Arriving in Florence Italy

Our hosts, Nicoletta and Roberto, call me “Terri” just like my step-son-in-law who is from Malan, Italy. They said that the people of Florence like to welcome their guests and how true we have found this to be. They met us at a small train station in the industrial west side of the city and gave us a full tour on our way to the southern edges. We were presented with gifts of Easter cake, wine and coffee for the espresso machine. Yes, I did still sleep last night after doing some taste-testing before they took me to get a few groceries which in hindsight I should have made a bigger shop. But, oh well!

Today, when we were shopping for a larger supply of sustenance, strangers readily helped me several times until I was able to independently work the weighing machine in the produce section.  In the stores we have been to in Italy, the buyer weighs their own produce and a purchase slip is then created by the machine and you stick it on the bag of produce for the cashier. Quite handy really and efficient when you get to the checkout.

A little while after that I was enthusiastically given tips about the area by a fellow motor-bike riding local photographer. Needless to say, we are finding the people of Florence the warmest, most friendly and inviting hosts in our travels so far. Granted, we are a bit off the tourist map. Just the same – we feel we are at home in less than 24 hours. The view across the valley last evening didn’t hurt either…

view across valley in south Florence by Terrill Welch 2014_04_24 016

It is the end of the day as I walk around the yard exploring and looking.

end of the day in south Florence by Terrill Welch 2014_04_24 024

Someplace a little further to the left of this, I am told that Galileo’s observatory can be seen through the trees in the winter. I haven’t spotted it yet but it isn’t for lack of trying. It is warm here but not hot like in the summer when is common to have 40 degrees Celsius.

We are staying alongside a narrow one-way street that runs along a hill and is part of the old via Romana or old road to Rome from Florence. The street is now called via del Podesta.

old via Romana by Terrill Welch 2014_04_24 063

One of the side roads has poppies blooming along the edge of the stone wall…

poppies by a stone wall in Florence Italy  by Terrill Welch 2014_04_24 077

and a great view which I will show you on our return.

We walked over the top and down the other side to get our groceries for the next two days as tomorrow, April 25th ,  is Liberation Day in Italy, a national holiday. The country commemorates the day that the nation was liberated from Nazi Germany. This means most everything is closed.

The country commemorates the day that the nation was liberated from Nazi Germany. – See more at:

While shopping, I haven’t had so much fun in a long time. Our hosts had taken me the evening before with their car so I would know where to find the store. I only had a small amount of cash on me so just got enough for supper and breakfast. As we were returning they told me about the national holiday. I knew then that our main task for today was going to be to get a few more things to eat. Well, the great little store with fresh produce and oven-fired bread was packed shoppers. We jostled our way through with the locals who were laughing and joking and being helpful all at the same time. It was a hoot! When we finally got ourselves out on the street again with our pull-cart full of supplies, I told David, we couldn’t get a better experience of local life than shopping on the last day before a national holiday in a neighbourhood store. But, I assure you, now that we are back up the hill and have the provisions tucked away, anything we forgot, we are going to live without 😉

I didn’t take my camera with me but right around noon walked back to that place with the wonderful view.

landscape of churches south of Florence Italy by Terrill Welch 2014_04_24 121

This is when I ran into a fellow photographer on his motor bike and he gave me a bit of a rundown on other places to check out in the area. He was born and raised in this neighbourhood but had also made a trip to an island of the Pacific Northwest of the United States so he had some idea what it was like where I was from.

In conclusion, I have decided that my Italian name is Terri and to say it properly you have to roll the “r” just slightly – not too much and leave the emphasis on the “i” and give it more of a long “e” sound. It is very pretty said this way and I will answer to it without a moment’s hesitation.


What is your name in another language that you might like to be called?


is ‘Liberation Day’ in Italy, a national holiday.

The country commemorates the day that the nation was liberated from Nazi Germany. 

– See more at:

is ‘Liberation Day’ in Italy, a national holiday.

The country commemorates the day that the nation was liberated from Nazi Germany. 

– See more at:

is ‘Liberation Day’ in Italy, a national holiday.

The country commemorates the day that the nation was liberated from Nazi Germany. 

– See more at:

© 2014 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Creative Potager – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

For gallery and purchase information about Terrill’s photographs and paintings go to

20 thoughts on “Arriving in Florence Italy

  1. Ah, I’ve finally caught up with you. I’ve enjoyed reading your updates but haven’t had an opportunity to comment.
    To answer: Unfortunately, ‘Leanne’ doesn’t translate. But I long to drop the replace the first ‘i’ in my middle name and proudly claim my Icelandic heritage to become Leanne Olavia–even though spell check doesn’t seem to like it. : )
    May you continue to enjoy your travels, Terri.

    • Thanks Leanne and I like the Olavia addition. One of the fun things about this trip is seeing places referred to by their the name of their native country or by the country we are leaving from. I knew this but it is not the same as having to remember what it is called right then and there so that you get on the right train! This is partly what got me thinking that I could have an Italian name.

    • We are Shirley for sure. The haze is something else. I mean we get a bit on the coast now and again but nothing like in Italy. I always thought those old paintings of landscapes were being overly romantic and generous with the “atmosphere” quality but it is truly like that here! What a wonderful discovery. I am so glad you are enjoying the posts. Today being a national holiday is going to be a good day for a long walk on the narrow streets I think.

  2. Oh Terrrrrrrrrrrrrrri! (rolled ‘r’s), how wonderful your experience in Italy so far, full of amazing and friendly people! How I have enjoyed following your bog of travels, which leaves me with smiles and chuckles – and memories. When one has such a great experience, it leaves you with a hope that as humanity, we are really good people who want to make another persons experience precious and heartfelt.
    My name? When I spent a month in Taiwan, they could not say the ‘r’ in Barbara, so my name became “Bapaila”, meaning flower or chrysanthemum.
    Big Hugs to you both! :o) Barbara

    • Oh I like that Bapaila sounds just perfect for you. And this kind of travel certainly does remind us that there are good people everywhere. One of the things I enjoy is understanding what is being said by tone and body language and not the words themselves. It is usually little things like a parent scolding a child for getting to close to the edge of the street or something. But it is fun to see how humans are humans everywhere – even while we are uniquely different at the same time.

  3. Yes, I do think going to the grocery is a good experience when arriving in a new place. It does allow one to get acquainted quickly.
    Your pictures are just wonder full and make me want to visit there myself. I am glad it is not too hot. Can you walk most places?

    Thank you for sharing your journey/adventure – how nice to have hosts to greet you. I can smell the bread!

    I don’t know if I would have another name – I would assume maybe just an accent change because we all study the Greek Patricians sometime along the way- and they established the sound – even my Asian friends have the same pronunciation.

    Happy days continue – could you take a picture of some of the fruit, veggies and bread 🙂

    • I will see what I can do about food photos Patricia. There is an open market on Saturday and maybe that will work. Yes, you can walk from here to the city centre in 30 minutes or so or take the bus and arrive in 10 minutes. Everyone walks in Europe no matter the age or ability. I have pointed this out to David. Even people with obviously bad hips and knees as they age still step it out at a good pace. I think it is a matter of having built up the walking muscles from regular use their whole lives so even when the bones start to give way they still have the muscles to keep them mobile. It is great to see and a huge benefit to eating pasta and bread regularly;)

  4. Love following your travels through Europe. I lived in Italy for three years. The locals couldn’t quite get around my name, Teri, so instead called me Teresa. To this day I love to hear myself addressed to as.. Teresa. Toscana….perfecto!!!

    • I never though of Teresa as an option Teri. I that Terrill is basically an impossible but that beautiful way of saying Terri seems to be okay. Maybe it depends on the part of Italy I am in.I will keep Teresa as a back up option.

  5. Just a quick note to let you know I’m following your beautiful European Adventure posts, but I can’t always comment. Today I happen to be in San Diego (Cardiff by the Sea) for my niece’s wedding.

  6. Terrill, I loved reading about your grocery shopping. It brought back many happy memories of learning to weigh vegies, pronouncing names of food products very slowly to the applause of charming locals. Food shopping was one of our favourite activities for the three weeks we spent there – so glad you are doing this!

    • Hi Liz, welcome to Creative Potager and I know what you mean about the difference in names. I walked the farm here yesterday with the son of our hosts who is studying agriculture and wants to do organic farming on the 2.47 acres. We had a lot of fun with the names of things. The place we are staying used to be one property with the on attached to it. The side we are on was always the farm where the workers lived, the grain was thrashed and ground and then baked in an outdoor oven that is still here and the veggies and fruit were grown to serve the villa that is attached to this side by a wall. The property was divided by two inheriting siblings. The family’s property we are staying in took the farm. Which as been renovated to be more like a villa with its apartments now serving guests.

  7. Jealous – that is what you can call me. I looooooooovvvvvveeeeeeee Florence (I’m rolling my v’s here). Our daughter spent her junior year abroad here – and on our first visit to this amazing city, she gave us a week’s tour including all that she had learned in 9 months. I became enchanted forever.
    Enjoy Terri –

    • I can see why this would be a great place to set a film. Everything is so close and intimate even though there are a lot of small cars. I was just saying to my son and grandson in a letter today Sam that it is a place designed to travel on foot. Trains and cars came later.

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