Italy truly is a family affair. Not just in the wine business, but it seems in other areas too. Booking hotels in a foreign country can be interesting to say the least. You go by reviews, photos, and proximity to places you want to see. After being in Rome, Florence was a walkable city, so I chose something close to everything, making it easy to get from place to place.
After getting turned around somewhat on our first day, we finally found Hotel Aldobrandini, tucked away in a corner of a small piazza. After a small ascensore took us up a couple of flights, there was yet another set of steps to climb up in order to reach the front door of the hotel. Please understand that the word ‘hotel’ in Italy, is used mildly. This was no 5-star wonder with every amenity one could think of. This was your basic one room with 2 beds, a chair and a lamp kind of room. Ok, there were 2 lamps…and a small desk, but clearly this was less than creature comforts. A saving grace for this room though, was a very large window that looked out onto the street below.
The door of the bathroom didn’t quite close, there was a hole in it, and the sliding doors of the shower didn’t quite slide(as I’m adjusting them whilst IN the shower!) But after I came out of the shower, I saw my daughter, with her head out that huge window, listening as the restaurant owners clamoured for people to come sit down and eat, watching locals and tourists alike move up and down the street, the cacaphony of several different languages being spoken, and me just watching her take it all in. You see, it didn’t matter that we had to climb up a very narrow spiral staircase with 40 lb luggage, or that the bathroom door didn’t quite close, that the shower doors were askew, or that it took a special touch to flush the toilet. Watching her, and listening to her relay information about what was happening below, I knew she didn’t care either. (She was quite amused by the country music being played!) She was here. In Italy. Crossing that somewhere off of her list that she really wanted to be. We had seen the Colosseum, threw coins in the Trevi fountain, viewed the ancient crypts and catacombs, rode horses through the vineyards of Chianti, ate gelato everyday, climbed the medieval city streets of San Gimignano, looked over the city of Florence, saw the magnificent David, the works of Botticelli, Michelangelo, Donatello and Titian. We leaned up against Pisa, imagined the Palio race while standing in the middle of Piazza del Campo, visited a real life castle, drove a little Fiat like the locals, ate pizza, pasta and more gelato. There were tons of pictures taken, smiles, laughs, some good wine with dinner, and I hope, memories to last a lifetime!
But really, I am the blessed one. It was such a pleasure to bring my daughter to this country that I’m learning to love very much, and to see the wonder in her eyes at each new sight. She even tasted and sipped wine with me (and quite likes Prosecco!) it is a privilege to be her mom and to have spent this time with her. I’d give her Hotel Aldobrandini every day if I could.
As I say goodbye to her very early tomorrow, I will miss her. I’ll miss having her by my side and I’ll miss giving her that kiss every morning to wake her! Buon viaggio back to Canada my sweet girl! ☺️ Salute!