jueves, 7 de mayo de 2015

May 6 - Florence, Italy

Accademia Gallery
The David. What else is there to say? I mean, to say I went there to see the other sculptures and paintings would be a lie. What an impressive work of art! Any artist understands how hard certain parts of the human body are to get right, and dear Lord, his hands are perfect! Very strong and protective. There are several other parts of his body I'd point out too, but I think you all can figure those out for yourself. I just hope I look that good when I'm 511 years old!

Piazza della Signoria
This plaza is home to many famous pieces of art. There's a Fountain of Neptune, Hercules and Cacus, a replica of the David (this is where the original one was until they moved it to protect it from vandalism), as well as several other replicas of statues that are now in museums in the Loggia dei Lanzi.

Palazzo Vecchio Tower
While I wanted to tour the inside of the building and tower, I couldn't because it was closed because filming was taking place inside for the movie "Inferno" starring Tom Hanks, based off the Dan Brown book. While I've read the series and like them, I thought the movies didn't quite live up to the book. Maybe this one will be better? Or I will like it more because I was present at part of the filming? I guess I will have to wait until it comes out next year to see!

Bardini Garden
This pretty neat garden is on a hill behind a palace, so that's kinda cool. It's full of marble sculptures and even has a pool in it, though it's not for swimming. To top it off, the top point is high up, so you can get some amazing views of the city.

Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore
The outside of this cathedral is quite grand and it is an incredibly huge, so one would imagine the inside is probably quite impressive. Well, indeed it is. I absolutely loved the inside because it is in such pristine condition! Plus, I loved the simplicity of it; part of the walls are painted white and part are stone, the dome is beautifully painted and in great condition, plus there isn't a bunch of extra touristy "crap" inside like some other cathedrals I've visited. While I maintain that the basilica in Madrid is the most breath takingly beautiful church I've ever been to, the elegance and simplicity of this one coupled with the amazing dome makes it a close second. However, instead of going in, touring it, and taking pictures, I decided to skip waiting in line and paying for a visit in favor of going to mass. As if English, Spanish, and French masses weren't enough for me, Italian had to sneak in there! It was honestly one of the coolest experiences ever! It amazes me the differences between European and US mass. Maybe it's because I've been a part of small parishes where the priest knows everyone. Maybe it's because of how intermingled religion and politics are in the US. Maybe it's because it was in Italian (though I could make out probably 25% of what he was saying because of the similarities to Spanish). Either way, it seemed to be more of what mass should be. And I loved it.

Florence is a lovely city and is one of my favorites so far in Europe. The city is very clean and isn't run down, easy to navigate, the mountains in the distance are lovely, the sculptures everywhere are striking, and everything just seems perfect. I would definitely love to return or maybe even live in Florence.

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