Florence, Italy


Florence, or Firenza as they say, is a required stop for any newbie traveling Italy.  It is big on the museum side with the Uffizi Gallery, among many, and one certainly needs to see the most famous sculpture in the world, Michelangelo’s David.  This iconic statue has had a hard life. When first unveiled it was greeted with jeering, rock throwing and general disapproval.  Later, during some riot in the 1500’s a bench was tossed at David which broke the left arm in three places.  Still later a crazed, jealous artist smashed the toe with a hammer.  It was also greatly damaged by a museum cleaning with hydrochloric acid.  The statue sat outside in the elements for over a hundred years.  David stands proudly today in the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence, alone in a large open room built just for it.
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The Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica

Saint Peters Dome, View from our condo

Saint Peter’s Dome, View from our condo

I will leave to others to try and describe the immensity, beauty and grandeur of  St. Peter’s Basilica and all the Vatican offers.  It is simply over the top in every aspect.  The guide told us that they did what they could to make it appear smaller than it is, as the size was unnerving to many who visited.  There are arches and domes of differing sizes that intersect, resulting in incredibly complex architectural lines.  One of the photos in the Gallery is named ‘Complexity’ for this reason.  On display is Michelangelo’s beautiful Pieta, now behind glass every since a crazy man chipped off part of Mary’s nose….  Among the crowd are tourists busily snapping one photo after another, wandering around with heads always strained toward the ceiling, as well as nuns quietly experiencing the meaning of the place in silence.  There is likely no more beautiful and ornate building on earth.  However, I am no expert in this area as I have yet to see the Taj Mahal, Palace of Versailles and many other places, so much to see….
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