Thursday, August 23, 2012
Home Away from Home
After a short walk up the tree-lined Viale Michelangelo, I arrived at my destination: the home of the Suore di Sant' Elisabetta, a convent and guesthouse where I have now stayed on three separate visits to Florence. My suitcase was happy to be there again!
I have loved staying here. The rooms are nice, the cost is relatively low, the breakfast room is spacious and sunny and always filled with pleasant, interesting guests. But most of all I love the sisters who live here and run the place. They are hospitality personified and full of joy. I've been here enough to recognize some, and they recognize me, and it's just so nice to go far away from home and feel right at home.
I rang the bell, and the large green gate opened. A couple of steps and I felt far away from the traffic on the busy viale. Hmm, don't know how I managed to make this picture blurry. Must be that I didn't have my glasses on, or that I was pretty tired by the time I got there?
The past two times I stayed here, I was given a very large room that opened onto a large terrace. The space was nice, and the terrace was lovely, but it faced the viale, which made for traffic noise at night. So this year I asked for a room "on the garden side," and here is what I got. A delightful small room, perfect for one person.
And the bedspread even matched my bag.
The phone quickly went on the floor, as I had no need of it, but did intend to use the desk.
The little red and white thing you see is a thingamajig that plugs in to an outlet and heats up to activate these little blue thingamajigs that you place on the top section of it. I have no idea what the little blue things consist of. Probably some chemicals, because the purpose of it is to keep mosquitoes away. The brand name is VAPE.
Mosquitoes are pretty bad in Florence. I still remember when I first moved to live in Florence, there were signs on our door reminding people to close the doors to the stairway "per via delle zanzare." Zanzare are Italian mosquitoes. That phrase has stayed with me twenty-plus years, I suppose because I saw it multiple times every day for two years.
The fan was essential, as it did get pretty hot during my days spent here!
The image that hung above my bed.
And the wonderful, wonderful floor that I woke up to each morning!
So, I settled into my lovely little room, but not for long. I had just arrived, but I had a "date" to make pretty quickly....