Tuesday, June 7, 2011

June 3, 2011 "It is not down on any map; true places never are." - Herman Melville

Today we got up at 5 am to head to Florence. We made eggs in the morning and met the group at 5:45 and got on the bus.

Our first stop was the science museum that has many of Galileos original artifacts.

However, we had to walk across Florence to get there. We walked down one of the streets and I could see a church at the end of it. I love churches but there are only so many you can take before they become repetitive. We got all the way to the end of the street and I saw just how big it was. I didn’t think churches could be so big. This is the Duomo which Italians take as “church” but Americans take as “dome” due to the large Dome on top.

This church took 200 years to build and then another 100 years for them to figure out how to get the dome on top.
I also saw the brass doors by Brunecceli that my Renaissance art class was just talking about.
We turned the corner on the main piazza. In the middle is a replica of the famous David.

We passed the Ufiziz museum which is the most famous museum in the western world.
We entered the science museum and explored. The first floor was all about Galelio. They had his old instrument, globes and telescopes. Then upstairs was all about the evolution of science. They had models of child birth and complications….everyone was grossed out by this….I don’t see why. Then they had the evolution of clocks, baramters and amps.
We were given free time so Ashley, Jill and I went to a statue filled area and hung out in the shade and looked at statues. Most of the statues in Florence are violent to show others not to mess with them.

After everyone met up, we went to the Ufiziz. It was incredible. The original work from artists like Giotto stood in front of me. These are the works I have been studying from a slide for the past two weeks. The Madonna and Child by Giotto was stunning in person. The gold leaf in the painting almost sparkled.

We were given the afternoon to explore, eat and shop. Ashley, Jill and I had been craving pizza all day so we went on a hunt for it. While there are almost 3 pizzeria per street, many are expensive. So we wandered around and by this time we were starving. We walked down this very crowded street and saw cameras ahead. As we got closer I saw 2 faces that I recognized but I wasn’t sure from where. Then it hit me. We had somehow run into the pizza shop where the cast from the reality show, Jersey Shore was working. This was ridiculous. We stood there confused and a TV guy came over and said that if we wanted to go inside we had to sign a release form and stand in line. So crazy. We found the idea of standing in line, singing a form and waiting for pizza that would probably be done wrong, absurd. So we continue searching.

In a back ally we found an adorable little pizza place. The atmosphere was comfortably fancy and very Italian, plus the prices were reasonable.
I ordered a pizza with olives, ham, artichokes and mushrooms on it. As usual, they serve you an entire pizza and every bite was delicious. We sat in this quite atmosphere full and tired for a while before venturing back out.
Florence is famous for its gold, silver and leather. Everywhere you turned you could find a store selling an abundance of one or another of these products. We went to an outdoor market and looked around. I wanted to but a leather purse but they were very expensive.

Jill got a hat and Ashley got a scarf. We then made our way to the covered bridge to look around. This is where all the very high priced gold and silver is sold.

We headed back to the bus and when we got back to the apartment we had leftovers for dinner.

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