Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I really enjoy Florence! We spent two nights this weekend at a very nice hostel, Plus Florence. In the morning on Friday, we went to the Uffizi Gallery with our professor, Marco. Unfortunately, pictures were not allowed in any of the museums that we went to in Florence.

The Uffizi comprises of a lot of sculpture, which is what was originally in the hallways, and then the paintings were added later, as the original purpose of the now museum was for offices to do the “dirty work of government” as Marco put it. That is in fact what uffizi means in Italian, “offices.” The gallery now displays many important paintings including a large amount of byzantine art as well as one Michelangelo painting, which we fortunately got to see, but only by the hair of our chin due to a strike (I am getting used to the Italian’s affinity for these, not to say that I like the strikes though).
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A beautiful view from the Uffizi, apparently it is extremely difficult to get to this view during tourist season, so I felt really lucy to get such a beautiful shot!

After that we met up with a few of our fellow classmates that are studying in Castiglion Fiorentino because they were in Florence as well. In the afternoon, we decided to climb up the 463 (steep) steps to the top of the Brunelleschi’s revolutionary cupola. Keep in mind that there are no ADA requirements here, so most are without handrails and they only have them when you would absolutely need them! ( on a side-note: being in a place that often lacks the requirements for things that I have come to take for granted like handrails, the size of handrails, and the widths of doors and passage-ways, has made me appreciate some of the requirements that we do have in the states more).
Despite the long trek to get up to the top of the cupola and the 8.5 euro, it is worth it! We were blessed with amazing weather while we were on top, beautiful skies and nothing more than a light breeze!
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Here is a vista from on top of the dome… ah-mazing!
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And here I am standing with Allison.

The rest of the weekend we enjoyed beautiful (although colder than we have been used to) weather. Saturday included a visit to the Boboli Gardens, just outside of the Pitti Palace.
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Carrie made a friend at the gardens. This cat was very friendly to all the ladies of our group, but especially loved Carrie. It figures because she is allergic…

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Some of the ladies enjoying the Boboli gardens. Left to right, Wendy, Christie, Sam, and Al

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