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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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November 30, 2017

It's Thursday and this is Thursday's post...

so here we go!

We didn't really seem to have much of a plan for today.  It is Chris's last day in Florence and the poor guy has to be outside waiting for a taxi to the airport tomorrow morning at 4:45 a.m. or so.  But I remembered that on my first trip I had enjoyed visiting Palazzo Medici & Riccardi so had suggested that if he didn't have anything else in mind, maybe we should try that.  We started off and even though now I can't find it on the map, we came to the Santa Trinita Church and decided to see what was inside. I seem to have taken only one picture of the sanctuary and that was its stained glass window behind the altar.  And I'm puzzled because I Googled it just now to make sure I was calling it by the right name and what comes up talks about all sorts of art works and never mentions the crypt that is there which is what my other two pictures are.  And I checked my old 2009 blog and see that I visited it then, again because I was passing by and said "it seemed kind of ho-hum".  Didn't mention any crypt but in 8 years, they could have gotten that excavated and now have it on display.
 This is a portion of the crypt and it is quite attractive actually.  After the next picture, I've posted a copy of the information in English(!) that is provided about the crypt.  It's informative and also kind of fun because of the translation in some places.

 I wish this didn't look quite so much like a man who is being shut up in a brick wall.  That's not what it is - the translation says it is a bust of Christ which makes a lot more sense.
We left there and got to Palazzo Medici finally and, once again, the Medicis proved to be a disappointment.  When I was there in '09, I don't know for sure how many rooms were open to the public, but I DO remember that we could get to the second floor and out onto the balcony looking over the garden and also having a view of the Duomo.  Now it is about 5 or 6 rooms you can see with nothing much in them and you can look into two conference type rooms with beautiful ceilings and such.  They were there in 2009 also.  But now, apparently, the majority of the building houses government offices or something which makes one kind of irritated to have spent money for basically nothing.  However, the Medici's private chapel is still there and that's what my two pictures below show.
 All the walls of the chapel are covered with frescoes such as the one above.  The picture below shows the altar.
 And this last picture is a small section of little bench seats that run along three walls.  Absolutely beautiful woodworking - the round circle ones are intricate inlay and the dividers between seats are beautifully carved.
 The ceiling below is from one of the two visible conference rooms - this one is the one with the plastic see-through chairs.

Several of the rooms that were open had Murano chandeliers like this one and they were beautiful.  I liked them better than the Murano chandeliers I saw in Venice - they were such heavy, kind of thick glass that they looked fake I thought.
 And I took the picture below because the man on the pedestal looks comical to me.  He reminds me of maybe Jay Leno with his humorous smirk.
All in all though a big disappointment.  They had a modern art exhibit in an area off the garden (they had a modern art exhibit in 2009 also) that was "Street Art in New York" with works by Keith Haring and I think the other man was named Paolo Buggiani.  They were more interesting than the palazzo.

We headed back to the Duomo piazza having decided that we would find a spot for an earlier than usual lunch after which he would visit a street he had read about and I would head back to the hotel.  I'm in the midst of a cold and the weather this morning was cold, rainy and/or damp, etc., and I really didn't feel like more walking.  So that's what we did.  While walking, I did see a few things that caught my eye and that's what the last three photos are.

 A winding street...
Well, of course, every trendy child's kitchen needs an espresso machine!
 And another winding street.
The Duomo is so present.  You can be in all sorts of places and still see bits and pieces of it.

So that was it.  I got back to the hotel after stopping off for a gelato that was glorious and visiting with an English speaking couple who had also come in for gelato.  Came back to the hotel (getting all turned around in the process - I'll have to learn how to be a "lone tourist" again) and finished up my Wednesday post.  Chris came home and we worked on pictures for a while and then went for an earlier than usual dinner at a restaurant we ate at a few nights ago and enjoyed.  We were the first ones there and were the only ones for a while and the waitress was very talkative.  Spoke very good English and seemed to like using it with us.  Their business is mostly local so she probably doesn't get to use it too often.

Anyway, it is now a little after 11p.m. and I told Chris he has to make sure I'm awake when he's leaving so I will end this.  I think tomorrow I won't be a tourist.  I'll be moving to another hotel Saturday morning and I think Friday will be a quiet day of planning things I might do after my move, getting out for something to eat, filing all my ragged fingernails, and missing Chris. :)


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