A caffe-latte in bed and a book is normally how I like to start off my Sundays. This being not at our apartment but rather T-mans parent’s home since they have somehow psychologically brainwashed into coming over to spend the night one night a week ( normally Saturdays ) . Being that we lived with them for a long time, we rationalize that one-night a week is a pretty easy and fair compromise though I am sure my American friends would react with a “say what?!” Luckily I have a pair of pajamas that his “mamma” lovingly sets aside for me to wear each time we visit and its design pretty much subcontiously expresses how she sees me.
Jokes and pink jammies aside, I love his parents and am thankful that they have so graciously accepted me and all of my flaws (lack of ironing skills and/or strength to properly make a bed ). Our Sunday lunches are usually full of jokes, great food and a very busy mamma who reminds me very much of my own ( except mine would have probably thrown holy-water on me the second I crossed the doorway ). This particular Sunday we wolfed down ravioli with artichokes, meat slathered with mushrooms and fresh strawberries. Of course all of this yummy food meant that me and t-man had to get off our food-coma behinds and take a passeggiata to possibly urge our sagging metabolisms. Knowing that today was a multi-cultural day in Florence, we and possibly the entire population of Firenze headed over to the Fortezza di Basso to park and check out the Russian Orthodox church that I have always wanted to visit.
Yes you heard me right, a RUSSIAN orthodox church actually exists in Florence and is strikingly beautiful. The Florentine wrote about the church in 2011 about its plight for restorative funding, link here ; which by visiting today looks to have somewhat hopefully been resolved as we did see scaffolding around the building. Granted this church is somewhat tucked away from the historical center, it is still a fairly easy walk and believe me, its worth it! Even t-man was blown away with the architecture and vibe of this small but special place. I felt less in Florence and more in St. Peters-burg sneaking a glimpse into the Russian orthodox world.
The church was built in the late 1880’s and completed in 1903 to provide a then home to Russian immigrants looking for a place to worship and was designed in the northern Russian style with approval from St. Petersburg.
Luckily we must have come at the right time since we were able to go inside and see the interior of the
church which was covered in artifacts, paintings and rugs carpeting the floors. We really want to come back and make an appointment to visit the inside with more light! If you also want to visit this Russian inspired area of Florence ( and you should ) , than the info is below.
Russian Orthodox Church of the Nativity of Christ
viale Giovanni Milton and via Leone X
For mass schedule and visits by appointment, call 055/490148.
Part two of our adventure this Sunday began with us heading back towards the Fortezza di Basso to check out the antique fair held outside in the garden/pond area surrounding the fortress. Called the Fortezza Antiquaria, this interesting fair is held very third Sunday of the month. This is the first time I have ever been and I really love any antiques so we were really happy to wonder around and see what spoils they had on offer. I saw old record players, antique jewelry, beautiful white birdcages, furniture, knives, creepy dolls and basically anything an avid antique collector would love. Of course I wanted to buy everything ( especially a gorgeous owl ring for only 8 euros ) but I managed to restrain myself somehow.
I wasn’t kidding about the creepy dolls ( see above – also includes a basket full of the seven dwarfs and 90’s-era troll dolls ) but I absolutely loved the drawers pictured above, though I was too scared to ask for the price. We also went inside the Fortezza because they had the salone di mobile aka furniture fair going on for those who love innovative interior design. One thing I didn’t like was the overload of white leather couches , seriously that’s just asking for trouble.
There was also a special area of Asian-inspired furniture which was really unique; including a colorful lantern that was begging me “buy me buy me” and hang in my house. The fortezza usually has some really cool fairs and trade shows throughout the year so I will do my best to post the info on my blog since they are usually worth the minimal entrance fee (norm is around 5 euros ).
Another successful passeggiata completed, we headed back to the car before Firenze parcheggi could completely screw us over in hourly parking fees and headed home to sort out my laundry covered house, listen to my obnoxious neighbors blaring tv (he is a staunch fan of Rai 1) and make my lunch for work tomorrow. Sunday Funday completed