frolicking fridays, round 8

This Friday was unique, since we had James' parents in town. The fun of having guests is that you look at your 'own' city with new eyes. Which means you retrace steps of your favorite streets, share your favorite sites, and have reason to revisit special cafes, museums and galleries.

We rolled out of our home late morning and en route to Palazzo Pitti walked along the Arno. We had the timely fortune of seeing a production of skydivers dropping from the sky... only to land on platforms---or should I say float docks---located sporadically in the Arno River. We watched, photographed and were impressed when 4 out of 5 jumpers landed on their small-time targets. After feeling fortunate for our timing, we scooted toward the Ponte Vecchio and shopped, stopped and photographed our way across this singularly famous bridge.

We popped into a little cafe James and I had been to before, and grabbed a carafe of house wine, slices of meats, cheeses and a pile of olives. After topping off our bellies, we walked to Pitti Palace (aka Palazzo Pitti) and enjoyed 3 hours of strolling and gawking before famous upon famous works of art. We witnessed Raphael, Titziano, Lippi, Van Dyck, Boticelli, Granacci and my favorite was from Allori...

With all the amazing art I find it helps to stroll through, find the famous pieces, then find what else you are drawn to and ask why. I loved the Allori, for example, because it was a nearly disturbing and profound painting of Judith, holding the head of Halofernes (captain of an enemy army)... the emotion and her eyes were grounding. She was strong, sad, deliberate, wise in her youth, determined, successful, profound.

The amazing thing is you could say so many such things about so many paintings. The Medici family (this was their collection) had so many famous works from so many well-regarded artists...

My other favorite was the large room dedicated to Hercules. It had huge frescoes highlighting points in his life, and it was poignant. We left the Pitti mentally tired but soulfully brimming.

We went home to greet Caleb just as he was finishing school (Anthony would be home 2 hours later, due to soccer practice). Our evening was full of good wine, lively chatter and competitive card-playing.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous23.12.09

    Loved the photo of James with my parents! Thank you for sharing! It's been fun to read about all your experiences in Europe! Have a wonderful Christmas! We send all our love... Mary & Tim


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