Galileo found himself at odd with the Catholic Church when he published findings which contradicted the churches view that earth was the center of the universe. There was an inquisition and some torture involved but in 1979 the Pope officially stated that the church may have been a little out of line in the way they dealt with Galileo. Now Florence has an entire museum named after Galileo, considered by some to be the father of modern science. The museum is filled with replicas of the instruments devised by early scientists. The exhibit explanations were also in English so we had no problem understanding what all the contraptions were. We did have to wade through all the information about how the Medici family acquired a certain machine and how many different places they stored something before it moved or was donated.
And what museum isn’t complete without the mummified fingers of their namesake. This should be a requirement for anyone who wants a building named after them. There is no explanation as to why the thumb and pointer are in one jar while the middle finger is off by itself.
There was no rain in the forecast so we took a “Renaissance Walk” through town. We have now added the Rick Steves audio tours to our repetoire. Through his free app we listen to him tell us about things as we walk along. This is better than stopping and having one of us read aloud from the book. The added bonus is we look distracted and busy with our phhones so the street vendors don’t bother us as much. The kids also have to get along as we have to share iPods and the earbuds.
We found where the real David used to stand (for 300 years) and now there is a fake David in the same spot. The square is full of sculpture. It is difficult to discern what is real and what is not in this town. Anything deemed worthy has been spirited away to a museum and in it’s place is a pretty good replica. We can’t really tell the difference. In Davids case the real one had his arm broken while the fake one is intact – although probably plastic.
With promises of Boticelli and Michangelos we visited the Uffizi Museum. They don’t allow pictures but Brent may have snapped a couple. Many friends and family have given us great recommendations on what to see and sometimes what not to see. The Uffizi was on my father’s DO NOT SEE list, here is his review of the Uffizi along with our response:
Understanding you and Rick Steves already have things well under control and since you didn’t ask I will again interject my bias. How did you know that Rick Steves has an audio tour of the Uffizi? 48 minutes of him telling us what we are looking at- much more reliable than eavesdropping on other tours.
After the Domo for my money the Pitti Palace has it over the Uffizi unless you like being “up close an personal” with Japaners (I mean really up close and personal). It is literally a “cattle call” We are not in high tourist season and we went later in the day with very little competition for masterpiece viewing. The longest wait was through the metal detector. And I thought Japanese tourist was a stereotype but in every city we have been to, save Budapest, there have been many many Japanese tour groups, at least 3 out of 4 groups. And Japanese teens taking photos of themselves is a form of entertainment for the family- they flash odd hand symbols and make interesting faces. They probably say the same thing about my kids.
following the carpet and viewing the art through five inches of yellowing Plexiglas They have updated the plexiglass and it did make it easier to idenitfy what was “good” art
and then a blank wall with a little card telling you the work is on tour to some other important place not here! YES – the pieces were not where they were supposed to be, a couple were definitely gone. Others had rooms that were being redone so they were located in a completely different room. This was disasterous for the Rick Steves audio tour. Luckily Rick has his tour organized by piece so you just pick the track with the correct picture. Without this feature we would have been very disappointed.