Thursday, September 6, 2012

Stairway to Hell..oops, I Mean Heaven

This morning we walked through Florence for our date with the l'Accademia museum, eager to see one of Michelangelo's greatest achievements: David. The museum is pretty small and he's the main attraction but really the only thing you can do is sigh. Its simply beautiful. The white marble gleams under the dome highlighting the curves of muscle the artist painstakingly sculpted. The model for David must have been unbelievable, although to quote a friend of a friend, the guy is sort of sporting a peanut versus his full scale. Ha ha. Be prepared to hear "no foto" in every museum you enter. The docents were stalking E because she had her camera around her neck. It was all for naught, though, because we all got photos of the David.
We walked back a block to the museum of San Marco where Fra Angelico lived. Here they have a whole room of his works in this former Franciscan abbey/church. We even saw the individual cells where the monks lived. 
We grabbed a little gelato so we could sit for a few minutes. Today I mixed orange and chocolate and it was pretty great. E had the melon and it tastes just like someone had mashed cantaloupe in the cup, it was that delicious.
Afterward we decided to go see the Duomo (Santa Maria dei Fiori). Well, turns out we went to the wrong door and before we could turn back we were herded up the stairs. It felt like ten thousand steps, and it probably was. We were up inside the cupola over the altar. Gorgeous certainly but the only way out was up. Five more flights of stairs, E and I cursing, laughing and sweating, and we arrived at the top of the dome. The view is enough to make you shut up. All three of us were busy taking loads of pictures and Boy Wonder happened to take a really fantastic one of me with the city in the background. The way down seemed to take forever. Steep and twisty medieval staircases seemed to be deliberate torture devices but maybe old school monks felt the pain was good for you. Thanks guys. No..really. (take water with you. Trust us on this.)
We earned ourselves a snack so we found a good pizza rustica place and chowed down. Mmmmm. I had the artichoke, olive and mushroom. E had fresh chopped tomato and cheese and Boy Wonder's looked like it had a meatball on each little square.
Strolling through the market district to bargain some leather, I ended up buying a purse for my sister. I got a good deal and we walked back to our room to rest before heading out for some bistecca di fiorintina, which is what Boy Wonder wants for dinner.
Tomorrow we head off into Tuscany for a look around.

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