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Firenze Finally

Finally we made it to Firenze and our new home, an apartment looking out at the Duomo. From the train station we got waylaid by the Medici Chapel. Found our street and eventually saw our hostess laughing as she watched these four women, the "White Hairs" each with a walking stick and a small wheeled suitcase trying to make some order of the building numbers. No worry, she led us right to our new place. Just like the picture on the website showed, the Duomo was right there outside our windows. When we walked over to pick up our passes, the line for Academia was almost back to our place, but we could just walk right on in. A bit more money and a lot less waiting was definitely worth it. Highlights of our days: all the Davids, especially Donatello's with the flowers and hat. Finding the elevator after climbing the stairs. Fra Angelico's frescoes at San Marco. More rainbow-winged angels. Finding the musical instruments at the Academia and then listening to them being played. Hearing all the city church bells, beginning with the Duomo's bells, pealing out the news of new Pope Francis and watching it unfold in Italian. Finding the elevators at the Uffizi before climbing four flights. Finding the newly renovated Galileo museum with two elevators, although getting from here to there was never simple. Going for gelato and three of us getting hot chocolate. It was cold. Listening to RS walk and realizing how much we had already seen...and walked...over 18,000 steps once. Not bad for us and our sticks. Finding our belltower as a design on a wooden trunk at the Bargello. Giotto's death of St. Francis at Santa Croce. After another visit to our church, we were off again to the train station. Ravenna is our next destination.

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I love your enthusiasm! And...this gives me ideas for our trip to Firenze in 2 weeks. Thank you!

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Some years ago I took a class on the Italian Renaissance in Florence. One great memory was a field trip to the Piazza della Santissima Annunziata. We sat on the steps while we listened to the story of Donatello and Brunelleschi's trip to Rome (1402-1404) to study classical art and architecture. Upon his return, Brunelleschi created the first building of the Italian Renaissance. Since this building style was entirely new, Brunelleschi had to spend almost all his time at the building site, because the craftsmen had never had to follow elaborate plans before, with perfectly symmetrical windows, and so on.
What made the memory so memorable was at the end of the talk, our professor pointed over our shoulder and said, "and that's the building Brunelleschi designed." It is the Ospedale degli Innocenti, or "The Hospital of the Innocents." Less than three blocks from the Duomo, it's worth a short detour.