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[personal profile] sienamystic
From Ravenna, we hopped back on the train and got to Florence at about 9 that evening, after a slightly delayed train. Our apartment was literally on the square of the Signoria, which still kind of boggles me. Thankfully the window was facing towards the back of the building and was four flights up, and even more thankfully there was a teeny European elevator built into the stairwell. We couldn't all fit in the elevator, mind you, but we could take turns. Every once in a while an intrepid soul would just decide to walk up.

My sister knew she wanted to shop for some specific things in Florence, namely leather gloves, but she had also done research on other goods which is how we found ourselves awash in gorgeous colors at Valmar, a shop that said they sold upholstery and other home decorating goods, but really seemed only to sell dizzying array of tassels and cushions. My sister and I promptly became awash in a sea of greed and had to talk ourselves out of not buying one of each despite our lack of giant windows curtained in luxurious brocade which needed only an insouciant little tassel to finish off the scheme.

tassels in Valmar

Leather gloves were acquired, as were a pair of Ponte Vecchio gold earrings. My contribution to the shopping festivities was bringing us to the pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella, which was once upon a time run by monks but is now a fancy perfume, candle, and lotions establishment. I dithered a lot and finally ended up spending a whole heck of a lot on a room spray fragrance that I absolutely adore - it's technically a Christmas scent, but it's orange and cinnamon and a little clove maybe? And it's sort of lovely and a little bit medicinal but also like a cinnamon stick in a mulled wine and it's a Christmas fragrance that I've come across before but it hard to find in the US and I love it to pieces.

Duomo side view

I don't know if I remember the Duomo being quite as in need of a good scrubbing, but basically in Italy the cycle of cleaning and restoration is ongoing. And anyway, it's such a gorgeous building that it shines even despite the grime. Despite my desire to drag my sister inside and tell her all about the Pazzi assassination plot, we didn't make it in this trip.


It looked pretty great from the Uffizi the next morning, though.

Procuttio on the leg, Covered Market, Florence

bonanza of cured meats, covered market, Florence

We spent a while in the covered market, which is a market full of all sorts of food stalls on the first floor, and a food court on the second floor. This is where I encountered a tattooed replica of David, my sister shocked her husband by bringing bunny nuggets to the table (they have a pet rabbit at home who will never be told of this) and we all ate fried mushrooms I would sell my granny to have again.

Simone Martini and Lippo Memmi angel of the Annunication

We went to the Uffizi and I hung out with Simone Martini

Me at the Ponte Vecchio

And gave our love to the Arno.

(As an aside, I'm struggling a little bit with the whole aging as a fat lady process, and it's not helping by being trapped in what would be a lovely midlife crisis if I actually allowed myself to act on all my current impulses to abandon my entire failed life and reinvent myself as, I don't know, someone making artisan cheeses in the foothills of upstate New York. I brought a ton of makeup on this trip...well, a ton for me, anyway...and then never wore it and had mosquito bites all over my face, thanks a lot, Venice. And I have never been particularly interesting to look at but it was still difficult to find myself so firmly in the invisible old lady category. So I only have a few photos of me from this trip that I like, a few more that I tolerate despite blotchy skin and a wonky eye, and a few photos that make me really sad inside. This mortality shit is not for pikers.)

Uh, sorry about that digression. Here, have a suspicious ceramic Renaissance youth, from one of my favorite museums in the world, the Bargello.


And here is a fabulous demon en route to torment poor St. Jerome.

Bat-winged demon en route to persecute St. Jerome

One of my biggest disappointments is that we missed by about a week the reopening of the museum holding the works of the Duomo, which has a heartbreaking Michelangelo Pieta and also Donatello's Mary Magdalene, a sculpture guaranteed to make me cry like an idiot. The Bargello is some consolation, and I did get to see my friend Niccolo da Uzzzano, who has been put in a new spot since I saw him last but who retains his dignified but friendly mien.

Bust of Niccolò da Uzzano, 1430s

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Date: 2015-11-09 09:47 pm (UTC)
genarti: Knees-down view of woman on tiptoe next to bookshelves (Default)
From: [personal profile] genarti
Oh my god, those tassels made out of tinier tassels. GLORIOUS. I have no idea what one would use them for, ever, but I love that they exist.

(Mortality and self-assessment and weird judgy cultural instincts and all suuuuuuck. But I do love that picture of you, for what it's worth!)


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