You Say Firenze, I Say Florence

Location: Florence, Italy

Today was yet another long day with an early start. We boarded a bus this morning at 6:30 for a journey north to the Italian city of Florence. Florence, or Firenze as its called in Italian, was the center of Renaissance during its height.

Our first stop was the Florence Academy of Fine Arts (Galleria dell’Accademia). We had to wait quite a while in the rain to get into the Museum. Luckily, we could stand under awnings to lessen the amount of rain that hit us. Eventually though we made it into the museum. We saw many examples of renaissance art and sculpture. The highlight of course was seeing many of Michelangelo’s sculptures including some of his unfinished sculptures, and of course, David.  Our guide gave us some history on the sculpture and pointed out some of the finer details which would have been lost on non-art studies majors such as us.

One of Michelangelo's unfinished sculptures.
One of Michelangelo’s unfinished sculptures.
Michelangelo's David
Michelangelo’s David

david2

david3

Our next stop was the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower). We also had to wait to get in to this building. Sadly, it rained very hard and there were no awnings to seek shelter from the rain. It is huge, the fourth largest in the world. The interior wasn’t layered in art and extravagance like St. Peters. Instead, it boasted some amazing colored marble motifs on the outside. Ryan did appreciate the stained glass windows and 24 hour counterclockwise clock found at the back of the Cathedral.

Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. The different colors are all marble.
Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. The different colors are all marble.
Inside Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore looking up at the dome.
Inside Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore looking up at the dome.
Inside Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore.  The 24 hour clock that started after sunset (hour 1) and ended at sundown (hour 24).
Inside Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. The 24 hour clock that started after sunset (hour 1) and ended at sundown (hour 24).

Next we were taken to Piazza del Signoria, the obligatory high-end shopping district along with the city hall and more sculptures. We didn’t spend long here before leaving for lunch.

Piazza del Signoria
Piazza del Signoria

 

Statue of Medussa's death in Piazza del Signoria.
Statue of Medussa’s death in Piazza del Signoria.

After eating we made may to Piazza Santa Croce. The basilica there also had an amazing marble facade. It is also where many famous Italians are interred, such as Machiavelli and Galileo.

Piazza Sante Croce
Piazza Sante Croce

After touring the Piazza and enjoying some gelato we boarded the bus and made our way back to the hotel. We arrived there and had dinner just in time to watch Germany trounce another Portuguese speaking country in the world cup.

Tomorrow is our last full day in Rome. In the morning we attend gladiator school. Because… why not!

Today’s Weather: rain 76/68

Total steps (fitbit): 12195

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