Sunday, April 02, 2006


Had a great couple of flights from Prague to Munich to Pisa. Had a window seat for both flights. From Munich we just took off straight south over the Alps. Discovered the real wilderness in Europe: the snowy mountains just went on and on. Beautiful.
The bus trip from Pisa showed that spring is quite advanced here: lots of blossoms and light green leaves. Familiar Tuscan scenes from films etc. Also industrial sights.
Very welcoming hostel in a family run place just five minutes walk from the Station here in Firenze. Leonardo's (was Trebbio when I booked on the internet.) Three of us sharing a room. Had to find the supermarket to get some cheaper food as the tourist food is predictably expensive!
This morning I was exploring some of the main areas in town. Took fright at the queue for Ufizzi and thought that could wait. Went into the Duomo and explored the crypt under it which had remaining foundations from a much earlier church. Standing under Brunellesci's dome is awe-inspiring. Went into the baptistery and learned that the octagonal shape is symbolic of eight days and the Risen Christ. I also went into Orsanmichelle which had a lovely icon of Mary and Child.
Felt myself getting sunburnt as I ate my lunch outside so came back to the central hostel to get on a t-shirt I never thought I would need for ages. Then headed off across the river to climb up Piazza Michaelangelo for a wonderful view back over Florence. Also a Franciscan church near there, and another one at the top of the hill which is apparently the best example of Florentine -Romanesque architecture around. I had never seen anything like it. Had steps up and down in and out of crypts and elevated sections. Congregation could not see priest but could see huge mosaic of Christ at the top. I know they had lots of separation like this in Spanish churches but I think this was perhaps because it was attached to a Benedictine monastery.
Gotta go for now. Internet very expensive in Florence generally so you might not hear much from here. Lots to explore though and walking is free!

1 comment:

  1. I have never been to Italy, but from what you say, I find it very tempting! Good luck!