Kaffee Klatch

Little of this, little of that...from an avid coffee lover and wanna-be world traveler.

Location: Houston, Texas, United States

Would knit all day if my fanny and my hubby didn't get so sore.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Giornali Firenze Part Duo

April 15 (Cont'd)
We began so energetically and ended up exhausted! We headed first toward the church of San Lorenzo and the Capella de Medicii, or chapel of the Medicis, which contains several of Michaelangelo's most beautiful sculptures commissioned for the famous family's tombs. We toured the Cathedral which, with an unfinished facade and dark interior, was beautiful but hardly compared to others we saw later. In fact, I can truly say that each cathedral I entered was more beautiful than the last, with the most spectacular being the Duomo in Milan.

We spent 2-3 hours shopping for souvenirs around San Lorenzo, not knowing what would be open on Easter Sunday. We eventually wound around to the Straw Market, and had a very late lunch/dinner at about 4:00 in an outdoor restaurante in the piazza. A couple of beers, salads, and a shared pizza really hit the spot.

Rested and replete, we walked the 6 blocks or so to the Duomo, which became more amazing the closer we got. At a distance, it looks as if it's punctuated with windows with black painted sills. A little closer and you see it is dark green rectagles against the white Carrera marble. Closer still, you see veining & realize it's actually green marble with pink marble accents.

Next we toured the octagonal baptistry across the street. It is particularly reknown for its bronze sculptured doors, the most fabulous by Lorenzo Ghiberti and nicknamed the "Gates of Paradise" by Michaelangelo. The dome inside is covered with mosaics of angels, saints, and demons, and a large image of Jesus dominating all. A vivid image of Satan devouring humans might shock a few backsliders back onto the straight and narrow.

Then Ted decided we should climb Giotto's campanile (bell tower) and get a nice view of the city. Since the tower closed at 6:00, we didn't have time to "catch our breath" much on the ascent. 440-something steps to the top! But the awesome view was very much worth the wheezing.

After that we were done for. Ted had some gelato and I drank about a gallon of water, then headed back to the hotel.


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