Thursday, August 11, 2011

Italy Trip Part 5

Florence was amazing. I liked Florence a lot. Much of this had to do with the fact that cars are banned from much of Florence so unlike Rome where I almost died everyday, I could walk without fear in Florence.

Also, our hotel was right next to a Disney store. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!?!?!

Right, Italian culture time.

 It's either the Palazzo Vecchio or it's right next to the Palazzo Vecchio.

I took these pictures standing on the Ponte Vecchio on the first night of Passover when there was a full moon. These pictures are some of my favorites.

When we visited the Palazzo Vecchio one of the things we got to do was make our own fresco tile. This was one of my favorite parts of the trip because as fun as it is to go and see the different churches and museums, after a point a church is a church. It's great to get to have experiences that are hands on as part of trips, to get to live the culture as well as see it.

 More ceiling paintings. This is of the heads of the De Medici family. It is painted on the ceiling of the room where all the important meeting took place.
 Coolest thing about castles? Secret passageways!
Which in this case lead to a way to spy on the proceedings in the room where the official meetings occurred. The queen liked to spy.
We visited the grave of Beatrice (the one Dante wrote about). I knew she was a real person, but since we read about her mostly from a fictional book it's fascinating to visit her actual grave.

So we ate dinner near this spot and noticed they were setting up for something. It turned out that the TRL awards for MTV were taking place there the next night. We got permission from our teachers to go and it was so cool. And by cool I mean crowded. And in Italian. But still it was fun. Also I later found out one of my cousins was in Florence at the same time and was also there, although we didn't run into each other. *Starts humming "It's a small world after all"*

The next day we all hopped on a train to Lucca for a day trip.

 Everyone had bikes there.
 This is a church we visited. By the time we git here the churches weren't impressing me quite as much, but we'd also been seeing a bunch of them everyday.
 Another very pretty rounded town circle.
 We stopped at this cute little street market. It was pretty much the only thing open because, as Greg pointed out "[Italy] is adorable because everybody just goes home and takes a nap in the middle of the day" (Might not be the exact quote but close enough).
Guess where Pucchini is from! Did you guess Lucca? Yay, you're right. No there's no prize. So after lunch we went on another train. Guess where we went.

That's right, Pisa. (Still no prize.)

Obligatory tourist shot.

This was just something cool I saw in Florence.

So two quick things that I apparently don't have pictures for.
1. We did go and see the David and a bunch of other artwork/sculpture. However, we weren't allowed to take pictures so I don't remember quite what order we did those things in. I just want to say, of all the art we saw, the David by Michelangelo was one of the only things that I felt I couldn't really appreciate until I saw it in person. Most of the other art I found just as impressive in the pictures of it as in real life, but the David, something I'd seen images of before blew all those pictures out of the water.
2. I mentioned the whisperers before. One night in Florence a little before our going to bed curfew, (but after the be back in the hotel curfew) the teacher's started to go around telling us to meet downstairs at curfew time. They said it was serious. They seemed angry. They wouldn't really tell us what it was about. I honestly thought someone had been found drinking and was being sent home. We were told to bring our whisperers with us.

When we were all gathered, we were told that since some people kept arriving late and missing curfew they didn't believe we'd be able to do a tour they'd been planning for the morning because we'd be too tired, so we would be doing it right now at night. There was a lot of complaining at the people who were late. We walked about a block or so away from the hotel to these beautifully adorned gates and were told to get close so we could really see them.

All of a sudden, music began to blast through our whisperers. All the teachers were laughing. They were giving us a silent dance party (because we were the only ones who could hear the music). It was one of the most fun things, dancing in my PJ's in Italy, to music only my friends and I could hear.

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