We spent a month in Florence, and I could write more. But I need to move on. Here are just a few photos of experiences I didn't have an opportunity to discuss.
Like this photo of the day we got to see the workshop for the Duomo, where they repair artwork, as they have for centuries.
The light levels were low on this visit to the Pitti Palace, so it's not as clear as I would like, but I think you can sense the grandeur.
Kevin visited their porcelain museum too, and we both explored a special exhibit at one of the Pitti museums on crystals. The photos don't do them justice.
We entered through a black curtain, and there they were:
Some of them were huge! As much as two-to-three feet in diameter and height! They were better than crown jewels.
Then, there were other reasons we enjoyed Florence, such as the small museums. Casa Guidi, for example, seemed like a secret museum, because although it was open, there was no sign at the entrance, only an intercom button marked "Casa Guidi." When we pressed the button, the guide told us to "Come up to floor 1," but although he opened the door, we could not get through the gated stairway until eventually another of the buildings tenant's unlocked the gate.
Upstairs at last, we were greeted at the door and ushered into the apartment where Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning once lived during their 15 years in Florence. Many of their personal belongings are still there. Today, the Browning Foundation and the Landmark Trust of Britain manage the museum. Entry is free, so we had to pay our respects to the poet who wrote, "How do I love thee?"
The Landmark Trust rents out the apartment, and because there was no one else there at the time, and because we expressed an interest, the caretaker showed us the kitchen and other rooms that are included in the rental. If you rent it, you can choose to let visitors see E.B.B.'s bedroom, or to keep it for yourself. (But because the apartment is only available for viewing three afternoons a week, it would seem somewhat peevish to keep it yourself, wouldn't it?)
There is so much more I could say. But I think you now have an idea of why our month in Florence means so much to us.
Ah, Florence, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...
Next up: Rome, Sorrento and Capri, and the Amalfi Coast.