Saturday, November 10, 2012

Florence is wonderful the 2nd time around!

       The 4 of us (Pat Reid, Pat Kelley, my sister Jean and I) arrived in Florence yesterday, had lunch, did S. Maria Novella and got a cab to our apartment, a spacious 3 bedroom flat on the third floor of a building with no elevator. (sigh)
     The girls went shopping and the boys went on a recon mission to see what we would do the next day. We met up and had a wonderful dinner at "Il Gatto e il Volpe" and, climbing the 4 flights of stairs yet again, crashed for the night. I say crashed and not slept because our flat is right across the street from a bar popular with the American students in Florence, who like to party until 4 AM!!!!
      So, we decide that today would begin at S. Croce, which is a gorgeous Franciscan church which houses multiple works by Giotto as well as the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo, Rossini and a memorial to Dante. There was a special exhibit of marble samples on display in the piazza in front of the church. No, it has not been snowing.....the ground was covered with marble "gravel"
The memorial to Dante in Santa Croce

The tomb of Michelangelo in Santa Croce

    We went into a museum attached to the church and saw an artist who has done wonderful wood cut designs. I WANTED these carvings (NOT the prints but the actual carved block) that he had done, but they were not for sale :-(

    Then we saw a gorgeous painting of a crucifix by Cimabue. Although it was badly deteriorated, it was still powerful.

     Then we set off for the Accademie to see the David and the unfinished works of my boy, Michelangelo! There were no photos allowed, but I managed to get a quickie!

   It is so beyond breathtaking!!!!!  When you turn the corner and catch the first glimpse of this incredible figure, you just want to pass out with joy!!!
      Then we hiked to the Duomo and hung around in the piazza until 5 PM Mass in "english". I put English in quotes because in all of Florence, the only person they could find to say Mass in English was a Chinese priest!!! I don't think he even knew what he was saying most of the time and neither did we, but we fulfilled our "obligation". There was no music and very little participation in anything because none of us knew what he was saying - sigh. I trust that grace was given!
Then we had dinner at "Gusto Leo" and now, after climbing the dreaded 4 flights of stairs, I am blogging!!!
     Tomorrow......Ponte Vecchio and the square outside the Uffizzi  and then back to Rome!
Ciao darlings!!