Tuesday, March 18, 2008

italian honeymoon, part II venice & florence

here's the thing with sharing photos of places like venice, italy: they all look like every other shot you've ever seen of the place. i watched roman holiday after getting home and, honestly, when something was built 600 to 2 thousand years ago, there's just not a lot of change happening in our short life span. roman holiday could have been shot last week (save for the fact that, today, no woman in her right mind would have a 14 inch waist) all that said, and if you're still with me, here are a few more honeymoon shots.
itialians are good little eaters. i have no idea why i didn't see one obese italian. their food is just a celebration of gastronomy.
this is your typical sandwich shop, of which there is one every 10 paces or so. i loved that for a quick meal, one walks right up and stands at the counter ,coat on, nosh away at a pile of pasta while having a quick glass of wine before getting back to work. chinese or italian tonight? how about italian chinese. or let's just call it a night and hit mcdonalds fer crying out loud. how cute is this. 9 o'clock at night, i round the corner to find this gentleman (total mr. hooper from sesame street circa 1974) and his market. doesn't it look like a set from a stage production? pretty much everything looked this way in venice. like the back lot at sony. beautiful, organic produce. this guy loads up his boat and cruises up and down the canals. sort of like von's home delivery but with a better asthetic. check out that italian endive (lower left) . looks like weird hands. another thing venezians are fond of are their masks. lots of masks and lots of pinocchio. i think if you buy a mask in venice, it's akin to having your hair cornrowed in cabo. we got lost a lot. which is easy. the place is one big maze. which is what i loved about it. can we stop for a moment and marvel at my fashion digression? we were walking 8-9 hours a day on cobble stone. at around day 6, and to the great amusement of my new husband, i broke out with the running shoes. the hat was another 'need'. it was bone chillingly wet. and i just know i'll wear this hat often in my little beach world. i look a little annoyed here. not so. just taking it all in. i loved this palette of pigments found in an art store window. and this bowl of beautiful hand made books. gondola gangstas if you go to venice, go off the beaten tourist path and head over to the area where the actual people who live their hang. (speaking of hanging, i took so many shots of clothes hanging between buildings-loved this look. i half expected to see children running down the street to the shouts of 'chef boyardee! mama's making chef boyardee!)
vivaldi's house then it was off to florence for the day where we visited david. of all the sites, this was by far the most surreal and beautiful for me. it's really simply stunning. absolute perfection.
you know what's weird about the italians and their museums. they say no photos. but they don't enforce it. i once got kicked out of the van gogh museum in amsterdam for taking a picture of some interesting tourists. but here, they just sort of look at you with a bored expression when you pull out the camera. the tuscan country side is really, just exactly as you would imagine. so, so stunning. i have a feeling these cookies are prettier than they taste (almond cookies don't do it for me)
i had to get a shot of this corner in florence... made famous in this photo by ruth orkin, 'american girl in italy' i wish this shot had come out a little better. i'm so bad at stealth photography. the guy in the back with his mohawk against these dear little women, was such a great juxtapose. and finally, lest you thought that i was deterred by the lousy american dollar exchange rate, fear not. i searched and found a relative bargain on handmade, leather, florentine boots.
seek and you shall find. this is a little shop on a street called santo di spirito (it's a bit hard to find) 'francesco di firenze'.
from the outside, it's nothing fancy just a little cobbler's shop. even inside, at first you're not entirely wowed. but once you're in, and the fluorescent light settles, beautiful creations start to come into focus.
there were so many simple, strappy sandals. and in the back was francesco himself, just cobbling his little soles away.
if they don't have your size, they'll take your measurement and make a pair, custom, in about 2 days. it's worth it i tell you. i ended up, after much, hemming and hawing on just one pair of boots: and i love them.


mamacita said...

I'm so glad that you're posting these shots today. I was in Italy last year for Holy Week. (The Holy thing was a coincidence.) We spent Palm Sunday in Venice. That's when I decided to start blogging -- there were so many things I wanted to photograph and share with everyone back home.

Loved getting lost in Venice. Loved all the little paper shops, and the pastry shops on every corner. (Most of our time was in Milan, which was also great, and a day in Lake Como, which was sublime.) And yes, after a week of forcing myself to wear flats instead of sneakers, I finally noticed that everyone else on the metro was wearing sneakers, so why wasn't I?

And the food -- seriously, they will not let even one meal be disappointing. What a great philosophy.

Anonymous said...

I love that you showed us that infamous corner in Florence. Your boots have made me terribly jealous! They are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.

city pretties said...

I LOVE that Orkin photo! How cool that you found exactly the corner. What a classic. And that young girl could easily be one of those old ladies today.

The cobbler's shop - I can almost smell the leather. It's what I love about going into places in Europe where they make any kind of footwear. You can find the same thing in Stockholm where there are handmade clogs.

I'm so glad you took so many pictures!

annechovie said...

Great photos and commentary, Megan! I had to laugh when I saw you in your running shoes - I can so relate! Somehow, after days of endless walking and tortured feet trying to be fashionable in "regular" shoes, I succumbed to placing comfort over aesthetics. I realized that no one cared what was on my feet anyway, so what was I suffering for?

BonjourBruxelles said...

Megan-I have such an obsession with Euro footwear...both what you can find and what one wears....as I have way too many drunken photos taken of my feet after nights of walking thru the alley ways and the streets and the cobblestone roads while not trying to look tres Americaine. It's really a great visual.

but the boots...the boots!! and the sandals and the pictures and the glory of it all.....so many thanks for taking us all there.


Anonymous said...

First things first, I just love your blog and read it regularly. Welcome back!
Second, wow! Your photos of your honeymoon are totally taking me back to my honeymoon in Italy back in 2004. I was so taken with the beauty of Venice that I too thought it looked so perfect--just like a movie set. In fact, that's the first thing I said to my husband while walking down those little streets looking for our hotel. Just amazing. And Florence. And the rest of Tuscany. And the food, there's really no way to have a bad meal in Italy. And the shoes, and the paper, and the flea market in Venice. All just too wonderful for words. Thank you so much for sharing these photos! Best wishes to you and your new hubby!

JJ said...

dreamy. I am dying to go to Italy now. And those boots are killing me. I waaaaant them - but custom made to my feet.

anne said...

I'm going to knock you out and steal those boots the next time I see you. Also, my people are the thinnest in Europe. I think it's all the walking and yelling they do.

Cote de Texas said...

Megan - these are the best pictures and you are so funny!! Love the comments. Especially the title - Rome and Florence, then you show all these pictures of Venice, haha!!! You look adorable in that hat, btw - only you would! Love you!

Anonymous said...

Marvelous photo essay, Megan.
Mom says you are an artist for sure.

Abbey Goes Design Scouting said...

I love your boots! So glad you shared your trip with us!

beachbungalow8 said...

you know what? i think i major-ly messed up my feet trying to look like a cute tourist. seriously. i have to go get orthodics tomorrow. my advice, break out the freaking running shoes the minute you hit the cobble stone. something about you is going to give you away as a crude american one way or another. why not be comfy while being heckled.

joni, thanks for the catch. that's what i get for juggling child rearing and blogging!

blogmaster said...

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