I'm enjoying my apartment more and more and realizing how fortunate I am to have found such a gem. It's a rare thing to have a terrace and abundant sunlight, not to mention having a sense of tranquility and privacy in the centro storico (historical center) of Firenze. Since I have access to another apartment to take showers for a few days, I can compare my place with another one that I had considered renting from the same agency.
The other apartment is darker, with only north windows that face the street. No sunlight will ever stream in through the windows! It's on the second floor, so the street noise can be heard through the windows. It has the same amount of space, but more furniture (unnecessary for me). It does have a nicer bathroom, with a bathtub, but I'd rather have the terrace, quiet and lots of sun! I chose the place based on a few photos... I sure feel lucky!
Here's a link to an album of photos of the apartment:
I'm on the fourth floor, with easy access by an ascensore (elevator), another unusual convenience in this part of town. There's a supermercato (a glorified convenience store, with all the essentials) one block away, a gelateria (with gelato made fresh each day) across the street, and the open market at Sant'Ambrogio is only a 5-minute walk. I can also easily walk to the Duomo, the train station, Santa Croce, Ponte Vecchio, and other famous sites within 10 minutes.
I've been walking at least an hour each morning, and go out again for the passeggiata, or evening stroll that is common in most parts of Italy, walking a different route each time.
Last night I strolled over to Piazza Santa Croce, where a woman was singing arias in the center of the square, and those of us privileged to be there were enthralled by the power and beauty of her voice. Incredible acoustics! Now I understand why so many concerts are held in that piazza...the sound reverberates off of the buildings that surround it, including the magnificent church, Santa Croce, where the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo and Dante reside (though Dante is actually buried in Ravenna, where he died in exile).