Evening 2 – Update
When we last posted, we had not yet had dinner. It was magnificent: fresh buffalo
mozzarella, fish ravioli with fresh macerated tomatoes, salt-roasted duck
breast with mushrooms and fresh fennel, and crème brulee that puts the Hayes
Street Grill to shame – or perhaps better said, a different class. The custard in this dessert was
But this post is headed Day 3, so:
Having such a magnificent lingering meal posed a challenge
as the next day we had to be up early for our reservations at the Ufizzi. We discovered that it is cooler in
Florence if you leave the hotel before noon . . .
This advantage was lost upon entering the
Ufizzi as it is filled with people, many, many, stairs, and no climate
control. The art though quickly
removes any awareness of outside conditions as you become immersed in the
passions of artists and patrons past.
I prefer medieval works with simple forms and stark images and had much
to delight in as we wandered the first galleries. Technique becomes more and more refined and I found myself wondering how many more variations on Christ’s story I could stand and
there, like a breath of fresh air is Botticelli’s Venus – the first featured
woman who is not Mary or a saint.
Not that she is that racy – that come later with Titian. Still, it was great to get the variety
provided by the mythological subjects.
I wonder it the artists were feeling as confined by the subject matter
as was I?
Intending to wander back to the hotel we found ourselves
instead in the Bargello (I wondered if this was an LDS alternative to the
gelato bar but it was another
museum) with Donatello’s Davids including his first: as far as we know, it was
the first male sculpture made in over 1000 years! From there it was on to Santa Croce home of still more
frescoes (my favorites of the trip), and the tombs of Dante, Michealangelo, and
Galileo, inter alia. Santa Croce has the added benefit of cloisters with a bit
of green space. There are very few
trees or public squires in Florence except for the massive gardens associated
with the private palaces. While
the Town certainly does not want for civic pride, it all went in to churches
and art and not much in the way of open space.