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A drive in the country 09/02/2011

Posted by florencecapital in Uncategorized.
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c. 1910

We did not at once desert the precincts of Santa Maria Novella, as we joined a party of friends at the delightful Hotel Minerva, and had our colazione at a table whence we got an enchanting glimpse of Giotto’s tower, and could watch the coming and going in the Piazza below us. With the help of these same kind friends we had concocted a very pleasant plan for the afternoon and evening, as they had ordered their car to take us to the Certosa di Val d’Ema and on to the Impruneta, whence we were to return to their delightful villino not far from Poggio Imperiale.

Motor cars in old Italian towns are atrociously out of place, that is obvious to any one with an aesthetic conscience; but they are also extremely useful, and a great luxury to tired folk who ramble much on foot amid the stony streets of those same cities. We started on our expedition, only regretting the thoughtless speed of the car, which whirled us through so much we ought to have looked at and identified, even on the short way to Porta Romana.

As I remarked this, L. rejoined that for his part he did not think it mattered, as our heads were reeling with all we had seen, tried to see, or had left unseen during our morning at Santa Maria Novella. We had clearly earned the right to look at nothing, and to waste our time, if we chose. The car rushed disrespectfully round by the Porta Romana and stopped first by the Cantagalli pottery works, which we had determined to visit while we had the chance. The Conscientious Objector said we had seen most of the pottery already in England, and that any we bought would assuredly arrive home in fragments, all of which was uncomfortably true. Still, certain packages did accompany us on our journey, as we fled into a charming country road, among the budding vineyards and the springing corn, and came before long to the village of Galluzzo, and thence to the bridge over the brook Ema, where Cacciaguida would fain have had Buondelmorite die ere Florence was cleft in twain by internecine strife.

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