>Is this not a view that one should wake up to every day? Yes, yes it is. I took this shot from the balcony of our hotel. (You can kind of see Il Duomo.) That is pretty much the only time I used the balcony - in the morning to see what the weather was like. If only I had more time in Florence. Whine, whine - I know. I was lucky to get there at all...

After taking pictures from the balcony, Dr. P, Future Dr. H (who, as of May 22, is now Dr. H! Congrats!!!), and I headed over to San Marco. San Marco is a former monstery that has many interesting frescos by Fra Angelico. While The Annunciation is the most famous, I found this one far more interesting:
The disembodied hands are supposed to be the Romans tortunring Jesus on the cross. It's like a painting done by Dali, but 500 years earlier. Surreal!

Down the hall from this strange crucifixion scene are several rooms that belonged to Savonarola, the prior of the monastery and a religious zealot who was burned at the stake. I had been excited to see his relics, but they were mostly second degree relics. That is, relics that are not actually parts of his body. Most of the relics on display were his clothes and books, but a reliquary contained what we think is supposed to be part of the stake upon which he was burned.

After San Marco, we headed over to the Uffizi and saw more great works of art, as well as a weirdly curated exhibit on Leonardo da Vinci. Dr. P and I were art-ed out, but Dr. H went on to Gallerie dell'Accademie to see the original David, as opposed to the copy on display outside the Palazzo Vecchio that the lazy Dr. P and I were satisfied with. While she was at the museum, Dr. P and I wondered around. I was fascinated by the ginormous mountains of gelato we saw at a random gelateriaDamn, I so love the gelato. Yum...

Our last stop of the day was the Boboli Gardens, a stunning garden behind the Palazzo Pitti. The garden had a very strange grotto, which you can see Dr. P and Dr. H viewing in the lower left corner of this picture:Here's the grotto close up:Kind of funky. Speaking of funky, near the grotto is a very disturbing statue of Bacchus. The model for this statue was the midget court jester of the Medici court. Yes, they not only had a court jester, but a midget court jester. They also could force him to pose naked for a statue. That's what money would get you in the old days.Fucked up, huh? Dr. P and Dr. H contemplate the situation. (I think they had nightmares that night.)

Not long after we viewed a short, fat, naked Bacchus riding a turtle, Dr. H and I got into a bit of a loud debate about children and travel. Dr. P yelled at us to shut the fuck up and just enjoy the beautiful setting, which you can see was a very wise, albeit forceful, suggestion.
Wandering around a garden made me need to pee quite urgently. Fortunately, the Boboli Garden is also home to the Porcelain Museum. Wouldn't it be wrong for a museum of porcelain to not have a porcelain throne? Of course it would. I raced into the museum as they were closing (20 minutes before the posted time, which seemed to happen every where in Italy and drove me up the wall), and was directed to the narrowest bathroom I have ever used.OK, this picture does not really capture how damn narrow this bathroom was. I could not get in while my jacket was tied around my waist and with my tiny backpack. Even after I took my accessories off, I could barely get in far enough to shut the door. Maybe I should not have eaten so much gelato that day...

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