Another gorgeous day. We head out late morning for the walk to Palazzo Strozzi where there’s a Renaissance exhibit. First we’re going to change money at the bank on the corner. You can only go in through a tube-like door one at a time–and you can’t take any sort of bag. Once we figure that out, I go in only to find they don’t change money there.
But it was an interesting and surreal experience.
Along the way to the palace we spot a fruit and vegetable stall. It’s tucked into a kind of dead end along one of the narrow roads.
The colors are so incredible. I swear the strawberries didn’t look real, they were so deliciously red. Plump tomatoes, zucchini with the wonderful flowers still attached. Kat hadn’t seen damsons before–we had a tree in the yard where I grew up. So she buys a couple to try. I’d have done the same if I hadn’t just eaten a huge plum from the hotel fruit basket.
We walk on, with BW navigating with the map, across piazzas, down little streets–and there’s a shop with the most adorable baby clothes. Hand knit, crochets embroidery. The sweetest dress for my youngest granddaughter, Quinn, and the cutest little hooded sweater/jacket for her twin, Colby. Incredible workmanship, so very special.
We realize we need stamps after we spot a post office, so Jason and Kat go in to deal with it, and I wander the stalls outside. Score another Christmas present.
On we go, and BW winds us around to the Strozzi. The entrance leads to a wide, interior courtyard with a cafe. Lots of people sitting on benches in the cool. We check our bags, get our tickets, and start through the exhibit.
Amazing art. 14-1500, but there’s a stone bust from the second century. Lots of Donatello–bronzes, marbles, wood, terra cotta. Religious and classical heroic figures, and just out there. Not behind glass. I see Donatella’s St. George and the Dragon. Fantastic. A grinning boy with a hole at the end of his penis–he was a fountain. Peeing fountains, the plaque tells us were very popular.
I suppose the amusement factor for such things is, was and will be part of the human condition.
Many, many Madonnas with Child–and she always seems to be holding Jesus on her left arm. Jason imagines she had a gun of steel on that arm.
I love the ones where she’s cuddling him and they both look so happy.
It’s absolutely wonderful, from the sculptures to the paintings, all displayed in big, airy rooms with benches for those who want to sit and absorb.
At the end of the exhibit there’s a long table set up with tiles of stone, wood, leather, marble, bronze. You’re invited to sit, touch, consider the textures, what you prefer. You can fill out a postcard with a drawing or thoughts on your feelings. They’ve displayed many, and I enjoy looking through them.
Back out we go, and wander toward the Duomo, decide to have lunch–a lovely salad for me with a dressing of melted gorganzola. Delicious!
I see more girls/women with black tights or leggings under their dresses. WHY??? It’s not only hot but if it’s fashionable it’s still unattractive–and just silly when the temps are in the 90s.
It’s nice to sit, eat, drink, talk–and have the little mists of cool water trickle down now and then from the awning to cool us off.
Kat spots a woman with a bundle of scarves, and one is simply beautiful. The sale is done over the rail between the trattoria and the piazza. Nice work!
As the line for the small tour of the Duomo isn’t long, we go for it. Takes us little time to get in, and I remember so well from my first visit here how lovely it is. The intense colors of the stained glass, the stunning painted ceiling over the main altar area. It’s a reverent space despite the wandering tourists, but I think as reverent toward art and architecture as religion.
Once we’re done, we hit the gelateria across the piazza. Mint for me today–glorious, refreshing, with those little chunks of chocolate to add a touch of rich.
Another belt stall as Kat’s buying gifts, then the men are tired of us. LOL. As we’ve another stop to make–a return to a shop–they head back to the hotel, and Kat and I clean house!
I think I bagged nine more Christmas gifts which basically covers all my girl pals–and the proprietor, who has no English–is so sweet. Kat finds a fabulous bag for her laptop.
We haul it all back where I find BW asleep on the couch.
Tomorrow the Uffizi–and tonight I think very casual and easy again.
We enjoyed a bella notte at a trattoria in the piazza near the hotel. Gorgeous warm evening, cheerful outdoor seating. The piazza’s busy still, and three young boys hover around a bench sketching the big church. Future Da Vincis perhaps.