Return to Tavanti

by Rebecca Bricker on December 3, 2011

Ciao from FIRENZE!

I opened the tall louvered shutters this morning at the crack of dawn. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m rarely up at the crack of anything. But I’m in the grips of jet lag, so when the birds woke me at 5:30, I had to open the shutters to greet them. It’s the Italian way to start the day.

I love the shutters of Florence. Some swing wide in an open-arm embrace. Some kick out, allowing the air to come in, but not the light. There are sliding shutters that disappear into the wall.


I’m staying with my friend Gaya, near Via Tavanti. She lives in a building that’s elegantly Old World, with a stone facade and a winding central stairwell with iron-and-wood bannisters. Her spacious apartment has high ceilings with a Murano glass chandelier in the dining room…

and radiators that have little boxes where you’re meant to put bricks to warm your bed. I tuck my jammies and bedsocks into the warming box in my room.



Although it’s December, the weather is sunny and mild…and the mosquitoes haven’t fled yet for the winter. The mosquito nets are tied up artfully over the beds at Gaya’s place. Last night, I was tempted to untie mine and take shelter from the mosquito that was dive-bombing my left ear.

It’s a beautiful morning with lots of blue sky. There’s a Mercato di Natale (Christmas market) in a nearby piazza today. Heading off to check it out…

Tonight I’m having a little dinner party at La Giostra for some of the characters in the book…stay tuned.


Kathleen Pooler December 3, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Once again,you’ve captured the magic of Italia and its people as you revisit Florence. I’m loving these updates as the scenes from Tales from Tavanti are still alive in my mind.I’m staying tuned. Enjoy and keep writing!

Pat December 4, 2011 at 7:49 am

Welcome back abroad! Enjoying following your adventures. Your great eye for detail helps me to see Europe anew again after living over hear for 30 years. Closing shutters for the night is also the tradition in France. The neighbors in Switzerland call our house, “Fort Knox” because we still bat down the hatches at dusk.

Nora December 4, 2011 at 10:18 pm

You picked a perfect time to return to Tavanti. All of the storm und drang stayed here to give you clear passage. Enjoy and keep those cards, letter and blog posts coming.

Sarah McKee December 4, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Off to warm my jammies under the electric foot heater. Nowhere as delightful as your built-in brick warmer!

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