Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Our last day in Florence

Last night we had dinner not far away.  The weather was pleasant and the photos below show our atmosphere before and after the sun has set.

Our morning didn't get off to a great start as we had cold showers!  Not impressed.  Staff at reception were most apologetic.  There was a blockage last night and some one was on the way to fix the problem this morning.  Same for everybody here.  It was the only time here that I have felt cold ( except for during the night when the Air conditioning doesn't shut off and you have to get up to turn it off).
Most of the time it is wiping off the perspiration!

Today, we walked back across the Ponte de Vecchio at a much quieter (10am) to visit the Palazzo Pitti.
The Ponte De Vecchio is lined with Jewellery stores.  Heather, you would have loved it.
Fortunately for Russell, I'm not a big jewellery person.  They were still mostly closed at this time anyway.

The Palazzo Pitti was the summer residence of the Medicci family. (Think I mentioned that yesterday).
The garden out the front was a bit minimalist. (Above) Not a bad idea really as no mowing or watering required.  The square inside was also a bit bare.

But out the back, that was a different story.

The garden was huge.  It was about 1 1/2 kms by nearly 1km.  There were water features.

Tourists blocking the view.

Cypress trees

And views
In the little outhouse at the top of the hill, there was a stunning porcelain collection from the main house.  I think they got a new dinner setting every year.

All the pieces seem to be in immaculate condition.  This collection is mostly fro the 1700s

Inside the Palace, we went through the costume museum, (a little underwhelming but magnificent rooms, with all the walls and ceilings decorated)

Then we moved into the Silver Collection.  Now this was a little overwhelming.  This family ruled over Florence for many years and were mega wealthy.  Some of the family had a taste for collecting relics or fine things from all over the world.  We walked through room after room after room of some of their collection.

The one below is bigger than it looks.  It is actually a casket and holds the remains of a canonised Saint.  The wife of one of the Meddici's, was a serious collector and she wanted the remains of a Saint. So she got it.  There is even an authenticity certificate from the Catholic Church.  Bit odd really.  There were others too (but may have not been collected so legally!)

It was an amazing collection.  There could not be a price put on this.  Immense.

The photos do not do it justice (most is behind glass and flash cannot be used), but they might give you some idea.
After some lunch, we went to yet another Church. Santa Croce.  This dates back to the 1200s (everything is old!). However the front of this Church is modern (1800s). The designer was not a Catholic, he was Jewish.  Note the Star of David at the top (it is blue)
This Church is the Florentine version of London's Westminster Abbey.  There are many tombs inside, a few famous ones like Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Dante and Donatello to name a few.

Our time in Florence is almost done as we move on to Cinque Terre, slightly north west of Florence (about 2 1/2 hours train ride).  May be limited wifi there so don't expect too much blog over the next few days.
Just a couple of other photos of Florence to leave you with.

Little street require little buses!

Interesting statues everywhere.

People everywhere.

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