Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Italian Adventure Part Three

     The Husband loved Florence. I knew he would. It is much more manageable than Rome and is a perfect size for once intrepid travelers. We slept like babies in the Bernini Palace Hotel on our linen sheets. I've never slept on linen sheets before. Now I can say that I have. They supposedly help regulate body temperature and breathe with you. Whatever. It worked. As soon as my head hit the pillow each night I was out like a log. And if the snoring next to me was any indication, The Husband experienced the same.
     The weather was also perfect. Cool mornings and evenings and highs in the lower seventies. And that glorious Italian sunshine.
The famed Duomo. It's just as magnificent as you think it would be. It's two domes really. Brunelleschi executed this amazing architectural masterpiece by building a dome inside a dome. There's a stairway inside. It's redolent of a metaphorical stairway to heaven. The Husband climbed all 886 of the steps. He said he sweated like a pig and got a little claustrophic. Thankfully, I kept my own feet on the ground and visited Michaelangelo's Duomo Pieta while he was toiling away. We were both happy campers.
   It's a long way up there.
This is the view from the top!

This is not a picture of the Florence Duomo's Pieta, but these iron rings are everywhere in Florence. They are definitely not a one of a kind.

However, this is:
I have now been blessed to have seen two of Michaelangelo's Pietas...
one in Rome and one in Florence. Each is magnificent in its own way.  
While the Pieta in St. Peter's is more finely finished and was likely executed when 
Michaelangelo was at the height of his powers, this one has a roughness that lends 
it a particular pathos. Carved later in Michaelangelo's life, the Florentine sculpture reflects his understanding that he was nearing the end of his own life. It is said, as well, that the hooded figure on Nicodemus is cast in the likeness of Michaelangelo's himself. I stared at the face forever trying to get some sense of the man, but it was the face of the Christ that kept calling to me.

We just couldn't get enough of the Duomo 

This was the breakfast room in our hotel
Are you surprised that I'm ready to go back?!

And this is the lobby

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