Florence – Day 7

A hearty breakfast for Griffin as Daddy offers Italian sausage, toast, cherries. He mows through the sausage, and asks for more.

A little morning reading on the terrace since working out is off the table. Ace Atkins’ realization of the late, great Robert Parker’s Spenser. For those who asked I read What We Harvest, Ann Fraistat—a friend of Jason’s—and her debut YA novel.

There’s a bird nearby who whistles like a human. It’s not the pigeon who comes to stand on the wisteria-smothered pergola, but I look up from my book to watch him apparently hunt for insects. He keeps slipping, flapping wings to regain his balance. Then it’s peck furiously in the wisteria, slip, flap, repeat.

He either gets enough or decides it’s not worth the flapping, and flies off.

I think my stupid toe’s up for a little outing before our big Uffuzi outing later, so off we go to wander. It feels good to be out again, soak up a little sun, a little shopping, and lots of Florentine sights and sounds.

Fountain of Neptune by Barolomeo. Photo by j a-b.

The buildings are so beautiful, the heat-soaked colors, the red tiles, as you go from wide, crowded streets to quiet, narrow ones. Bells chime as we go, and they say: Lunch.

Pasta for me today, and a perfect choice. Griffin, with a tummy full of sausage, glazes over and naps while the rest of us eat. And while we eat, what must be a school field trip swarms. They’re so cute!! Chanting and singing and obviously delighted with themselves and the day. The rest of us dig out memories of our own field trips.

Basic lunch. Photo by j a-b.

After lunch we detour to the big building with its bell tower on the edge of the piazza. I can’t remember the full details BW told us from the guide he read, but back in the ago, a monk stirred up the population to displace (temporarily) the Medicis. Then he took over that building, made it his home. Until the population turned on him, and he ended up burned at the stake.

At least he had a lovely home before going crispy.

We part ways with Kat who heads off to a yarn store she spotted. She plans to take Griffin, when and if he wakes, to an interactive DiVinci exhibit while the rest of us tour the Uffuzi. We head home first, and I put my foot up.

Oh, thanks to whoever told me about the Voltaren gel. Found it, used it. It works!*

Thanks to Jason who once again obtains our tickets on line then gets the paper ones, and we’re in, shuffling along, giving my foot a workout with steps. More steps. Hey, an elevator!

Laocoon and His Sons. Photo by j-ab
Body in action. Photo by Nora.

And here we are, that long, long, wide hall lined with Roman sculptures with rooms off it holding paintings. Pre-Renaissance, that fascinating flat style, all gilded. Madonna and Child are the most popular images. I wonder what churches or homes they came from, and isn’t it amazing we can stand and admire them centuries later. Look up, and the curved ceilings offer more art.

Coronation of the Virgin by Anna Maria Lorenzoni. Photo by j a-b.
Ceilin with grotescques by Alessandro Allori, Antoni Tempesta, et al. Photo by j a-b.

We wander, absorb, room-by-room, then the Botticelli’s show the evolution of styles, the light, the movement, the dimension and details. Religious imagery abounds, BVM and Child—who almost always has the face of a middle-aged man (as Jason points out). Odd to me are the works that show an adult John The Baptist with Toddler Jesus, but I suppose they’re allegories, symbolic.

The Fall of the Rebel Angels by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Photo by j a-b
Judith Beheading Holofernes by Artemisia Gentileschi. Photo by j-ab

And there she is. The Birth Of Venus, just as glorious as I remember from our visit years ago. Everything about that work is magnificent. And what a difference to see it, really see it, rather than a poster, a photo.

(from l-r)The Discovery of the Body of Holofernes by Botticelli. The Return of Judith to Bethulia by Botticelli. Photo by Nora.
Fortitude by Sandro Botticelli. Photo by j a-b.
The birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli. Photo by BW.

I’m pleased to see my personal favorite, the sad, baffled face of the arrow-struck Saint Sebastian as we wander.

And here’s DiVinci, and oh, here’s genius in every brush stroke. Now Michelangelo, and more genius. The use of color, the brilliance of it, the magic pull of light created with paint and stunning talent. I feel blessed to be able to actually stand so close, and to share that with Kayla.

Adoration of the Magi by Leonardo da Vinci. Photo by j a-b
Doni Tondo by Michelangelo. Photo by BW

There’s more, so much. There’s the head of The Baptist on a platter. He looks resigned. Here’s Venus with Cupid, an odd couple when Cupid’s the little guy. Portraits of serene-faced women, stern-faced men. And lots of the BVM—The Annunciation, the Madonna, the Assumption.

Diptych of Federico da Montefeltro and Battista Sforza by Piero della Francesca. Photo by Nora.

We spend nearly two hours before Kayla, my toe and I call it. We’ll meet the guys back home.

The Uffizi Gallery. Photo by BW.
A view from above. Photo by BW.

They wind you out through the gift shop, of course, so when we get out, both of us are turned around. We head one way, stop, second guess ourselves, double back. Learn as we approach the Arno we should’ve trusted our first instinct. Double back again, and my toe’s not happy with me.

But the girl’s directional skills wind us back, and it’s home. Foot up!

Despite all the walking (and stairs!!) the bruising’s fading fast and the swelling’s actually down some.

Kat got her yarn—gorgeous!—Griffin got his first exposure to DiVinci, and we can hang out awhile. We had some plumbing issue in the morning in Kayla and Griffin’s bathrooms—apparently they share a Y thing. Anyway, the housekeeper called the plumber, and all fixed. But he left a dirty towel and some dirt besides in Kayla’s room.

There’s da Vinci, then there’s Super Mario. Photo by Kat.

Kat, also the best aunt in the world of aunts, cleaned and sanitized.

In her role of best dil, she makes me an ice pack.

Dinner! Close by with my toe in mind. This is the place of the earlier cheesecakes. Our waiter is Gianni, and delightful. Kayla and I both order side salads with our main—pizza for me, fettucini (I think) for her. I don’t know whose sides they came from because HUGE. And fresh as a stolen kiss. How about some Chianti with that?

Don’t mind if I do.

Another lovely meal on another lovely evening, though after the salad, I barely manage half of my lovely pizza—but that leaves room for vanilla gelato with strawberries. Many strawberries, so I share.

Then Gianni offers complimentary meloncino. Not a melon fan, so I pass, but Jason downs his, then mine, like shots.

BW’s dessert and cappuccino. Photo by BW.

A short walk home, a short hang-out time, then bed.

More wiggle in the toe this morning—if not I’d’ve sucked up a visit to the ER, but definitely more wiggle. So we’ll keep doing what we’re doing, and not doing what we’re not doing.

I miss my workouts!!

Griffin and Jason have joined me, and there is hilarity in Cookie Swirl’s visit to Grandpa’s very strange house.

BW’s up, too, and Jason’s making Griffin’s breakfast. I might share the morning video amusement, then take my book onto the terrace.

Nora


Today’s #randomkatness.

#randomkatness – circle division. Photo by Kat
#randomkatness – street art division. Photo by Kat.

* Ed note: that’s Laurie Herman on the JD Robb FB page with a second from me. ~Laura

3 thoughts on “Florence – Day 7”

  1. I still vividly remember the Uffizi Gallery. (It was called the Uffizi Palace a gazillion years ago.) Some of the art is still in my memory banks, too, thanks to an art professor who made us write reports about our favorites when we were back in class. I cursed him for it, but now I’m grateful. We remember things we write about.

  2. What an amazing day for all! You’re all such troopers. Reminds me of my art classes, loved the history. Thank you for the lovely pictures.

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