Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Piazzale Michelangelo and Santa Croce Church

  Our first full day in Florence started at 9 am when the buzzer rang our room from the front door four flights of stairs below us.  I answered the phone and heard "Posta"...I said Lorenzo?  He was due at 10 am with the second set of keys for us.  Again...."Posta"....again I questioned him.  Finally in perfect English he asked "Will you please open the door?"   I decided I had a second door between us so I pushed the button and heard the door open.  When Lorenzo arrived at 10 am as planned; I told him the story and he shrugged his shoulders and said it was the postman.

We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and finally at 11 am we were out the door.  I've put some photos of a few flights of our stairs in the slideshow for you.  FYI..all of the photos are ones I took with my cell phone...they are not postcards but the real thing!   Our first quest was to climb up to the Piazzale Michaelangelo that sits on the bluffs above our apartment.  There is a path that is easy to follow with sets of stairs and occasionally along the road that cars drive on.  But in about fifteen minutes we were at the top and had fabulous views of Florence and the Ponte Vecchio.  What you'll see in the slideshow is only a few of the many photos that we took on this beautiful clear day. 
When we could take no more photos we headed back down a different way and ended up at the opposite end of our street from where we'd started this morning.  Now we were at the tower at the east end of the street.  We walked back to the apartment for a few minutes and then started out again towards the bridge Ponte Alla Grazie where we cross over to locate an apartment that our daughter-in-law is considering renting in the fall.  Wow...it's in a great area and we're hoping she selects this one over the other one that is located north of the city near the trains station.

  From there we stopped to view the outside of the National Library and then down the street to the very old and one of the largest churches in Florence:  Santa Croce.  It was built in the thirteenth century by the Franciscans but the marble front was not finished until the 1850's.  We were amazed how large the complex is with different chapels and cloisters in addition to the mammoth church.  The tombs of Michelangelo, Rossini and Machiavelli are here plus a Memorial to Dante who's statue graces the front of the church.

   In 2016 they are celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the floods of 1966; there was a wonderful exhibit in the museum area with photos of the tragic damage done by the flood waters that reached the depth of fifteen feet in the square in front of the church.  Photos showed that the water level reached the bottom of the Ponte Vecchio.  There is a memorial chapel in the basement that has walls covered with plaques that have the names of the thousands of people who came to help salvage the paintings and books that were covered in mud. 

     After close to two hours we finally exited the complex and headed back to the grocery store we'd found on our way here to replenish our supplies.  The fee to enter the church was well worth the cost and we still will use the same ticket to view the home of Michelangelo; it is closed on Monday.

     Reaching the apartment about three o'clock we took advantage of some free time and rested.  Later I walked to the local store to look for a plastic spatula to use with our brand new Teflon skillet.  I think the apartment has recently been refurbished as all of the dishes and pots are brand new; but no spatula.  Also miss the microwave but find that the frozen vegetables are actually better when cooked on the stove. 

     We did some hand wash this morning and hung it on the lines outside our windows...it was still damp this afternoon and as I took it down I dropped a sock.   It landed on the lines two floors down.  I walked down and was surprised to find an American couple from Sacramento, California who'd just arrived.  They retrieved the sock for me.   We enjoyed chicken tonight with our dinner; Jim does the cooking and I clean up afterwards.  We have one of the clever cabinets where I put the wet dishes in a rack that has a pan on the bottom; used in place of drying the dishes with a towel.

     I think we'll enjoy a game of hand and foot tonight.  I hope you enjoy the slideshow...sorry...a bit more photos than I usually have but just had to share them with you...Ciao

Link to Picasa Photo Album

1 comment:

Leslie in Oregon said...

Fascinating photographs to study, Martha. And your beautiful panoramic shots leave me tempted to activate the IPhone that my children have passed down to me and start using its camera! (I have stuck to my flip phone so far because I don't want to become "too connected.") As far as the photographs of people, I particularly relish #36, of a lovely couple!