Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Masters of Firenze

After a 2 hr train ride from Venice to Florence we hopped a cab to our hotel. Since we arrived right at about check out time, there were about 50 people in line. We were told we couldn't check in until 2:30 but we were welcome to leave our bags in an unsecured baggage check with no one monitoring. Um, no. After an hour I once again asked and successfully negotiated to get at least one of the rooms so we could lock up our suitcases. After that we were off!
Our first stop was the Palazzo Vecchio since its right next to the Ufizzi Gallery where iur first appointment was. We decided to have lunch first, which consisted of pizza, swordfish, gnocchi and penne with salmon. Sister's fiance ordered a beer which was nothing less than German sized because I swear this glass (which was really a small urn) held like 2 liters of beer. The house wines were also excellent and our waiter was fantastic. He kept calling E "Miss Los Angeles".
Of course we had to have the requisite gelato after our meal before seeing all the amazing art in the Ufizzi. The Caravaggios, Botticelli's, Fra Lippi, etc. Its wondrous to see such talent and attention to details! We were getting short on time, so we high tailed it over to the L'Accademia to see the famous Michelangelo's David. He is amazing to behold no matter how many times youve seen him. Remmy and I wondered if Michelangelo drew his subject first then sculpted or if the model actually sat for the entire sculpture. Walking up to the dome where David is you will see many large blocks of marble in various states of completion. Michelangelo was carving people into the rock, and the series is called " The Prsioners". It looks like the people are trying to crawl out of the rock. Did he have in mind what to carve before he started or did he "see" what to carve when he saw the marble? Maybe we'll never really know. The L'Accademia also had an exhibition of art from the Franciscan monasteries they have created when St Francis first started his order. Taking vows of poverty, the art is very simple and rough. Just paint on wood and not the fancy gold leafed tryptichs we have seen elsewhere. The most amazing thing I saw in there was an original copy of Dante's inferno. The writing was SO small. This text is amazing in that it set the standard for a unified Italian language, which is Florentine Italian.
After going back to our room to escape the midday heat (it was 95 oof!), 3 of us went to dinner at the L'Bottegha di Donatello. When traveling, I have a policy of trying food and drinks that a location is known for. In Florence, those items are bistecca fiorentino and gelato. E got the bistecca which is not just a steak. Its a t-bone steak specifically made from chianina beef which is raised locally in Tuscany. Its very sparingly seasoned and seared so the meat is very tender and melts in your mouth. If you order this anything more cooked than medium rare then you're just wrong and you should haze yourself right now. We definitely needed the walk back to digest all that deliciousness!
Tomorrow is wandering Florence, seeing the cathedrals, the market and Dante's house.


  1. Nothing less then beautiful and amazing! Im the exact same way in regards to trying food! Love it!!

  2. Fabulous !! How cool to see the original Dante's Inferno. The gnocchi, the fish, the wine.. look devine ! Thank you for publishing this blog !