Kate's Queen City Notes

Blundering through Cincinnati, laughing all the way


Leave a comment

The Duomo & Several Bottles of Prosecco

On our third day in Florence we toured the Duomo Baptistry and the church as well as it’s underground crypt. Then we hunted and gathered deli meats and cheeses, bread, and wine, and headed to Michelangelo Park for an afternoon listening to music and enjoying the view until the sun went down. Yes, that afternoon was just a lovely as it sounds, especially when you consider 6 adults probably drank 3 bottles of wine and 4, perhaps 5 bottles of prosecco.

The Duomo was interesting. The Baptistry was stunning and ornate. The exterior of the Duomo is imposing with all that colored marble. The museum was fascinating, showing the history of the Duomo and the facades that it’s had across the hundreds of years that it’s been standing; it was started in 1200’s and finished in the 1400’s. Which is why it was so confusing that the Duomo itself wasn’t ornately decorated.

The crypt under the Duomo had some of what you might expect, dead people, of some of what you might not, the old sanctuary floor mosaics. When you want to update something in Italy, you just build on top of the old stuff. And that’s apparently exactly what they did with the Duomo. They just built a new floor above the old sanctuary floor, and that was that, new and improved church. This was on the only instance of this happening. Be on the look out for St Clément’s in Rome.

After lots of church time, these heathens when on the hunt for picnic provisions and headed to the park. The weather couldn’t have been nicer to lounge in the sun. We ate drank so many bottles of wine and prosecco, and heard live music. It was a much needed break from walking and absorbing information.

I think I got a great shot of satan chowing down on people, a scene on The Baptistry ceiling. I will leave in suspece for that until tomorrow.

Advertisements


2 Comments

David Up Close

I can already tell were getting some of these David pictures printed in a triptych or something. Here’s Jeannine’s shots with the telephoto lens of the same places we visited in my post yesterday. I wrote most of my thoughts on the matter there. This one is just all picutures and mostly David. Because what could possibly be more magnificent.

JOE_0866JOE_0869JOE_0871JOE_0872JOE_0875JOE_0877JOE_0878JOE_0881JOE_0885

JOE_0900

This is where we had the best pizza of the trip. It’s a market in Florence. The bottom functions as a food market, and only operates in the mornings. Upstairs there’s food stalls that stay open until the late afternoon. These guys made the best pizza I have ever eaten. I also got an amazing conollo here. 

JOE_0907

This is where the best pizza was born.

JOE_0917

Pope Snoke.

JOE_0926JOE_0940


Leave a comment

The Statue Of David Knocked My Socks Off

The Statue of David is incredible. I cannot wrap my head around how Michelangelo created him. When I walked into the room and saw him at the end of the hall, he looked perfectly proportional. It’s only when I got right up to him, only a few feet away did I realize how enormous his hand and feet are. This realization didn’t make him any less beautiful to me. It made me gape at the genius of Michelangelo. It’s like a magic trick that he’s still pulling off hundreds of years later.

If there’s one reason to get on a plane and go to Italy, seeing that statue is it. There’s a multitude of other wonderful reasons to visit Italy, but just David is enough of a reason in my opinion. He astounds.

There was plenty of other art work the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze and I found loads of religious artwork that had a bounty of infants just looking like shrunken down adults. Enjoy!

This is the Duomo. It's that intensely decorated on all sides.

This is the Duomo. It’s that intensely decorated on all sides.

See. This is the Duomo's back end.

See. This is the Duomo’s back end.

This statue is The Rape Of The Sabine Women. It was beautiful, b

This statue is The Rape Of The Sabine Women. It was beautiful, but I was too excited to see David to give it the attention it deserved.

This is what you see when you turn a corner and suddently David

This is what you see when you turn a corner and suddently David is just there. It took my breath away.

As you walked the length of the room toward David there were unf

As you walked the length of the room toward David there were unfinished Michealangelo statues on either side of the hall. They drove home how difficult the work must have been to draw beauty out of marble.

I cannot describe how incredible David is. I felt I could sit in

I cannot describe how incredible David is. I felt I could sit in that room and look at him for hours.

He's also enormous. He's 17 feet tall.

He’s also enormous. He’s 17 feet tall.

There was lots of other art work at Accademia di Belle Arti di F

There was lots of other art work at Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze. This one features Mary having a moment of, that ain’t mine!

There was a room with a massive collection of plaster statues.

There was a room with a massive collection of plaster statues.

First off, what is angel in the lower right even doing? Toot too

First off, what is angel in the lower right even doing? Toot tootley doodley doo, all herald the middle aged infance Christ! Second, infant Jesus seems to have a receeding hairline.

I had to go back and see David one more time, before we left the

I had to go back and see David one more time, before we left the area.

Ouch. Mary seems untroubled.

Ouch. Mary seems untroubled.

Mm, that Jesus has 5 kids and a double mortage, and needs a six

Mm, that Jesus has 5 kids and a double mortage, and needs a six pack to fall asleep every night.

I don't know. Not sure what it is, not sure why it's been decapi

I don’t know. Not sure what it is, not sure why it’s been decapitated.

East or West, normally you pick just one.

East or West, normally you pick just one.

It was interesting, the inside was sparce in comparison with the

It was interesting, the inside was sparce in comparison with the outside.

We got a bit of time to relaxe in the afternoon. It was about 70

We got a bit of time to relaxe in the afternoon. It was about 70 degress and sunny almost every day of our trip.

Just a richly decorated grotto.

Just a richly decorated grotto.

The only fat statue we saw.

The only fat statue we saw.

This is the Duomo. It's that intensely decorated on all sides.

This is the Duomo. It’s that intensely decorated on all sides.

Random street art.

Random street art.

I think  I'll just read.

I think I’ll just read.


Leave a comment

Florence Italy – Short Bursts

Here’s the other half of our pictures of our first day in Florence. Here’s a technical note, that will most likely be too much information. I have two cameras a Nikon D4 and a Nikon D800E, and Jeannine and I traded off on carrying them each day. We typically had the wide angle lens on the D800 and the telephoto lens on the D4. It’s the sweeping shots that the wide angle can get that we typically want to print, so it makes sense to put that on the camera that sucks in the most pixels.

I had the D4 with the telephoto lense on our first day, and although I don’t give much thought to how the shots from each lens feel significantly different, I noticed it when I was doing this edit. They are just less atmospheric and more pointed.

Now then. Let’s talk about looking at paintings by Botticelli, Rafael, Da Vinci, Rembrant and Caravaggio all in one spot. The Uffizi is overwhelming. It’s jam-packed with art work, and where there aren’t paintings there’s statues and the elaborately painted ceilings. I thought I would be really engaged at the beginning, but then feel exhausted and unable to really be present at the end.

We saw Da Vinci, Botticelli, and Rafael first. And although I felt grateful to see that work, I wasn’t blown away by it. I felt a little bummed that they didn’t have a greater impact. Once we went downstairs we saw the Caravaggio’s and Gentileschi’s Judith Beheads Holofernes and Reni’s David With The Head Of Goliath nearly back to back. And I just felt entranced by them. I think part of it was that they started to look less like paintings of people and more like people. And then there’s all the bewitching darkness in them. The subjects float out as though out of the abyss. I adored them.

Who needs segues, lets talk about Galileo’s fingers. They’ve keep his mummified digits and have them on display at his museum. There’s a thumb, an index finger, and the middle finger with the phlange that extends into the palm of his hand. As if this weren’t gruesome enough, but the bones still had bits of gnarled sinew attached to them.

That seems like an appropriate place to leave you on our first day. Sweet dreams… About frayed finger tendons and beheadings…

JOE_0751JOE_0861JOE_0857JOE_0814

JOE_0797

I’m certain this was not a crab-shaped bong. But I really cannot think of a good reason why this was in the Galileo museum. I probably should have read the words.

JOE_0794JOE_0789

JOE_0774

OG Come play with us Danny… 

JOE_0773JOE_0768JOE_0767JOE_0763JOE_0762JOE_0760JOE_0758JOE_0757DSC_0927DSC_0924


Leave a comment

I Am Overwhelmed With Italy Pictures

Ok. So, I have 1600 pictures from the Italy trip after deleting duplicates and just obviously bad shots. The thought of doing the best editing this collection really deserves makes me break out in a cold sweat.

In addition to the picture problem, I am also drowning in what to say about what we experienced. I really don’t have the words. Every single day was amazing in it’s own particular way. My eyes were drowning in beauty either in the artwork or the architecture or the landscape. And now, I need to hang paltry words around it.

In the interests of starting somewhere, here I am. In Florence.

The pictures below were from our first full day in Italy after a tremendously needed 12 hours of sleep, which banished our jet lag. We went to the Uffizi in the morning and the Galileo museum in the afternoon.

The Uffizi was incredible. I was like walking inside an art history book. I’m not going to try and describe it and just point you to a good link if you want to know a bit more about the museum and it’s most famous works. Just know that loads of famous paintings are in there, and all the décor around the paintings is just as magnificent as the paintings themselves.

I have so much more to say, but I just don’t have the mental bandwidth to say it right now. But! These are only half the pictures from our first day. The second half will be for the next blog post. There I might find the words explain how I fell in love with Caravaggio or I might talk about how freaking weird it is that the have Galileo’s appendages on display.

Ponte Vecchio at night

Ponte Vecchio at night

This place had amazing chocolate, but also great coffee.

This place had amazing chocolate, but also great coffee.

More science.

More science.

Science and stuff in the Galileo Museaum.

Science and stuff in the Galileo Museaum.

I'm Bacchus bitches. This was so, so lovely. This was step two i

I’m Bacchus bitches. This was so, so lovely. This was step two in the process of turning me into a Caravaggio fan.

This is a wretched picture. It was packed in there with people a

This is a wretched picture. It was packed in there with people and selfie sticks, so this is the best we could do. But man. I fell in love with Caravaggio on this trip.

Ho hum, killed a giant, whatevs. Seriously though, this was gorg

Ho hum, killed a giant, whatevs. Seriously though, this was gorgeous.

Seeing this in person filled me with awe. Also Judith took zero

Seeing this in person filled me with awe. Also Judith took zero shit.

Heyyyyy, I'm Bacchus bitches.

Heyyyyy, I’m Bacchus bitches.

These are the back sides of Rafael's finished work. They were pe

These are the back sides of Rafael’s finished work. They were perhaps more fascinating then the finished portraits on the other side.

What the hell is that?

What the hell is that?

Yeah, just another random room in the Uffizi

Yeah, just another random room in the Uffizi

Yet another random ceiling in the Uffizi

Yet another random ceiling in the Uffizi

Oh you know, just a random ceiling in the Uffizi

Oh you know, just a random ceiling in the Uffizi

Now there's a David replica there with another statue that's que

Now there’s a David replica there with another statue that’s questioning his choices.

Outside the Uffizi where the statue of David use to be

Outside the Uffizi where the statue of David use to be

Another Random Street in Florence

Another Random Street in Florence

Random street in Florence

Random street in Florence

 


Leave a comment

Hawaii Is Beautiful Day 5

We visited Kona Joe’s coffee farm in the morning and snorkeled in the afternoon. Kona is the dry side of the big island, and we were treated to warm sunshine and cool breezes the whole day. The pictures in this post are from the coffee plantation because I am still feeling overwhelmed by the videos and pictures we have off the Go Pro that we used while snorkeling.

Here’s a thing I already knew but had confirmed. Kona coffee is a little to light bodied for me. It was fun to have a French press with freshly roasted coffee and look over the gorgeous vista, but the view was the real treat.


Leave a comment

Hawaii Is Beautiful Day 4

On the big island, we were fortunate enough to go on a bike tour of Volcanoes National Park. It was the only part of the islands we visited where we got to see plants native to the islands that weren’t brought by the earliest settlers. Invasive plants cover most of the islands, so seeing the native forest was haunting and magical. Plus, we saw lava spurting out of one of the volcanos, and it’s not every day that you get to see earth being born.

This day was so great, that the whole trip would have been worth it for me on its own.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In case you want to get a better look at any of the shots in the slide show here they are below.