o much for the madding, queuing throngs of tourists in the cobbled streets and piazzas of Firenze! The closest we get to Michelangelo’s David is a plaster replica in the window of a souvenir shop, and there’s no way we’ll be visiting the Duomo today with the queues of waiting tourists snaking around the building.
After a few hours of this, my right buttock aches. Walking on uneven surfaces; missing steps and gutters; and dodging unexpected piles of what the horses drop as they stand snorting in the piazzas waiting for tourists to hop into the fiacres, it’s time to go. Can you smell it?
Better we head off across the river and up into the hills beyond Piazza Michelangelo to a special little restaurant I’d visited six years ago – Trattoria Omero, in the small village of Pian dei Giullari.
Nothing’s changed. A pot of bright red geraniums in the window of the rustic dining room complements the verdant Tuscan setting – pencil pines and terracotta villas line distant ridges and dusky mountains skirt along the other side of the valley. Birds sing.
We relax and enjoy this civilised respite over a glass of chilled local white while waiting for a plate of prosciutto and sweet melon. And I have to order the dish I enjoyed so much on my last visit – the veal brains, with a squeeze of lemon juice this time, no burnt butter.
Sated and a little inebriated, I call for a taxi to take us back down the hill to the stazione for the ninety-minute ride in a crowded train back to the port in Livorno, and our sailing hotel, the ‘Silver Spirit’.
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