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And enjoy it we did! Dan Berg and I spent the afternoon at Santa Croce, a beautiful church that is the burial ground of Italy’s heroes and heroines over the centuries. We saw the graves (don’t think of an American cemetery, think huge sarcophagus of marble and marble floor markers) of such famous people as Galileo, Dante, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Florence Nightingale, Marconi and the list goes on and on. We also saw the Donatello Christ and the Cimabue crucifix.
Our whole group took a tour to the Academia where the main attraction is Michelangelo’s 17 foot high sculpture of David envisioned as being just before David kills the giant Goliath. Chiseled from one piece of white marble, the artist’s realism is eye-catching. Bone structure and blood vessels are clearly visible. Michelangelo personally believed that sculpture was the highest art form, and David is his greatest achievement. Along the way, we saw a Stradivarius viola and the famed instrument maker’s “red” violin–both the most valuable instruments of their kind.
In the late afternoon, we attended a guided tour of the great Uffizzi Gallery. Here were many of the works of art that most people have seen in one way or another. Allen and Rhonda saw Boticelli’s “Venus” and immediately recognized that a copy of that famous piece hung in their bedroom at home. The great artists’ works hang throughout the 45 room museum. The halls are filled with ancient Greek and Roman statuary. It is simply mind-boggling.
The evening ended at an “Italy as Italy can be” trattoria (local family owned eateries where food is high quality, but priced reasonably–found across Italy) where the food and wine were excellent. Veal stew, roasted rabbit, ravioli with white truffle sauce, chef’s specialty meatballs and fried chicken were main courses. We strolled to our hotel near the cathedral in the cool relaxing evening air. And the day was done. WEG
Wednesday, September 2, 2015