Florence – a city with both renaissance and contemporary graffiti

February 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

In Firenze there’s all these beautiful renaissance corners and the camera could never rest while I was walking around. A guide called a renaissance floor decoration in a cathedral graffiti. But the city is also vibrantly alive today even though the graffiti might not be as welcome as then. Close to where I stayed last week there was this fascinating horse.


tomorrow will worry about its own things

February 27, 2013 § 2 Comments

A rocking chair and coffee in a blessing mug, the feel of sunshine through the window.

There will be snow (for at least another month)

February 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

From Tuscan wine country in ten warm degrees celsius to Norwegian snow and sunshine in ten cold degrees celsius yesterday. Both surely are beautiful but I must say I’m ready for spring.
Top picture is from a winery near San Gimignano and lower picture is lake Mjøsa covered in snow.

Some overwhelming hours at the “office” (day 6)

February 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

Today was all about the office, not mine but the Medici’s. Galleria degli Uffizi. I read that in the busiest days, people might stand in line for five hours to get in. Well, I love February-Firenze, no line at all. Still enough people inside for my taste. But wow, what a place. Luckily I was advised to take a break halfway through. Have a coffee and enjoy the balcony. That was the secret to make it through the whole place. It’s so massive, so many important artworks, to much to take in for one day really. Mantegna, Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Tizian, Dürer, El Greco, Rembrandt, Raphael … Too much, too important. Afterwards I said hi to Brunelleschi and his dome one more time before I spent the rest of this day here at “my” square, piazza Santo Spirito. Spaghetti and wine and bruschetta and espresso. Tomorrow I hope to try the Galetti-lunch (a large pancake with cheese and meat and olives) at Volume once more before I’m going home.

Mustard yellow soft chairs, mmm … (day 5)

February 21, 2013 § 2 Comments

Bus 12 or 13 to Piazzale Michelangelo? Nah, that shouldn’t be necessary? I haven’t had a Firenze map the days I’ve been here, I read the map before I left Norway and that has seemed to do. I knew I should start walking the Via Bardi so I took my chance. And it was real easy. The piazza is a parkinglot but with an exeptional view! But don’t even begin to think that the replica of David here is the same as seeing the real one in Accademia!
On my way to Santa Maria del Fiore (to climb the dome of Brunelleschi) I accidently met Dante. I didn’t know much of him before but I’ve found that I like him.
The plan was to visit Galleria d’arte Moderna this afternoon, but another thing I accidently stumbled across was an old theatre, Odeon, showing movies with original sound. Enough walking for today. Those mustard yellow soft chairs suited me just fine. Promised Land with Matt Damon and Francis McDormand.

Life, death and some champagne in the middle

February 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

The opera at St Marks in Florence is a quite special experiance. There is no orchestra but a pianist and only four singers (for La Boheme), but it scores really high on intimacy, humour, atmosphere and good quality performance. If opera can be something for everyone, these concerts show it. Pucchini of course wanted to tell a story and that the listeners understood, so since most listeners at St Marks are tourists, before every part the story is described in english. I saw La Boheme on tuesday. A weeknight about life, love, laughs and death, and some champagne in the break.

A warm supportive hug (day 4)

February 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

Since it’s my first time in Italy and since I’m travelling solo, I booked a bus tour to see a tiny little bit of Toscana, “The best of Tuscany tour” with Walkabout. And I’m really glad I did! It’s of course possible to go without a tour, it’s possible to book either wine tasting or a bed for the night at the most beautiful chianti farm close to San Gimignani, but I would never have thought of it by myself, and I wouldn’t have had this festive lunch with all these people from around the world and all the wine we could drink. So I didn’t let the walking as sheep and the guides’ voice in a headset with not so good sound quality ruin anything. Siena was beautiful, the farm and San Gimignano stunning, and Pisa could have been a good end if it wasn’t for the rain and that much was closed. I tried to see the baptistry and the cathedral, but no. As with the Michelangelo’s David, the leaning clock tower was surprisingly fascinating to see in real life. I gave it a warm hug in this chilly evening.

To be greeted with ‘salve’ (day 3)

February 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

I walked around the little town of Fiesole today, past villas and a primary school, kindergarden and churches. A man greeted me with “salve”. That is the first time I’ve heard it so I think I just smiled to him, wasn’t really sure what to replay. But it was nice, much nicer than “ciao” and also more polite as I now understand. And the lunch.. what a fantastic lunch (at La Reggia).
I popped by Galleria Accademia after, the queue took only ten minutes and it surprised me a bit how impressive it actually was to see David.
Now my feet hurt and I’m glad the opera at St.Marks is only around the corner.

Firenze, my love (day 2)

February 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

I am focused on getting the most out of the sunshine these first days because the rain will come. So today I’ve walked the giardinos (gardens) Bardi and Boboli. Great views and beautifully designed. I’ve seen the porcelain museum on top of Boboli and Medici costume museum in Palazzo Pitti at the bottom (entrance). I was close to desperate for a power adapter so I found a really small shop close to the Duomo (I had googled it), and I studied the Duomo and the doors of Ghiberti more closely. I’ve walked three of the bridges several times and had a glass of beautiful chardonnay at The Golden View Bar looking at Ponte Vecchio.
The Song of Solomon 4,7 describes it well: Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.

My first four hours in Florence (day 1)

February 17, 2013 § Leave a comment

My first four hours of Florence. And of Italy. The friendly house owner recommended me to try speak some Italian, and I’ve realized that I understand so many words but I don’t remember or know any when I need to speak them. So I’ll spend the rest of the evening learning some.
Top left picture is the view from my room, top right is the stairs and hallway of this building. The bridge is of course Ponte Veccio, and the fourth picture is a built-in bench I found to be quite smart.
So far Florence seems smaller than I imagined, it’s very easy to understand what is where and easy to walk to everything. Italian drivers have no respect for narrow city roads and is a dangerous combination with tourists looking up on architecture and statues …

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