This morning, we quickly got ready for our last full day of sightseeing and learning in Florence. I was sad to see the week was so close to and end, but we had a great final dinner planned for after the scavenger hunt, and I was excited to see what that would bring!
We crossed the Arno for the first time on the trip to see Santo Spirito, another Brunelleschi creation. I was surprised to find that the other side of the river was a lot…sketchier than the side of Florence I had gotten used to. I found Santo Spirito to be no different. As soon as we got there, I got a strange vibe from the area and the outside of the church, and upon entering, with the rude people running the service desk, I felt unwelcome and uninterested in the architectural features within. While I had come to love Brunelleschi’s work, I found myself bored by the interior of Santo Spirito, though I’m not too sure why.
I didn’t spend a lot of time dwelling on the past though, because as we left I was mentally preparing myself for the scavenger hunt. We had received the rules the day before, and that night, at seven, we were to meet in front of the Duomo to begin. In true Florentine tradition, this was to be a competition. I was so excited and ready to go!
When the competition started however, I actuallty found myself disengaging more than I expected. The clues were not difficult, but as night fell on the beautiful city, Carlee and I found ourselves confused as to where we were. We weren’t as familiar with the streets as we thought, and I was too afraid to ask for directions. Looking back, I wish I had engaged more and asked people to show us where things were, because we perhaps could have gotten a good lesson in Italian out of it and made it fun!
We were the first to arrive at our final destination though, the restaurant of our final dinner, so we earned ourselves lots of extra points! In the end, we came in third place, which was exciting honestly, and we felt like we learned a lot about the art we’d seen!
Dinner was fantastic. We were at the Trattoria Nerone, a cute little pizza place that I felt a personal connection to, because my mom’s (very Italian) best friend’s maiden name is Nerone! Our appetizer was a delicious pita-like bread, fresh from the pizza oven, and Colton and I quickly devoured the entire bowl in front of us. The pizza was fantastic, perfectly cooked with amazing tomato sauce and perfectly melted cheese, the crust (my favorite part) crisped to perfection. Dr. Wilkins even got me to try a tomato or two, which was a feat within itself because their texture makes them one of my least favorite vegetables. The wine was great and the conversation was even greater as we laughed and enjoyed our last long meal together, having fun reminiscing about the week and getting to know each other even more. I came to realize I’d miss this city terribly, but I’d also miss spending time in it with the people I had come to love.