About Me

My photo
West Virginia
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.

Get my posts by e-mail

October 17, 2014

More of the Medici home and I finally finish Tuesday!

 So, we've seen the ceilings.  The rest is not nearly as lengthy nor as impressive.  The Palazzo isn't actually furnished.  Various rooms have various pieces of exquisite furniture, little beautiful boxes, etc., but no room is furnished to look like a room.  We'll see a wonderful example of a furnished home of that era on Wednesday.

 One of the first rooms we saw was the Room of Maps and it was pretty wonderful.  The walls were pretty much completely covered with these old, old maps that one, or maybe more, of the Medicis collected in the study of geography and the planet.  I'm always surprised when I see these ancient maps at how accurately some of the countries are delineated.  The one above is Great Britain and it's surprisingly close to today's maps.  And the one below (from an unfortunate angle to get rid of glare on the glass) is the boot Italy with a pretty accurate heel and toe at the bottom.  Some maps were a little vague but my goodness, the one I'm thinking of is one of the "arctic lands" and then another one that had lots of African animals scattered around and not a real clear shape of Africa.  But I'm sure impressed by their knowledge of far-flung places back in the 1500's.

 Below we have a simple yet elegant wallcovering of gold fleur de lis on a royal blue background.  And below that we have an over-the-top fresco of who knows what incredible scene.  And the other three walls of the room were just as bombastic!

Mustn't forget to decorate the arches of the window niches...
I'm just not real sure why this is here.  It's a death mask of Dante and he was important (developed what is now the national language of Italy) but, golly - in your house?  And he's not even a relative???
There were more of these than I took pictures of and they were all beautiful and all glared when you tried to take their picture.  These are little bits and pieces of marble inlaid to make a complete picture.  There's a word for it that Chris told me and I promptly forgot but also, I think I've heard another word for it that I've also forgotten.  Sigh...
Next we have the upper wall (some of it) of an enormous room which I am calling "the enormous room".  I would imagine it was more for civic type functions where many very important people gathered to vie for most important person there.  Actually, that's probably being too flippant because I'm sure it had a real purpose (aside from being "the enormous room") and it's one of the times I really regretted not having the guide book I used on my first trip to Italy,
I think those huge paintings on the upper wall (which run the length of both long walls) were painted on the surface and then framed in.  I saw block lines when I looked at this one from the side.
I was trying to give some idea of the size of this room.  This is looking down from where I took the picture of the side wall and it does show all the way to the front, but there was a lot more red floor at the back that's not in this picture.  The statue you see way at the back is a typical life-sized or a bit more of Pope Leo X who was a Medici.  When they attained that, they had gone pretty much as high as they could.  But seeing how tiny he is in the photo also gives you a good idea of the immensity of this room.

I loved this little sprite after all the hoo-hah of the rest of the place.
A pretty little casket (that's what they were called - it's not a funeral casket)
A lovely window - leaded but with the design painted on, I'm pretty sure.
And I really liked this piece too - very stately and pretty.
This was just to give an idea of how everything gets decorated..A window niche, the back wall of a stair landing (and of course the entire ceiling coming down the stairs is painted) and some painting starting on the wall on the right after you've come down the stairs and turn the corner.  It was a very good century for artists!
 I know - it's a ceiling - but it's a close up of a small section of the ceiling in the huge room a few pictures back.  And the one below shows almost the entire length of that enormous room's ceiling - it's an enormous room.  I should move these up with the others, but time's a-wasting!
And now we say good-bye to the Medicis and head to the Duomo and actually go in since Chris hadn't been inside yet.

However, when we got there, there was only about an hour or so before closing and we had stood in line for a while to get in and I was just really, really tired and thought "well, I have seen it all before so why not just let Chris enjoy it without me tagging along?"  Wasn't that just motherly of me?  So I sat myself down on a pew and Chris took many wonderful pictures.  I did get up a time or two and take a few photos to prove I was there.

 A painting of Dante holding his book "The Divine Comedy" except he called it something else.  I liked that painting last time and I still did this time. 
 The interior of the dome - depicting basically what happens to the good guys and what happens to the bad guys when their time is done.  And in my previous trips, I don't think I probably ever gave a nod to the artists who painted this, Georgio Vasari and Frederico Zuccari.  My, don't you love those names?
Beautiful even with dark clouds and threatened rain...

So, finally, I am done with Tuesday!  Chris and I both agreed that we were very glad we did the whole Palazzo Vecchio  "thing" and he was happy to have been into the Duomo too, after passing it several times a day for the last few days.  A very good day, I would say.


January said...

Gorgeous pictures AGAIN, Mama! Everything is so beautiful. I'm really glad you're having such a good trip and that you got to share "your" city with Chris! xox

Diane Adams said...

So many wonderful photos! I sure love looking at them.

Mary Lynne said...

Sweet January - I love opening my inbox and getting your sweet posts! xo to you too.

Italian Word Word of the Day

My Trusty Followers

Blog Archive