Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Medici Unplugged

Florence is a great city to walk; even at night the girls and I felt perfectly safe. Of course we did not venture too far beyond tourist areas but what an opportunity to fall in love with the jewels of the Renaissance. My only complaint (well perhaps there were a few) was the museums were so small, they require reservations (yes, you read that correctly) on busy days. Perhaps that was something I overlooked in the guidebooks. You simply will not get in without a reservation if there are crowds. Period.
The Galleria dell'Accademia is one of the best known museums in Florence, because it houses famous sculptures by Michelangelo, including the "David", "The Foil Porcospino ur Prisoners" and the "Pieta of Palestina". This Museum is way too small. If someone begins a fund to improve it, I will happily contribute.

The restoration and construction work (which I know is so neccessary to preserve the grand architecture) really detracted from the Florence experience in some locations. It's hard to imagine and get the "feel" of some of the buildings when they're draped and covered with scaffolding.

I took the photo on the left at The Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross). Santa Croce is the principal Franciscan church in Florence and was one of our favorite places. It is also known as the Temple of Italian Glories because Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Gentile, Rossini, and Marconi are entombed there. I particularily like how the Franciscan monks hid Galileos remains in the wall - defying the Pope and his orders that the evil Galileo, with his scientific ideas, could not be interred in a holy place.

The hilarious and entertaining Franco welcomed us to il Porcospino; once for lunch and again the following night for dinner. Franco is obviously legendary and everyone seems to know and love him. If you don't get him started on Italian politics (he's not keen on the idea of a diverse Italy) he'll sing American pop songs for you. Be sure to visit there for good food at reasonable prices in Florence.

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