Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Classic Florence

Day 90

My alarm went off at 6:30 am, I didn't manage to get out of bed though until around 9. I had wanted to be up early to beat the line at the Uffizi, Florence's main art museum. This didn't happen. I ended up standing in line for almost 2 hours. At the front of the line there was a funny sign that said: Due to technical difficulties the length of the line will not be brought up. I have no idea what that meant. Maybe I'm not meant to tell you that it was a long line?

When it was finally my turn I knew immediately that it was worth the wait. The main gallery was full of Roman statues and busts. The was one of Nero out of marble that looked rather potmarked and red. I wanted to give him some clearasil. One room was just full of Botticelli's. The Birth of Venus (1484) out shown all of the other excellent paintings. I spent some time discovering every detail.

The Uffizi begun its life as a palace and one of the room had been left in its 1589 appearance. There were about a dozen or so globes in here. It reminded me of how much was left for me to discover is this big world.

There were also a handful of DaVinci's here. The Adoration of the Magi (1481) was unfinished, but still breathtaking. I really enjoyed the Sacred Allegory (1490) by Bellini with its sightly off balance look. Right at the end of the museum are a few Caravaggio's that reminded me of Malta.

All too soon the museum was over. It's not large, but every piece on display is worth contemplating.

After a bit of wandering I stumbled on the gelaterie that my guidebook had said was the best. It was pretty darn good.

There are tons of museums and cathedrals in Florence. The thing is, they are all excellent, overwhelming, and expensive. I had managed to see the three things that were on my list and didn't want to spend money at places that I hadn't been looking forward to as much. I did however duck into the chapel that Dante was said to have met Beatrice in and where she is buried. I know very little about Dante besides the fact that he wrote the Inferno and Paradiso. I also have no idea who Beatrice was.

When I got back to the campsite I met a couple from Scotland. They told me that I was the first person to not think that they were Irish. They had been scammed earlier in the day into paying €18 for two ice creams! They taught me how to pay a rather complicated card game that I somehow managed to win although I couldn't tell you the name or how to play it.

When I went back to my tent to sleep I was once again happy to see that I was still the only occupant.

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