Friday, March 26, 2010


After two months of grey days, beautiful weather finally came to Paris. A brilliant sun illuminated the clear Parisian sky and the monuments of Paris sparkled in the warm spring air. The break in the weather came a bit late for us since we saw this lovely spectacle from the window of our airplane as we left Paris. We were, however, bound for Pisa - that beautiful faded jewel of a city on the banks of the historic Arno River; Pisa -  with its ochre and honey-colored palazzos that shimmer under the famous Tuscan sun.

About an hour into the flight, we looked down onto the majestic pure white Alps, still covered in the abundant snows of winter. Then, a curtain descended; the sky became thick with clouds and the Alps disappeared from view. 

It was snowing in Pisa when we landed in 100-kilometer an hour headwinds. The door to the terminal was locked and no one seemed able to find the key. As we huddled together on the windy tarmac, people began to search for hats and scarves buried in the bottom of suitcases, put there with the belief that they certainly would not be needed in sunny Tuscany. Finally, the key was found, our bags collected and we walked out of the terminal into the warm light of friendly smiles.

Ten minutes later, we were in front of our new home, a fourth-floor apartment in a building that was once part of a nearby convent. Just off the medieval Borgo Stretto, our little vicolo is so narrow that from the living room window, it's almost possible to touch the house across the street. The real beauty is behind the building, where flowered balconies and gardens are alive with bird song.

It stayed cold for a couple of days and a big blizzard paralyzed the north of the country.  We stocked our apartment with supplies to withstand the siege: prosciutto, pecorino cheese, roasted eggplant, seafood salad and biscotti. In the morning, we had our coffee at  Salza, a  beautiful bar and pasticceria  that is on the List of Historic Places of Italy. A friend, one of the unsung great cooks of Italy, invited us for dinner and made a simple, creamy perfect risotto.  Things were definitely looking up.

Yesterday, the warm weather arrived. We turned off the heat and opened the windows. On lines suspended high above the ground, we hung our freshly-washed clothes out to dry. They joined others strung above the courtyard in a bright colorful display. The Piazza Garibaldi became a meeting place for crowds of smiling people eating gelato in big waffle cones. Tourists appeared in shorts and t-shirts (even though it's not that warm). The tables on the terraces of restaurants and cafes, especially on the sunny sides of the streets, filled with people, and the melodious sound of Italian echoed off the medieval buildings. 

It's springtime in Pisa.

To see more photos, click here.

                                                    A presto,

Photos by Geraldine Calisti Kaylor


  1. If the Italian tourism bureau doesn't hire you in some capacity or other, they are, pardon my Italian, nutso!

    John Woodford

  2. Haaaa--I agree with John. My personal email address is "loveitaly@..." so you know I'm enjoying this! Lovely stories and photos. What a fabulous place to be. I have a beautiful scarf I bought in Pisa that I love...


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