Monday, December 7, 2009


The Ponte Vecchio
The opposite of quiet -- packed with tourists and beloved
by birds -- beautiful gold jewelery for sale in shops all along
the bridge.

I can’t remember when I experienced a place as quiet as La

Terrazza in Florence, our apartment 101 steps above the streets

of Florence. At night it is so quiet that the clock is the loudest sound

in the room. And during the day my morning cup of espresso hitting

the saucer makes the loudest clank. Wait. I’m forgetting the bells.

Our building backs onto a 10th century church, Sant’ Ambrogio, and

the bells rang out a chorus that seemed like a symphony of bells this

morning – all the more dramatic and beautiful contrasted with the usual

quiet of the apartment. The message is clear – get up and enjoy the city.

Even in the country in Canada, at a cottage on a lake, at our schoolhouse,

I have never heard such quiet. As I write this the church bells chime

that it’s noon. It must be the thick walls and excellent windows of the

apartment, combined with the fact that we’re on a street restricted to

foot and bicycle traffic – but the peace we feel here is a pure delight.

We visited the Palazzo Vecchio today for Joanne

Even the police here are good dressers -- that white bag is leather!

Have an enjoying-quiet-and-church-bells day.


cohen labelle said...

Barbara, you’re driving us all crazy with your descriptions of your Florentine surroundings with what appears to be a prose poem.
I’m veritably drooling all over my lap wanting to be there! Couldn’t you find at least one thing to complain about (kvetch).
Have a teensy bit of pity for those of us stuck out here in the boon docks of star bucks, 2nd cup, & tim hortons.
For instance, do they have central heating – eh eh? Well dear, you’ll just have to just make the best of it and have a good time. I'll bet you just Can’t Wait to get home - . Ha ha


Zina Chmielowski said...

Hi Barbara,
I feel the same way as the Author of the previous comment...
I am drooling too...
First snow (well flurries)today in Toronto...
How do you like that?
More snow on the way after tomorrow...

cohen labelle said...

Speaking of ‘quiet’ Barbara
while we’re on that subject, do you think you two love birds could tone it down a bit, at night I mean - while the other folk are trying to sleep - but then as you say the walls are thick and the windows …. And the hills are alive with the sound of …..
Sounds wild, love it!

Barbara Muir said...

Be nice to me Marcia. It's lunch time and I'll have to find a delicious cheese and prosciutto panini and get it heated up and walk past 14th century churches while I eat it, then go to Santa Maria Novella and look at some Masaccios.
It's such a strain. Then I'll join my Dutch and American artist friends and maybe drink a very strong Croatian drink with Billich -- who looks like Salvador Dali, only better looking.

It's hard Marcia. I suffer for my art.



Barbara Muir said...

Hi Zina,

I am living this life for my fellow artists. It's a very stressful existence. Mainly because it's going to end. Snow! You're scaring me. Have fun.



Laurel Daniel said...

Thank you for suffering for all of us. We DO appreciate it (we would just appreciate it more if we were there WITH YOU!!!!!) XOXOX

eldon warren said...

Well Barbara. looks like you've become our ambassador to Florence and our only link to a place so full of wonder. The photos are beautiful and your account make me want to board the next plane outta here and leave this white stuff behind for ever. Nasty cold here.

Barbara Muir said...

Oh Laurel,

I would really love it if you were with us. You would have so much fun.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Eldon,

The least expensive part of this trip was the magnificent apartment and the plane trip. I think you should board the next flight out of there. Get a phrase book and use it if you really need to, but everyone is very nice even though we have next to know Italian.

Take care,


Portrait Artist

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