Monday, April 12, 2010

Day 9 Florence

Our main mission today was to visit the Uffizi art gallery in Florence. We bought our tickets before we left New Zealand, due to its popularity. It was raining, and while we were waiting to enter the gallery, there was an almighty flash of light, then heavy thunder, which echoed around the walls outside the gallery, and the whole line of people jumped! Again, we had some MP3 audio guides Richard had downloaded (they are excellent), which toured us through the gallery. The building itself is beautiful with ornate painted ceilings, and marble busts of famous people at every turn. The paintings and sculptures we saw dated back over 800 years, and were like a live art history lesson. The audio guides explained how olden day painters didn’t paint in perspective, and showed their early attempts at gaining a 3D perspective in their paintings. It was fascinating to trace the changes in the figures, and to see early works of the famous painters – Boticelli and Michael Angelo (some of his work when he was as young as 14 years). I hate to think what the value of the art collection held there is – most of the paintings would in fact be priceless, but must have a value for insurance purposes. It was neat to be able to get up so close to such amazing artworks.

From their we meandered our way around the city, to look at a couple of churches Sarah had earmarked, one of which held the bones of Michael Angelo. These vast buildings are incredible to explore – their size, beauty, stained glass, and marble work of the likes NZ is just too young to compare to.

Sarah gets quite excited about all the markets we come across, and the Florence one was no different. Richard bought me a leather bag for my birthday.

Sarah again cooked dinner for us – pasta and spaghetti (what else in Italy), and we had an early night.