travelog 3

Oct. 9th, 2015 11:17 pm
[personal profile] winterlive

oh my god okay. so in Florence there's this card that gives you free admission to all these museums, but you have to use the shit out of it because it's only good for 3 days. our last 3 days have been CRAMMED with shit to do.

the day before all this started, I remember we went to the mercato centrale, which was huge and beautiful and jammed with all the food you can imagine. it's a huge two story building, and on the top it's mostly restaurants, but on the bottom are grocers, butchers, fishmongers, bakers, candy makers, and I saw at least one bartender. sometimes you try little samples, and sometimes you just look at the spray of colour and try to figure out a way to leave without taking it all with you. we passed by this guy who made candied fruit, and he was quite firm in correcting us when we suggested it was dried. so then, outside of all this, on the steps and all up the streets surrounding, you have stands and carts filled with purses, clothes, jewelry, souvenirs, and other assorted tchotchkes. almost none of them are fixed price, meaning you enter battle with the vendors - how much for this? oh i don't have that much. and this? maybe. I saw one just like it down the way for five dollars less. and how much for both of them together? - so it is loud, loud, loud. if you're careful, you can get things you didn't know you were missing for next to nothing. and if you're not, you can end up with an armful of shit and a compromised travel budget. it was awesome, that's what I'm saying.

okay, so, the museums. day one of the card, we did the Bargello, michaelangelo's house, Santa Croce cathedral, and the Galileo museum. of these 3 days, I think the Bargello was the most impressive as an overall experience. not only is it packed with sculpture, paintings, carvings, tapestries and more, it's also a beautiful old building in its own right, and the curators did a great job of showcasing the architecture alongside their collection. the uffizi and the accademia had better art, but i'd go back to the bargello in a heartbeat. I'll put up the million pictures I took later, but suffice it to say the art was awesome.

Buonarroti house was okay; the stuffiest of every place I've been so far, and I'm counting the churches. but it was beautiful, like everything here, and I did have the supremely surreal experience of peeing under the ancestral roof of a renaissance master.

santa croce was put onto my radar by cee, but point of interest, it's actually one of the highest rated attractions in florence, and there is a good reason. as a big fan of st. francis i was pleased to see that SC is a franciscan church; it is jammed to the gills full of beautiful artwork. there are little chapels up at the front, and another one off to the side; there are gardens and a crypt and an annex, and just like everything in italy, it's coated in beauty. i'm certainly not what they'd call a believer, but i did my best to commune, and it sure wasn't tough to get in touch with that spiritual place. these buildings were made to call it out.

after the ONLY disappointing meal i've had in italy, we went to the galileo museum. i felt like i wasn't a big enough science nerd to fully enjoy the place; it was glass beakers and clockwork contraptions and brass and wood and meticulous (entirely wrong) maps and globes and astronomical charts. it was cool, but i certainly was not FREAKING OUT WITH JOY like our scientist, E. she bounced out of that place on a cloud. i took a bunch of pictures, though; i'll show them all to my other science-minded bros when i get home.

there's more, obviously; two days worth. but i'm not gonna tell you about that now. as I write this, I'm sitting at an outdoor cafe with a Bellini, which is exactly fuck-all like a Bellini back home. there's no crushed ice or grenadine; instead it's full of grapefruit juice or something. it's delicious and refreshing still, because every fucking thing in Italy tastes a thousand times better than home. I'm waiting for S & E, who decided to attempt the cupola climb - that is, they took the stairs to the very top of il duomo, which I will NEVER understand as a life choice? but power to them.

postscript: i didn't get to post this earlier. instead, my friends came down and we jammed all the food in our faces. we were served by the most italian guy i think i've seen so far, at a little out of the way restaurant. he put us at the very very back on the tiny terrazo with all the plants and open air. we drank a whole bottle of moscato with the 2 girls who flew in yesterday, and it was great. i don't want to go to sleep even though i'm so so so SO tired.
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winterlive

March 2016

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