St John the Baptist Day

Wednesday was our last day in Florence or Firenze as it is called by Italians; it was also a national holiday day in honour of St John the Baptist.  According to Wikipedia………..the Gospel of Luke states that John was born about six months before Jesus; therefore, the feast of John the Baptist was fixed on 24 June, six months before Christmas Eve. This feast day is one of the very few saints’ days which commemorates the anniversary of the birth, rather than the death, of the saint being honored.  The feast of St John the Baptist has been celebrated in Florence from medieval times. St John the Baptist is the patron saint of Genoa, Florence and Turin where a fireworks display takes place during the celebration on the river.

Mr L and I spent the morning revisiting the Central Market with its meat, vegetable, fish and deli stalls.

Central Market stalls

Central Market stalls


A bright and cheery indoor market where we spotted the baby lamb who had donated its skin to make my leather jacket!

Spot the baby lamb!

Spot the baby lamb!

We ventured upstairs not expecting much, but found a huge food hall/restaurant area full of both locals and tourists eating lunch and drinking wine.  Up in the far left hand corner is a cookery school with budding Italian cookery chefs having their lesson. All in all quite an amazing place.

Spot the baby lamb!

Spot the baby lamb!

I wanted to revisit a lovely little clothes shop just over the other side of the Ponte Vecchio as I had seen a summer dress and a few other bits in there that I had my eye on. Mr Lo was sent off to amuse himself for 10 minutes so I could have a little browse. Once in the shop I bumped into Miss A and Mr D – well Miss A and I managed to completely ignore each other despite walking by one another, it was Mr D who spotted me! Mr D then went off to find Mr L so Miss A and I could shop……..I got the summer dress and a t-shirt I wanted and Miss A is now the proud owner of 2 gorgeous Italian dresses for her bridesmaids. A most successful shop!

There was a firework display planned for 10pm because of the holiday so we ate early at our local trattoria before walking back into the city centre. I managed to trip on an uneven paving stone and broke the thong on my glitzy silver flip flops which meant I had to hobble around and hang onto an arm for the rest of the evening. We made it down to the Arno just in time for the firework display which started at 10pm and went on for 30 minutes – it was a long display of distinctly average fireworks, a shorter display with bigger fireworks would have been better.

Firework display over River Arno (Miss A's photo - thank you)

Firework display over River Arno (Miss A’s photo – thank you)

We had aimed to try and get a bus or taxi back to the apartment but we had missed the last bus home and could not fathom how to get a taxi as you cannot hail a cab as such. We ended up hobbling/walking back for the final time – Mr L moaned a lot at having to walk back……again!!!

Steps walked = 23,534/16.7km


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