Ok so I'm back in Greece now, staying with my aunt and uncle agian,
but i'll get to all that later. FOr now I shall tell you about all
the mischief i got into in Florence. After my last post I spent two
more nights in florence.
The next day I took it pretty slowly, I was feeling pretty sick and
not up for much, anyway I went and saw the Medici Chapels, a little
bit of history for those of you who haven't studied art history, the
Medici were the main ruling family in Florence for a long time in the
past and through the Renaicance, anyway Florence had become a republic
and was under pressure from neighbouring states ect. (please feel free
to correct me this is really only what i've picked up in bits and pieces)
Anyway Florence at the end of the middle ages was looking for a case study
if you will on republics, well they found their example from the Roman
Republics and the Greek City states of antiquity, so the Medici (not the
official rulers) started collecting roman sculpture and apparently were pretty
much enthralled with anything roamn or greek, thus the neo-classism
of the renaicance was born (obviously this in not the only cause but
it is one of the important factors as I understand). anyway Lorenzo, the
magnificent, Medici, the godfather of the family (i think) took a very
young Michaelangelo under his wing, I can't remember why he didn't
or couldn't stay with his parents, anyway it's this Lorenzo who gets
Mike learning painting, sculptuor and architecture. Mike falls in love
with Lorenzo over the years and as mike is becoming a bit of a know
artist (I think) Lorenzo dies, anyway Michaelange carves his tomb, it's
never fully completed (he also carves lorenzo's brother's tomb, i think it
is his brother, another inportand Medici anyway) So in this Chapel
are these two tombs, each consisting of three statues (I think the architecture
is by Michaelangelo aswell) and quite a lot of scethes ect. on these two walls
Basically the tombs (esp. Leronzo's) is this act of love and devotion by
Michaelangelo, they are really impressive. Each has a statue of the deceased
and a pair of statues, one has night and day and the other dawn and dusk.
It was definitely worth seeing, really beautiful carving capturing so much
of the character of the men and the attitudes of the personifications.
So I saw that and pretty much went home by a long route, saw a few other
places, mucked around.
ANYWAY the next day I was up at about 6:00 - 6:30 because I was goign to see
the gallery Uffzi, one of the most important galleries in the world on the day
after it had been closed so it was expected that there would be huge lines all
day and I didn't want to waste time as I wanted to get a train out that day.
So I arrived at the gallery with the last tolls of the seven o' clock bell
I must say it took me a long time to get out of bed, came close to giving it
a miss. Anyway there were only two people already waiting so i was third in line
which was pretty neat. Anyway I spent my time doing Su-do-ku and chatting to
an american who was next in line after me and the japanese couple who were
learning their italian.
at 8:15 the doors were supposed to open, they only opened at about 8:30, anyway
I went got tickets and followed th crowds (I wasn't going to rush)(there is also
seperate entrace for people with reserved tickets which you have to buy in advance
cost more but get you in faster and lots of tour groups get these).
Inside the core of the Uffzi (offices) are housed a LOT of pieces of late gothic to
17th/18th C. art and it goes Chronoligically (or by artist if there are main artists
for the same period that they have a lot of pieces by)
Well the whole gallery was really impressive, I found I like the early renaissance
stuf more than I thought I would, I found I liked certain artist more than
others ect. and I got to see a lot of famous paintings
I saw stuff by Fillipo Lippi that I had read about, works by Leonardo Da Vinci
including his 'annunciation' I saw a whole big room full of Bottichelli's
including his 'birth of venus' I saw a whole room of works by Raphaello
including his 'self portrait' and 'portrait of Pope Leo X' I also two out of
the three Rembrant's that the gallery, his self portrait as a young lad
and as an old man, it was really interesting seeing how much his style changed
through those years, unfortunately his "rabbi" was being restored so i couldn't see
that. Anyway I ended up spending four hours in there and really enjoying myself.
I was really pleased that i went and got to see so much magnificent art up close.
understandably I was bushed after that, there was one more gallery in florence
but I really couldn't be bothered walking out of my way to it, standing in line,
jogging through it only to leave later than I wanted and have to arrange baggage
storage for the day.
So i went to catch the train out of florence to venice (I was hoping to get a ferry
from Brindisi to Corfu but in the off season they just don't sail often enough or
at good times for it to be an enjoyable experience. Unfortunately I missed the train
I was going to catch by literally 3 seconds, thus I would miss the 7pm ferry to corfu
and would have to spend a night in venice, not what I wanted at all (didn't get a good
vibe from venice) but I had to anyway, so I found an internet cafe, looked at some
accomodation options and settled down onto the grass outide the train station to wait
for the next train. while I was napping I was woken by drunk italians talking really
loudly, the one was actually supporting the older one and they were walking and
talking and talking with other men about. eventually this happy couple got decidedly
unhappy and started to fight, it was actually really funny seeing these two trying to
fight, not a single good punch between the two of them, shortly they we semi-sucessfully
seperated and started to go their seperate ways, next thing out of the blue the older
drunked guy picks up someone else empty beer bottle, smashes it (holding it by the neck)
and starts at the other guy, this time they were more forcibly settled, now there
was some amatuer counselling and the younger guy got told to get out of there pretty much.
Anyway after everything seems settled and everyones laughing about it, the older guy
flips out, picks up a full beer bottle that someone had on the ground and starts to
try and run after the young guy. the old guy is so drunk he doesn't notice that he is
holding the beer bottle upside down and effectively pouring it all over himself
the young guy is now freaking out big time and sprinting away, the old guy lifts the
bottle to throw it, the young guy stupidly dives onto the path (rough bricks) meanwhile
the old dude throws the bottle at the ground near the young guy, glass goes flying
in a shower almost hitting some sitters by (luckily they were watching what was happening)
next the two guys are fighting again (not very effectively) and then the pigs show up
they do a take down on these two drunks, the young guy gets peeled off and doesn't fight
back, meanwhile the older (drunker) guy is on the ground trying to resist the police
so they start kneeing him ect. until he cries uncle (not uncle exactly but stops fighting
back) anyway it end up with the two dumbasses gettign taken in by no less than 5 police
and one guy losing his beer and everyone getting a free lesson on consumption of alcohol.
Anyway Venice had alright weather but was not pleasant, accomodation was cheap but I
paid 21.50 euros to get there (only 13 euro for a bed) which was waste of time really.
Anyway I went to get a ferry to Corfu, sorted that out, then tried to get into veice
again to get some sleeping pills and phone my aunt and uncle telling them when I was
getting back, that ended up being two and a half painful, long missions. So i really
did not have a pleasant afternoon. Anyway I got the ferry, my tonsilitis went from the
worst it's ever been to worse than that, the sleeping pills did not work, I gave my
aunt the wrong time to pick me up so i wasted their time, and didn't feel well at all.
at least on this ferry the staff were bearable if not exceedingly helpful but a pleasant
change to the pigs that the other ferry line employs.
Anyway I'm back in corfu now,not doing much, gettign some TLC and lots of soup.
take care all, Mike
Sorry about the weird spacign but i was typign offline to save my aunt and uncles moeny and well, i'm too lazy to fix it.