La Gazelle - Page 76

envies wishlist ‫رغبـاتنـــا‬ escapade à Florence I getaway in Florence I ‫رحلـــة اىل فلـورنـ�س‬ des ouvriers florentins. L’intérieur est tout aussi intéressant et mérite une petite visite. Enfin, nous arrivons juste à temps sur la “Piazzale Michel Angelo” pour admirer le coucher du soleil. L’esplanade, très prisée par les peintres et photographes offre une vue panoramique sur toute la ville. Florence me paraît tout à coup très petite, au loin je reconnais le Ponte Vecchio puis le Duomo. Avant de quitter Florence, mon amie tient à me faire goûter une dernière spécialité italienne : l’aperitivo. Nous nous attablons au café littéraire El Murate, le principal centre d’art contemporain de la ville. Son histoire est singulière puisqu’avant de dev enir un café, El Murate était une ancienne prison. Cela ne nous empêcha nullement de passer une très bonne soirée, à déguster plusieurs petits plats typiques après avoir bu notre premier verre de vin. Ainsi s’achevait mon premier voyage à Florence, le berceau de la Renaissance. Mais je promettais de revenir bientôt visiter le fameux Palazzo Vecchio dont m’avait tant parlé mon amie. I Capital of Tuscany, capital of the Medicis, Florence is an open air museum. It is considered as one of the most beautiful cities of Italy and jealously preserves its rich past by hosting 25% of the world’s works of art. 1st day Donatello Hotel It is 10 o’clock when I land at the Amerigo Vespucci airport under a beautiful blue sky. Only 25 minutes and 7km later, the shuttle coach has reached downtown. On the road, at the end of a street, I catch a fleeting glimpse of the extremely famous Duomo, but this is not a time for dreaming, I head toward the Donatello Hotel to drop off my baggage before meeting my friend for lunch. Located in an old palace dating back to the 19th century, the Donatello used to be the home of an important Florentine family. The mix of lustrous marble, clay bricks and Murano glass gives great charm to the hotel, which is completely anchored in the Renaissance style, the “cinquocento”. The room is also charming, exquisitely decorated with marble and an original painting as a headboard. From the window, I can see the garden of the Piazza Indipendenza. Entrée de l’église San Spirito I The entry to Saint Spirito’s chuch I I ‫مدخل كنيسة سان سبرييتو‬ The San Lorenzo district La Gazelle 56 I 78 I barely have the time to catch my breath, my friend is already waiting in the entrance hall. She takes me to lunch at the Trattoria Mario, a small family restaurant located near the hotel in the San Lorenzo’s neighborhood. Its friendly tuscan cuisine is very popular, especially its “bistecca alla fiorentina” . Then, we go for a short stroll at the “mercato centrale”, from where all the restaurant owners in Florence get their supplies. It is a huge shed where we find everything : fruits, vegetables, meat and fresh fish are displayed on a hundred stands. In a corner of the market place, people can sit around tables and taste the Florentine specialties in a panini or on a plate : the lampredotto (tripe), the porchetta (stuffed pork) or the bollito (boiled beef). The Duomo district In Florence, you can go everywhere by foot, providing that you have a reliable map of the city’s historical center ! We continue our trip toward the cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore, known as “el Duomo”. Built in the 13th century for the Archdiocese of Florence, the monument is a true technical prowess. The renowned architect Brunelleschi was the first to achieve a double-vault without formwork, that of the Duomo. A contradictory feeling invades my heart, which starts beating wildly, the sensation of being insignificant in front of this massive cathedral mingles with the impression of facing a gigantic masterpiece painting. I remember those words that Stendhal wrote during a trip to Florence : “I had reached that stage of emotion where celestial sensations given by art and passionate feeling meet each other. Upon leaving Santa Croce, I had heart palpitations, I was totally exhausted, I was afraid of falling as I walked.” We continue toward the piazza della Repubblica. We go on the Via dei Tornabuoni, a road built by Romans that is now filled with luxury boutiques. A few minutes later we walk along the Arno River to 1