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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Florence, Toscana, Italy

Nov 25, 2014 - A Visit to Santa Maria Novella, then ...

Our last day in Florence and we planned to visit the Duomo Museum to see Bunelleschi's dome and Ghiberti's bronze doors plus Michelangelo's Pieta, which he designed for his tomb. It was to be one of the highlights of our visit. Unfortunately, the only one we were able to see was the dome. The museum closed that day and will not reopen until 2015. We never saw this announced, but Italy is full of restoration projects on many, many churches and cathedrals and there's no telling what's open or closed, missing or on loan. Oh, well, it just...

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Travels around Italy

Nov 24, 2014 - Uffizi Gallery and San Marco Museum

Today we toured the Uffizi Gallery and the San Marcos Museum. The first was definitely the best planned art museum we have been to in the city of Florence. It is intended to take the viewer from medieval art thru the awakening and into the center of the Renaissance period. This would have worked very well except that the first medieval art rooms were closed--for restoration. The art in them had been removed to rooms after the Renaissance period. Even so, one could see the progression thru flat 2 D dimensional paintings to 3D paintings,...

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Travels around Italy

Nov 23, 2014 - David, oh, David!

Our traveling companions have finally arrived. Sam (brother) and wife, Barb, were an hour late on the train from Rome, but they finally made it here around 6pm. We hustled them thru the crowded train station and then up one street and down another to #12 Via Faenza. Barb and I took the elevator up with the luggage. Sam and Greg hoofed it up three flights of stairs. We unlocked strong hold door two and then strong hold door three and we were home. However, I discovered that I had forgotten the Kodak moment of arrival so you will have to be...

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Travels around Italy

Nov 22, 2014 - Florence

Greg and I are just awash in art work--in frames, on the walls, in the domes, free standing statuary--you name it we probably have seen it. It's getting really hard to remember if it was a Botticelli or Donatello or Michaelangelo. We toured the Palazzo Vecchio today. It as built around 1300 as the new Town Hall for Florence. This was when Florence was a republic and as a sign of its independent spirit, Michaelangelo's David graced the entrance into Town Hall. Those days ended, however, when Cosimo I came to power and turned the republic...

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Oct 16, 2014 - Florence - Day 3 - Bargello Museum

Construction of the Bargello was begun in 1255 to house the Captain of the Police Force, making it the oldest public building in Florence. By 1261 it housed the highest magistrate on the Florence City Council. In 1323 a third story was added. In 1574 the Medici dispensed with the Magistrate of City Council position so the Bargello went back to housing the Chief of Police. At this time it also became a prison and public executions took place in the courtyard until they were outlawed in 1786. The Bargello became a museum in 1865 and houses a...

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Oct 16, 2014 - Hotel in Florence plus Walk About

This has been the nicest hotel I have stayed at in Europe so I thought I'd post a couple of pictures of it. If you are passing through Florence you might want to consider it. It was very close to the train station and not more than half an hour's walk from anywhere you would want to see in Florence. It is the Hotel Belle Arti, Rio Terra Foscarini 912/A. It also has the Ristorante Benedicta which is the best dinner I had in Italy. You must try the ravioli - made like crepes. On the first day we walked though the Mercato Centrale not far...

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Oct 15, 2014 - Florence - Day 2 - Uffizi Gallery

Note for #1 - this David is a copy. The original is in the Accademia. The Uffizi Gallery is next door to the Palazzo Vecchio which was built in the 13th century to house the government of Venice. The Uffizi was built in 1560 to house governmental administrative offices of the State of Tuscany. In 1581 it was converted to a museum, now, arguably the most important for Italian Renaissance art in Italy. It begins with art from around 1300 and continues through the 1600's. In addition to paintings and sculptures from all the major Italian...

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Oct 15, 2014 - Florence - Day 2 - Santa Croce and Dinner

We were given a ticket at the Uffizi Gallery at 11:00 and were on our own until 5:00 when we had to be back at the hotel for a lecture on Florence History. I spent until 2:30 at the Uffizi which included a quick lunch in the café there and then I walked across the Ponte Vecchio to window shop and have a gelato. I used the rest of my free time to walk to Santa Croce - a church with LOTS of art and famous people buried there and also THE area to buy leather goods. Santa Croce was the area of Florence in which Michelangelo was born and...

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Oct 14, 2014 - Florence - Day 1 - Dinner in a Renaissance Palace

On our first night in Florence we went to dinner at Palazzo Borghese. The food was fabulous, the entertainment was fun and everything was definitely in the spirit of the 1500's. Quite fun. We had what I believe was carpaccio with mixed greens and mozzeralla, cheese ravioli with pesto sauce and cheese ravioli with meat sauce, prime rib (I had the bad taste to ask for mine medium well - its not beef if it isn't mooing here) and roasted potatoes and for dessert, chocolate mousse over strawberry cake and vanilla mousse over strawberry cake...

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Oct 14, 2014 - Florence - Day 1 - Duomo, Accademia

I want to thank those of you who keep me up with the Browns. Keep sending me that good news! In case you didn't hear the Browns DOMINATED the Steelers on Sunday. GO BROWNS!! We got into Florence on Monday about 4:15 pm and were at the hotel by 4:30. A simple, easy walk. This is the nicest hotel I've stayed at in Europe but my standards aren't too high. When I'm alone I'm looking for cheap, safe and close to stations. This hotel is even better than typical Road Scholar choices except internet reception is spotty. I'll try to get hotel photos...

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Oct 3, 2014 - We Did It!!

We did it!! We climbed the stairs to the top of Del Duomo!! I had to take several breaks and Lucas was so good, he stayed with me every time. I wanted to quit but he encouraged me telling me we were almost there. When we finally got to the top it was so amazing and worth every painstaking step!

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My Wild Adventures

Oct 3, 2014 - Clean Underware and Luc's Breakfast

Yay!! Jason's luggage showed up this morning!!! He must have spent an hour unpacking and lingering over each item with loving care! So Lucas wakes up this morning and I told him he had about three minutes to go and get breakfast before they closed the breakfast area. He goes and comes back with a tray of drinks. He says he has been craving juice so he took some apple juice, pineapple juice, orange juice and some coffee. See attached picture. So he picks up the apple juice and takes a big gulp and then makes a face like he was going to throw...

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My Wild Adventures

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