Florence, where we got to relax
Trip Start May 22, 2005
39Trip End Aug 09, 2005
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Happy Canada Day! Our morning Busabout stop was in the lovely town of Orvieto, where some inflated Bishop had built a Duomo about 10 times larger than the town needed (or could afford -- it took three hundred years to build -- you can't get anything accomplished with this whole "siesta" thing). It was a beautiful building inside and out, and the town was situated on top of a cliff, so the stop was very worthwhile. The mid-day stop was in Sienna, but we only had about fifteen minutes to grab a spot of lunch, so Sienna be damned. An hour later we reached Florence and made our way to our accommodations, which were right in the centre of the historic part of the city. That afternoon and evening we simply walked around the historical district and enjoyed the sights and sounds of Florence.
In the morning we walked to San Lorenzo Church, which was built for the Medicis
Another leisurely morning visiting a few of Florence's churches. The Baptistry, where Dante was christened and which is the oldest building in Florence, was quite small but amazing. The entire ceiling was religious tile mosaics depicting many biblical stories. By contrast, the interior of the Duomo (the city's main cathedral, with the 3rd longest nave in the world) is almost void of decoration. In fact, of the dozens of churches we've been in on the trip, its interior was the plainest (K: which was fine, we got to leave right away). Next we went to San Croce Church, which was unfortunately closed due to a pseudo soccer-rugby match called calcio storico. Annually, the butchers from the four regions of the city meet (meat?) each other in the most violent spectacle either of us has ever witnessed. There is a ball, and goals, but the goal is punching and kicking each other in the face, groin, and ribs. There are medics wandering the field tending to the wounded as the game goes on around them -- the medics start the game on the field, and remain for the duration. We had considered attending, but as we saw them set up for the match we noticed 50 or so police waiting for the game to start, and decided that we wanted no part of an Italian butcher riot. Butchers have knives. T.V. would suffice. After the blood-bath ended, we headed out to enjoy the sunset over our last night in Italy, and it was a beauty.