After Monday (the 21st) we had two more full days before the Big Day :-) These days were spent dodging rain showers and downpours, showing family and friends all over Florence, eating lots of gelato, window shopping, and shreaking with glee!
Some of the highlights include showing our parents and friends Piazzale Michelangelo (some of the best views of the city) and San Miniato. Neither Alex nor I had ever been to this amazing Florentine church before, and I could kick myself for it. It has topped the list of my favorite churches in all of Italy. The gardens and cemetery surrounding the church were all so beautiful to begin with....and then once you enter the dark yet peaceful cathedral (which is free btw) you can't help but be awestruck. If I'm not mistaken the church was resurrected in 1081 A.D. and all other churches in Florence were modeled after it.
On Tuesday Alex and I met with our wedding planner, Helga Marcks to finish up the rest of our paperwork so we could legally get married in Italy and for it to be recognized everywhere else. We started at the American Consulate, then hightailed it to another office clear on the other side of town, and finally ended at Palazzo Vecchio where we were to be married just two days later. Helga was a dream, we fell in love with her, just so sweet and genuine. We'll be sure to stay in touch with her for many years to come :-)
Soon after we had the second Bufa reunion since we left Florence in Fall 2004 with Alec (my "Best Woman") and Rachel! To those not in the know let me explain the term "Bufa" real quick. Alex and his other 6 rommates lived on Via Bufalini......thus was born the "Bufa" name! We all met on Ponte Vecchio in a squealing fashion. I was so excited about it and overwhelmed that I even shed a few tears. For lunch we enjoyed ourselves at Il Rifrullo, which was recommended by Erin from the "Olive Notes." The appetizer we shared was fantastic!
That night we enjoyed the meal of our lives. All families and guests met at Il Latini, a restaurant I've heard so much about ever since before my first trip to Italy, compliments of Rachel Ray and many others. We were able to find it thanks to mapquest and waited outside for maybe 15 minutes before being ushered inside. May I add that while we waited we were served HUGE wedges of pecorino cheese and great vino bianco (white wine). Right as we say down the food just started rolling out, hard and fast :-) It's one of those places where you don't even dare to open your mouth and refuse.....and menus?!?!? Who needs them??? First came huge "pornographic" (as my twin says) amounts of proscuitto. Then came pastas and soups. Alex and I both couldn't stop talking about the penne con bolognese! It was like a dream! Then came the meat, I tried rabbit for the first time and couldn't get over how moist and how much it was like....well....chicken! So many other things came before the delectable and lucious (mmmm lucious) desserts. There were so many alcoholic beverages crowding the tables, liquors, house wines, sweet wines, limoncello, you name it it was there. I don't think anyone will forget the epic meal that was Il Latini, I highly HIGHLY recommend the place!
Wednesday was spent like many of the previous days. Sightseeing with friends and family. We revisited the Medici Chapel in San Lorenzo and oooed and awwed over some more works of MIchelangelo's. We also made a visit to Mercato Centrale and did some shopping for our apartment. I just love walking around there and speaking with the shop keepers. It's so fun and everything is so unbelievable fresh!
My good friend and old roommate Shauna and her friend A.J. arrived in Florence Wednesday afternoon as well. We met them in a piazza and bee lined it to Sad Gelato Man on Via Faenza. While there we took some unforgetable pictures and ate some unforgetable gelato. Then it was off to Art Bar to drink and eat fruity, smoothie like alcoholic beverages.....we spent our last night as single people perfectly!