Sunday, July 6, 2008

Second Day in Florence

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We started our second day out with a BANG…. called “The David” by Michelangelo at Galleria dell’Accademia. There wasn’t a single student whose breath wasn’t taken away by the awesome masterpiece. I believe I circled the giant statue for at least 30 minutes, taking in every muscle, vein, and piece of flesh that this unbelievable artist created. Amazing.

Again, no pictures were allowed. Which just means I’ll have to return…!

After our encounter with more great art… it was time to do one of the other things I do best… SHOP. The girls and I happened upon a great shoe/leather shop… and I left with my first unique Italian heels. Our salesman, Eugene (or something like that… in Italian) was a trooper, and he humored me in my 30-minute deliberation over size…. He was hilarious, and gave me a good discounted price. I also ended up with a new black purse, and a beautiful red leather sketchbook cover, with the symbol of Florence stamped into it.

As we walked the streets we encountered many street artists, and other interesting folks. We visited on of the other Medici Castles next to the Uffizi, which is now used for offices, but you can still get a taste of their glory. And we also happened upon the birthplace of Michelangelo. I rubbed the wall in hopes to take some the genius energy with me.

After a tasty gelato (Florence is where gelato was invented) the girls and I parted ways, and I spent the afternoon at Palazzo Pitti…another and even more fabulous Palace owned by the Medici’s which is now an extensive art Museum. I opted to go into the costume collection, and then out to the gardens.

The costume collection was amazing, with pieces dating back the to Tudor period… I was salivating over the various fabrics and construction of these masterpieces in their own right. The rooms themselves were breathtaking, decorated to reflect the period the garments are from. I wasn’t allowed to take photos… but I managed to sneak a few!

After exploring the costumes, I wandered in the huge gardens. You would need a day alone to cover these vast grounds. I climbed to what seemed like the top, and took in the 365-degree view of Florence and surrounding Tuscany. To think that this was someone’s home is unfathomable!

I ended the day at Florence’s famous Duomo and Dome. The inside was just as breathtaking as the outside, with marble floors, frescos, and statues surrounding us. The treck to the top of the Cupola was not easy, but worth it to be next to the oculus and fresco. Again, overwhelming. Unfortunately due to time constraints and a bit of claustrophobia, I didn’t make it to the top of the Dome. But next time… because I am definitely returning to this amazing place.

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