Tattoos acquired, we had our “one thing each” to tick off; each of us picks one thing we will feel regret if we don’t see it.
Mine is usually a walking tour, Mr.8 likes aquariums and zoos, Alice loves art and culture, and Ms.11 likes water slides.
But first, we rode bicycles! This is not particulary amazing until you know that its been 10 years since Alice or I owned a bicycle (we kept our couch instead when we moved to NZ!). It was glorious and we all had so much fun.
Here’s us on one of our many breaks, we rode up and down the Arno, just north of the Centro Historico. It’s about a 30 minute train + walk to get there from Centro Historico.
Some more cool street art in our neighborhood:
And now the pics you’ve all been waiting for, the Uffizi! It’s a ten minute walk for us (we’re just down the street) and can I just say I love not having to drive anywere; on this trip I’ve driven a grand total of maybe 4-5 times, mostly for our time in Scotland and Belgium and road trips in Spain and Malta (more on Malta in later blog posts!).
The Uffizi is a record of the explosion of art that was the Renaissance. To understand the Renaissance you have to understand that this freedom of artistic expression was unheard of in previous ages.
We turned the corner and Boticelli’s Venus was waiting for us. What a treat to have it be so close, with so few people. I imagine in the summer this room would be filled to bursting with sweaty people.
Looking at it straight on, as wuth most art, it’s so much more impressive than any photo can ever provide. Like when we saw the Rothko art exhibit in Daugavpils, Latvia, we were overcome with emotion. The drama, and colours, look like they were invoked yesterday rather than 500 years ago:
In our way, we notice small things about art. Here we took a closer look at the toes, and they leave a bit to be desired, unless this was the true state of feet in the Renaissance:
We took a break on the 2nd floor to have a look out at the Ponte Vecchio, which is just minutes from our apartment, and marvel at all the beauty, history, and culture that’s all around us:
I have always loved Socrates, it was amazing to finally see him in statue form, what a great mind/thinker!
The Renaissance was a revival of Roman (and hence Greek) art and architecture. Here you can see Greek themes carved so effortlessly into stone:
Don’t forget to look up in every room in the Uffizi or you’ll miss ceilings like this:
The Medici’s used to hang out in this castle, the Palazzo Vecchio and with good reason, it was rare for them not to be in someone’s political crosshairs.
The human body was celebrated, here we see it in its logical exaggeration in the form of Heracules, the strongest man ever (so the story says):
I respect any creator who has so much work he can’t be ignored, da Vinci is one I highly admire. Amazing even his rough sketches are worthy of anyone’s wall:
One more look from the Uffizi at the Ponte Vecchio, a little bit later in the afternoon:
To me, Medusa is a famous work of art and so I was surprised to see it languishing on its own in a hallway filled with construction barriers. I’m struck by how Medusa is shocked, angry, horrified, all the things you might feel if you got your head chopped off by Perseus:
A respectful Medusa selfie ensues:
Our neighborhood in Centro Storico has so much great art, the graffiti teaches you something, and the art is worthy of a museum in and of itself:
One of our four things down!