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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Glory of the Medici

The hotel started serving at 7 so Trish and I agreed we'd have breaky about 7:30 and could get out early to explore.

There was a great range of food on offer Croissants, fruit, yogurts, cold meats, cheese and cooked food. I went for the cooked food (which was heated buffet style), now the Italians may know there meats but I'm sorry it does not make good bacon (if that's what it is intended). Still I was pleasantly replete as we headed out.

We made the long walk (2-300 metres) from our hotel to the Uffizi. The queues can be horrendous but like most Florentine museums it opens at 8:15 so we waved our Firenze Card and headed in.... only to go through an aiport style security check.

Honestly words can not describe the Uffizi. Oh you expect to be awed by Leonardo, Michaelangelo and Botticelli (ooh the famous Birth of Venus) but there is ssssoooo much more. Some of the art that was at one time in churches makes you gasp and you come across artist who you've never heard of and you just shake your head at the talent. If you are in to Renaissance art then the Uffizi is a ***** must do.

We saw the cafe and headed in. Yes it's expensive but we needed sustenance and even paid the extra to sit outside.

Before heading out I knew I wouldn't see many birds so left even my small binoculars at home (mistake but you'll need to wait to find out why!) but there was one bird I expected to find and that was Italian Sparrow. Corinna said that they were tricky.

So on top of the Uffizi.....

Some good view from up there.

We carried on with the museum and then headed off (there is so much to see that I'll have to do it again).

We went to Santa Croce. You have to pay to enter and there was a queue and any ladies not modestly dressed had to cover their shoulders and legs.

The church I might add is superb. And well worth the 6 euros (think that's right) *****

We then went for lunch at the Boccadama. I had my first Italian pasta Cannelloni with Riccota Cheese and Spinach, I also had a glass of wine. Decadent eh. Probably the best meal we had all week and excellent value at  about 15 euro ahead *****.

We picked up an Ice Cream en route (T in shock I didn't have Vanilla).

Next stop the Duomo (Cathedral). Not easy to get a picture of especially given the position of the sun.

The Baptistery doors.

The Duomo looks magnificent and one of my guides lists it as the second best attraction in Tuscany after the Uffizi. So you be surprised at the relatively few photos, Trish turned to me and said that she thought that it was a little disappointing and that Santa Croce was much nicer. I was relieved because I too was disappointed! **** (but mostly for the exterior).

We could have gone to the top of the dome but it was hot and long queues so we moved on.

The Church of San Lorenzo (****) doesn't allow photos inside.

As you can see the church of the Medicci somehow didn't get the marble cladding of others.At the end is the Medicci Chapel we'll get to that.

San Lorenzo market.

The Medicci Chapel

It doesn't look as good as others but the chapel **** is wonderful with a Michaelangelo monument.

And so we went for our Siesta

The customary search for food.....

San Margheritta church **

We had decided we were going to eat al-fresco one day and went to a Pizzeria on the Pizza della Signoria. We chose the il Bargello.  The food was goodish I'm sure you can (well you I know you can e.g. the Boccadam)  get much better away from the touristy places but the service was good the pizza better than you get here and it was decent value ***. Smoked Salmon to start and a Pizza with Tuscan Sausage.

I decided to go for a modestly sized diet coke.....

Trish went for the wine......


Eagleseagles said...

Wonderful photos! A grand day out!
Tricky Italian Sparrows proving me wrong lol. But they do generate a lot of birders comments - some thinking they are Spanish some a hybrid- I can confidently say you had Italian Sparrows!

Ragged Robin said...

Great photos Pete - beautiful art, sculptures, churches and an Italian Sparrow - what more could you want! Rather a large coke there - I would have been joining Tricia with the wine :) I like my wine almost as much as I like my cake and icecreams!