Starry Wisdom

Entropic Words from Neilathotep

Thursday, February 26, 2009

That poor dog!

In the Villa – We got to Florence at 11AM yesterday. We parked and then walked over to the plaza near the Uffizi. We took some pictures before heading in to the Museum. We spent about 2 hours before we were arted out. I mean, it’s full of some really good art, but, especially the first series or rooms, are very skewed to early religious art… so you can get burned out on that.

Afterwards, we walked towards the Duomo, making a stop for lunch at a pizzeria. There was an unfortunately confused fellow American sitting near us, who I think really wanted to ask us for help but couldn’t quite screw up the courage. Oh well. After lunch we got gelato. Oh man, delicious! The tiramisu that Fred got might have been the winner, but they were all quite good.

The Duomo (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore) is a magnificently grand cathedral. The main hall is humongous and open, and pretty much like nothing I’d seen before. It was crazy to think of the generations it took to build it, and that it had been standing for over half a millennium. After we looked around the inside of the church, we headed back outside to go up to the top of the dome.

The climb up is quite interesting, with a series of spiral stair cases and switchback staircases. There is an interlude where you walk along a balcony just below the dome itself, and get to see the fresco up close.

And then you climb up a staircase leading over the the inner dome itself, and ascend through a hatch on to the roof of the dome, and are treated to 360 degrees of views around Florence.

After we descended to ground level, we went to the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, which is filled with original artwork from the Duomo itself, which is either being restored, or under preservation. Included in their treasure are the actual panels of the doors of the Baptistry, in nitrogren class cases, and the Pieta del Duomo, one of Michaelangelo’s last works. The cashier at the museum was a particularly fantastic gentleman, so great in fact that he was immortalized with his own statue:

We then did some minor shopping. We crossed over the Ponte Vecchio, the only medieval bridge left spanning the Arno River in Florence (thanks Hitler). In our wandering, Joan and Chris found the honey grappa they’d been searching for.

After a while we took a break in the plaza in front of Santa Croce, where we discussed dinner. We weren’t quite hungry yet, but we knew our best bet for food was in Florence, plus it was our one chance for Tuscan food! We found a small restaurant not too far away from where our car was parked, with a handwritten menu out front. The food at this mom and pop place was delicious and inexpensive. We eschewed wine and went through 3 liters of aqua con gas, much to the consternation of the proprietor, but it was what we needed.

On the way back to our car we found the spoor of the poor dog JFK, a dog who can poo at either of two settings, and was stuck on both. He looks something like the Agip logo, with the proper number of legs, and the fire moved down and to the left:

We left the city around 9:20PM, arrived home at 11:30 and promptly were done for the day.



posted by neil at 8:15 am
under Italy,travel,Umbria 2009  

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