The Pope’s Foot

I was sitting reading on the sofa last night (a little book of essays from the writer of ‘Get your Tongue out of my Mouth, I’m Kissing you Goodbye’) – when I noticed the contrast between my lily white foot and the cushions.

The colour contrast (the red looks so rich) and the image reminded me of some of the paintings of popes we saw in Florence. And my classical Greek toes (!) look like a marble Renaissance statue or a plaster cast.

Horse Shoes

Realised that I hadn’t included my cutest shot! The horses used by the mounted police in Florence wear little leather shoes to protect their hooves from the cobbles!

I was reminded as one of my nicest work colleagues is back from maternity leave. As well as two sprogs, she has a new Jack Russell puppy and a SHETLAND PONY. The latter, Barney, is “everything you don’t want in a man – short, bad tempered and ginger. And he tries to shag your leg all the time”. Unlike a man, the pony can be gelded 8-).

Cézanne a Firenze

One thing I haven’t mentioned is going to see the special Cézanne exhibition. In the end there wasn’t a huge amount of Cézanne there but what there was, was very special.

It made a restful change from all the endless Madonnas – but I’ve always got time to go and see

Cézanne, especially his still life pieces.

I liked this one best. Apparently the first collector liked it so much he exchanged it for 4 other Cézanne paintings he owned.

Florence – Conclusions

Tonight I’m tired. I have blisters on my feet and a wound on my heel where I was whacked with a trolley at the airport. I also have mozzie bites all over my breasts and upper arms – lovely!

But Florence was amazing – my brain is still processing all the amazing things I saw. The artistic highlights for me have to be Michaelangelo’s slaves at the Uffizi and the Brancacci Chapel. In both instances I lost myself for a while, and you can’t ask more from art than that.

Florence – Final Things

I bagged my final door knocker.

Found a splendid dragon.

Iona decided that she must try limocello before we left – the hat is Fr. Rattue’s new summer evening hat (pic by A.)

She didn’t like it one little bit.

So we said goodbye to the tiny little buses.

The funny, little municipal vehicles.

And we headed home…

Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens

A final piece of culture vulturing was a vist it to the Palentine Gallery at the Pitti Palce. It’s a great collections with some lovely pieces. It is hung in ‘traditional’ style which means very densely which made it quite difficult to view. What I remember most about the visit was 3 comments:
A. on seeing his Nth Madonna and Child “nice baps”.
A. fuming a large group of geriatric, German tourists “bet they were all S.S.”.
Small, elderly American lady watching A. drool of a Canova “is your husband an ass man?”
And so to the Boboli Gardens which we were probably not in right mood to appreciate (tired, hot, grumpy). As A. pointed out the grass was in a terrible state, they’d be laughed out of the N.T. for that!

I loved the texture of this bark.

Again, I’m really pleased with the dark foreground and light background on this.

Neptune with grotto (an A. shot).

Another suffering tortoise

I thought this stattue looked a little bit like a tour guide marshalling the children.

You can’t fault the views back over the city!

Sante Maria del Carmine – Branccai Chapel

On Thursday we went to see the Branccai Chapel which is in the chapel belong to a Carmalite order. To get inside we had to cross a wonderfully peaceful cloister. If you look carefully you can see that there are statues up on the second floor.

I really liked this one. She looks like she’s waiting for someone.

As to the frescos in the chapel itself, they were some of the most amazing things I have EVER seen. I’m not sure if I believe in God any more, but art like this certainly makes me believe in man. I don’t have either the skills or the right photography equipment to do it justice. So I suggest you look here.

I thought I would post these 2 to give you some ide about the texture.

Outside I found this nun, who I rather liked.

And this bizarre skull and cross bones.

And for Virginia a Carmalite letterbox.

Ponte – Vecchio – Cossing the River

It was rather odd to actually be on the Ponte Vecchio – a bit like being in a dream.

I’ve never seen so much gold and jewery per square inch, although I guess the rents there must be enormous.

What was going on with this sundial?

This roof garden looked fabulous – what a view. I’vw always loved the upside down nature of a roof garden, it seems amazingly glamorous. I can see myself sipping gin martini’s.

View up the Arno.

Lovely pic. back at the Uffizi taken by A.

Florence – Incidental2

Every street corner seemed to have a shrine with a little light outside it. This was in the lobby of a building.

I was really pleased to find this beautiful stone mason’s sign.

Even happier to find them at work repairing pieces for the Duomo, as their predecessors had done down the years.

This dragon seemed rather jolly!

You may recognise this chap from outside a Burford antique shop! Here the tradition is that if you rub his nose and put money in the fountain you’ll come back to Florence. As you can see from his burnished nose – plenty of people have done (including me!).

The detailing was lovely, I was especially taken with this frog.

The great flood if 1966 is still green in memory. here is a plaque from the hallway of the building our flat was in

We were a long way from the Arno – and this was a long way up the wall!
I was really pleased by the light and shadow in this pic. I think I want to have a serious play with shadows sometime soon. Maybe I’ll get out my old SLC and run a few films of black and white now that the sun is high enough to cast some real shadows again.

Bargello – Sculpture Museum

The Bargello doesn’t allow photos either, which I didn’t realise until an Italian school boy very politely pointed it out in perfect English .

Before I realised I got a view of the courtyard.

Another cross little lion.

The magnificent stairs.

The tower (as taken by A. who became tower obcessed [Freudian?]).

And this amazing bit of a fountain. Imagine what it must have been like when she had jets of water flowing – the mind boggles!

And just to prove I was on holiday – here I am with my best ‘I don’t want to be photographed look’.