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Published: June 15th 2008
next stop - Cradle of the Renaissance
As every person who sees the art in Florence, we are amazed.
We feel as if we know more about Michelangelo than we ever thought we would. We appreciate his talent more than we thought we would, and I write that at the risk of sounding ridiculous. But now that we are back in Krakow, we have had time to let all we have seen sink in. To asses the talent and intellect that converged in this town, is overwhelming. Along with Michelangelo, there is Galileo, Dante and Leonardo Da Vinci. We have visited many museums, and I've enjoyed seeing Keith take in the art, and begin to interpret it. His logical mind puts it in perspective.
As you would expect we are scheduled for all the proper museums and venues that will teach us a thing or two about this part of Italy. We have heard so much about Florence, her history, and the infuence she has had on culture. I envied the students that we saw in the parks, and tucked away in gallery corners.
I can't write about Florence without mentioning "David". For those of you who haven't seen the
real thing, you won't get an attempt at a description from me. Buy a plane ticket to Florence.
A piece of David trivia, that I found interesting - he stood outside, in front of the city hall for 350 years! There is now a full sized replica in his place.
In the neighborhood of Oltrarno, we stepped inside the Santo Spirito Church. Monks allowed a young Michelangelo to study the cadavers, from their hospital. In the chapel there is a wooden crucifix, that he is said to have given to the church. No crowds, no ticket, quiet time with a meaningful symbol, carved by a master.
We have also found ways to discover the cities' quieter scenes. Parks and cemeteries keep sneaking up in our sight seeing. The monumental cemetery is high above Florence, and offers more great vistas of the city. The abbey there, was named after the martyred soldier, Minias. He was beheaded during the anti-Christian persecutions of the Emperor Decius and was then said to have picked up his head, crossed the Arno and walked up the hill of Mons Fiorentinus to his hermitage. (sounds like the legend of St. Denis in Paris,
I guess there was a lot of beheading going on) Olivetan monks inhabit the abbey today. After trekking up the steps to the church, we were hot and sweaty. The interior of the church was dimly lit and so inviting. We cooled off while we explored the frescos and listened to the soft tones of the monks chanting.
Up at the top of Boboli Gardens, we were pleasantly surprized to see the hilly Italian landscape stretch out beyond the jumbled city. In Paris we had enjoyed the Luxembourg Gardens. Marie de Medici was the queen of France at the time she had the garden designed. Here at Pitti Palace we see her childhood home and inspiration for her garden in Paris. There was a detour waiting for us as we left Florence on our way to Rome. And we would soon be even more pleasantly surprized by the Italian country side.
We stopped off for a wine tasting at the estate of Le Velette, near Orvieto. Florence's weather was hot, and the cool overcast afternoon spent wandering around the property of the wine estate, was so welcomed! Learned a little about wine and food combinations, even though Keith kept
does she do this for love or money.
the street sweeper was headed her way
and we waited to see it go around her
eating the wrong things at the wrong times. He says it's all good! Back on the road to Rome and we are all happy campers!
p.s. couldn't resist the caption on the saxaphone guy...
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