Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Firenze ( Florence)

Red leather, yellow leather, red leather, yellow leather....and so was our introduction to Florence today, as we made our way through the famous San Lorenzo markets. Stalls were abundant with leather goods( belts, wallets, jackets, shoes) and sellers trying to convince you they had the best prices. But we had little time to stop and barter, as we had 11am tickets for the Galleria Accademia - home to Michelangelo's famous statue of David and other Italian masterpieces.

After entering the Galleria, essential audioguide in hand, we weaved our way through a maze of rooms. Each room housed artworks of different time periods. In addition to these was the music room, which had on display antiquated and exquisite instruments, such as the Stradivarius violin tenore. Also, there was the fascinating room filled with the Italian masters' plaster casts of their marble sculptures.

Michelangelo's "David" was, of course, the highlight and showpiece of the Galleria. Standing imposingly under a dome designed specifically to shed light on his perfect form, one could not help but feel struck with awe.

Knowing that rain was predicted for the afternoon, after the Galleria we rushed to see Florence's Duomo and Ponte Vecchio. We had a lovely day making our way through the piazzas, past the stall holders and browsing through the shops which specialised in everything from tapestries and leather to clothing and jewellery. We also saw the stunning bronze doors of the Basilica of San Giovanni, more famously referred to by Michelangelo as "The Gates of Paradise"because of their detail and beauty.

Eloise and Tricia at the San Lorenzo Markets, Florence

Sean, Brett, Brett Snr and Eloise near San Lorenzo Church

A perfect statue for Halloween?

The Duomo, Florence

The famous bronze doors, Florence

Bronze doors of the Baptistery of San Giovanni

The Duomos's beautiful sculpted exterior

Stained glass inside the Duomo, Florence

The Duomo's magnificent dome ceiling

The Duomo's interior and altar

Sean, Tricia and Brett in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

The copy of David's statue in Palazzo Vecchio

Cellini's statue near the Uffizi Gallery

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

Florence - a fashion capital

Brett and Sean enjoy lunch at the "Hard Rock Cafe", Florence

Driving home in the rain through the streets of Florence
Lunch today was spent at Florence's "Hard Rock Cafe", where we knew we were assured of a varied menu which included vegetables. Their store was decorated in readiness for Halloween celebrations tonight. By the time we came out, however, rain had started to fall heavily, so the leather would have to wait for another day. We're sure that Florence will beckon us to return one more time...            Tricia

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