Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Little Bit of Tuscany - Day 3

It has taken me 3 weeks to write about 3 days in Florence. Those aren't good stats. So, here is the final post about Florence. It is going to be short and sweet with more pictures than words. Sorry! I'm worded out.

We decided we had to go to the Duomo Museum while we were in Florence. Joe wanted to all along...and I thought we already had. Oops! After reading about it online, it turned into a must do instead of a want to do. So many cool, amazing things there. Here are a few pics to show them.

 J Jr. pretending to fall in the supports for the Duomo

 Goofing off at the Duomo Museum

One of the Baptistry doors on display at the Duomo Museum

 Another door on display

 There was a model of the sculptures on the Cathedral

 Yet another Baptistry door

 Guess what it is...another door!

 Michelangelo's Pieta at the Museum - important sculpture in which Nicodemus became a self-portrait of Michelangelo himself. He became so frustrated while making this sculpture that he broke off Christ's leg. Yikes! The piece was finished by another artist (which is why Mary Magdalene is so small and looks different than the others). Regardless, it is a moving piece of art.

A cool view of the Duomo from the Duomo Museum

Next, we headed to the Palazzo Vecchio. Obviously, we haven't climbed a gazillion steps yet on this day. It was an amazing view from the tower. Not as high as the other two, but still impressive.

The white church is Santa Croce - which we will get to in a bit.

 Cathedral, Duomo and Campanile

 We then headed downstairs to the different floors of the palace. We saw the Room of 500, apartments, terraces, etc. We didn't take many pictures here. You start to become numb to some of these things. It is sad but true. OK, I just looked and we didn't take any pictures here.

After the palace, we grabbed a bite to eat. We found a local hot spot down an alley, quite by accident. It was on both sides of the alley and both lines were out the door! So we had our focaccia sandwiches, walked a few blocks away, and popped a squat on a bench.

We were close to Santa Croce at this point. The church has a lovely facade, which was captured in many other pictures we took from all our tower climbing. Here are a few pics from inside the church and museum.

 I think this picture is in the wrong spot. It is probably part of Palazzo Vecchio. Sorry!


 You can see the tombs in the floor. We figured they were more like memorial "tombs".

 A view of one end of the church

 Joe with Dante Alighieri - Writer of "Divine Comedy" and author of the Italian language

 Poor Dante, lost his head!

  My cutie pies!

Part of the Santa Croce Museum

Seeing the statue of Dante reminded me that we saw the stone he sat on to write and compose the Italian language. It was fun to see. You had to really look for it, but we had been told were to go. Once again, stepping the footsteps of history. How cool is that?!?!

Next, we walked for miles (it felt like it at least...after 3 days of this, I thought I might die!) to the Pitti Palace. We toured the gardens (well, part of them...see the comment about fatigue above), Modern Art museum and some of us toured the apartments. Some of us decided we'd like some refreshments and to sit on our derrieres for a bit of time. I won't reveal which members were in each group...but the croissant was delicious and so was the coffee!

 The pond in the gardens at Pitti Palace

 My boy at an overlook in the gardens

 Porcelain Museum

 People just hanging out at the gardens...a few of us are on that bench and hill

 Yep, there we are!

 There is nothing better than a hill to climb on when you are 6 and 10!

 Oh no! He got stabbed in the head

 Well, I guess some guys never learn. :P

 Joe and J Jr. trying to be creative

 Yeah, it isn't working

  Walking the gardens

 Me and my honey


 A hollowed-out tree...oh wait, there's a head in there!

 KK and me in front of a forbidden part.

 I think he was drinking from the garden water. ha!


 Selfie with my baby girl

Oops! I think some pics are out of order!

After the gardens, we had a long, long walk back to the hostel. We saw some fun things, went in a few churches and got to see Michelangelo's Crucifix at Santo Spirito. I must say, I never had a favorite artist before. Well, Joe was my favorite artist...and always will be. BUT, Michelangelo is a close second now. ;) I can't say I've ever been "moved" by art. Every single one of his pieces was awe-inspiring and thought-provoking. J Jr. did not like the fact that Jesus was naked on the cross...which I had to remind him that the Roman soldiers cast lots for his undergarments. I think he was just tired of naked people and didn't feel a naked Christ was very reverent. Anyway, here are a few highlights. We did not get a picture of the crucifix. They were shutting the entire area down when we were there.

These little Fiats make us laugh...I keep telling Boo she should take one home with her for when she drives.

 Arno River

 My peeps on the Arno River overlook

That night, we found a fun spot to eat. It was raining and we wanted somewhere fast! The hostess of this restaurant would hunt you down and drag you in for some eats. She provided us with lots of entertainment. The waiters and waitresses even commented on her. She was fun to watch! The kids had a meter pizza, I had lasagna and Joe had ravioli, I think. The funniest part was, it was a Naples restaurant! All the food was based on foods in Naples. It didn't matter to was delicious and filled our bellies.

The next morning, we went to the caffe bar on the corner, had some donuts and drinks, and headed out for some early morning shopping. Turns out, early morning is 10:00 and we had to check out by 10:30. Oh well! The kids were disappointed as they wanted to buy something from Florence. Maybe next time!

 Hot chocolate, Florence style

 Filled donuts can be messy!

After our strikeout at the shops, we drove up to the Piazzale Michelangelo. Well, it looked gorgeous, but we could not find a parking spot within a mile of it. So, after wiping the tear from my eye, we headed home. Here's a shot of the drive.

To say we enjoyed Florence would be an understatement. It was simply lovely, beautiful, cultural, welcoming, exhausting and wonderful! I am not sure if we will go back before leaving Italy, but I am so glad we went.