Funky Florence

Day XVIII; 17. 6. 2010

Breakfast: Cheese and ham sandwich, Orange juice
Lunch: Penne al’arrabiatta
Dinner: Stracciatella and Pistachio Gelato

Today, we went to the Uffizi Palace, home of (literally) millions of paintings starting from the 15th century and covering extensively, the Renaissance period (my favourite). The Renasissance, for the uninitiated was a period of ‘revolution’ in terms of art and culture in Europe. It started in France and Italy and one characteristic of this time was the introduction of perspective into paintings. Florence, apparently, was quite hot on the Art and Culture is also considered to be the France within Italy..go figure :P

However, much to my dismay, this was no Musee d’Orsay. The paintings were bo-oring and yeah, it was not fun. Since I had done no research on this place, I was pleasantly surprised to see Botticelli’s Birth of Venus (EDIT: See the painting here; Thank you Google!) and some more of his work. There was a lot of Vinci’s work..not worth half a yawn, mind you. We also saw some of Michaelangelo’s paintings. He was not a painter and so, this was quite a something to see. When I saw the paintings, I knew at once why he had bothered to paint and why it was so obvious it was his. The painting was the very common Child with Mary- with a twist. Mary was depicted with short curls in place of the wavy hair and there was no white in the picture. Also, instead of sitting all saint-like in his mother’s lap as Jesus always is shown, he was climbing over her shoulder and being generally like a normal child. Apparently, this painting was quote a shocker, and ’tis what makes it so brilliant.
EDIT: You can see the painting here. All thanks to the Google Art Project!!

So anyway, we spent all morning inside and when we surfaced out of all those paintings onto the gallery..what is this we see? It was raining like crazy and from the windows, we had a spectacular view of the River Arno as it tossed and fell with the strong rain. It was a bit shocking, really. Here I was, imagining Tuscany to be all sunny and English-countryside-tea-sipping kind of weather, and here we have London-type conditions!?

Once we got out of the museum and had lunch, we headed to Pitti Palace- which used to house the Signorinas or administrators of Florence.

Pitti and Mili

So here we were, standing in front of the Palace’s gates, debating whether we should pay those 30 euros and go inside to sit in gardens or not, when our hostess spotted two rather oddly dressed people heading towards a tiny door on the side of the Palace.

The Man in the Kilt and the Girl in Pants

Now, we did not know it, but the very famous Palazzo Pitti Fashion Week was going on at the same place. So, out very smart and cool hostess who is also a journalist (such is the life, my dear) walks up to the blue-eyed boy looking after the whole thing and says that I’m a journo who wants to cover this and there cute little Indian bambini (you should see them Italians melt at this word) wanna watch, so..yeah. And whaddya know? I found myelf, dressed humbly in dirty shorts and sneakers amongst all the formal Italian razzmatazz watching a Fashion ITALY!!!! Now, I don’t really talk about it much, but it was actually a jewellery show, but I kind of missed that in all the Italian they were spouting ;)

Pictures you say? Oh yeah, everyone wants to see the pretty models…
The food at the end was a joke in the name of food with lots of fruits, kilos of mozzarella, lethal looking vegetables and soufflés (finally, something edible). Needless to day, I gorged :D

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