Saturday, November 05, 2011

Top 10 Things about Florence

I didn't have much access to the internet last week, but here is a top ten list I made earlier in the week about Florence, Italy, where we were last Sunday and Monday.

10. Having Spaghetti carbonara in Italy.  For some reason, Americans can't cook it.

9. Gelato... what more need I say?

8. All the copied statues around the Uffizi museum--not the originals but they have all these great copies out in the open (a second David, for example).

7. Botticelli's famous painting, The Birth of Venus (otherwise known as Venus on a half shell)

6. Galileo.  He was born in Pisa, lived growing up in Florence.  Law of inertia... weight doesn't affect how fast something falls.  Yeah, that was him.  Known for saying, "Duh, what was I thinking" when asked a second time if he believed the earth went around the sun in the Inquisition. "No way," he said.  "I think that's what my sister said."  He was a model for anyone who doesn't want to get burned at the stake for being a closet heliocentrist.

5. The Ponte Vecchio.  Apartments on a bridge... just not done in recent times.  "London bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down..."

4. Dante Alighieri was from Florence and basically invented the Latin language with his Inferno.

3. The leaning tower of Pisa.  Ok, ok, it's not in Florence, but it's close and it is amazing.  Knock one off the bucket list.

2. The cathedral of St. Maria del Fiore.  I couldn't believe how huge this church is. The color and detail on the thing all the way to the top boggled my mind.  And these things are suddenly just there.  You're walking down a street and, boom, you're looking at this amazing, humongous thing.

1. Michelangelo's David statue.  We've all seen it in pictures and various places, so I was a little surprised to find that it is actually amazing.  It's about 3 of me in height and the detail down to the fingernails is just astounding.  I've concluded by far that Michelangelo is the greatest artist of all time.


Mitchell said...

I agree about Michaelangelo's "David." It's been 34 years since I first saw it, but I still remember how awe-struck I was. I lot track of time as I circled the statue again and again.

I also thought the history associated with Medici family was a pretty interesting aspect of a visit to Florence.

While you're there, head about an hour north of Pisa and walk between the towns of Cinque Terre on the Ligurian coast. I was just there in September. Beautiful.

musingmonkey said...

I'm fighting the evil green jealousy monster... Since I was young I have always wanted to live in Florence, yet I've not yet even visited.

Did you perhaps mean that Dante practically invented Italian with the popularising of his lingua Toscana? I always thought Latin had a bit more of a stranglehold before Dante's time? :)


Ken Schenck said...

Yes, that Dante and Tuscany provided the rest of Italy with the channel through which all other previous linguistic forces flowed.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

We just missed seeing you in Florence, as we were there on the 6th!! We'd been to Florence a couple of years ago and went through one of the musuems, but had thought taking the "academic tour" would benefit us with more info. To our dismay, we barely touched what we'd learned on our own! Guess we are spoiled being in an academic community, as our expectations of our tour guide were much higher than the average tourist!

Glad you all got to enjoy all the "tastes" of Florence and Tuscany!!!