Today we packed up our stuff and headed to Florence! It was a three hour ride from Milan to Florence and along the way there were many places along the way that reminded me of a traditional Italian farm. On our way there, we stopped at a rest stop and I kid you not, had the best rest stop meal of my life. We basically had a full on meal that was in no way shape or form fast food like in America. The salmon that I had at this random Italian gas station was probably better than half the fish I’ve had in my life, but I digress.
Once we made it to Florence, we checked into our hotel and almost immediately headed to the Uffizi Gallery. There we saw only a small percentage of the paintings and sculptures that fill this museum. There are over 100 rooms at the Uffizi and we probably saw about one fifth of this gallery. The way that the gallery is set up is really affective to show the progression of art throughout history as the tour began with pre-renaissance paintings and proceeded chronologically through the paintings of Italy.
Of the paintings we did see, one of my favorites was the Birth of Venus (pictured above) and The Rebirth, which were both painted by Botticelli. The paintings are both very vibrant and represent the incredible artistry of the renaissance time period. It was also very cool to see the work of Michelangelo and da Vinci on display at the gallery. Another cool thing to learn was that one room we looked at had over 6,000 mother of pearls embedded in the ceiling! Also, it was interesting to learn and see how many of the artists of that time in Italian history would paint themselves looking back at the audience and also paint the client who had ordered the painting into the scene.
After the Uffizi, we had a nice group dinner and spent the night exploring Florence!