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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 01, 2009

Wednesday, Part II and For Me, the Best Part

I don't think I'll have to bend your ears too much in this post.  But you know already how very much I love the everything about the Duomo.  Well, yesterday's visit to the interior of the Cathedral (ooh, there's a recording of some tenor singing "I, Pagliacci" outside my window - I hear it between the roar of the Vespas...) solidified its position as my number one, all time favorite thing in Florence.  For one thing, there is no entrance fee (unheard of!).  For another thing, they had a well-designed, English language flyer that explained a lot of what you would be seeing (free), and unbelievably enough, you are allowed to take pictures!!!!!  It was wonderful.  So, I'm just going to start posting my pictures and put in any comments I think might be helpful (if not to you, to me, for my poor failing memory cells).   I took a picture of everything their little flyer pointed out plus a few of my own.  And now that I've posted them, I'm thinking they are really fairly awful.  I don't know if I did something wrong or what, but I'm really disappointed - finally get to take pictures without risking imprisonment, and they don't turn out as good as my "snuck" ones.  Ah, well...maybe that just means I'll have to go back yet again and redo them!

I forgot I had this one of the outside.  My thought here is maybe if I volunteer to start scrubbing this truly filthy facade (you can see where they've cleaned the lighter part), they'd give me room and board somewhere?
This is another mosaic over the main door inside.
This is a bust of Brunelleschi

Tribune of the Conception - a side chapel
The dome interior
Looking down the nave to the entry door with rose window and painted Roman numeral clock
Tribune of the Cross - a side chapel
della Robbia again

Painting - Dante holding his "Divine Comedy"
Monument to John Hawkwood and I would love to know how there came to be a man by that name in Florence important enough to be immortalized in 1436!
One of many beautiful windows
Another monument - this one to Niccolo de Tolentino which is more like it
Bust of Arnolfo di Cambio, first architect of the Cathedral
Bust of Emilio De Fabris, architect of the 19th century facade
Brunelleschi's tomb under the cathedral

It turns out that this Cathedral was built on top of another cathedral which dated back to the 5th century.  I think it was in the 1970's that they began excavations under the cathedral and you can now tour those also, although I didn't do that on this trip.  But I did go down to see what it was all about and am glad I did as I didn't realize I would find Brun's tomb down there.

And, so I very contentedly and wearily head home... but found two more things to record...

This was my second sighting of street art.  People get down on the street and, using chalks, copy masterpieces - and then I guess the next morning they get washed away...
And I read somewhere about this pig and how everyone that passes by rubs his nose, but I can't for the life of me remember where and so I don't know why he's there or why people rub his nose.  But he looks happy, doesn't he?  I just now went and looked him up and he's a wild boar, so please excuse me on that.  And apparently, the original bronze statue was made in 1612(!) and after centuries of people rubbing his nose, he was replaced with a copy.  And for some strange reason, there are copies of him scattered here and there around the world.  Who knew?


Christopher said...

How nice that your visit inside was just as wonderful as your constant happy sightings of Brun's dome throughout the city. I think if your ankle feels up to it, you should just go back one day and climb the camponile tower... Just to have THOROUGHLY "done" everything there is to do at the cathedral, and round out the full experience... plus the photos from up there would be of the dome dominating, and could be pretty cool ;)
And dare I say it, it sounds like not a "daily trauma" to be found in this post?! ;)

Jamie said...

So, did you rub the wild boar's nose? I had to ask! The photos are all good - my favs are the stained glass windows and interior of the dome.

vrmichie said...

You sure make me wish I'd had a netbook or whatever it is you have when we went to Barcelona not that I would have done as good a job of recording the trip but you are going to enjoy this blog sooo much when you get home. It is wonderful for us "wannabetheres" but I think even when you look at it years from now, you'll feel like you were there yesterday. It's quite a treasure of reporting. Looking forward to hearing what you did today.

Mary Lynne said...

Thanks all three of you for your comments. You know, Chris, maybe that's what I should do Monday, my last day here. It certainly would be a fitting end to the trip. Did I mention in an earlier post that it has around I think about 50 more steps? But you're right, I hadn't thought about the fact that I'd be looking right across at the dome...that's kind of hard to pass up.

And, Jamie - bravely said on the photos. But I really think maybe I had the camera set wrong most of the time or something, cause I've mostly been happy with my photos (for me!) but these just don't do much for me. I didn't rub the nose by the way...everyone who was rubbing it was having someone take their picture and there would have been poor pitiful me, just rubbing alone. :)

I agree about the blogging too - it ensures that I'll always be able to "reconnect" to this trip. Today (Thursday) sure won't be too much of a post though - I only ended up with 15 pictures! But I DO have an exciting announcement to make in Thursday's posting - no, no, no - I'm not going to tell you now!

January said...

Oooooooh! What a great day (this counts for both posts)! You're becoming quite the photographer, as well, Mama. You'd better keep traveling the world so you can keep taking pictures.

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