If Rome has a color, I think it’s warm orange. I’m sure city planners did this on purpose otherwise I can’t imagine how so many buildings in such a large city could be painted the same exact color. Unless there’s some mafia-owned paint company that only supplies orange paint in Rome making it nearly impossible to buy anything else. Arriving in Florence, we were welcomed by white buildings and brick everything. The city viewed from above is a jumble of slanted brick roofs of different cantors with little bits of white and green peaking out in between.
When we first arrived the sun was shining, there was a Dali “elephant” sculpture outside of the train station and we had a very pleasant walk to our hotel. I kept saying “Wow, it’s so nice here, I’m so glad we came to Florence!” As we walked off the horrific bus trip from the night before we soaked up some Italian vitamin D.
The first thing we did when we got to our hotel was locate the nearest super market, luckily the one nearest us was named “Super Market” which made them easy to recognize. The super markets in Florence were good-sized compared to the other ones we had been to so far, on par with a Thriftway or one of the smaller QFC’s. “Super Market”, however was a extremely taxing event, one that required both stamina and patience. The aisles were tiny and packed, the people in their own little worlds unaware of anything or anyone else around them. We dodged broken bottles, crying children, the arguing elderly, and long lines at the checkout to make our escape with enough food for lunch, dinner and breakfast. After a stop to have an emergency snack in one of Florence’s many parks, we made our way back to our hotel room. We started to think that maybe our hotel was going for the “haunted” appeal as our overhead light was in a constant flicker which left us either eating lunch in the dark or having epileptic seizures, we chose to eat in the dark.
The next day we woke up to rain, this it turned out would be the trend for the rest of our stay. Not deterred by a little rain we put on our jackets, bought our Firenze passes (a 3 day ticket for Naomi’s ultra marathon of Museum’s and galleries) and went at it. First we went to the Uffizi, a huge U shaped gallery of Madonnas and Babies with some adult Jesus sprinkled in. Next couple of stops were old Medici houses turned into galleries, the central market, a handful of leather shops Naomi was magnetically drawn into, and then more Museums. Honestly I can’t remember all of what we saw, its a blur of Madonna and Child-Naomi can help fill in the blanks.
We saw David! Also the Birth of Venus and evil looking pope leo X by Raphael. There was an unreasonable excess of madonna and baby going around. They were all really creepy looking babies too, like that was the painting fad of the renaissance, trying to make baby jesus look omni-something and having him come out looking like a predecessor to Chuckie. We also saw early Michelangelo sculptures at the Museo dei Bargello and checked out the former Medici palaces: Palazzo Vecchio, Palazzo Medici-Riccardi and Palazzo Pitti.
Of course we climbed to the top of the Duomo of the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. Where we had a brief break from the rain and some great views of the city.
On our last day we walked out across the Arno river in the pouring rain and up into some palazzo gardens for a view of the city. There is a bronze statue of David up there overlooking the city. We found a tree to sit under out of the rain for a bit and I threatened to take Sean to the basilica di Santa Croce to get out of the rain. He launched into a rant about religion and why there are so many basilicas in Italy?! I thought that, if pushed, he might try to knock over a candle-holder of prayer offerings (I’m sure there’s a name for those that I don’t know) to burn down some centuries old catholic monument. Not that he’d succeed since they’re made of stone, but we’d probably be banned from Italy and I had a lot more basilicas to see! So instead we walked a few more miles in the rain and admired them safely, wetly, from the outside.