First the Bargello...I've copied the opening statement I found on museumsinflorence.com which will tell you what it was before it was a museum. "The National Museum has its setting in one of the oldest buildings in Florence that dates back to 1255. Initially the headquarters of the Capitano del Popolo (Captain of the People) and later of the Podestà, the palace became, in the sixteenth century, the residence of the Bargello that is of the head of the police (from which the palace takes its name) and was used as prison during the whole 18th century.". So, old, old, old and looking at the building, it is easy to picture it being used for these purposes. I also used this image of the outside since there was no way my point and shoot could get a good shot of it.
The inner courtyard - when I was here last you went up that staircase which is now closed.
So that was the Bargello. Now it was time to get to the Palazzo Davanzati which was actually built by a wealthy family named Davaziti in the mid-1300's and the Davanzati's bought it in 1578 and managed to hold on to it until 1838 when the last heir died. It was purchased in 1904 by a man who was an antiquarian and who opened it a museum of an antique Florentine house. It went through various other transfers from here to there and was finally bought by the state in 1956. And I'll say what I always think each time I type something like "it was built in the mid-1300's" and that is that I am always so stunned when I realize I'm looking at something that has been there for 600 or however many years. Years ago, when Chris was an infant and we were stationed in Germany, my husband and I took a 9-day trip to Rome and I marveled over the Roman ruins but they were ruins (and of course even older than the buildings in Florence), but these are buildings that you walk in the door and see rooms and furnishings, and, well...it just astounds me.
So, again, I will post all the pictures with any comments I might have.
Then we walked back to the hotel, had a bite of lunch, and walked down to Santa Maria Novella so Chris could get some better pictures. We were to meet the man and wife who owned the hotel I stayed in the last time I was in Florence at 4:00 for a little treat of some type which made me happy cause I've always thought how nice it would be to actually spend some time with someone who is native to Italy. Chris finished his pictures and we went to meet up with them. As we walked away from the Piazza Santa Maria Novella, I got this last glimpse of the Duomo (I thought) - actually we saw it again because Loretta and Luciano took us to a place down near the Duomo.
Thursday was basically a travel day. Chris went back to the library place to get better photos with all his gear, got caught in the rain coming back, I took a shower, finished packing and such. We had one last lunch at Enzo & Piero where I had stewed rabbit (a Tuscan specialty) with mashed black cabbage(!) Wasn't too sure at the first bite or so but it grew on me and I cleaned my plate. I've had some really good meals on this trip - more so than when I've traveled alone. Splitting with another person is nice because you can order more and share. All my travel was uneventful and frighteningly on time - buses and planes both leaving on the dot. Arrived in Catania, Sicily 10 minutes or so early, got my luggage much more quickly than usual, went and found where to wait for the bus to Siracusa, waited about 10 minutes and here it came, a longish ride but fast and comfortable, then the one sour note - I didn't have the nerve to walk from the bus station to the hotel in the dark so took a cab which cost 15E!! I asked the next day what a cab costs from station to hotel and she told me 10E which I suspected, but hey, I wasn't going to argue about it at that point.
So, without further ado, I am posting this one and tonight (Saturday) will try and post about my first day here and get pictures that I take today ready to post. I really want to catch up!