La Gazelle - Page 78

envies wishlist ‫رغبـاتنـــا‬ escapade à Florence I getaway in Florence I ‫رحلـــة اىل فلـورنـ�س‬ 1 2 3 The Duomo district 1.2. Les étals du Mercato Central (marché central) I The stalls of Mercato Centrale (central market) I ‫فضاءات العرض يف السوق‬ ‫ املـركــزي‬I 3. Façade du baptistère Santa Maria del Fiore I Santa Maria del Fiore’s baptistery facade I ‫واجهة بيت عامدة سانتا ماريا‬ I ‫ديل فيوري‬ One must be a bit of a Stoic to visit the Uffizi Gallery. The ticket should be booked in advance, because very few tourists have been able to access the Gallery without queuing for at least an hour. However, the patience is rewarded with the discovery of treasures. The Uffizi Gallery is considered as one of the most ancient and most beautiful museums in the world. The Birth of Venus and the Primavera by Botticelli, the Tonto Doni by Michelangelo, the Madonna of the Goldfinch by Raphael, the Annunciation and the Adoration of the Magi by Leonardo da Vinci, the Venus of Urbino by Titian, the Bacchus and the Medusa by Caravaggio accounts for only a very small portion of the museum’s wealth. It is said that one needs half a day to visit all the galleries and fully appreciate the paintings. However, some rooms are closed to the public, due to renovations. The surface area of the site should double in 2015 and finally preserve the priceless treasures that are left unseen. During my visit, I take a break at the cafeteria and buy myself a panini that I enjoy on the terrace. The view on the Plazza della Signoria is gorgeous, I admire Michelangelo’s David, the fountain of Neptune and a little further the Logia dei Lanzi. It is exactly 1h57 when I get out the Uffizi Gallery, completely moved by so much beauty. I go meet my friend at the Palazzo Vecchio which, fortunately for me, is right in front of the museum. The sun delicately warms up the atmosphere, it is time for me to realize an old wish : enjoy a real “Italian ice cream”. In order to do so, we go to the galeteria Grom, where they only work with seasonal fresh fruits and high-quality ingredients. The San Niccolo district La Gazelle 56 I 80 On the way, my friend tells me about the Palazzo Vecchio history. It was both the Medicis residence and the symbol of political power in Florence. Inside, there is a real marvel : the Salone dei Cinquecento. The name comes from Savonarola, who wanted the 500 members of the “Consiglio dei Cinquecento” to fit in the room. The ceiling is adorned with frescoes painted by the two greatest masters of the time, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. I barely have time to regret that I didn’t visit the famous Palazzo Vecchio that we arrive at the foot of the remparts, on the Oltrarno side. San Niccolo neighborhood feels like countryside, in the heart of the city. It’s a haven where Florence’s bucolic atmosphere have been preserved. We wander, walking up the streets along the high walls of the city, then we arrive at the “Giordano del Rose”. The Garden of Roses contains a magnificent rose garden, as its name implies. It was created by Emilio Pucci and a few sculptures by the Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon are scattered throughout the surrounding park. For a while, we enjoy this peaceful atmosphere, the sun slowly setting. Then, we reach the Michelangelo esplanade through the Franciscans’s old Way of the Cross and we climb the hill to discover the Chiesa San Miniato al Monte, a jewel of medieval art. Its façade, inlayed with Carrara marble and green marble from Prato, reveals the virtuosity of Florentine work. The interior is also interesting and deserves a short visit. Finally, we arrive just in time on the “Piazzale Michelangelo” to admire the sunset. The esplanade, loved by painters and photographers, offers a panoramic view of the city. Florence suddenly seems very small, in the distance I recognize the Ponte Vecchio and the Duomo. Before leaving Florence, my friend insists that I taste one last Italian specialty : the aperitivo. Sitting at the literary café El Murate, the main contemporary art center of the city, we discover that its history is singular : El Murate used to be a prison. This fact does not prevent us from having a wonderful evening, enjoying many typical dishes after drinking our first glass of wine. That concludes my first trip to Florence, cradle of the Renaissance. I promise myself that I will soon come back to visit the famous Palazzo Vecchio. I