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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 Wednesday ...

and this will be Wednesday's post!  Hallelujah!!

Our first stop this morning was the Brancacci Chapel which is part of the Chiesa di Santa Maria del Carmine.  The Brancacci Chapel is attached to this church and the amazing frescoes there make it a popular tourist stop.  I only took a couple photos inside the church itself - the first one is a shot fairly distant from the altar showing the ceiling.
 And then a close up of the altar but not close enough. :)

 The next photos were taken while in the Brancacci Chapel.  The frescoes represent various stories from the bible.

Poor Chris got very frustrated because when we arrived there were two women already there and standing in the raised altar area where these frescoes are located.  You can see their heads in this pic and part of one of them in the one above.  I have never seen anyone study any art for so long - they must have stayed there for at least 15 minutes and had been there before we came in who knows how long?   And of course, by the time they finally came to sit down in the pew area to discuss it all further, more people had come in and were making their way into that space to study and discuss them.  No one stayed as long as the first two although one other woman made a good stab at it but always just as it was about to clear out, more people would come in.  I reminded him that it was a tourist area and he did finally get a chance to get shots with no people in them, but it became almost kind of comical.

 Above is looking towards the altar in the chapel and below is the ceiling in the frescoed area.
 And finally, the whole thing - it really is wonderful - the frescoes have either been very well cared for or they have been recently cleaned because the colors are so vibrant and light.
 For a complete change of scene, as we walked to our next stop, I saw this window.  The sign indicated it was a vintage clothing store but I think anyone would be delighted to wear either of these.  It was all I could do not to go in and tell them the dresses really didn't need the necklaces - especially the ivory one. :)

We reached Santa Maria Novella basilica which is a very large complex with the main church, numerous chapels, and two cloisters.  Not sure how many dark pictures I have to post but I wanted to get the stained glass to show and the only way I can with my point and shoot is to make everything else dark.
 This is the beautiful stained glass behind the altar and the one below is lightened up to show the altar in its surroundings.  It is all white which I think is somewhat unusual and looks like a building (probably a church).  Really lovely.

 Another altar and window in a side chapel.
Can't help it - I love all the stained glass.
 There was a lot going on in this small side area - the painted clock on the wall, the small frescoe below it, the door, the stairway, and below the stairway was a lit "coffin" with a "statue" of Christ crucified with blood and holes in his feet and hands, etc.  I decided to leave that out.
 A sweet nativity in a sort of window cabinet in the wall - I would imagine they have various and sundry displays in it throughout the year.
 This was a close up of the ironwork gate to one of the side chapels.  Chris is always taking pictures of ironwork so I decided I would too.
 And I don't know at all what this painting is portraying, especially with the arched portion on top where the man is climbing a ladder.  But I liked the colorfulness of it.  Actually it just dawned on me - the upper portion is about the crucifixion.

These three pictures show a hole in the floor for viewing a section of excavation that has been done under the church.  It is the foundation of the original church built here in 1074.  The large tiles in front are part of the floor and the top and right side are bricks of the wall.  The left side is part of a plastered wall.

 This next one looks like I made a mistake and put the Brancacci Chapel here but it's not - this is still in Santa Maria Novella.  It's amazing how much this church contains.
 A pretty stone pulpit designed by Brunelleschi (he's everywhere, he's everywhere!)

 The doom's still there...and two pretty and quite stylish little girls were having a good time hugging each other in front of it.

 They're getting all decked out for Christmas and have what I think is a clever idea for a city to save money - when you look down the streets you see many, many of the tiny lights hanging down but I got to looking at it and it turns out that each strand only has 1/2 of it with lights hanging down and they alternate - one strand with lights on left, next one with strands on right - but to look at it it just looks like twinkle lights everywhere.
 This is a window in a fabric store and this fabric was absolutely positively gorgeous!
Our last stop for the day was Chiesa di San Salvatore a Ognissanti - above is the main altar and below was a small wood carving that was pretty exquisite.  I wish I knew what it portrays.
And that was our day.  Being pretty much exhausted, we got home and dumped our stuff and at some point walked forever to a grocery store that was "just up there".  Bought some potato chips, a Lindt chocolate bar, some bananas and a bunch of Kleenex packets because all I do is blow my nose.

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