Friday, May 8, 2015

Trip to Italy - Florence

Oh, Florence! What a wonderful place. The birth of the Renaissance. For anyone who loves art, Florence is the place to go. Florence was actually our first home in Italy and every second was lovely.

On the first day, we walked around aimlessly seeing the sites and stopped for dinner at an ok (but not great) tourist trap. Despite the fact that dinner was marginal, just walking around in Florence is a thrill. Every inch of Florence is art and the Piazzas are packed full of street performers and musicians. Because of the street musicians I will forever associate the song Time to Say Goodbye with my trip to Florence.

Our first full day in Florence was spend on a walking tour of the city. Though the tour wasn't great (see the post about the tours), it gave us some sense of direction. In the days that followed, we went to the Gallery of the Academy, the Uffizi Gallery, all of the cathedrals/churches, the Palazzo Medici Riccardi, all of the Piazzas, and the Ponte Vecchio.

At the Gallery of the Academy we saw the David, Michelangelo's masterpiece, up close and personal. It is an amazing sculpture and absolutely massive. The David is truly a masterpiece (and yes, his hands are very big for his body but I will make no comment about the part of his body that is considered very small :)). We walked through the rest of the Gallery of the Academy too and I took some pictures, but it was mostly full of religious Renaissance paintings - which aren't really my thing.

The Uffizi museum, however, was wonderful! There were a ton of sculptures (sculpture is my thing) and I was able to see a couple of paintings that were very cool. First, I saw the Birth of Venus by Botticelli. It is a beautiful painting. I also got to see (up close and personal) two paintings by Leonardo DiVinci. Though I wasn't familiar with these works before this trip, it was a thrill to see his work in person.

On the second night in Florence, we had dinner at a wonderful restaurant - though I cannot remember the name of the place. It was lovely, the food was excellent, and the wait staff was wonderful in every way!

I think my favorite part was seeing the Dante related things. Of course, as a Dan Brown fan, I read Inferno and honestly that had a little to do with it. But, I am also an avid reader of the classics and have read the Divine Comedy as well. So, we went to Dante's home, saw his death mask in the Palazzo Vecchio, and visited Beatrice's church where the 'love lost' leave letters Beatrice asking for help. As heartbreaking side, my younger daughter left a letter behind asking Beatrice to tell our recently departed dog, Daisy, we love her and miss her.

The historic center of  Florence is relatively small and you can walk everywhere and that we did! There was so much to see from the massive Doumo at Florence's main cathedral to the Ponte Vecchio to the Palazzo Medici Riccardi. Florence is wonderful! Beauty at every turn - lovely buildings, cobblestone streets... just wonderful.

Now for the pictures... Here are the pictures of Florence (there are a LOT of them)


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