Thursday, August 30, 2012

Florence - Day 3

Day 3 in Florence started out at the Uffizi Gallery.  We used our Florence pass to bypass the line, but unfortunately didn't realize until we had climbed up four flights of stairs that we needed to show our pass downstairs and get a receipt.  Huff, huff, down and back up the marble staircases, and then finally we were in the Uffizi Gallery!

The Uffizi is considered to be Italy's greatest art gallery. The building itself is lovely - I especially liked the ceilings in the long hallways.  The two paintings that I enjoyed seeing the most were Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" and "Spring." There were many other masterpieces by Giotto, Raphael, and Titian.  I must confess that after seeing many many many Madonna and Child paintings framed in gold that much of the art was starting to look alike.

No pictures allowed again, but I did take a photo of the Ponte Vecchio out of one of the windows.

Our next stop was the Bargello - a fascinating palace with lots of statues and interesting decorative artwork.

There were old locks and keys, majolica plates, and beautiful blue and yellow glazed Della Robbia ceramics.

After a gelato break, we went to the Museo deli Opera del Duomo.  We were so disappointed the the original golden doors from the Baptistry were not on display because they were redoing part of the museum.  I still enjoyed seeing some of the beautiful sculptures inside, including the expressive Michelangelo's Florence Pieta (above).

Our final stop of the day was at the church of Santa Croce (above).  

If you have enjoyed the movie "A Room with a View" you may recall when the characters visit this church.  Not only does it have stunning windows and artwork, but also holds the tombs of Italian notables such as Michelangelo, Donatello, Galileo, Rossini, and Machiavelli.

I was not merely exhausted at the end of this day, I was ART-exhausted, if there is such a thing.  I wasn't sure my eyes could take in another day of looking at beautiful works of art.  Fortunately, I was able to slightly restore myself by eating this ravioli with sage and butter sauce for dinner.  Yes, it is swimming in a bath of butter and was sinfully yummy and rich!

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