Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I hope that this will be an excellent way for me to keep all of my friends and family up to date on my semester abroad in Rome. Please feel free to post any comments you would like, or shoot me an e-mail and I will try to respond as soon as possible. Also, if you click on each of the photographs below, it will display them at their full size.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Florence: Day 3

After our good night of rest, we woke up and started the trek down to the Uffizi again to see if we could beat the crowds. We made it down there and got in without much of a wait but it was already pretty packed even though it had only been open for less than an hour. We spent the next two and a half hours walking around the museum checking out different works by da Vinci, Machiavelli, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Rafael, Rembrandt, and more. It took us more than two hours to get through it and we were walking at a pretty brisk pace. I have only taken one art history class in my lifetime but as I was walking through I kept recognizing different works of art in almost every room of the museum that we had talked about in that class. Perhaps the most famous painting in the entire museum is the Birth of Venus by Botticelli and it was amazing seeing it in person…for those of us that actually saw it. The seven of us kind of got split up as we were roaming through the museum and just met up at the end. When we met up, a couple of us started talking about The Birth of Venus and as it turns out, three of Monica’s roommates (who were all walking alone through the museum) completely missed the room with the painting in it. They even tried to go back in the room to see it and the museum staff wouldn’t let them back in.

This is a shot from inbetween the two sides of the Uffizi. Beyond the arch in the center is the river and to the right is Ponte Vecchio.

After the Uffizi we walked over to Piazza Santa Croce. The church of Santa Croche is somewhat small compared to the Duomo but it is by far the most interesting church I have seen on the trip thus far. The common theme within the church was tombs. There were different tombstones scattered all throughout the floor of the church, some roped off so you couldn’t walk over the tombstone and some just out in the open and worn from all the traffic that had carelessly walked over them. But that was not all. Santa Croce also houses the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo, Dante Alighieri, and Machiavelli. Along the walls on the two long sides of the church are huge shrines housing the remains of all these famous historical figures. In another room in the church there was a glass case displaying an actual robe that was worn by St. Francis.

This is Piazza Santa Croce.

This is the front of Santa Croce. It looks kind of like a smaller version of the Duomo with a lot less detail.

This is the inside of Santa Croce. You can see all of the different paintings and tombs that line the walls.

These are the tombs lining the floor of the inside of Santa Croce. Some were roped off so they would not be walked on and other were not and were very worn down from years and years of people walking right over them.

This is the tomb of Michelangelo.

This is the tomb of Galileo.

This is the tomb of Dante Alighieri.

This is the tomb of Machiavelli.

This is St. Francis' robe.

In the hallway leading out to the courtyard, there were a collection of photos documenting a massive flood that destroyed many of the works of art within Santa Croce. There was another portion of the museum that displayed the restored art and it is amazing how closely the works were able to be restored to their original states (even though it kind of makes you wonder how they really know what it is used to look like exactly). Underneath the church there is another corridor full of tombstones. They had taken all of the tombstones from the Cloister of the Dead in Santa Croce and lined the walls and floors with them. Again, this was a very weird experience walking across them through the corridor.

This is one of the photos from the flood that destroyed a lot of the artwork inside Santa Croce. It was amazing to see how good the restorations looked.

After we were through with Santa Croce we headed back to our hostels to pick up our luggage and then made our way back to the train station. We made it a point to get there with the ample amount of time to get tickets and get on the train. We picked up some food and hung out there for about a half an hour before the train left. The train was scheduled to leave a little after 17:00 and the train station didn’t show what terminal the train was leaving from until about 3 minutes before the train was scheduled to leave. We had to jog a little to get there and get good seats but it was nothing compared to the sprinting that we were used to. The train ride back seemed a little longer than the one to get there but it was not bad.

This is us having a little snack while we were waiting for the train back to Rome.

This is Malia and Monica on the train back to Rome.

When we got back to Rome, Monica and I were both starving. It was after 21:00 and we didn’t feel like cooking so we headed into Trastevere to look for a place to eat. We stumbled upon this place called Ivo a Trastevere and decided to try it out even though the entire restaurant was packed. We walked in and stood there for while before talking to one of the waiters who seated us at the only space left in the whole restaurant (we were at the same table as an older couple, but with a set of chairs between us). Only one of the waitresses spoke a little English so it was a little difficult ordering, but we decided to get some pasta and pizza and split the two. The pasta we ordered was like a thick spaghetti with tomatoes and shrimp and we ordered a cuattro formaggio (four cheese) pizza. They brought out the pasta first and it looked great…except for the whole cooked shrimp that were thrown on top of it. I was determined to try and do like the Romans do so I grabbed one of the shrimp and started trying to pry it open with my fork and knife. Five minutes later I was successful and was able to pull out a tiny bit of meat that didn’t really seem like it was worth the effort to get out. I repeated this process four more times and decided that I am just not going to order shrimp from now on unless I know it has been de-shelled. The pizza, however, was amazing. They piled on the cheese and the crust was delicious. We are definitely going to go back and try a few other things on the menu.


Kaitlin said...

you're so fancy with your military time...

every time i read one of your posts i get hungry for pizza. thanks a lot for making me gain weight.


AdRock said...

I know, but pretty much all I eat is pizza and pasta. I have discovered, though, that it can be socially acceptable to eat pizza for almost every meal.

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