I'm listening to every Italian aria by Josh Groban that I have in hopes that the language will permeate my brain. Call it pathetic, call it desperate, call it geeky...I'm going with genius.
Today was Fiesole day! But of course, no day in Italy can go by without its, um, quirks. In the words of the immortal Julie Andrews, let's start at the very beginning - a very good place to start!
I slept later than I had planned to, but I needed it. I was determined that this weekend be relaxed above all else, and I do think I've succeeded. I decided to dust off an old recipe I know and crank up my oats a notch this morning to keep me full for most of the day, so please meet...
Custard oats! All you do is throw an egg in the pot while the oats are cooking and stir like crazy to mix it through and prevent scrambling.
Cinnamon-vanilla (yogurt) oat custard. I was not even remotely hungry for a good 5 hours. And it's suuuuuper yummy!
(It's really good with blueberries and maple syrup - like french toast!)
And then it was off to find the line 7 bus for Fiesole! It's a little hilltown overlooking Florence only about 20 minutes away, and buses run every 15 minutes, so even though we got off to a later start than planned, I figured we'd still get there pretty early. But I clearly forgot that I was in Italy, the land of the most complex and illogical transportation system ever. It really is part of its charm...unless you are not a native and trying to get somewhere. Then...well, on the bright side, you get some good stories.
As I understood it, all buses leave from the train station, and there are stops along the way. I thought that one of the stops was at Piazza San Marco just down the street from our apartment, but I wasn't completely positive and so to be safe we walked to the train station to get on there. After about 20 minutes (and 2 missed buses) of wandering around in utter confusion, I asked at where the start of the line was for line 7. Piazza San Marco. Of course. So around we turned, back to the beginning - not only a very good place to start, but apparently a better place to go back to. Love ya, Italian bus system.
That hurdle jumped, we got on the bus and headed for the hills! I'm pretty sure when that phrase was invented, they had Fiesole in mind. These are definitely some hills I would want to run to:
Those flowers made me so happy - spring is 'a comin'!
Can you spot the Duomo? (Hint: Look right.)
We found a community playground! I <3 swings.
Someone named "Gilly" was here! Had to take this pic :)
We also met some friends...
He didn't seem too happy about all the tourists milling around outside his house.
The main attraction for most tourists in Fiesole is the Etruscan ruin site/Roman ampitheater, but I had no idea where they were (we didn't see the sign) nor did I feel like being "most tourists." So, Marissa and I explored the town on our own. We even found our own ruins:
That would be me inside an Etruscan tomb dating back to around 3 BC. You know, no big deal.....AAAAH! SO COOL!
We saw some modern ruins not too far away:
Thousands of years from now, a 20-year-old study abroad student will be flipping out about this. And probably paying through the nose to take a picture next to it.
A lovely way to spend a Saturday.
For dinner, I wanted to try out Il Vegetariano, this vegetarian place realllly close to our apartment. This was a very good decision. This place rocked our socks! It was super hippie - super cheap, 100% veggie with vegan options, the menu was written on a chalkboard, and there was not a word of English spoken. I want a place like this at home! It was a difficult decision, but in the end I went for the make-your-own-salad - my body was screamin for some straight-up veggies. Check OUT this monster bowl of goodness:
Arugula + beets + corn + steamed brocc + tomatoes + peppers + salsa di tofu (essentially vegan dijonnaise)
And whole wheat bread on the tables! Marissa (my roomie) and I demolished our bread basket. We left FULL and happy. You will see much more of this place. Oh yes.
True to my genes, there's always room for dessert:
Strawberries + Nutella. Love at first bite.
I wanted to take a picture of sunset from our kitchen window. I think Frida (my camera) thinks blurry pictures are artistic. She doesn't listen to me.
Gorgeous sights, wonderful food, fun company. Stress-free Saturday? Mission: Accomplished.