Morning reservations at the Galleria degli Uffizi
09/15/2019 - 09/15/2019
Once we had decided to spend time in Florence, the first thing that we did was book 9 AM entry tickets to the Uffizi Gallery. (Whose idea do you suppose that was?). We had about a 20 minute walk to the gallery.
I can think of many places where this concept would be a great idea.
This was outside the Galileo Museum. While I cannot explain it, you might find it intriguing.
We walked through the Piazza della Signoria, which was the center of political life in Florence. It is anchored by the Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall of Florence. Here are some exterior and interior views.
This copy of Michelangelo's David was placed outside the Palazzo Vecchio as a symbol of the Republic's defiance of the tyrannical Medici.
The fountain of Neptune celebrates the Medici's maritime ambitions, and has been beautifully restored since our last visit.
The equestrian statue of Duke Cosimo I celebrates the man who brought all of Tuscany under Medici military rule.
The Loggia dei Lanzi functions as an open-air sculpture gallery. The statue of Perseus holding Medusa's head was commissioned as a stark reminder of what would happen to those who crossed the Medici.
Next to it is a commemoration of the Rape of the Sabine Women.
This tribute to Leonardo DaVinci is new. We learned that it is to celebrate an exhibition that just opened, which celebrates Leonardo as a botanist. The dodecahedron, which represented the universe for the ancient Greeks and the Renaissance men of science, contains a Mulberry tree.
Now, for the main event...The Uffizi is organized as a long labyrinth of rooms along a U-shaped Renaissance building, which was never created to be a museum. Cosimo de’ Medici commissioned architect Giorgio Vasari to create a grandiose building next to Palazzo Vecchio, which was the seat of power, to host the magistrates, guild masters, and judiciary offices (hence the name “Uffizi” which translates to "offices" in Italian). In 1769, this receptacle of the art treasures of the Medici was opened to the public. Here are Charlie and Maureen outside the gallery as we waited for our admission time slot.
And here is your tour through Art History 101. See how many of these masterpieces that you recognize. Here are a few paintings...
...and some sculpture.
The building itself deserves your attention.
...not to mention that the upper floors offer great views of the Ponte Vecchio.
After three hours in an art museum, Charlie deserved a beer. We enjoyed some prime people watching in the Piazza della Signoria at the Rivoire.
I had the cappuccino, and here is the shop connected with the cafe.
Tommy skipped the museum as he had hoped that his luggage would be delivered this morning, but that did not happen. He met us in the early afternoon at Piazza Santa Croce. The line to enter the church was ridiculously long, so Tom and Charlie had a beer while Maureen and I did some poking around the leather shops. Here is the Santa Croce Cathedral...
...and the Piazza.
We had to stop in a Pinocchio shop.
After a mid-afternoon gelato break, we walked to Piazza San Lorenzo to see the church (which unfortunately was closed) and visit some leather shops. The second photo is the Florence leather school that is located in a monastery. The goods were beautiful, but the prices were astronomical.
Dinner tonight was at Il Santo Bevitore. We started with appetizers of local meats and cheeses...
...and Maureen and Tom each had beef, Charlie had suckling pig, and I had rigatoni in goose ragout. All delicious!
Photos are tagged Florence and Italy