We begin this segment by driving to Sala Barganza for an overnight in the “Maris ” hotel. The halls are tiled, the doors vault like, and when any door opened or closed it sounded throughout like San Quentin Prison – all night!
Well, enough about that. On Sunday we drove the back roads to Florence…for two hours…and we only gained 40km! We encountered bike races, joggers, police stops (for the bike race) and less than one lane roads, endless numbers of round abouts. ENOUGH! I set the Berlingo’s GPS to “toll roads ” and we were in Florence in a couple of hours.
The campground was wet and large with a good shower/toilet block.
Memorial Day was to be special. The American Battle Monuments Comission oversees an American WWII cemetery only 4 km from our camping spot. We were to meet our good friends from Fairbanks the Yamamoto’s who were leading a group touring the Nesei Veterans war sites in Italy. A US General and an Italian General participated along with Italian and US military and diplomats in a very moving ceremony in which one Nesei veteran and many other veterans were present.
The unseasonably cold and wet weather continues and as our funky restaurant owner in Sala Baganza says “This is the winter that never ends!”
On Tuesday we are off to the famous Uffizi Museo for a look at some of the most significant art work in history including Botticelli’s two masterpieces “The Birth of Venus ” and “Springtime “. Paintings like these must be seen to be appreciated. The size is beyond expectation and the color and detail … we enjoyed seeing them in person. We also punched or Firenze Card at several other sites.
On Wednesday we met our new touring companion, Hannah at 8:30 at the bottom of the remarkable Duomo for a hike up the 463 steps to the greatest view in Florence.
As we headed up this architectural marvel the skies were very cloudy and I thought the photography would suffer. We were able to walk around the ceiling of the interior magnificantly painted to depict “The Last Judgement “. The path led us directly through a very graphic representation of Hell. Having escaped that… we arrived at the lookout for…well, see for yourself…
Wednesday was the Medici Pitti Palace. I could go on and on about this.
Oh, at Museo Accademia there was this Michelangelo sculpture called David.
Thursday was special! We drove to San Sepulcro to see local boy Francesco’s painting “The Resurrection “. Of all the artwork we have gazed upon this painting is one of about 5 I will vividly remember.
One aspect of Italy that surprises us is the abundance of wilderness. Wild boars being the most observed game animal.
Off to Rome and a surprising impulsive stop at the walled city of Monteriggione. This is a 12th century city built by Siena to ward off the Florentines attempts to control the region. It worked for a couple of centuries before falling to the Medici.
On to Rome and Pompei. I will post that next time!
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