Some days that you plan as just getting from A to B turn out to be something quite different, don’t they? Relocating from Florence to Fontanabuona (which is where we are staying to go to Chinque Terre) was on the table today. Just to relieve the unnecessary tension: we got to where we wanted to – no problem there.
First of all, put of the blue a text came to Lydia’s phone: the owners of the B&B we are staying in are inviting us to have breakfast with them – don’t really know what we did to deserve the honor, but there we go. They also own an “agriturismo” establishment – a biggish farm right outside Florence – and some vineyards “in the hills” as the owner put it. The owner is the Italian-style patriarch who is ready to talk about anything, but certainly prefers comparing the attractive sides of la bella Italia with those of other countries, and you may guess which of the countries wins the competition. His passion is a lot of fun to witness, though. Admirably, he’s prepared to discuss Florentine Renaissance to any depth and width, questions Alex (Alessio) about his understanding of what Renaissance is and how and why. We also get to sample 16-year old wine from his winery: “pay attention, only for the friends, ey?” Bless my memory, I couldn’t remember the guy’s name if I needed it to save my life. Sorry about that, although he kept calling me Luis throughout the breakfast, so, in a way we are even.
He sends us to our next destination of the day: a small museum, a former convent, proudly displaying a fresco of the last supper by Andrea del Sarto. Apparently, during one of the sieges of Florence (by the French?) there was a decree to destroy all the buildings outside the city wall which could provide shelter for the enemy, and this fresco being in this convent actually saved it from destruction: they just couldn’t do it, so beautiful it was.