Thoughts, quirky insights and experiences in my meandering life.

Big things and little things

My third set of visitors have come and gone. Anne Pearson, a high school friend who now lives in Australia, and her daughter Kathryn, who is already a world traveler at 22. I hadn’t seen Anne since the early 90’s. What a treat.

That is a Bellini that Anne is drinking, of Harry’s Bar fame in Venice. Anne brought me gin from Australia, Ink Gin.

Anne says the colour change is something to do with the pH of the tonic, but I prefer to think it is magic. And it tastes delicious. Was that a big thing, or a little thing, hard to tell.

Doors in Florence are huge, impressive things……..

This is from the Baptistry next to the Duomo. It is a copy, maybe even a second copy and the detail is amazing. It is three dimensional, and I believe the original was probably covered in quite a bit of gold. You can tell the dimensions by the height of the people. Pretty hard to get a picture with no tourists unless you get up in the middle of the night and set up lights.

The vehicles, on the other hand, are small.

Yep, two people in a three wheeler pick-up truck. The streets are small, and gas prices are high, at least twice the cost in Canada.

Cars are just as creative. I believe this one was electric. A two seater.

A twizy, made by Renault, seats one. I have seen quite a few of these around town. But back to those doors…..

Our school doors, closed and open. The school is housed in a monastery which was built by the Medici and given to the church. Now, why would they do that, they didn’t get a tax receipt to write off against their taxes.

Well, the Medici were money lenders, as one of the school employees put it, they rented out money, which as we know Catholics were not supposed to do. So to soften up God, and the Church, they gave them real estate, and I am sure many other material gifts. Probably also hoped it reduced their time in purgatory, a now abandoned concept, but very much a threat held over peoples heads back then.

A bit like the sanctuary knocker of Durham Cathedral.
The amazing thing is, these doors are used all the time!
Entrances to inner sanctums are pretty interesting too.

My door and my hosts, Elana and Alessandro. They have recently taken over this building, have renovated and upgraded it. Domus Plaza, they are with, or is it! Very centrally located. Ok, yes, this is a plug for them. Lovely young enterprising couple.

Italy fact: A lot of people smoke here. In England they vape, here it is good old tobacco.


Meanwhile, back at the Scoula del Cuoio


Last day of Leather School.


  1. Pat

    Love all the doors , I so many pictures of doors ❤️ Looks like you are still having an amazing time . Enjoy Maggie

    • Maggie

      And I hardly included any of the pictures I have taken of doors. So many are so impressive, and as I said, used all the time. Often they lead to an inner courtyard, and I wish I could explore more of those, where the community life takes place I think. I have always loved the idea of an enclosed courtyard.

  2. Cynthia

    Lovely distraction from school prep. Miss you more than ever.

    • Maggie

      Hi Cynthia,
      I have been thinking of you all for several weeks now, and particularly on Tuesday as the treadmill kicked up a notch for the fall semester. Another school year underway. I will be back in October to set up my new home, will have to plan a visit.

  3. Anne Pearson

    Such fun

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