Uffizi and Duomo mostly

We were lucky to get reservations for the Uffizi gallery so after walking through various old areas of Florence, we went to wait our turn to get in. Talked awhile to a man outside who paints and sells watercolors of Florence and ended up buying three small pictures. Looked at all the outside statues first…including a living one.


Living statue

No photos allowed in the Uffizi, except in the halls. And most of those are on my “real” camera.

While there are thousands of great pieces of art, by far my favorite was Michelangelo’s Holy Family (the only surviving canvas painting by him) and next Leonardo da Vinci’s. Pretty obvious why they are so famous.


We ate lunch upstairs – 4th floor with great views of the towers and churches of Florence.

We also saw several other churches including Orsanmichele

and followed lots of the smaller less busy roads, then while eating gelato

on the steps of the Duomo- otherwise known as Santa Maria del Fiore – we realized it was still open and so went to see the inside. It’s a very beautiful cathedral – but so cold inside. Marble is cold to touch, and you are enclosed in a huge marble structure. Coming outside to 70 and sunny felt great!

But before doing that we saw a stairway that went down below the main church so we went to look, thinking it might be a crypt. We learned that below the structure of the current cathedral there was the excavation of Saint Reparata church, from 3rd century and remodeled and added onto before the newer Duomo was started in the 1200’s. Also visible is parts of a roman structure predating St Reparata – just incredible to see! Part of the old mosaic floor is still there!

So after leaving that I had just enough energy for part of the Duomo museum and at least 80% of the reason was to see Michelangelo’s unfinished Pieta. He sculpted this when he was 80 yrs old and almost destroyed it when he became angry about a defect in the marble. His helpers/students stopped him after damage was done to just one arm. He never did finish it but Nicodemus the man helping to hold Jesus is a self-portrait. It is beautiful.

Another interesting one was Donatello’s Mary Magdalene – her face was a study in misery

Right now as I write this the Duomo bells are playing and it’s amazing so close to us. Interrupted a bit ago by a Renaissance parade below our window

The churches here play their bells at different times so that they are not all competing so every few minutes you here more.

Now I am resting my poor legs before taking our nephew out to dinner. Note- walking the dog twice a day for a mile or two did NOT prepare me enough for all the walking and climbing. We are hoping all the walking will make up for all the eating!! But for sure flat Venice will be a treat!

Seven days have already gone by – but sixteen to go still 🙂 Kevin, Judy and Megan – can’t wait to see you!

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