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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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October 09, 2009

Hey - I'm Not Done After All!

I doubt if any of you will be as thrilled as I am at what I have to report.  I found my "lost Wednesday" pictures!  And, I'm so glad I did.  I don't remember what all I said about losing them on that Wednesday's post - I probably explained that they were all the statues of Orsanmichele that I had taken specifically so my son could see them, and that I had also visited the Museo Dell'Opera and the Museo Bargello that day and was thrilled with them because they both had a number of items I specifically wanted to see - mostly involving my dear friend, Brunelleschi.  I could and did retake the Orsanmichele statues (and that's good cause the second set is better than that first set), but I couldn't bring myself to spend the money and the time to "redo" the two museums.

So, to find these pictures after I got back to the States was a real nice conclusion to a real nice trip and I decided I would do another post just to share them with you all.  My son keeps telling me I need to do a "now I'm home and here's my summing up" and, actually, I had a few things that I thought of while traveling  back that I thought might be nice for a closing post, but right now I can't really remember what they were, so this will be just the pictures.

This is the truly gorgeous altar inside Orsanmichelle where we were not allowed to take photos, so I had to sneak one.  That's one reason why it's so dark and then so light.  I sat in a pew, put the camera down in my lap, and pointed it up at the altar and got this picture which for me is better than nothing.

This is the courtyard of the Museo Bargello.  This is the museum that started out as a prison.

and I had a really hard time figuring out what this was but my son and I looked it up on the Gioogle satellite map and it is the Badia Fiorentina (badia translates to abbey) and is pretty much right across the street from the Bargello (which is the arch showing in the foreground of the picture)

And you all can probably guess who this is - Filippo Brunelleschi himself!

and this is out of order because it is at the Museo dell'Opera, but it's the death mask of Brun and makes me think the sculptor of the bust above captured a pretty good likeness.

One thing I really wanted to see at the Bargello were the two baptistery door panels submitted as entries in the competition by Ghiberti (the winner) and Brunelleschi (the loser).  The panel had to illustrate the story of God instructing Abraham to sacrifice his son.  This is Brunelleschi's entry.

And this is Ghiberti's entry.  And much as it hurt me to do it, I had to admit that at least in my very humble, non-artistic opinion, Gilberti's was the better of the two.  Probably though, that was better than coming away thinking Brun had been robbed. :)

There were other things at the Bargello besides Brunelleschi "stuff".  This is Donatello's statue of David (all these sculptors seemed to find David an irrestible subject).  The hat seems a little saucy to me...

And this is Verrocchio's statue of David which I preferred over Donatello's and actually over the huge one by

This was a large Della Robia nativity.  I don't remember for sure what my guide book said about it, but I would think it might have been an altar piece.

Speaking of guide books, the one I just mentioned wasn't actually mine - it was one Antonio gave me to use while I was there.  It was a Rick Steves guide to Florence and Tuscany and at first I really didn't care for it because of the way he had it set up.  But my own guide book wasn't working too well, so I tried a little harder with the RS one and ended up really glad I had.  In his book, for each major museum, cathedral, whatever, he takes you on a tour of the most important pieces in that building and for someone like myself who knows nothing about art and what it all means (I'm one of those "I don't know about art but I know what I like" people), this was really helpful.  I got a lot more out of the frescoes, especially, because frescoes are usually telling a story and, on my own, I would usually have been unable to tell what the story was.  So if you're ever planning a trip that will involve wandering through museums, I'd recommend that you look at his books when you look at guide books.

The next pictures are from my visit to the Museo Dell'Opera...

This piece really flabbergasted me when I came across it because to me it looks so extremely modernistic. This is a statue of Mary Magdelene by Donatello which means it was created in the 15th century and it was difficult for me to get a good picture because it is dark to begin with and then so textured that there is a lot of shadow.

This is a close up and unfortunately her face is still quite shadowed...

This is Brun's model (I mean he actually made it!) of the cupola without the lantern on top. He shows two of the three tribunes that the cupola rests on.

And this is Brun's model of the lantern...It was so thrilling to see these and realize they were made so long ago and today thousands of visitors still flock to Florence to see the finished product.

This fairly unclear picture and the next one are pictures of some of the actual tools used to build the cupola and also the hoist that Brun invented to get supplies up to the higher and higher levels as work progressed.

And so that was my "lost Wednesday" and I'm certainly happy I found it.


Marlene said...

Welcome home, Mary Lynne, and congratulations on finding your lost pictures. You have been such a good teacher, and I've learned a lot from your commentary and pictures. Now, I want to go to Italy!

vrmichie said...

What a treat to sign on and discover another posting AND lost Wednesday. Brun's models and hoists would have been sad to not have, as well as (tho it kinda creeps me out) his death mask. It definitely takes your story from start to finish. Do you suppose he got demerits on his doors for going outside the lines? :)

Mary's dress looks to be right off the Paris runway. Modern, indeed. And I don't know what sort of dungeons they kept the prisoners in but the walking around space certainly was attractive for the guards.

Happy the balsamic and cheese taste as good in the states as in Italy. Have a nice weekend and hope they get that car fixed PDQ.

Christopher said...

Nice to revisit a day from the trip... So glad you found that chip afterall! All in all, it has been a delightful read, following your journeys in Italy... Like Marlene, I really want to go.
And thanks for the Italian feast--I'm here to let the other readers know that balsamic vinegar you brought back was spectacularly good, and remotely unlike any balsamic I've ever had... you could drink this from a straw, when nobody was watching... :)
Welcome home, and thanks for sharing it all! I'll certainly be looking forward to reading your results here, from that Cooks Magazine of Italian recipes... And perhaps sampling a few as well... :)

Jamie said...

I'm a little behind and just caught up with the last post. So glad you found your pictures! And I think the one you got with the camera on your lap is incredible! I would have probably just got my chin! Glad you are home safe and sound!

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