Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Our Fourth Day In Florence

No mercato today, oh well.... But we will be there tomorrow.

Today was our day for the Uffizi Gallery. I was curious if I was going to finally succumb to Stendhal syndrome, but I did not.

Remembering the long lines we had viewed yesterday, and the dire warnings that the Uffizi is at times booked a month in advance, we were happy to have tickets in hand for 11 am.

We were not sure if there might be a line up, so we arrived early and strolled about a bit. Entering the queue, we managed to enter 30 minutes before our appointed time. We picked up an audioguide, then climbed the long steps up to the exhibit, stopping at times to admire the Roman busts that adorned the staircase.

The Uffizi Gallery does hold an impressive collection of artwork. It traces art's medievel roots, into the flowering of the Renaissance that started in Florence, and then moved on to the rest of Europe.

Universally familiar paintings like Boticelli's Birth of Venus and Allegory of Spring are held here, as well as Da Vinci's Annunciation and his unfinished Adoration of the Magi. Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian also can be found here. Even so, I felt a bit let down.

So close to home, we walked back for a quick luncheon before heading out again.

We headed to the Medici Chapels, the final resting place of most of the Medici's. The new sacristy was designed and executed by Michelangelo. The Medici's were more than his patrons, they were his adopted family. They basically adopted the young Michelangelo, and he grew up in their household. The new sacristy holds the earthly remains of four Medici's, three of whom Michelangelo knew personally.

Again, I felt a bit let down, as I expected more from Michelangelo. His Pieta at the Vatican felt real, with flowing gowns, emotions permeate the work, and one can not but resonate with it. While the four sculptures representing Dawn and Dusk, Night and Day, seemed brutish.

The Medici chapels is part of the Church of San Lorenzo. As our custom, we entered the church, and lit a candle. While we spent much less time here, I appreciated the church more than the Medici Chapels.

After a brief rest on the steps ot the Church, we headed towards via del Tornabuoni. A street that holds the houses of Gucci, Armani, Dior, Prada, et al. Would I spend 130 Euro for a simple key chain? Probably not. But it still was fun to window shop.

A bit tired, we found an outdoor restaurant at Piazza della Signoria. We each ordered a beer, but with such a lovely view of the Palazzo Vecchio, we ordered a simple Margherita Pizzea and another glass of beer.

On a few occaissions, I commented how Florence was reminiscent of Prague. Surprisingly more so than of Rome. Probably because of the small winding streets.


Anthony & Hera