Still feasting in Florence, our eyes and bellies

Trip Start Feb 02, 2010
Trip End Feb 02, 2011

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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I'm sitting on the balcony at Gauss and Eugenia’s looking down at the cats below. There is about five that hang out on the big balcony below in the sun. It must be great fun being a cat in this little part of Florence, they all seem to have a home and look healthy and fed. Imagine how nice it must be to come and lay in the sun with all the other cats in the neighbourhood all day.

Sunday we went to the Boboli Garden and Palazza Pitti. Courtesy of Florence and it’s 'culture week’ we didn’t have to pay the usual fifteen euro entry fee. I’m so glad we didn’t decide to lash out and visit the week before. We stood and deliberated at the ticket office for maybe half an hour whether we should or not. I’d be raging now if we’d payed to go in and then a few days later could have gone for free. But anyway what we actually saw in there.

The first place explored was the old palace – now an art gallery. I can’t really remember a damned thing actually, there is just so much stuff in these places it’s a total overload. I was impressed by the detail, size and realistic looking pictures but I can’t recall a single picture in my head. They are impressive but not the kind of stuff that sticks in your mind, well not mine anyway.

For one of the tasks in our treasure hunt, "count all the horses in every picture of a gallery you visit" we counted six hundred and thirty two. The funny thing is we made it almost to the end of the whole gallery before we remembered we had to count the horses so we went all the way back to the start. Does anyone have any idea how hard it is to count the number of horses in some of the war paintings?!

What I really do remember clearly is the few rooms that have been kept as they were when the place was still used as a palace. The walls were lined with the most beautiful silk. Bright, rich colours and patterns. The curtains were made from the same colour and patterned silk, which I think I read was considered high French fashion. The room in which the Duke would meet with people was lined with rich, rich red silk and had an amazingly large and elaborate chandelier hanging from the roof. His red velvet-cushioned chair with a little fence around it to stop people coming too close was still there too. His sleeping room – one of them anyway – was lined with bright gold silk with a delicate flowered pattern, also with matching curtains on the windows and the four-poster bed. It was incredible the money and effort that was put into making this place so royal looking; it really is from another world. I think all that silk wouldn’t have been cheap back in the day.

By the time we were finished in the galleries I was so hungry and tired I sadly had very little energy to explore the massive and beautiful gardens which were what I had really been looking forward to seeing. We looked around for a while; the most entertaining feature of the garden was the fishpond. I think it would take weeks to really explore the gardens. There are hundreds of paths leading everywhere. One very strange thing built in the gardens was a fake cave, maybe it was meant to be, maybe not, for cave likeness it was a pretty poor attempt. It was an open room sticking out of a hill with paintings on the walls and the many sculptures in there covered with broken pieces from inside a cave. The pieces were stuck on everywhere and in every direction, it was very strange.

Monday was almost non-existent to us… nothing to report from Monday. Actually a walk to a park and laying in the grass under huge beautiful trees, then randomly running into and then getting ice-cream with a group of Spanish exchange students we met at dinner with Alessandro the other night.

Today we went to The Dome. Again the city of Florence kindly waved the eight-euro entry fee and a security guard kindly waved us past the line to get in that was about two hundred meters long. We walked past the line looking for the end and a security guy just let us walk straight in a side door – no waiting! Inside was really cool, it’s so big! I was in a similar place once, The Grampians National Park, (in Victoria). Nature’s version made by forest of gums, their huge white trunks stretching up to a canopy of leaves. The Dome though, imagine all the people stacking every brick in there, that it is built by humans is quite amazing. The huge cracks in the actual dome quite concerned me. I’m not sure what else to say about it besides describing every detail and that’s boring for me. It was good, I liked it a lot. Oh and for those of you who can appreciate this, we saw the human doubles of Peter and Lois from “Family Guy” wander through The Dome.

So, on the topic of seeing someone who looks exactly like a cartoon character, Eugenia works in a bar/cafe right next to their apartment building that is owned by the human double of Moe from “The Simpsons.” It’s really amazing the visual similarities, though this guy is much kinder and friendlier. It’s a really nice little place that he runs, the atmosphere is very relaxed, people play cards and there is a stack of board games you can use. We have enjoyed a beer a few times there, sometimes on the way out somewhere and sometimes if we are coming home around two AM when Eugenia finishes work - we stop and have a drink while we wait for her to finish and then walk the whole half a minute trip home with her. She is lucky to have good work so close to home. So now it’s time to go for dinner again. This time we are going for 'bistecca alla fiorentina' at the house of a ever smiling German friend, Hans.
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Julie on

Wonderful writing. It seems like you are having a great time in Florence. Great food, beautiful views and wonderful people!

Happy travelling my friends!

Looking forward to further reading.

Love from Uje

Horst on

Hi Floss and Felix, very nive Photos, all best for you and you tripp through europa,

see you

best regard from Manuel and Horst

Maria on

What luck! Turns out I wasn't on the last Italian blog! Lovely. Hey, good work on the horse count - unbelievable there could be so many in one gallery, huh?! And lovely pics. But I do have a complaint: I'd love to see more pictures of you guys (more than the odd one here and there), and of your friends - I mean, who ARE Gaus and Eugenia and Gio? Good descriptions, but a photo would be nice... And did you manage to take any photos of the silk-covered rooms? I'd love to see some if you did, because I'm particularly appreciative of colours these days.

Now this is the problem I was mentioning in my last comment - I wanted to remember to say how nice one of your descriptions was, Floss, but all I can remember now (literally only minutes after reading it!) is that it had the word 'stuff' in it, but I can't for the life of me remember the details! Anyway, when I read it I liked it!

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