We get up a lot later than usual and got to a full breakfast in the lovely dining room of the hotel – overlooking the lovely (but rainy) Arno River. As we don’t have a tour until 1:00 PM we decide to head off into town to visit the National Museum of Florence – the Bargello. Some quite remarkable pieces but pictures only allowed in a few areas.
As we got a late start we had a quick lunch and some wine in San Frenzie Piazza then back to the hotel and met with our afternoon guide – Anna. It was raining a bit so Anna gave us some good information as we walked along the narrow streets avoiding umbrellas and cars. We wandered through the Piazza Deglia Depizeo and saw many 19th century statues of famous people from Florence – Amerigo Vespucci, Dante, Machiavelli, and many more Then off to tour the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. There was marble all over – each color representing a different district or areas. The cathedral was in a basic Gothic style but took a long time to build – and it is the 4th largest in the world today.
As we walked through the streets Anna pointed out religious icons on many corners. During the plague years people were afraid to go to church so placed these in view so they could do their worship from their homes.
Then off to the Medici Chapel where there was lots more art, sculptures, and many riches including many works by Michelangelo including the Four Seasons and Madonna and child. There were also several tombs of the last Medicis. The last family survivor had all their artwork inventory and a drawing made of each piece – allowing them to get pieces back that were stolen by various conquering armies. The chapel ran out of money so much of the marble is actually painted to look like marble.
Then to the Galleria degli Uffizi and saw amazing sculptures – Donatello, Rafael, Botticelli, and many more sculptures. After a while looking around Anna bit us a fine farewell. We wandered around a bit more then headed off to dinner. We found a small place (Tavernetta Della Signoria) and ate inside with about 50 Asians in tour groups. Our order got a bit confused but it all worked out.
Back to the hotel for a bit then we walked over to the Duomo again to take a look at B Brunelleschi’s bronze doors for the Florence Baptistery then, after one more gelato, back to the hotel.