Finally, the first real long weekend of the summer with good weather: time to enjoy our home in Maremma and go to the beach. After a late start Saturday, having spent the morning at the Four Seasons Spa (post forthcoming), we were blasting down the Firenze-Siena with the windows down because the a/c is broken and then… Poom! It sounds like we ran over a bottle except it is our car; a yellow symbol comes on with a textual message on the dashboard that says something like “buddy, you are totally screwed now. I am a German motor and this is gonna cost you.” With luck we were able to force the car back to Florence and thus started our unintentional summer long weekend in Florence, with this as our only mode of transportation:

So. What does a local do on a weekend like this, other than leave town? People think living in Florence, my life must be all about visiting museums whenever I want and taking in a million cultural activities. Actually, as a journalist for The Florentine I generally see whatever exhibits I want at the press preview but then don’t visit any museums or historic sites the rest of the time, especially not in the summer when the downtown area is crowded and hot. My main goal this weekend was not to work, because I would normally spend any spare time in front of the computer working on this blog, or my clients’ social media, or on MakeTank blog. But a relaxing three days’ off was planned, and so help me, I would take it. Here’s what I did.

Laundry: my first thought was finally I can run some loads and hang them outside. It has been a rainy Spring and I still had winter stuff and tons of sheets and blankets to wash. Five loads later I can finally see the bottom of the hamper.

Fruit: we have a nespole tree in the back yard, a nasty fruit that does nothing but fall in big plops on my car. Tommaso picked them and we turned it into nespole-ginger chutney. Hopefully it will be edible.

Green: walk along the Arno

There is a bike and walking path along the Arno that goes from downtown to Girone where you can actually hear birds chirp, see ducks swim, and walk, rather undisturbed, on a sandy trail. Feels almost like you are in the countryside!


Eat: Sunday lunch at the in laws


My in laws, being from Southern Italy, like to keep lunch light. We skipped the aperitivo, unusually, and went straight to the primo, paccheri with pomodorini and scorfano. Not knowing what was coming next, I had a double portion. Then came a fish soup, and after that, the triglie in the oven (photo above), with sides of yummy potatoes done in the oven with rosemary, and boiled green beans. A salad and a cheese plate washed all this down before fruit and dessert.

Cool aperitivo: 8pm. Having barely digested lunch, making dinner was not on my mind yet. We head over to Easy Living Arno Beach for a drink. Leave, seeing it is full of tourists. Ditto Rifrullo.

But at least we were able to visit Clet’s statue ‘Uomo Comune’ back on Ponte alle Grazie.


Despite attempts to go out, we decided on a apericena at home in the garden, trying to hear the Jovanotti concert in the nearby stadium, but we were foiled by our annoying second floor neighbour’s TV – they were one of 3 apartments occupied this weekend. The silence in the area otherwise was impressive, allowing me even to sleep in, since the next door neighbour with the screaming newborn and the elderly upstairs neighbour with the wooden shoes and insomnia were all away.


Success! I did not work all day! And in the end, it is amazing how much fun you can have doing nothing in particular with the people you love!

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