Skip to main content

A Few Days in Florence


Today is my last full day to experience Florence and I spent the morning at Uffizi Gallery, built on the collection of the De Medici's, and expanded for centuries.  Many of the statues are copies of Greek statues but even those copies date to the Renaissance and those copies still needed to be carved by masters.  Makes you wonder--at what point does it being a copy mean anything at all?

It did have several original paintings including, of course, the Birth of Venus by Botticelli, who was so good for his time it was scary.  Plenty of other greats too, Raphael, Caravaggio (whose style was well loved by the De Medicis), and Leonardo's great unfinished masterpiece, the Adoration of the Magi--which is returning after being under restoration.

So a big day for art.  Yesterday was more of a city walk type of thing where I lined up to get into the Florence Cathedral (Santa Maria del Fiore).  That's its full name but mostly it's called Il Duomo for it's massive dome containing the world's largest fresco.  Took about 90 minutes in line but it was worth it to see the Dome.


When the Dome was painted most of the people hated it, mostly because it made the dome look smaller.  That painting of Jesus?  Way up there in the centre?  That Jesus is six metres tall.  That's a big Jesus, but it doesn't look like it.  After the Cathedral I went up to Ponte Vecchio.  You remember that episode of Game of Thrones?  The one where they're on the bridge that's also a city?  Ponte Vecchio is like that -- a bridge lined with shops.  Only on this bridge they mostly sell jewelry and souvenirs.



It would take somebody days to see every museum, Florence has them by the truckload, but even walking around you see history and statues and artwork everywhere.  Being the richest city in the world -- even if it was hundreds of years ago -- can certainly provide a lasting legacy.

I'm not off to Rome until Sunday but tomorrow I have an all day tour.  To where?  Perhaps a place with a tower that's not so straight???  Nope!  I'm not going to Pisa.

So take your guesses and make your bets.  See you tomorrow.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

At the Heart of the Ancient City

Rome is old.  Old in a way most places are not.  It;s not as old as Greece or Egypt.  But it's plenty old.

Today I walked through the remains of the Imperial Palace on Palatine Hill.  A palace so ancient it is the literal origin of the word 'palace'.  It was hard, among the ruins, to imagine the day-to-day lives of the emperors and citizens and slaves.  But I imagine they too complained about the heat, enjoyed the view, and thanked their good fortune to be where they were.  Well, probably not the slaves so much, but the other ones definitely.

After the Palatine and the Forum (the heart of Roman society) it was onto the Colosseum.  Tickets and entry for the Palatine were quick but even with the ticket that was good for the Colosseum it would've been a hell of a long wait, especially with the added crowds thanks to the Vatican Museums being closed.  So I opted to skip the line with a guided tour.  Fifteen Euros.  Easily the cheapest of the line-skippy tours, thanks to m…

A Dreamy Day in London

London is a not-very-attractive city surrounding an incredibly beautiful city.  I suppose that's true for most cities but it's especially true of London.  Coming in from the east end (I arrived at London City Airport on CityJet -- basically their version of Porter but with jets -- the level of shift in aesthetics was jarring.

I took an Uber in to save a few pounds and he turned out to be a reasonable tour guide on the way, pointing out the Tower Bridge and the Tower of London as well as some other landmarks.

I arrived at around 8:30 at my hotel which understandably did not have my room ready yet.  I knew this was likely, so operating on a questionable amount of sleep (I can never sleep well before and early flight -- my brain always thinks I'm going to miss it) I headed out into London.  I stared at the Underground map for several minutes and then decided to walk.  I picked this hotel because it was relatively close to everywhere and it paid off today.

It's right besi…