How great the art….
One of the reasons Bill really wanted to go on this trip to Italy, besides to indulge his love for fine wines and good food, was the chance to visit the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. When we visited Florence in 2013, we were only there for two nights. We stayed in a hotel outside of town. For some reason, we didn’t make time to go to the Uffizi Gallery during that trip. I think it was because he hadn’t booked ahead, and either couldn’t or didn’t want to stand in line at the ticket office. So, on this trip in 2022, we made a point of seeing the art gallery.
Bill loves to look at art. I am less interested in it, although I will admit that some of the paintings I’ve seen in art galleries amaze me. One would think I’d love to look at art, since it’s been such a big part of my life. I have a sister who is an artist, and after his career in the Air Force, my father made a living selling and framing art. But when it comes to museums, I tend to find interactive ones– science and natural history museums– more interesting. During the COVID era, I’ve not been that interested in going to many indoor activities at all. We did go to the Lindt Chocolate Museum in Zurich last year, and that was fun. Especially since tasting chocolate means taking off the damnable face masks. 😉 Below are some photos from breakfast and our walk to the museum.
The Uffizi requires booking a time in advance. Bill got us an appointment for 10:00am. After a simple continental breakfast at Hotel Firenze Capitale, we walked to the gallery. On the day of our visit, the Uffizi was still requiring everyone to wear face masks. I’m not sure if that’s still required as of May 1. There were a lot of people there when we were there, so I would imagine that anyone who is very concerned about contracting COVID-19 would want to wear a mask, even if they aren’t required. On the other hand, my guess is that people will get the virus whether or not they wear a mask, especially if they don’t cover their eyes. That is one thing I did notice in Italy. Many people in Italy wore glasses with their masks, which would make it less likely that they would get the virus.
We picked up our tickets, stood in line, and went through security. Then, we walked up several long flights of stairs that left me breathless and lightheaded at the top. I did notice that some people used the elevator. Before I knew it, I was among hundreds of people walking through rooms of beautiful art… with many depictions of mothers and babies, Madonnas, and marble statues of naked men with small penises. There were exhibits featuring Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Leonardo da Vinci, as well as many lesser known, but very impressive, artists. I took a lot of photos.
At one point, Bill wanted to walk into a very crowded room. I demurred and said I would see him later. He thought that meant I was leaving the museum altogether, but I meant I was going to go to a less crowded place. I don’t like crowds, even when COVID isn’t a thing. Later, Bill sent me a private message on Facebook, asking if I was still in the gallery. Yes, of course! And I did enjoy my visit. I went back later to see the paintings I missed when the rooms were full of people. Uffizi has a cafe, for those who need a moment with some coffee to process everything.
All in all, I found the Uffizi more manageable and less overwhelming than the Prado in Madrid was, when we went there in 2014. I haven’t been to the Louvre yet. Bill and I didn’t go there when we were last in Paris, back in 2009. We’ll have to fix that at some point. Below are many photos from the Uffizi.
There’s more to come, but I needed to break up the group. I wish we had spent a little more time around the Uffizi. I wanted to buy some art while we were in Italy, but didn’t get a chance. I noticed some artists near there when we were in line. We did visit the gift shop at the Uffizi and bought a few gifts for Bill’s daughter and her kids.
After we bought gifts for Bill’s daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren, we walked out of the museum. I heard a British guy say, “Yea! Now it’s drinks time!” Man after my own heart. I spotted a beautiful silk scarf in a shop window and decided to go in there and purchase it. And now I have another cash drain, because the designer, Massimo Ravinale, has a Web site, and I loved their stuff. May be time to order Bill a spiffy new necktie.
The huge photo load in this post has made loading much too slow. It necessitates closing this one and starting a new one. Sit tight for part nine.