View from Macerata

View from Macerata

domenica 27 novembre 2011


Last wednesday, we got up early and headed to the train station to go on our first of two big excursions to Florence!!  I wasn't really sure what to expect or what to be excited about, aside from a few obvious things like the duomo and Michaelangelo's David, but then fell SO completely in love with the beautiful city. 

By the time we arrived, it was lunch time and we had some free time before our first tour.  Annalise and I couldn't wait to venture out, so we each got a panino and took a walk to the cathedral to see the duomo up close.  The cathedral is so incredibly gorgeous, I can't even describe it. 
Afterward, we had our first tour around the city!  Filiberto took us right back to the cathedral and the baptistry.  We saw Ghiberti's famous baptistry doors and the incredible mosaics on the inside.  Then we climbed up to the top of the duomo, which is sort of terrifying but entirely worth all 463 steps to the top. 

The rest of the day was spent walking through the leather market, across the Pont Vecchio, and just down the pretty, winding streets :)
Then, we all went out to dinner at Ristorante della Spada and, once again, had all 6 courses. I think this is maybe becoming an issue where pant size is concerned, but it was fantastic :)

The next day, we visited a few churches: Santa Croce, Santa Maria Novella, and San Lorenzo.  I'm a little burned out on churches, but they were all beautiful and worth the visit.  Visiting churches (and everything else) is great with Filiberto, because he is very, very knowledgable about basically everything. He lived in Firenze for ten years, so that doesn't hurt either.

Santa Croce is the resting place for a lot of well known people, including Michaelangelo, Machiavelli, and Galileo, so we visited their tombs:
(Galileo's tomb, the sun and the four planets that were known at the time)

(A woman with a castle on her head is a symbol of Italy, she's mourning the death of Michaelangelo)
(Me! In front of Santa Croce)
 After Santa Croce, we went to Santa Maria Novella and then to San Lorenze, my favorite church in Florence.  Attached to it is a leather shop where we watched a woman working on a purse

It also has the most beautiful cloister, with an orange tree in the middle :)

We also went to the Galleria d'Accademia to see the David, other sculptures, and Prisons all by Michaelangelo.  Seeing the David in person was surreal; it's the international symbol of art and culture.  It's also massive, 2.6 times the size of a human being, and perfectly proportional with two exceptions; his right hand and his head are slightly larger. 

After our tour, we went to the Mercato (market) of San Lorenzo, got some awesome gelato, and later went out to dinner for our last night in Florence.  I had tortellini in brodo (broth), which Tuscany is known for.  Delizioso :)

The third and final day, we spent in the Uffizi art gallery, one of the best and most famous art galleries in the world.  I've never been that excited about art museums, but this one was sort of fun because I saw lots of art I've actually heard of :) We saw the Birth of Venus and Primavera by Botticelli, a couple by Leonardo da Vinci, and tons by Raphael.  I was still sort of glad to be set free for the rest of the day and just walk around the city some more before we had to leave.  Florence is now my second favorite place, after London, and three days was definitely not enough time to spend in it.  I can't wait to go back again sometime!

 (I jump a lot..that's a replica of David in the background, in front of the town hall)
(Pont Vecchio)

(Mercato di San Lorenzo)

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