Sunday, September 22, 2013

DATELINE: Florence (7)

It's almost 6:00 here in gorgeous, warm, sunny Florence.  We've had a wonderful last day, spent in part at the Galleria dell' Academia, home of  the incomparable David by Michelangelo.  I have wanted to see this as long as I can remember, and now I have.  If I never go to another museum, see another piece of sculpture or another painting, I will still die happy.  It's impossible to tell by photos ~ even very good ones ~ how majestic, how perfect this sculpture is.  The reality of it is amazing:  the veins on his arms, the tendons in his hands and neck, the nails on his hands and feet, the perfect, loose angle of his slouch as he looks off to his left and calmly takes the measure of his adversary.  He is situated under a high glass dome so the circle around him is flooded with sunlight.  He's so white; he glows.  Oh gosh, if I were going to be here next week I'd go again.  And again.

I could have stayed all day just staring up at him.  We get in early ~ 9:30 ~ and it wasn't too crowded yet so we could stand and look without being jostled.  The rest of the museum's holdings are religious art of the medieval period and get very repetitious; how many ways can you show the Infant Jesus, Mary, the crucifixion and a variety of greater and lesser saints?  Yet among the flat and lifeless pieces was a gorgeous fresco by Andrea del Sarto, The Man of Sorrows.  We both decided that while we're at it, getting the David into the back of a truck to take home, we'd take along this del Sarto.  I have looked all over the internet for a copy of it but have come up only with this.  Scroll to page 32 (numbers in lower left).

But it was time to move on.  This is why I'm so glad we went early.  This line went from the front door all the way down the street and around the corner, and these folks have reservations!

I saw this little cutie on the way to our restaurant.  It's a one-seater with a tiny area behind for perhaps a loaf of bread and a jug of wine . . . but no thou.

This gentleman was playing a very fine accordian on the street.  Great accoustics.

We decided we wanted to have lunch at a place we have seen before on our trips here but never tried.  I am so glad we did.  It's a very traditional place with good food, pretty decorations, and WAY away from the tourist area.  By the way, we had to pass through the Duomo piazza on our way and I would bet 3,000 people were swarming around.  A little window shopping on the way to the restaurant revealed the new look for shoes.  Have you bought yours yet?

For lunch I ordered an antipasti selection of thinly sliced different kinds of salamis and hams with crostini slathered in chicken liver paté followed by a green salad.  Mr. C had a salad of beans, curly endive, salami, red onions followed by a pasta pomadoro.  What was left over we brought home for dinner tonight.

A traditional style trattoria on a quiet side street.  Lots of Italians; we were the only Americans.

We bussed back home, strolled through the park and up the hill probably for the last time.  From the bottom of our street you can see this ancient watchtower along the wall that surrounds the Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens.  The tower is actually part of our back garden wall.

This honey bee motif appears on all of the balconies around the neighborhood.

This pretty little walkway is about half-way up our street.

Our street

Walkway to our apartment.  Note tower.
Our front door
Mr. C at the living room window
That about does it for Florence.  Tomorrow morning it's on to Siena, a whole new adventure in a place we've not visited.  Watch for news here.

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