Day 10 (Sat, May 12): Florence - The Uffizi, Mercato Nuovo, Santa Maria Novella
We went to Florence for our final visit (of this tour anyway). Began the day with a 10:45 appointment at the Uffizi Gallery. Once inside we were on our own, as we would be for the rest of the day. What a treasure trove! Everywhere one turns there's a priceless masterpiece. It would take a lifetime to fully appreciate it all. The gallery is really the Medici family art collection, bequeathed to the city upon the death of Palatine Electress Anna Maria Ludovica de' Medici, known as "the last of the Medicis", on condition that none of the donations may ever leave Florence.
As the wikipedia article says, here is just a small sampling of the contents of the Uffizi:
Karen especially liked Rembrandt's juvenile Self-portrait. She noted what a relief it was to see such portraits after all those Madonnas-with-child (though those were lovely, too). We did take the Stendahl syndrome advice Christine and Sabrina gave us us: a little past half-way we went to the terrace bar and sat down to enjoy a cappucino and some biscotti. We also enjoyed the view of the Arno and Ponte Vecchio from up there, as well as a closeup view of the upper floors of the Palazzo Vecchio. And we ran into other Edlerhostelers.
We had lunch at a Florence insitution, the nice ristorante Gilli, indoor/outdoor caffé dating back to 1733 and located on the Piazza della Repubblica. Incidentally, here is a typical caffé menu with translations; more information here. I had excellent tagliatele (egg noodles) in lemon sauce (yummy) and Karen had ravioli in butter and sage (also yummy). It was only partially full, and no one rushed our leisurely "unwind" after all the day's art. We finished off our final trip to Florence by dropping into Santa Maria Novella to see Masaccio's "Holy Trinity", which Kirk had discussed earlier.
We rested before dinner. Our dining room was invaded by yet another group of German travellers - not such an overwhelming number this time, however, and better behaved. Finished off the evening in the courtyard.
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