Florence, Italy

Trip Start Sep 30, 2007
Trip End Jan 08, 2008

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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

When I first arrived in Firenze, I wondered what inspired Renaissance period other than the Medici family living here.  There had to be something.  To have an explosion of such artwork takes more than one rich family hiring artists to add to his collection.  I wanted to find out and I began by visiting couple of museums.  Florence has two world famous museums, Palazzo degli Uffizi and Galleria dell'Accademia, latter having the most famous statue in the world, David by Michelangelo.
I'm not a very artistic person, and at times, i'm not even sure what i should be looking for when I'm looking at a masterpiece.  But David was different.  It's common to be disappointed when seeing something that's been overexposed but the sculpture was every bit impressive as advertised, even to my novice eyes.  Sculpture is cut out from a single marble stone and it is 17 feet tall.  Despite the size, none of the details are left out.  From head to toe, you can tell Michelangelo meticulously carved every inch of David, displaying the finest details.  Only downfall of visiting the gallery was the entrance fee of $15 which had nothing else except for David.  And you cannot take pictures, so I took some pictures of fake David standing around the city.  
Palazzo degli Uffizi on the other hand had too much see.  It holds paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Titian, just to name a few.  Pretty impressive list, I must say.  However, being uninformed, I wasn't sure which paintings to look for so i just followed the crowd and paid attention to the ones that had the mass gathering. Some were instantly noticeable, such as Birth of Venus by Botticelli and The Annunciation by da Vinci.  Other than that, unfortunately, it all looked the same to me since most of the paintings depicted the same subject.
I left Florence still pondering what precipitated Renaissance here.  The city itself is nothing out of ordinary but then again, maybe the artists saw something I couldn't see.  Perhaps it was different back then.  Nevertheless, Florence is the birth place of Renaissance and it deserves much credit for creating such fascinating period.  Other than the museums, I had my most expensive meal here in Europe.  I've been craving steak for some time and my friend and I decided to spurge on our last night in Florence.  So we went to a nice Ristorante and ordered Florentine style steak worth whopping $60.  We shared that, of course, and it was the best meal I had in a long time.  So tender, so juicy, so not $5 meals I've been having...  And at least for one night, I didn't feel like a backpacker.
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yah27 on

yo mike!!! how r u man? yes, i do remember you telling me about firenze. Good times were had in the city. Stayed in a good hostel and had good food, as i mentioned. :) trip is going excellent thus far, but it's almost coming to an end. i got about 23 days left....

take care and happy holidays!!!

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