Monday, November 19, 2007

Florence

Florence is one of my favourite cities. I must have been there at least ten times but every time I visit, I think to myself that I should make an annual pilgrimage there, if only for a weekend. It's the art. And the architecture. I could happily spend days in the Uffizi, the Pitti Palace, the Palazzo Vecchio and the countless churches and museums. To risk a cliche, every picture tells a story and I love looking at all those paintings and remembering the Greek and Roman myths, the stories from the Old Testament and, of course, the hopeful narrative of the New Testament. All this is inter-twined with the personalities and events of Mediaeval and Renaissance Europe. All in all, Florence contains the pillars of western civilisation, up until around 1800 anyway.
Our conference was held in the Palazzo Vecchio which was stunning but absolutely freezing. We had dinner in Signor Antinori's beautiful house and drank his delicious wine. We went to an amazing piano recital by Alfred Brendel at the Teatro della Pergola. We had a gala dinner for 150 people at the Villa Fontallerta in the hills above Florence. Our private tour of the Uffizi, scheduled for Sunday morning, was cancelled as the Queen of The Netherlands took precedence over us, so we went around the Pitti Palace instead. The rise and fall of the Medici family is quite a story in itself.

7 Comments:

Blogger kinglear said...

How I envy you. I spent a considerable amount of time stuck on the Piccadilly line and in Luton Airport ( my other family lives there) That said, " Alex" was great. Glad you are safe home.

12:00 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Poor you, KL. It was excellent to see you and the delightful Miss Lear on Thursday. What a coincidence to bump into your acquaintance in Florence! He said he was from Glasgow and I said, "I don't suppose you know the great KL?" And he did! Small world!

12:13 pm  
Blogger kinglear said...

WW- hm unfortunately. Makes it impossible to keep a low profile!

1:51 pm  
Blogger Mopsa said...

Florence station also does panini that British Rail would kill for.

4:04 pm  
Anonymous Ellee said...

I envy you too. I remember being addicted to reading about the Medici family when I was 14 years old, I used to devour so many books about this period, in fact I had to hide them from my mother because she always wanted me to help with chores while I wanted to read, read and read.

I have not been fortunate enough to visit the Uffizi. During my brief trip there, we had not booked tickets in advance and there was a very long queue.

Next time.

You are so lovely, such good company, that I can imagine everyone wanting to spoil you.

7:21 pm  
Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I love Florence, too. I imagine it must have been freezing in the PV! How inconsiderate of the Queen of the Netherlands, though! Still, the Pitti is lovely, too, isn't it?

9:10 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Thank you for your kind comments, Ellee.
Hi WL, yes the Pitti is wonderful: each room more breathtaking than the last and an amazing collection of paintings and furniture. The Vasari corridor is quite something. Wouldn't it be fun to walk all the way along it? I suppose some people can, even now.

8:08 am  

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