Florence and the Machine.

Trip Start Apr 10, 2010
Trip End Apr 10, 2011

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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Sunday, August 29, 2010

Well because our weekly budget was teetering on the edge way too early in the week, we planned to head to the coast for a while. Which brought us to another old town called Ravenna on the eastern coast.
We spent a night on the beach, which is mostly made up of pay-umbrellas as far as the eye could see. You weren't even allowed to pass though sections of the sandy beach unless you had hired a silly umbrella chair. Curiosity had us so we looked in to see how much 2 chairs were.. 17 Euro! We couldn’t understand why you would pay that much when just across the way there was a free beach. That’s where we stayed, with all the other povos.

The next day we spent actually in the town of Ravenna, seeking out some wifi. Turned out you need to register with the government to get online. So we had to bust out our passports to get on. This is probably for some kind of traceability, which makes us nervous about all those TV shows we downloaded. A mistake?

When we first arrived in Tuscany we had found a place to camp in what seemed like a little public forest. And despite the condoms everywhere, it was actually a nice place, we even went on a fruit stealing mission, but there were only olive groves, so we were forced to eat blackberries. Like peasants!
Later that night while we were sleeping a van drove into our area at 3am. We can’t be sure, but it was seemed very dodgy. Jena watched him walk in and out of the bushes several times. We think he may have been stashing a dead body. We didn’t interfere, or look for anything in the morning. He left after a little bit though. Dodgy as. Why are we always in these sketchy places?

When we left again for Florence, we were still a bit poor with our weekly finance so we ended up camping in a small town on the mountain nearby called Fisole. From there we got a masterful view over Florence by day and night. It was awe inspiring.

Firenze, or Florence is like the mecca for all artists everywhere and is pretty much the saddle of the renaissance. So we planned a great day in the city, carefully planned to be on Sunday too for free parking (unlimited time).

First visit was the Galleria Dell’Accademia, a veritable 'diamond in the rough’, as the building itself was as average as any warehouse just out of town. But inside was Michelangelo’s masterpiece ‘David’. When we got in we were really impressed by the size of him. It had to be like 4 meters tall! Joel said to Jena that they should have called it ‘Goliath’, but when he put his hand up for a high 5, she wouldn’t pay it.
The statue itself is just an immaculate artwork, and just the subtleties of the detail were outstanding. A once in a lifetime wonder!

The Cathedral Di Santa Maria Del Flore just down the street had the most intense outer fašade with mixed marble colours and a radical dome that powers over the whole city. But it was in essence quite the opposite to the ‘David’ building; Being rather the ‘rough in the diamond’ as the inside was bare, dull and brown. The only respite being the marvelous frescoes decorating the inner dome. The outside however was the most beautiful exterior to a cathedral we have seen so far. Perhaps they blew their whole budget on the outside?

We checked out some of the other cool structures around Florence, like the Ponte Vecchio and the other various spectacular piazzas. But most of the day we spent inside the Galleria Degli Uffizi, one of the most important galleries in the world. Housing the best of the renaissance and classic art. We found the gallery even more comprehensive than the Louvre! But the Uffizi only has paintings, when the Louvre houses EVERYTHING!

We had to wait over an hour in line to get in which was a drag, but we got to watch some of the caricaturists destroy the confidence of their subjects with simply brutal drawings. A woman ran around hysterical as anything, She screamed like the devil was chasing her. Some one said she was saying something about her kid getting taken. That some tragic stuff right there..

Art/Artists of note:
Caravaggio, Botticelli (Birth of Venus), Lippi, Da Vinci, Giotto, Raphael, to name only a few. It would have been nice to take photos, but the chance of getting thrown out of such a place would be a life-long regret.

After a marathon effort of walking we returned to our home to put up our red, road ruined feet and took off to Chianti wine country! 
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