>The weather was a perfect descriptor of the day: on and off rain and shine, Dr. P, Future Dr. H (FDH), and I were testy with each other at various points. I feared this did not bode well for the rest of the trip, as we were already snippy with one another on day two with six more to go. FDH reassured me that we usually get on each others’ nerves, but it is OK because we are honest with each other about what annoys us.
Anyway, it rained hard this morning, but by the time we finished breakfast and set out for a day of adventure, the rain stopped. We trekked to the Uffizi and bought advance tickets for tomorrow at 11:15. When we left the Uffizi an hour or so later, the sun was out. Yay!
During the sunny period, we went to the market by San Lorenzo and I bought an amazing leather jacket with an adorable detachable hood for a decent price ($212 US), including alterations to shorten the sleeves. Massimo, the shop proprietor Massimo Leather, was quite the character. As we picked up the coat, some other customers came in and he began chatting one guy up in Hebrew, a language he claimed to be learning. He also let me and Dr. P use the bathroom (fortunately the toilet was a normal height), and gave FDH a recommendation for lunch and a nice map.
We also went to Santa Maria Novella church and saw art by many famous artists, including a Masaccio painting known by all art history students for its advanced use of perspective. After Santa Maria Novella, we hit the Mercado Centrale (the big food market in Firenze) for the second most exciting adventure of the day. The first floor is meat and cheese, with some wine and candy for sale as well. Almost every butcher offered the grossest looking meats and poultry known to wussy Americans. Skinned rabbits stared at me with dead eyes (sorry Tycho), chickens and roosters with heads and feet, and pig and lamb heads, as well as stomachs, were all available for brave consumers. (I took some great pictures, but I forgot to bring my camera-computer connector, so I can’t post the pictures until I get home. I can’t wait to share.) We wandered around in awe.
After the market, we walked by the gorgeous synagogue and had sandwiches in a piazza on the way to Santa Croche church. Right after we ate, the clouds rolled in. We took some pics in front of the church and went inside. Upon entry, we were pissed to discover that a good portion of the church was under renovation and buried behind scaffolding. We did get to see Michelangelo’s and Galileo’s tombs, though. Then it started pouring. We went to the church museum and hung out until the rain stopped.
Unfortunately, the temperature also dropped significantly when the rain was over. Despite the chill, we went for gelato at Vivoli. It was good shit. I had forest berries and chocolate with orange peel. Both were super delish, but the chocolate with orange peel was out of this world. I know my mom would have loved it, too. (Sorry I can’t bring any back with me.)
We passed by Il Porcellino, a 17th century bronze copy of a Roman marble boar statue. The day wrapped up with a visit to the Duomo Museum. The museum has all sorts of art and artifacts from the Duomo’s famous church, Santa Maria del Fiore (no, I had no idea it had a name other than Il Duomo, either). Most exciting (at least for me, but FDH and Dr. P seemed to agree) is the fabulous collection of relics, including a purported finger and finger bone from John the Baptist, a set of various bones belonging to St. Agatha, and a bunch of other gruesome body parts in fancy containers whose previous owners I have forgotten because I was too stupid to write them down. (Pictures to come!) It was awesome, but for some unknown reason, the museum set up some temporary exhibits that blocked other reliquaries from view. What kind of insane curator puts a new exhibit in front of an old one?!?! Fanculo! (Yesterday I learned this means “go and get fucked up the ass.”)
Tomorrow we are off to see the Fra Angelico frescoes at San Marco, and more importantly, the relics of Savonarola, a prior of San Marco monastery and religious fanatic who served as an inspiration to one of the St. Catherines (de Ricci, not Siena, I think). Not only that, but we will visit the Uffizi, Pitti Palace, and weather permitting, the Boboli Gardens. Good times!