisterhood. I bought her a used bike, so we can tour Florence together more casually. She's never been to Italy, and she's overwhelmed with excitement. She's especially anticipating our trip to Ischia next week, where she will discover as I did last year, our family roots and history.
- We enjoyed the perfect weekend in Chianti together with Cynthia. We took Carol for a visit to Impruneta and Greve, and enjoyed an exquisite "Super Tuscan" lunch accompanied by two beautiful bottles of Bolgheri at the outstanding Ristoro di Lamole. We then proceded on to Castellina and Barberino. We stayed in the beautifully restored Villa Tavolese and attended a local Mass which was followed by a church pizza party. We spent the next day with Cynthia's family in Tavarnelle. She cooked a wonderful typical Tuscan meal and we took a walk through the vineyards and olive groves around her home, which is a restored medieval tower.
- We celebrated my birthday together on Monday at Semolina in Santa Croce.
- Yesterday was the feast day of San Giovanni, the patron saint of Florence. This is a very special day for the Florentines. Everyone has off and life stops to celebrate this day. Most stores and attractions are closed. It is a day that is celebrated with more spirit and intimacy than Christmas. We participated in all the festivities to celebrate this feast day, and in the process, I gained a better understanding of the Florentine family culture and history. We attended the procession and Mass in the Duomo, which was the most spectacular spiritual celebration of the Eucharist that I've ever attended. Before following the parade, we visited the Convento di San Marco, where I was mesmerized by the frescoes of Fra Angelico and the relics of Savonarola. We also spent time studying the sculptures and altars of Orsanmichele, which is becoming one of my favorite representations of Florentine history. We capped off the day by attending the spectacular fireworks displayed over the Arno from Piazzale Michelangelo with Leif. After escaping the crowded streets on our bikes, Carol seemed overwhelmed by the excitement of the day, so she escaped back to my apartment while Leif and I had a late-night pizza in Santa Croce.
- Carol is starting to feel the vibe of Florence and she is spending less time calling back home. Her biggest impression is that "there's no sense of urgency" here in Italy.........ah.....!!!
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Days with My Sister
I've been spending the past week with my sister, Carol, who lives in Houston. She is staying with me for one month. I've spent weeks anticipating her arrival, making space for her clothes, refreshing the house with fresh flowers and linens. I haven't seen her since our mom died 5 years ago. We are very different people and have lived very different lives since she left New York 25 years ago. Some highlights of the last week:
Posted by Barbara at 5:14 PM