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.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Giornali Firenze Part Tre

April 16

“Full” breakfast at the Ibis just another Continental breakfast, except they had an instant cappucino machine. We decided to stay another night in Florence, since there was still so much to see. The original plan was to drive through the Tuscan countryside and see Sienna, San Gimignano, or Volterra. Guess we’ll catch them next time.

First on the agenda was the Piazza della Signoria where the original David had stood for centuries, as well as many other notable statues. I still don’t get why Michaelangelo’s David is so celebrated. Personally I preferred the larger-than-life Neptune or triumphant Perseus holding Medusa’s head.

The only museum I really wanted to see was the Uffizi, but when we turned the corner and saw the lines filling the outdoor galleria, we decided to buy a coffee-table book from Barnes & Noble in Houston.

It was drizzling by now, but the crowds were multiplying, so we strolled among the vendor stalls toward the famous Ponte Vecchio (old bridge) with its elite, old-world shops clinging to the bridge like barnacles on a ship.

After climbing the long way up and down the hill looking for shortcut (which was definitely not a shortcut), we came to the Palazzo Pitti. This palace was built in Oltrarno (“over the Arno” or the wrong side of the tracks) when Cosimo Medici’s wife, Eleanor, decided the air was healthier there. Soon all the courtiers built their residences nearby as well.

We first toured the special exhibit, “Mytologica e Erotica”. This wasn’t nearly as raunchy as it sounds, although there were a few tiny carved amulets and ivory boxes that were quite risqué. I was so awed by the trompe l’oile, I hardly noticed the art. I truly thought the ceiling was filled with corbels and sconces, but it was all illusion created by shading and perspective.

After touring the Boboli Gardens for an hour and a half (we totally missed all the fabulous grottos), we hiked down the hill and ate a very late lunch on the Ponte Vecchio and strolled back toward the station.

Then, OOPS, we realized the busses stopped running at 1:00 pm on Easter Sunday, so we took a hair-raising cab back to the hotel. Then we popped open a bottle of Chianti I had bought in town and watched German TV in bed while Ted translated.