Sunday, 5 December 2010
TRIP TO FIRENZE. (BRONZINO EXHIBITION)
I am on my own for the first time at the farm AC having just returned to London and the snow. Gatwick airport has been closed for the past two days and England is struggling amidst the chaos caused by a very early icy blast from the North Pole!
Even Cornwall is covered in a couple of feet of snow and it seems all the schools have been closed for a week now.
In Italy we have had rain but only a dusting of snow high on the hills.
AC and I flew back to Italy from London together and stayed in Florence for a couple of nights for the first time since we bought the farm. Roger Jupe had told us about a wonderful exhibition of Bronzino paintings at Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi and suggested we stay at The Loggia Senite, Piaza SS Annunciata. Loved the exhibition, not too mad about the hotel!
We had just seen the Gauguin exhibition in London at Tate Modern which I had not enjoyed one bit, but Bronzino knocked my socks off! Full of surprises including a painting of a dwarf almost full-size, nude except for a fig leaf from the front and painted again from the back or behind. Very strange. He had a owl on one shoulder and a jay on the other.
I must read the book we bought about the exhibition to discover who this chap was and why he keeps the company of these two particular birds.
Saw Piero and Maria Anna Beldonni-Boni in Firenze. They have a flat just around the corner from the hotel and they took us to two wonderful meals. The first restaurant is just near to the station and typically Tuscan. No frills but fantastic food. Will find the card and put in the info for anyone interested.
Trattoria Sostanza Troia s.a.s.
Via del Porcellana, 25r
Tel. 055. 212691.
The second was lunch at Bella Donne, (sounds poisonous), close to the exhibition and the Arno. Doubt if I could find it again but will try.
We walked our feet off and AC saw Michelangelo's David for the first time in the Accademia. Funnily enough the Accademia turned out to be directly behind our hotel and that we could see it from our bedroom window! I had been trying for an hour to find it on our tiny map of Florence, and there it was all the time within touching distance.
Aziz came up to me laughing as we mingled with the crowds gazing up at David. He whispered that he had heard two Americans asking what David was holding in his left hand and slung over his shoulder. Well, I didn't know either. It just looked like a piece of material and I had never given it a second thought.
Of course, AC being that much more intelligent than me said, "Well, it is the sling he used to throw the stone that killed Goliath!"
Oh, it's that David, is it!!!!!
We walked around the seven days a week market and over the Ponte Vecchio. Fabulous jewelery at fabulous prices!
Finally saw inside the Duomo as well. Quite a let down compared to the majesty of the outside. One enormous empty space with the builders in! AC suggested we climb to the top and look out over the city. I hate heights so suggested I meet him afterwards in the bar next door.
I took pictures of the amazing frescoed dome, AC took photographs of the builder's paraphanelia in one corner. I asked him why and he said he thought it was a more interesting photograph!!!!
Had a drink in a little bar opposite and talked to a charming man from Rome who had come up for the day on his own. He designed IT sites and came from somewhere in the Caribbean.
Suddenly a posse of Chinese arrived in my eyeline in front of the bar with the Duomo behind. I took their picture and then they all took mine. Then one by one they came into the bar to have their picture taken with us. Lots of laughter and they were insistent that we knew they came from China.
Where else would they have come from looking like that?!!!
Took some pictures which I will post later.