Friday, June 18, 2010
Bonjourno from Firenze!
We arrived this morning in Florence at around 12 and checked our stuff into the hostel. From there we headed on over to the Ponte Vechio bridge and walked down it looking at everything and seeing a really great view down the river from the center. (Dave and I realized when we were standing in the center of the bridge that it is where Assassins Creed 2 begins, and it looks exactly the same so coool) We then headed down towards the Duomo.
The Duomo... wow. The Duomo was just an amazing building. The details are so unbelievably intricate and the building is just so massive. We had some gelato (of course, again) as we walked around the building looking at it from all sides. Unfortunately some of the building was under refurbishment (like all of Europe this summer apparently) but it was in the back so it was alright. After we circled around we went inside to the Duomo, and Sharon had to put on a little paper cover thing over her shoulders to enter. The inside was alright. It was big with a cool clock and a really cool fresco in the dome, but aside from that it was pretty bland and open inside. But the outside was amazing.
After that we made our way up to the Medici Tombs and the Lorenzo Medici Basilica. It was short and sweet, very cool but very small. But we could not take pictures. Boo. We first went inside the tomb and there were a variety of things. There was the burial site of Donatello, which I did not know was in there and was awesome. Then there was a room that was just full of relics. And by relics, I mean real holy relics that the Medicis had accumulated over time. There were things like scrolls that were written by saints or things, but there were also bones encased in ornate cases of saints and apostles. It was hard to read what was what because there were no English translations, just Italian. There was a big femur of someone, some small bones of a number of people, some sort of relic related to Saint Peter that was to hard to see through the glass, case, and dim lighting, and the finger of Saint Mathew. Literally, it was a gold case thing with an ancient finger in it. Nail and all. It was so cool.
After we left that we went into the Basilica itself. It was alright, there were a lot of paintings and some sculpture in it (again no pictures) including some Donatello works, but the real cool part was in the back. They had the sarcophagus of Lorenzo Medici himself, and you could see into it and see his skeleton lying in it with feet in sandals, body wrapped in a cloak, and crown on his skull. It was totally awesome.
We left there and headed up to the Academia to get on line to see the David (among other works in the museum) We waited a little over an hour and then got in. it was 10€ (instead of 6, stupid summer price hike) but it was totally worth it. The museum is small and you go through seeing some cool things, and then you enter a hallway that just has like 8 - 10 Michelangelo statues lining the walkway. And at first I was like this is insane, there are so many Michelangelo's here but nobody cares about them. But you really always have to end up doing the same thing, because at the end of the path is the David. The gigantic towering masterpiece of Michelangelo, in person. It is impossible to really convey, but after seeing countless pictures of it and the 'exact' (so they say) replica in Florence itself you still just find yourself in total awe in its presence. It was insanely amazing, and I managed to snap 2 pictures without getting caught.
We left there and headed to a market nearby to buy food to cook ourselves a fine Italian meal with real Italian ingredients in the hostel kitchen. We made a dish of pasta (the pasta in the stores just looked hand made, it was s different and delicious), breaded chicken, mushrooms, carrots, a cheesy sauce, bread... it was delicious (but still not quite at the level of our prawn and pasta dish in Liverpool... so hard to top). We cooked it up and ate in the common room with all the people watching the football game between Algeria and England (USA game wasn't on, but both games ended in ties) We met some cool people and had some good conversations, and it was all good fun. Now it is off to sleep for Venice in the morn!
Oh, and we saw Hulk Hogan in Florence. Jen is asleep though so I will be adding that picture later some time, she took the picture not me. I guess I'll leave that as a cliff hanger then!