Monday, January 05, 2009

Florence Final

For our last day in Florence, we decided to check out the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum first off. While it lacks some of the grand artistic merit of much of the city, the museum offered a glimpse into Florence's scientific past and didn't have a two hour line to get in!

Much of the museum was actually closed for renovation, but there was a significant exhibit on early telescopes that was very interesting. As a lover of history and astronomy, the whole thing was right up my ally!

While we had been up to the top of the Duomo, and we had been to the top of the Bell tower, we had yet to actually go inside the great church, so we took the time to rectify that oversight. It was very different from St. Peters, grand and glorious, without being overbearing or at all gaudy. As always, it was a very difficult environment to shoot, but sometimes I think that's for the best. Some things simply have to be experienced, and some photographers have to be convinced to lay down their camera, and drink in their surroundings.

Down in the Duomo crypt was a look at the foundations of previous churches and buildings, as well as Brunelleschi's resting place. I always love an opportunity to see how cities and buildings change, from Roman times to now, but the displays were very incomplete, and the jumble of old foundations was hard to piece together without good English signs.

Across the street was a museum dedicated to the Duomo and the construction of the vast Cathedral. The original baptistery doors are stored there, as well as displays on construction and the decoration of the face of the church. I was shocked to learn that the front of this grand building wasn't finished for centuries, standing bare and unadorned in the center of Florence. They even had photographs of the uncompleted face, so recently had the church been finally finished.

I really loved Florence, but it was time to move on to the final act, Venice. I'll admit, I was looking forward to it, not only to see Venice, but to get closer to going home. 18 days on the road is a long time, and 16 of those had now passed.

1 comment:

Island Auntie said...

Al & I were in Florence the 2nd week of November, 2002 and were pleased to discover that not only was the weather pleasant, with roses still blooming and oranges on potted bushes in the courtyard, but the crowds were... non-existent. We walked right in to museums and restaurants, and got a super deal on our hotel, located just a few minutes walk from the train station and the Duomo. I highly recommend travelling in the off-season, if it can be arranged!