So, having escaped from the elevator of doom (our mishap was possibly caused by the brief power outage there) we stashed our luggage in our rooms and once more ventured out into the pouring rain.
Sara especially wanted to show me an old bridge that was the special site of gold and silver workers, something she has a family connection to. We hurried far too fast through streets lined with the booths and tents of vendors of leather and scarves and all sorts of other merchandise. The rain poured down on us and also pattered down from the sloping roofs of the stalls. The umbrellas were everywhere! Finally, we decided we would stop and have a bit of food before venturing on. No pizza, but excellent salads with chicken and cheese in them.
Then, to our surprise, the rain suddenly stopped. We hurried out into the streets for a whirlwind foot tour of Florence. I filled my eyes with as much of the city as I could comprehend, and as Sara had promised, the bridge was definitely a sight I will always remember. Even now, I feel like my brain is storing and processing all I saw.
Then, off we went to the bookstore, Melbrookstore. My presenter was Chiara Mininni (who just happens to be connected to BloodMemories!) and my interpreter was Valentina Marianini. Chiara had taken many notes and made a wonderful presentation of my work while Valentina quickly and competently translated not only the presentation, but the questions from the audience and then my replies. After the presentation, during the signing of the books, I was presented with a framed Thank You from NOX. I signed a book that had been purchased with their shared funds that would be made available at the fantasy related public library at Empoli, in Florence. I cannot think of a greater comliment to a writer than readers who want to share the books!
And again, we had a late night wander in the city! I have enjoyed the book presentations, but I must admit that what I have enjoyed the most have been walking through the streets with readers and book store people, hearing what they think of the city and the sights, and often sharing wonderful meals with them. Those events, I think, are what I will remember most and longest about my visit. Such warm welcomes.