I have definitely been looking for ways to beat the heat this summer! With no air conditioning in the house, and temperatures during the day of 95 degrees, a place to cool off is important! Located in my beloved Cascine Park, where I ride my bike, is a beautiful oasis!

For 8 euro during the week and 10 on the weekends, you can spend the day in this lovely place. We bought a “membership card” this year that costs 65 euro and gets you 10 visits. There is a bar with reasonably priced sandwiches, salads, and wine! There are locker rooms and showers, and for 4 euro additional you can rent a chair. The place looks like new and is clean and well kept. There are sometimes a lot of children there, but they are well behaved and not too loud and pretty much confined to the shallow area.

What a great find!

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The piazza closest to where we live is Santa Maria Novella. I have written before about how they have installed lovely rose-lined beds of green in the piazza. Green is not prevalent in Florence so it is lovely to come upon in the city of stone.
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Recently, they’ve taken away the chicken wire fences and replaced them with lovely permanent wrought iron. They look elegant, modern, and artistic. I sure hope that people respect these borders and don’t cross over to lie in the grass, or allow their dog to soil the lawns!
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The two obelisks are currently under restoration, but even so, the piazza looks lovely!


Night time in Florence is my favorite! It’s like living in a wonderful dream or a fairy tale kingdom. The nights are cool with usually a breeze. The sky is clear and the lighting romantic and soft. The tourists are for the most part fast asleep or preparing for their next day of sightseeing. All that is left are the night owls and the beautiful dimly lit alleyways, bridges, and piazzas.

Crowds of people gather in the piazzas for socializing or listening to music, but outside the piazzas it is peaceful and quiet. There is nothing like sitting on the steps of the Duomo, or in the tree lined piazza of Santo Spirito to bring a quiet reflective close to another day in Paradise.