How'd you like to walk out your front door, look down the street and see this first thing in the morning?
Well, that's the view as we exited the front door of our apartment in the morning.
Today's mission? Getting to Uffizi Gallery right when they opened at 0815. After a couple of shots of espresso....our apartment was well equipped, we still had some time on our hands, we admired the Duomo and the Baptistery for a bit.
The Missus especially enjoyed the bronze doors of the Baptistery.
So we decided that we'd have to visit the Duomo Museum to see the originals (these are reproductions) at the Duomo museum the next day. More on that in a future post.
We headed in the direction of Uffizi down Via Orsanmichele, taking some time to admire the statues imbedded in the exterior of Orsanmichele Church.
We made our way to Piazza della Signoria, usually bustling, was quite sedate at a few minutes before 8 in the morning.
This is pretty much the heart of Florence. With Palazzo Vecchio towering over the square, Michelangelo's David stood in front of the doors of this palace until 1873. A replica now stands in its place.
There's an interesting plaque in the square. Girolamo Savonarola was a Dominican Friar whose prophecies and preaching helped to overthrow the Medici family rule (until 1530) and became the defacto leader of the ruling party of Florence. In 1497 Pope Alexander VI excommunicated Savonarola. On Palm Sunday in 1498, Savonarola and his followers were arrested and tortured. On May 23rd, 1498 Savonarola and two other Friars were executed by hanging on the spot where the plaque is located. Man, what a story!
And right past that is Uffizi Gallery.
We got into line, under the stares of statues of great figures of the Renaissance.
So, one of the main goals of having the Firenze Card was to be able to get in the reserved line. And being early....there were still folks here before us as we arrived at 8am, we got in with the first group of folks.
There are of course, those works that we all know......Botticelli's iconic Birth of Venus
Or Spring (Primavera).
With so much symbolism.
Or Michelangelo's only known completed painting, Holy Family (Doni Tondo)
Look at the subjects.....they actually look like renderings of statues.......
There are also great views of the Arno River and Ponte Vecchio from various windows.
I loved the Seven Virtues.
Of which, a young Boticelli painted "Fortitude", at the left.
There quite a bit to keep you occupied for hours, like Perseus Freeing Andromeda by Piero di Cosimo, completed somewhere between 1510 and 1513. You see Perseus twice in this work, first flying from with winged sandals. He spies Andromeda, who is to be sacrificed to a sea monster. He swoops down and after dispatching the monster and rescuing the maiden, he wins her hand.
You could easily spend the whole day here; though we think about 2 to 2 1/2 hours is more than reasonable.
We left the gallery and headed out across the Arno River on the Ponte Vecchio.
Once upon a time, many segmental arch bridge were covered and lined with shops like Ponte Vecchio; which means "Old Bridge". The bridge was the only way to cross the river in Florence until 1218.
Once upon a time, butcher shops lined the bridge. These days it jewelry and leather goods.
The Missus ended up buying a nice pair of leather gloves.
We walked across the bridge and ended up having a couple of double espressos across from Pitti Palace. Where the Missus planned for our next stop; the Bagello.
Did you know that the Bargello has something in common with my hometown? It turns out that parts of Honolulu Hale, specifically the courtyard, staircase, and ceiling were modelled after the Bargello?
The Bargello is known for its collection of sculpture and statues.
Like Giambologna's "Flying Mercury".
And then there was the one piece that caught my attention. I ended up sending "CC" a text with a photo of the sculpture below and a message that went something along the lines of "and you thought SNF made the Point Move famous. Heck no....it's been around since forever!"
To which CC responded with a comment about the, ahem, attire......no Angel Flights here!
As you can tell, I was getting a bit punchy, perhaps my own version of Florence (Stendahl) Syndrome, it was time for a break.
It was time for lunch.
There's was a place I wanted to try, a place only open for lunch, from noon to 3pm, Monday thru Saturday....three hours! A place that's been in business since 1915. It was just after twelve when we arrived at the rather discreet location across the street from San Lorenzo Church.
I don't think the place takes reservations and the dining area was almost full when we arrived. Luckily we found a table.
The menu is a single page, but it was pretty easy picking out what we were having.
The Missus wanted to try Ribollita (6€ - $7.25US)
Thick, but not too thick, very hearty; this version had beans (delici-yoso) which added a wonderful earthy touch, to the almost potage texture of the soup. The greens added a mild bitter-sweetness. This was wonderful.
Based on our previous meal, I wanted to try the Trippa alla Fiorentina (9,5 € - $11.65).
The surprisingly tender tripe was elevated with a slightly tangy tomato sauce; the flavor of celery seemed present. This was so good.....I've never had tripe so tender and delicious.
Folks in Florence love their meat....so I had to try the Bollito Misto (boiled beef and beef tongue - 10,5€)
This one was kind of odd...though you couldn't accuse the place of false advertising...it was indeed boiled meat........no seasoning......
Overall lunch was a winner....with a couple of glasses of wine, who could ask for more?
We really enjoyed the service in Florence. Folks were relaxed, but very nice. Trattoria Sergio Gozzi was no different.
Trattoria Sergio Gozzi
Piazza San Lorenzo 8r
The Missus couldn't believe a place could survive for over a century open just 3 hours a day. But after eating here we knew why!
It was time for a nap.......
Thanks for stopping by!