Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Renaissance Treadmill

That's Rick Steves' nickname for Florence and I'd have to agree! We walked close to 8 miles yesterday while watching the Renaissance unfold before our eyes. We started with the Accademia, where we got to see David as well as some of Michaelangelo's unfinished works. Seeing the partially finished sculptures really gives you an appreciation for how much work it is to sculpt marble. The Accademia also has a gallery of musical instruments that I really enjoyed.

Gotta start the day with a good breakfast!


David ... and Damon

Checking out artwork in the Accademia

Gallery of musical instruments in the Accademia

After the Accademia we headed over to the Central Market and checked out the endless booths selling every kind of food imaginable, from fish to produce to breads, pasta, and local wines. We sampled wines from a place very near our next stop in Greve, so maybe we'll get to see their farm! 

Florence's lovely central market

So many delicious choices! We were hungry for lunch and had such a hard time deciding what we wanted to eat. Everything looked good.

Dried fruit


Tasting Tuscan wine and limoncello in the market

Chianti and other Tuscan wines


Olive bar

I had so much fun taking pictures in the market - everything was so colorful and fresh!

What we ended up with for lunch - it was delicious!

We also enjoyed some local beer and wine with our lunch.

The upstairs of the market, where we had lunch. Such a lovely space!

Then we walked through town to the Santa Croce church, which is gorgeous and so impressive! It contains the tombs of many famous Italians, including Michaelangelo, Galileo, and Dante. We also checked out the leather school that's attached to the church and watched artisans make custom wallets and purses.

Santa Croce Church

Santa Croce Church has tombs in the floor throughout it

Michaelangelo's tomb in Santa Croce

Dante's tomb

Santa Croce Church feels so big inside!

Fresco in the church Refectory

Very realistic sculpture ... with lots of these in a long hallway at the church

Santa Croce's Campanile

Artisan handbags on sale at the leather school

Leather artisan at work

Tools of the leatherworking trade

Attention to detail

They do love their George in Italy!

Classroom/studio at the leather school

After a break for happy hour on the balcony, off we went to the Uffizi Gallery to see the great Renaissance paintings. It's a huge collection and I told Damon that I saw more Madonnas yesterday than I had in my entire life! I especially liked the Botticelli room, where the Renaissance comes alive right before your eyes!

Happy hour! Knitting and wine we bought at the market, with a view of the Duomo!

My happy hour view!

Inside the Uffizi Gallery

The very popular Botticelli Room in the Uffizi Gallery

View of the Arno River from the Uffizi Gallery

Sunset inside the Gallery

The Medici's definitely had a taste for art on a grand scale!

We had a great dinner, then Damon found a bar replaying the Seahawks on Monday Night Football, and I hit a couple of leather shops (they're everywhere) and bought my first really nice purse, a dark brown lamb skin handbag.

At dinner ... what a fitting wine given the day we had!

The 12th Man is happy! Monday night football on a Tuesday evening in Florence!

Today we are going to see if the line to climb the Duomo is reasonable, then we have a tour reserved at the Palazzo Vecchio. In the afternoon we might hop a train to Lucca and ride bikes on the medieval walls of the city.

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