December 18, 2013 – Florence

First day in Florence! After a really bad night’s sleep due to drunken louts shouting out in the street below, we meet to decide today’s itinerary. It so nice to be able to sit in the living room, feet up, drinking a cup of tea and having a piece of toast for breakfast. I should have taken a picture of it but I didn’t.

First we decide to go to see Ghirlandaio’s Last Supper, then we will go to the Basilica de Santo Spirito and maybe the duomo before lunch. We look on the internet to check opening times. Uh oh, Santo Spirito is closed on Wednesdays. We head out with our abbreviated plan. We get to the church where Ghirlandaio’s Last Supper is displayed. Sign says closed on Wednesdays. Grr…Quick change in plans. We look briefly in the church and then head off to the Santa Maria del Carmine, home to the Brancacci Chapel, across the river.

After watching a video about the Brancacci Chapel and various artists who painted the frescoes, we are ready to see the real thing. We each get iPads with a wonderful description and videos of the various parts of the chapel. Below is a picture of why it is great to travel during the winter.

We are alone in the Brancacci Chapel!
We are alone in the Brancacci Chapel!

The walls tell the story of St. Peter.

Masaccio has painted a self-portrait and Filippino Lippi had painted in both himself and his teacher Sandro Boticelli.

We trek back to the apartments picking up some sandwiches along the way. Ah, a brief respite from the chilly temperatures, noisy motorbikes, and endless lunches.

Since we need to go to the train station to buy our tickets to go to Rome tomorrow, we decide to visit the Church of Santa Maria Novella as part of the trip. The Santa Maria Novella was started in the mid-13th century (about 1246), and was finished about 1360. This is really a must-see church with its frescoes by Ghirlandaio and his apprentice, Michelangelo, the gound breaking Holy Trinity by Masaccio and the fabulous Spanish chapel decorated from 1365 to 1367 by Andrea di Bonaiuto. Unfortunately no pictures allowed except for the one I sneaked in of the main altar.

After this we buy our train tickets and wend our way back to the apartment buying dinner supplies along the way. Our home cooked meal is a nice relaxing way to end a busy day.

Our dinner supplies
Our dinner supplies

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