Fabulous Frescoes and Marble Magnificence

WOW, WOW and even more WOWs. What a day of complete wonder.  A day of wonder and awe for me and Lara and a day of ‘I wonder when this will ever end’ for the Little Fella!

To get to breakfast we walk past the pool which is the only part of Florence Harvey is really interested in and today he was told the pool would have to wait until after we had visited 2 art galleries.Tolomei's pool We had prebooked tickets for the Uffizi and Accademia so were up for breakfast reasonably early.Breakfast at Tolomei Yogurt and fruit followed by scrambled eggs, ham, cheese, tomatoes and dark brown bread, plus a latte.fruit and yogurt in Tolomei Then in to town and the first stop was the Uffizi gallery.Uffizi 24 This is the oldest gallery in the world and I knew it was famous for housing Botticelli’s Venus but to be honest, knew very little else about it.Uffizi 23 I was completely unprepared for all the incredible frescoes painted on the ceilings.Uffizi 22 I spent practically all my time in the gallery looking up in absolute astonishment that something could be painted that was so beautiful.Uffizi 21 There she is.  Surrounded by crowds and if you are patient, as I was, you can get to the front.  Venus Botticheli They did a good job of being interested for a while but in all honesty, most of the paintings are religious and to the uneducated in the ways of the art historian, one Madonna looks much like the next.  I don’t mean that to be offensive in any way to these great painters and those who admire them but it was tough to be interested in all the actual art hanging on the walls.B and L in Uffizi Those ceilings though!Uffizi 20 They were all just incredible.Uffizi 19 This room was different but we were only allowed to peer in.Uffizi 18 There were lots of paintings that looked similar to this one.Uffizi 17 Back to the ceilings for me.Uffizi 16 It can’t be easy to actually paint a ceiling which makes them even more incredible.Uffizi 15 Presumably the painter lay on his/her back and painted from a horizontal position.Uffizi 14 Uffizi 13 Uffizi 12 Uffizi 11 I wish I could get closer to see some of these in more detail.Uffizi 10 Uffizi 9 The long corridors of the Uffizi have a fabulous fresco on every section of the ceiling.Uffizi 8 The Uffizi is made up of two long parallel buildings joined at one end.Uffizi 7 This is the Ponte Vecchio as seen from the Uffizi.Uffizi 6 How much longer do I have to be in here?Uffizi 5 Just a few more ceilings to admire darling.Uffizi 4 Uffizi 2 Uffizi 1 Fresh air 🙂  The cafeteria at the Uffizi looks out across to the Duomo and is next to the Palazzo Vecchio, part of which you can see on the right.cafe at Uffizi There was a wonderful exhibition of botanical drawings by Jacopo Ligozzi which we all enjoyed and this scaled model of the City was interesting too.model of Florence I was astonished at the beauty of the architecture inside the Uffizi and the painted ceilings.  Worth a visit for that alone.

Next stop was a pavement cafe for an espresso and some water.

Espresso and Pellegrino

There are so many interesting little statues on street corners.  This was a charming running fountain.

fountain in Florence street I realised when I saw this balcony that one thing Florence does not do well is flowers.  You hardly see any flowers anywhere which seems so unusual to me and which made this little balcony quite remarkable.flowers in Florence We set off in search of a gelataria we had been recommended and came across this little haven.Palazzo Vecchio 5 I didn’t realise when I walked in but this is part of the Palazzo Vecchio.Palazzo Vecchio 3 This is a copy of Verrochio’s Putto fountain and is completely charming.Palazzo Vecchio 2 I would have loved to go inside the Palazzo Vecchio but thought that might stretch Harvey’s patience a bit too far so we pressed on in our hunt for a particular gelateria.Palazzo Vecchio 1 It was a very pleasant stroll along some quieter streets but when we eventually found the Bar Vivoli Gelateria it was shut 😦  I don’t think August is the best month to visit Florence as quite a few places close so the owners can retreat to the beach and beat the heat.looking for Gelataria So we wandered around some more, looking for a gelateria that sells sorbets – easier said than done!  We came to the Piazza di Santa Croce;  apparently one of Florence’s largest and most impressive Piazzas.Piazza Sainta CroceAcross one side is the Gothic church of Santa Croce.  Sainta Croce church This houses the tombs of Michaelangelo and Galileo but the mission for a sorbet continued so we did not go inside.church in Sainta Croce Sainta Croce We eventually found somewhere that sold ice lollies and harvey ate that inside a very fancy gelateria where Lara and I enjoyed a heavenly ice cream each.  Mine was coconut and it was fantastic.ice creams We did resist all the cakes, tempting as they were.ice cream place This charming little painting was in an alcove in a wall we walked past.small picture in wall This tiny little deli was about the same size as Vegetare in Cranbrook ie tiny but well stocked.tiny deli in Florence In the afternoon we walked up to the Galleria dell’ Accademia.  I was really only interested in seeing David but I was really interested in seeing that.  When we were young my Father brought a poster of it back from his travels and I believe it lived in a bathroom and was the object of much tittering, as one may expect from a house full of females.

This is one of Michaelangelo’s other marble sculptures and seeing this unfinished piece, makes David even more remarkable.  How ever did he create David from a chunk of marble.  An enormous chunk of marble at that!Michaelangelo marble Here he is, the hunk from the chunk, created between 1501 and 1504.  Absolutely breathtaking.  Partly because it is so enormous.  I knew he was bigger than life size but I did not expect him to be 17 feet tall and he weighs 6 tons!  I also learnt today that Michelangelo completed David by the time he was 29 which is extraordinary.David 10 I also learnt today that David is holding a sling and the strap hangs down his back; I had never realised that before.David 9How did Michaelangelo do this?
David 8 The toes remind you of how rough the unhewn marble was.  Michaelangelo did finish them but they were damaged by a hammer.David 7 The hand was one of my favourite parts.  It is so detailed and life like, despite its huge size, that you almost expect him to move and flex those fingers.David 6 David 4 David 3 David, you absolutely did not disappoint.  I am sure I saw you breathing.David 2 David 1 After the Accademia we wandered around some more, looking for somewhere for a late lunch.  We walked past the Duomo.Duomo 16-8 6 The detail of the work on the outside of this building is incredible.Duomo 16-8 4 Duomo 16-8 2 Duomo 16-8 1 Absolutely stunning.Duomo 16-8-14 We ate at one of the restaurants that spills out on to the pavement near the Duomo so we could enjoy a meal and enjoy gawping at the Duomo.  I did notice how slowly the queue moves along which is shame as I really want to see inside.

supper besides Duomo

I had spaghetti carbonara with rocket and parmesan.  It was delicious but obviously not  good for one’s diet!carbonara

Back at the hotel, someone was hugely relieved to be in the pool and even happier to be joined by 3 boys of a similar age and the 4 of them had the pool to themselves until the evening.Harvey in pool at Tolomei

We didn’t need dinner but instead enjoyed some wine and snacks at the hotel.  All that oohing and aahing is quite tiring!

About Lose Weight and Gain Health

Hi! My name is Zoe and I live in Hastings, East Sussex, with my son Harvey and dog, Milton. I have been fighting the fat for years but this time I am serious. I want to lose weight and gain health. This blog is about how I am changing my lifestyle so I can lose weight but not by just "being on a diet" but by making small changes to our lives so that as I lose weight, I gain health. I want my family to be healthy too and never have to struggle with their weight like I have. In common with many large people, I have gained and lost weight many times over the years. This time, I want to lose it and maintain a healthy low weight. I am interested in eating food that is nutrient dense and delicious and that appeals to children and adults. I do not eat animal products so follow a vegan diet. I try to use locally produced food supplemented with what I can grow myself. I support and try to use local farmers markets and farm shops. Another objective is to add more exercise to our days. It sounds so simple when I write it down :-)
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3 Responses to Fabulous Frescoes and Marble Magnificence

  1. suzjones says:

    Wow. Just amazing. Although I love David, my favourite is the Pieta. 🙂

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