20 October 2014

Italy 2014 Final Thoughts


What I learned on my Italian vacation...

I love Italy. The food, the people, the language, the wine, the art...
 
 

Enter every cathedral.
 
Take notes...

Look up.

Look through.

Look over.
 
Stop often.
 
And finally...
I react to planes and trains with mucus and impatience...
go anyway...

19 October 2014

Italy 2014 Day Eleven

Our last day in Florence, in Italy. Coughing, tired, determined...
First stop the Duomo. Enormous and phenomenal. The dome built in by Brunelleschi in 1463 is 296 feet tall, the tallest building in Florence. it looms from every view. We climbed up the 463 claustrophobic steps to the dome from inside...
and 360 degree views outside.
The campanile or bell tower was built in1359 nearly 100 years before the dome. it is impossible for me to understand how they were able to do this work, then. we tend to think we are at the top of technology, but then you see what was done nearly 100 years ago, for the love of God...
The baptistery, one of the oldest buildings in the city.
Originally built as a pagan temple it was remodeled in the 13th century.
The ceiling mosaics tell the story of the bible with the risen Christ at its focus.
San Lorenzo, another Brunelleschi work from 1425 commissioned by the Medici family,
the power and political base of 13th century Florence.
The cloister garden.
The bibliotheca, stairway is a Michelangelo design.
Desks...
The collection on view was called Animalia with parchment texts on view.
The sacristy, in the church itself, was done by Brunelleschi and decorated by Donatello.
Happened upon Orsanmichele with its ornate Virgin and Child Alter from 1338.
The paper shop Giannini.
Purchases were made.
Palazzo Pitti was closed. It was built by Luca Pitti in an effort to keep up with the Medici family who then bought it from bankrupt relatives after Pitti's death making it their residence. Take that Pitti. Damn power hungry Medici family. Their influence is admirable and disgusting in a way to me.

We found Il Torchio, a must stop in Florence.
Nina is a Canadian cum Florencian who build books here.
We kinda died...
but bought stuff just before.
Back across Arno,
stopping to watch the moon rise.
My Alisa...
a final dinner and ciao to Italy...


18 October 2014

Italy 2014 Day 10

 
Breakfast at Hotel Baglioni.
A very busy hotel, beautiful, not particularly helpful staff, but we were a bit surly by now too...
 
Santa Maria Novella.
 
Built by Dominican Friars in 1279-1357. St. Dominico began the Dominican religious order to help make learning and teaching more systematic. The devotion of the rosary is attributed to Dominic, a revolutionary who was canonized in 1234.
Our first view of the Arno.
We crossed the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest remaining bridge in Florence, built in 1345.
Too busy for us though...
We followed this cobblestone street past a former residence of Galileo. He was so controversial to suggest the Copernicus notion that the sun not the earth was the center our galaxy. It wasn't until 1992 that Pope John Paul II admitted the church errors in handling his 'situation.' A statue to honor him in the Vatican was suggested but the plan has been suspendered!
Also this biatcho.
 
Porta San Giorgio, the oldest gate in the city, built in 1260.
Clearly the Italians were most excellent at building what can remain...
Forte Belvedere.
Cappuccinos and views...
Lunch and views at Piazzale Michelangelo.
Firenze...
Porta San Niccolo, a medieval gate built in 1320s on the Arno.
Santo Spirito, means Saint Mary of the Holy Spirit.
Sacristy holds Michelangelo's crucifix.
 There are 38 side chapels filled with art, massive church pieces,
 available to view for anyone who enters.
Enter every cathedral.
Enter every one...
Dinner in the Piazza Santo Spirito.
Handmade pasta, always with the handmade pasta, firm and juicy.
Back across the river at dusk.
Gelato outside Piazza Strozzi, with original torches, lamps and rings from 1536.
 
to be continued...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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