Saturday, April 16, 2016

Day 20: Florence -- where did the day go?

Woke up to another beautiful day!

Steve and I started out on a mission to go to the Mercato Centrale and get some  fresh pasta and veggies for dinner. 

We were side tracked though by running into the Medici Chapel -- we decided to go in and we were glad we did!

From Wikipedia:
The Medici Chapels (Cappelle medicee) are two structures at the Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence, Italy, dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, and built as extensions to Brunelleschi's 15th-century church, with the purpose of celebrating the Medici family, patrons of the church and Grand Dukes of Tuscany. The Sagrestia Nuova, ("New Sacristy"), was designed by Michelangelo. The larger Cappella dei Principi, ("Chapel of the Princes"), though proposed in the 16th century, was not begun until the early 17th century, its design being a collaboration between the family and architects.

The mitre here has seed pearls sown into it and is encrusted with precious and semi precious stones!

The photos above were from the enormous room where some of the Medici's are buried and from some of the side rooms off the main room. But the most amazing space in my mind is the new sacristy with statues made by Michaelangelo:

We went around the corner thinking about going into the Basilica of San Lorenzo -- St. Ambrose consecrated the building in 393. We wanted to see the Brunelleschi Cupola -- the old sacristy. We knew we didn't have enough time to go through it if we wanted to have lunch and go to the market to buy food for dinner, so we will leave that for another day.

We ended up walking down the street where Massimo leather is -- I took Steve inside to see all the beautiful leather goods.

We discovered that Trattoria Mario -- which we wanted to try -- was very near. We saw at 11:35 there was already a small line gathered outside -- they don't open until noon. We decided to get into the line. At 11:40 we were let in and were seated, being told that they wouldn't serve for 20 minutes. By noon there was another couple at our table -- newlyweds from San Jose CA -- and by 12:05 the place was packed and people were lined up outside the door. We had forgotten that this is the kind of place that doesn't mix food -- so when all we ordered was meat -- that's all we got! I had osso bucco -- Steve had veal steak. 

I loved the hand written menu taped on the wall:

We then headed to the central market where we bought salad fixings, fresh pasta and sauce to cook at home tonight.

After we dropped off our perishables back at the townhouse we went out again. Passing through a street market that occurs only once a month -- we bought some chocolate and we talked to a woman who was selling chikkan shirts she bought in Lucknow!

We made a quick stop for gelato --

We arrived at where we had planned on visiting-- Holy Spirit church. I approached the door and there was a man with an apron on which read "volunteer" -- he let some women (who looked as though they were locals) in. When I walked up he took one look at me, waved his hand dismissively at me and yelled,  NO VISITORS! Well, you can say that but can you be polite about it? I wondered to myself how many ushers in our churches act that way. I said a prayer for the "volunteer". Here's
A picture of the church we were turned away from:

We decided to stop in this quaint tea shop -- La Vie del Te and have a snack--
The above isn't beer -- it's actually iced tea!

We walked over to the church of St. Carmine. The church wasn't open but the Brancacci chapel next door was. Turns out this chapel was restored by the community so is open and accessible via the convent -- and it is a side chapel in the church. Access to the church is roped off but you can see it (or at least part of it) from the chapel:

We walked through the courtyard in the convent and saw a short film about the chapel in a room that had a depiction of the last supper:

We walked to yet another church (yes, really) but it too was closed.

On the way back to the townhouse we saw our favorite church-- Ognissanti-- from across the Arno river:

More views from across the river:

What was next? More Laundry of course!

Making dinner together tonight was a welcomed change from eating out or eating just cheese and crackers and fruit.

I took some more pictures of interesting doors, doorknockers, Windows and out-of-the-blue sacred art in the street:
From huge:
To tiny:

Notice the tiny pink house:

Total steps: 18,320, 7.05 miles.

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