Friday, June 27, 2008

Day 8: A Glimpse Of Florence

Florence was our opportunity to leap forward a couple hundred years in history, from the Romans to the Renaissance. We went from traipsing around ruins to ogling great art.

We started the day in classic Florence fashion - standing in line, waiting to get into a museum. We waited a good 30 minutes before we could get into the Accademia to see David. Ahh, glorious, powerful, stark naked, David. It was pretty amazing, getting to see one of the world's most renowned pieces of sculpture. The details of David are exquisite, and I loved the worried look on his face - makes me wonder what's on his mind.

The Accademia also had a room full of plaster models, some of which were turned into stone, others of which had not. Personally, I found them just as impressive as the finished works of art. I also loved the idea making the plaster model before, literally carving the final product in stone. There's a software development metaphor in there, I bet.

We then hit a variety of other 3 star churches and such. I was quite impressed with the painted ceiling of Il Duomo. The audio guide explained how the scene was meant to be interpreted (it's a glimpse of the end of the world). From father time dying, to death losing his ability, and my favorite, the little angel ready to drive a nail into Earth to stop it's rotation - the whole story is told right there. It's not just gorgeous, but a fun story telling vehicle.

We finished up the day with a trip to the science museum (Instituo e Museo di Storia della Scienza). While not rated 3 stars, it had a nice collection of original instruments used by Galileo and others to run their experiments. One apptertus was used to study motion. The explanation mentioned Galileo used it to test out various materials, masses and other variables. Like most basic scientific research, it was tedious and on it's own not very exciting. But when put into the larger context one realizes that this was the birth of science. In many ways, we're still practicing this same tradition today.

The description of how Galileo used his telescope and observations of Venus' different visible phases (I think it was Venus, any way) to prove that the Earth rotates around the Sun was absolute genius. The tools may have been crude, but the thinking was not.

Finally, we made our way back to the train station and are now on the train back to Livorno - the city where our boat is docked.

Personally, I found Florence to be an easier city to take in than Rome. The place seemed to have a slower, more relaxed pace to it. Though, this may just be me having less heat exhaustion.

Next time I come back to Florence, I very much hope there is a next time, I'm bringing a detailed guide to the works of art here, and insuring lots of time to examine them.

A few photos before we put up the full set:

Us in front of Il Duomo:

Us at the top of the bell tower at Il Duomo:

Us with David in the background:

No comments:

Post a Comment