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vittoria06

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Florence [Nov. 20th, 2006|03:07 pm]
vittoria06
This weekend I went to Florence. My train was at 7:30 on Friday morning, so I got into Florence at about 9. Florence is so small I was able to walk from the train station to my hostel easily. I checked in and was out the door again by about 9:45. I walked around a bit and ended up at the Church of Santa Croce, so I went inside to see the graves of Galileo, Machiavelli and some other important Italians. Then I went to the Pitti Palace where I skipped the art wings and just saw the costume gallery and the Medici Silver and a porcelain collection. I was also able to go into the gardens behind the complex which were some of the prettiest gardens I’ve ever seen. They were on a hillside though, so walking around was a little strenuous. Then I went to have some lunch at one of the piazzas nearby. I had delicious tagliatelli with meat sauce and watched a bunch of teenagers either protesting or having their lunch break (it was hard to tell). By then it was about 2:30 and my guide book said that there was a Gregorian chant vespers service at this church up on a hill at 4:30, so I headed that way because I didn’t know how long it would take to get there. I missed the road that leads to the church, but I saw some steps heading the same way, so I decided to take those. Big mistake. When I got to the top of the steps, I saw that there was a trail leading up the hill, so I hike up this hill and finally get to the church and it’s only 3. I’m not about to go down and come back, so I decide to wait. There’s an absolutely gorgeous view of Florence from the hill. Then I saw the sign on the door that said that Vespers was at 5 and not 4:30 like my guide book says. So I wait and wait. Finally at about 4:15 I go inside the church because I figure that it will be warmer inside. It was about 10 degrees colder inside and almost completely dark. So by the time 5 o’clock rolls around, I’m freezing. It was worth the wait though, because they did the service in a sort of underground chapel that looks like the perfect setting for Romeo and Juliet’s wedding. They do incense and everything, and the chanting is very cool. But I was so cold that I snuck out after about 20 minutes. I took the actual road back down the hill and it was much easier than the hike up the hill. I was so tired and footsore that I just grabbed some quick pizza before going back to the hostel and going to bed.

Saturday morning I woke up bright and early to go to the Uffizi gallery. I got there at about 8:45 and it was fairly empty. They had a special exhibit of Leonardo’s drawings, which was really cool to see, you could see how he wrote backwards. They also had a few Leonardo paintings, including one on loan from the Vatican that the Vatican said was “in restoration”, liars. Then I got to see Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Primavera which was very, very exciting. Then I saw the Venus of Urbino which was extra-exciting because I’m writing a paper about it. After the Uffizi I went to get some lunch, I had a delicious risotto with artichokes at a trattoria that my guide book recommended and afterwards some gelato from “the best gelateria in Florence”. Then I did some shopping, which is way more fun and easier in Florence than in Rome. I bought myself some gorgeous leather gloves and some other things for other people. Then I went back to the hostel to take a nap, and ended up staying there for a while because it started pouring. Then I went out for a nice big Tuscan dinner. I found a great place that had one of the best prix fixe menus that I’ve seen. I started with a sampling of three Tuscan soups, the bread soup was delicious and the other two were very good too. Then I had beef stewed in Chianti and finished with Vino Santo and biscotti for dessert.
Sunday morning I had another early day to go see Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia. There are some pieces of art that are a little disappointing in person, and some that go beyond all expectation. The David was of the latter category. It was enormous and absolutely stunning. Especially when I went and looked at the copy at the Palazzo Vecchio, I could really see the difference and how much better the Michelangelo was. The Accademia was much smaller than I had realized, so I was done in about 45 minutes. So I went and had some breakfast and figured out what to do with the rest of my day. I started out at the Duomo museum where I got to see a great Donatello wood carving of Mary Magdalene, it was almost scary, she was so haggard looking. The museum also had the original panels of Ghibertti’s Gates of Paradise from the doors of the Baptistery. Then I had a quick lunch and walked up to Santa Maria Novella which is a very pretty church. Then I walked back to the Duomo to go inside. It’s huge, but not as elaborate as I was expecting. Then I wandered around for a while, bought some last minute stuff and window shopped. Then I picked up my stuff from the hostel and headed to the train station two hours early because I was tired, footsore, had seen everything I wanted to see and it was raining. The train ride was uneventful and when I got back, one of my roommate’s parents were there, so they took us out for a delicious dinner.
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Comments:
From: (Anonymous)
2006-11-20 06:17 pm (UTC)

Gelato

We may need a review or ranking of the various gelato places

Dad
(Reply) (Thread)
From: sdaravev60
2013-02-16 09:34 pm (UTC)
what are you doing? Let’s chat Go Here welcomemyhomecat.blogspot.com
(Reply) (Thread)