Sunday, March 21, 2010

florence saturday and sunday (march 9th and 10th)

FLORENCE day 2

I know I am officially two weeks behind. But this is the last significant day I will blog about in Florence.

First of all: the morning. I woke up and went for a run, just sticking by the river..because as much fun as it is to get lost, it really can get exhausting. (and I promised people I would stay stafe)

In one direction, just outside the wall, I was leaning over the guardrail and saw fishermen all along the grassy area by the water! They had the serious boots, equipment, canvas chairs, and coolers with fish food or manly food. It was like someone let me pause by a window into Florence life. I wonder if it is an old tradition of fishing that just never faded away? Or if it is just once in a while thing?

Turned and ran in the other direction..and saw a tower. Ran to the tower and saw stairs going up. I followed those stairs. Which led to more (steeper) stairs in the hillside (across a road) clambered up those stairs and were met by MORE. With slightly less enthusiasm, made it up those. Then a another set of stairs and I dragged can to the top, where I suddenly found myself on Michaelangelo’s Piazza overlooking all of Florence. If I wasn’t breathless from the climb, then the view certainly finished the job of taking my breath away. The Duomo and Santa Croce dominated over the rest of the tightly packed city. With other churches rising from the other houses as well. The river glistened wayyy below, with the many bridges arching at intervals overtop. After meandering along the top, soaked the invisible sun’s rays, wandered to the side of the wall…just a few yards below the top ( I followed a trail) and it ended overlooking a (private) vineyard that was obscured partially in the mist. It gave the trees and hills soft edges. Then triumphantly walked down the heinous hill I had summited.

Other highlight…

Got to see the Uffizi Museum! Side note: this is a serious museum. I contemplated bringing a sleeping bag and a cooler and staying for a while to drool appropriately over all the paintings. From the 1300’s through a few from the Baroque. I loved seeing the progression of art through the centuries. I can’t pick a highlight of one painting. There were so many greats there. The one I visited the longest was probably Botticelli…with his Primavera depicting the coming of spring. There was a Da vinci paintings there…and a Da VinciJ geeeyaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you have seen the cinderella movie with Everafter... my idea of da vinci is pretty much stuck on the way he is portrayed in that movie... and i like him more for it.

I asked Jill and Jason to hang on for like 20 minutes so I could walk through the rooms real quick again..on one floor at least. It was painful having to breeze past and not look at each one (with Dr. Szabo pointing out techniques and symbolisms in a few…I stuck close to try to hear as much as possible)

Walked around some in the evening was great…especially when we stumbled on the brand name, designer style version of chocolate. I had just one dark chocolate, nugget filled (with egg and a liquor the lady said in her bits of English) it was just a little square. But she put it in a little ceramic dish with a handle and slid it across the glass counter. I swear it made the chocolate better. As I held it (to take teeny nibbles) my body temp melted the chocolate (a sign of it being good!). I’m just describing it because expensive European chocolate is something to be savoured…

Sunday…last day in Florence.

Main thing we did was go to the Santa Croce Basilica!!! This name means nothing at first. Until we walk in..then it looks like a gothic cathedral (with high buttresses…and designed on each beam) and a somewhat plain interior. EXCEPT for the many sculptors, paintings, memorials all along the side. Some just commemorating somebody (like DANTE!) and it was the burial place for Machiavelli , Galileo, and Michelangelo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *sighs* to think of what these people did to further science and art!!

*eyes brim up in tears of happiness* the presence of greatness! Seriously, Michelangelo and his human form is inspiring artistically and how he depicted it anatomically. (so he probably studied cadavors..hehe too bad I won’t develop my art skill that wonderfully from looking at dead dudes…would be cool though I think) okay sorry tangent.

Realization of the weekend… Da Vinci was a GREAT scientist, completely innovative and brilliant. AS WELL AS AN ARTIST.

(so I will not feel badly for being a biology major for physical therapy! This does not mean I picked science over music and English/literature…it simply means I am focusing on that for now. And if he can be a master of both then I can at least participate in both. There is no wall of separation). Sorry I needed to justify that for a moment. Mentality helps.

Open markets!

Crazy. Crazy crazy. All vendors are nice until you are no longer a prospective customer. Some are nice even after you are done being a customer. The stands start to look the same. I loaded up on scarves as gifts for the family. I liked walking around the crowded street and booths with all the people bustling about. Though only for a certain amount of time, the vendors being in your face and amount of booths crammed with stuff really starts to grate on the nerves. There was one salesman who didn’t speak any English at all, and his employee is the one who talked to me. Until I came back and the employee was busy, and when I tried to talk about price..he was suddenly was struck with the capability to communicate in English enough to flip out about how honest his work is to make a good product and got mad! I was grateful to be lead out by seth. I hate making people mad. Even if they probably use slave labor.

Got back on the train to head back where I was incredibly productive in dipping into some travel nutella jill wisely packed while reading some homework.

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