On day three we dragged ourselves and our hangovers 😳out of bed and headed over to San Marco to look at the Fra Angelico frescoes 🎨. It was a pleasant trip, with only a small tussle on the way in (they wouldn’t believe Harry was under 26 – 2 euros entry rather than 4 euros, gotta count those pennies 💵) and a stern telling off by a lady in fur, for giggling too much in the cloisters 👯.
We made our way through the rain to the Medici Chapel ⛪️, and had a quick look at the Michaelangelo chapel … Lunch was in Trattoria Katti and we drank prosecco because we were in Italy and it was Jamie’s birthday. They were really very kind to us, as more and more party members kept appearing, and they very patiently added more tables and fed us more pasta 🍝.
After lunch some went to watch the Rugby 🏉(WELL DONE SCOTLAND) and Alice, James and I headed over to Santa Croce, and I finally got a hot chocolate ☕️🍫 in Finisterrae – the proper thick soupy kind. A number of people have noted that my ‘no sugar for lent’ appears to not be going very well, and you are quite right. I have reined it back a little in since arriving home from Italy and am endeavouring to eat less sugar not no sugar…. 😇
Anyway, we went into Santa Croce ⛪️ which is marvellous – it is huge on on the inside, and I am so pleased we went. I love Brunelleschi’s Pazzi Chapel, it’s so pretty 💙 and we wandered about undercover with the rain 💧pattering down outside.
Next it was time to go home and change for the ball 👗 – we had to start getting ready early each day ‘Meet in the lobby at 5.45pm’ and with barely time to wash hair 💆, paint nails 💅 and and put on a dress 👗 we ordered taxis that whisked us towards the Piazza della Signoria. Unfortunately we had been straightening 💇 our hair too long – and we were supposed to be following a procession of pipers from Piazza della Republica to Piazza della Signoria. We caught up with them outside the Palazzo Vecchio just in time to hear the piper pipe from the balcony of the Palazzo Vecchio 🏤🎶.
We entered the Palazzo Vecchio and had drinks 🍸 in the first courtyard downstairs, thankfully no rain. We drank something that look suspiciously like anti-freeze 💙 but was very pleasant. And then we were ushered into the Salone dei Cinquecento which is truly magnificent 🏰. It was built by Simone del Pollaiolo in 1494, commissioned by the Savonarola to be the seat of the Grand Council which consisted of 500 members – rather fitting as supposedly we were 500 Scots in total. It is a very large room, and wikipedia tells me the measurements are – length 52 m (170 ft) and width 23 m (75ft). Rumour has it, it is the largest ballroom in Europe, and this was the first time a ball has been held there for 300 years💃.
So we were very lucky indeed, and after a slight table debacle 😳, I had one of those evenings that doesn’t happen that often. It was so just so splendid from the beautiful dinner 🍝, to reeling 💃 the night away including possibly the best Mairi’s Wedding ever 👯 (we are sorry if we spoiled the filming 🎥, but we did dance step perfect, just adding some extra flourishes…my fave was the fax machine 📠..). There was also an announcement half way through the evening along the lines of ‘please don’t leave your wine glasses on the Michaelangelo statues 🍸🗽’. It really was a super super evening with the Italian national anthem 🇮🇹 and God Save the Queen 👑 being sang at the very end. And it didn’t quite end there 😊.
We decided to follow the crowds and headed to the cluub 💃 which was full of kilt and ball gown clad Scots and some bemused Italians and partied the night away until 6am. I think you will be pleased to hear that we all made it onto our flights ✈️ the next day, although we did accidentally leave Jamie on the train platform 🚂 at Gatwick – poor boy is never going to travel with us ever again.
It was THE most fantastic couple of days – thank you so much Dena and the Scots in Italy team for organising it all and making it happen, we had the absolute best time, and are really very sad to be home again. Can’t wait for the next reel 😊 😊💃