Florence. I spent years studying the art, architecture, religion and philosophy coming out of the Renaissance and beyond. And going to see it all in Florence was a literal pilgrimage. A boon for the soul.
Of course, it would have been soooo much better if I actually remembered anything about that art, architecture, religion and philosophy – but it was an amazing place nonetheless.
We saw all the top sites you can imagine:
- Santa Maria Novella church, one of the first major basilicas in the city, filled with art from many famous painters
- The Florence Cathedral and Brunellschi’s dome, an engineering feat that is even more breathtaking in person
- Uffizi gallery, housing the most important Rennaissance art collection in the world
- Ponte Vecchio over the Arno, particularly close to my heart from my opera singing days.
I’ll let the art below speak for itself. But what about some of the other highlights from our Florentine adventure?
- When we stopped to eat some gelato on the shores of the Arno, we saw a guy cycling down the road, and his paper liquor bag broke, shattering what seemed to be a nice bottle of champagne in the street. I said ‘Aw, that really sucks’ a little too loud, but he heard and agreed ‘Yes, it does really suck,’ and proceeded to pick up all the broken glass. I thought that was nice.
- BigB wanted some authentic biscotti, so we stopped at a market stall where he asked for ‘one of each flavor’, which the girl interpreted as ‘one of each flavor for everyone in the family’, meaning we got about 2 kg of biscotti. Which seemed like too much at first, but we managed to eat it all within a couple of days anyway, so I guess she knew what she was doing.
- J was really into the art at Uffizi. She stood and stared at nearly every painting for the first hour, it was amazing. Until it turned out she was actually just trying to process all the Jesus paintings from the early periods, and finally said ‘Why are they just painting the same thing over and over?? I’m tired of Baby Jesus and dead Jesus.’ I think that sentiment is actually what started the Renaissance in the first place, so… hooray for that lesson?
- BigB was also really into the art at Uffizi, but his interest took the form of photographing close-ups of every single marble bust in the whole place. I mean, I like marble busts too, but this was unhealthy. How many statues of Sophocles does one museum really need, and why do we need photos of each of them? The answer is ‘Probably 3, just in case’.
Too soon, it was time to go. I feel like we could have spent weeks wandering the city, but we had to get home and start eating biscotti. Don’t worry, Florence, we’ll be back.