18 05 Florence
On the 18th we all woke up early to go to the Uffizi Gallery where we walked around in awe of all the amazing paintings we viewed. This gallery contained 45 rooms of famous artwork from everyone from Michelangelo to Da Vinci. We then headed to the Instituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza [IMSS](History of Science Museum). The IMSS' function is to catalogue and restore ancient instruments and devices of historical interest. It contained items from geometric compasses to geographical globes, telescopes to static electricity producers, models of pregnancy complications to chemistry tools used a long time ago. One of the demonstrations given for us was to show gravity. On a ramp, 5 bells spread at increasing amounts of distance from each other were spread out just perfectly so they would ring at a steady beat as a ball rolled down to trigger them. This showed that a falling object has constant acceleration. Then we had free time for lunch for a couple hours. Pizza and Gelato were two popular but not universal picks for lunch. After this we went to see the statue of David at the Gallery of the Accademia. The statue surpassed our expectations as it was 5.15 meters tall! For a statue this big, the small minute details were amazing! Even the veins in the hand and all the muscles in the knee were accurately carved and smoothed! We couldn't take pictures of the statue so that is why we do not have one up. As well, the Uffizi Gallery and most others that we went to would not allow pictures. After lunch, we went to the Pitti Palace which had a great overview of the Boboli Gardens. The Pitti Palace was built by the Pitti family but bought by the Medici family on their rise to riches and power in Florence. Now it is a place for tourists to see the amazing decor of the rooms inside. Elaborate chandeliers and art work decorate the inside of most every room. Tomorrow morning we will see the Church of Santa Croce (Church of the Sacred Cross). It is here that the tombs of Galileo Galilei and Michelangelo are. That will end our stay at Florence when we take off on train to Switzerland at 10:30 in the morning.
The Ponte Vecchio bridge over the Arno River. The bridge is lined with many expensive jewelry stores.
The facade of the History of Science Museum in Florence.
The Medici family mansion with obelisk. Now called the Pitti Palace because the Pitti family built it before the Medici family bought it.
A fountain at the Pitti Palace
The Pitti Palace obelisk: Angie, Kevin, Aaron, Kristen, Lauren, Matt, Lindsey, Katie, and Abbey.
Rain in Florence--our first use of our travel umbrellas.
Lots of gelato!