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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July 9, 2013: "Wine = 2 EUR. Acqua = 2.50 EUR."

We proved it tonight- water is more expensive than wine in some restaurants.

Today was a "bang-around" day in Firenze. We started out the day by taking a short walk to a cafe around the corner. We then separated (I went on a run in the southern hills near the Boboli Gardens, and Mike took a walk looking around for paper stores). We met after a while at the apartment and decided to visit the museum of Santa Croce. It's steps from our apartment, so it was an easy choice. It also happens to be one of the most important museums in Florence, as Michelangelo, Dante, Galileo, and Rossini rest there. The church's first stone was set in 1294 by the architect, Arnolfo di Cambio. It turned out to be one of the world's biggest masterpieces in Gothic art.

The basilica is in the shape of an Egyptian cross (letter T), and divided into three naves and a series of chapels. The walls of the chapel and the entire church were covered in frescoes by Giotto and his school. The basilica also boasts a great deal of typical and very famous Renaissance sculpture, especially among the tombs of the people who have been buried inside. 276 tombs can be seen on the floor inside, and the basilica has become known as the city Pantheon, the burial place of Italy's most illustrious citizens.

Outside the basilica

Angelo Bronzino
Descent of Christ into Limbo

Open timber roof

Dante Alghieri's tomb

Francesco Salviati
Deposition from the Cross

This sculpture was actually completely submerged in water in a 1966 flood, while it was in storage. After a LOT of restoration, one would never know.

Galileo's tomb

Pio Fedi's marble sculpture represents the Liberty of Poetry. Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, creator of the Statue of Liberty in New York, lived in Florence in 1870. It was in that year that the artist Pio Fedi was creating the sample in plaster of Giovanni Battista Niccolini. The statue done in marble was placed in the church of Santa Croce in the year 1883. The statue created by Bartholdi was placed in the bay of New York in 1887. Hmmm...

Michelangelo's tomb

Rossini's smile. What a boss.

Notice the details on Rossini's tomb. Bridges, pegs, and treble clefs.

Rossini's Tomb. Beautiful. And it meant a lot to be in his presence.

Outside the Cloister, Santa Croce
Tombs in Santa Croce

After Santa Croce's tour, we decided to get lunch. We had pizza at Osteria della Peccatori, near the Santa Croce neighborhood. I had plans to meet up with some friends at 3:30, so we were eating quick. I was excited to be able to see Francesco and Loredana, the husband/wife team that run NECA, which was the school I studied at while I was in Florence for a month in 2004. They are wonderful people who truly gave us (students) a unique and memorable experience in this city. I was only 19 when I came here, and they took great care of me and my fellow students. We have kept in touch for the past nine years, and have even seen each other (twice in New York city) since the program ended. They just had twins in April of 2012, so I met their beautiful girls, Lavinia and Fiametta. We had a great time visiting and playing on the floor with the babies. I'm hopefully going to meet up with them again for dinner later on during the trip.

My first address in Florence: Via Pietro Colletta, 3.
This is right around the corner from Francesco and Loredana's apartment.

After our visit, Mike and I met up again and just started walking. We could do this all day, every day, and not get bored at all. The city is full of surprises, and there are always new streets to explore. We ended up in the Oltrarno neighborhood (the area across the Arno) and decided to have dinner at Trattoria La Casalinga, Pete's recommendation from earlier in the trip. We had a simple dinner, but delicious. Bruschetta, Prosciutto e Melone, Spaghetti alla Pomodoro, and Spaghetti al Pesto. Ordered some wine, cappuccino, and tiramisu as well. My cousin Dawn recommended a gelateria to us called Gelateria San Trinita, and we checked it out. Certainly going to try it tomorrow or VERY soon on our
trip. I toasted to Pete, and wished he could have just joined us for dinner.

View of the Ponte San Trinita

Arno River at dusk

Old (vecchio) Bridge (ponte)

Tomorrow. For real.

Mike, on the western side of the Ponte Vecchio

This is my 'hood for the next 30 days. 
We had a great walk home, and I made a few new recordings for Nick Z.'s project. It was a very cliche night. Walked through Piazza della Signoria, saw a guitarist singing. Walked down the street, and a (really good) young flutist was playing. Walked down another street, and a woman was singing in an operatic aria style out of her upper floor window. Walked down another street, and heard a cucina cleaning dishes and clanking them in the sink. Couldn't be more perfect. Even though we had the tiramisu for dessert tonight, we couldn't help but give in to a small gelato each on our last part of the walk home. Speaking of walking, Mike's pedometer read 28,808 steps today.

We're allowed that second dessert.

1 comment:

  1. As a second career you would be wonderful as a travel writer/photographer/historian. We have learned so much in a short time. Keep the facts coming!

    Mom Dad and Jill