Thursday, November 10, 2011

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in Florence

Another windy day in Italy for the McKnights and this time we were in Florence. The buildings gave us a little shelter as we toured this beautiful city, but it was still chilly! As always, we parked up on the hill near the Piazza Michelangelo overlooking the city. It was funny when I talked to Silvia (our B&B hostess) about going into Florence… She wanted us to take the bus because she sold passes, but we have a game plan going into town each time. She couldn’t believe that we were driving into the city- she said “Good Luck!!” We’ve been to Florence so many times that by now we almost don’t need Tutti (our GPS). Well… we still need her, but it feels like we know the city pretty well by now.

Windy? I think so! Mike's hair is all over the place!! :)

We started out walking into the city, over the Ponte Vecchio, past the Ferragamo Museum (so they could see some Ferragamo designs), and our first order of business was to visit the Church of Santa Croce. This is a place Josh and I have wanted to see for a long time, but we never made time for it when we visited Florence in the past. This time around, we made time for it! Galileo, Michelangelo, and Dante are all buried there. It is interesting that all of the supposed “heretics” were buried in a Catholic church. Florence is a liberal city, and I think these burials go to show that Florence has always been a liberal city. The church itself was HUGE with many chapels and beautiful murals on the walls. We were glad we took the time to visit the church.
Santa Croce
The monster doors at Santa Croce

My hair was all over that day! It was so windy


This woman was cleaning one of the grave markers on the floor,
she was using the quivalent of a Q-tip with rubbing alcohol!

Later that day Mike and Laura went to the Accademia Gallery to see Michelangelo’s "David" statue. After we dropped them off there, we walked by the museum exit and if you wait for a few minutes you’ll see David when people walk out. It’s been many years since I saw David in person, and this was a great reminder of how magnificent he is! Josh and I then visited the Palazzo Vecchio which is near the Uffizi Museum. The palace is the old residence of the government of Florence (including the ruling Medici’s). After visiting the Medici Palace earlier this summer, it was fun to then go to the Palazzo Vecchio to see how the Medici family influenced this residence. It was so elaborate and some of the rooms were just over the top!  It was interesting to see the typical murals from that period though- they were so different than the elaborate styles I am used to seeing in palaces. We were also able to see statues made by two of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles- Michelangelo and Donatello :)
Palazzo Vecchio

The grand ballroom- it was a little over the top! But amazing.
The cieling is actually suspended from the roof to keep it from
another view of the grand ballroom
"Genio della Vittoria" statue by Michelangelo

the typical murals on the walls- very different than what
we usually see
an amazing piece of furniture with inlaid pearl, jade, and other
beautiful stones
one of the family chapels

"Judith and Holofernes" statue by Donatello in the Hall of Lilies

The map room

While we were in the palace, Mike and Laura went on a hunt for boots. Laura has been eyeing up boots ever since she arrived in Italy, and was determined to buy some here. Well, she found some when we were in the Palace! She was so excited! We even found her a pair of “skinny” jeans that she can wear with them.

A hungry horse outside of the Duomo

a three wheeled car?

Time for dinner! Between the churches, museums and shopping, we were all tired and hungry! We had dinner at this great little restaurant that we have eaten at before, Trattoria San Lorenzo. The food is great, and it is reasonably priced. Not to mention, it was warm in the restaurant! I think I’m still used to the warm weather because at this point I felt like a freeze baby!


The next day we met up with some old friends…  stay tuned!

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