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Florence

I had a headache the morning we left Venice, by the time we arrived in Florence I had a raging migraine. I was a complete write off for the rest of the day and the following morning.

How do you to get into the right frame of mind for visiting a crowded, gallery? Being one of many, many other gallery goers all jostling for a view of this and that can be seriously draining not to mention uninspiring!!! Your frame of mind influences your mood which in turn influences your attitude towards something.

The following three factors all helped me to stay in a good frame of mind during my visit to the Uffizi.

  • Being by myself and having the whole day to cruise through the collection at my leisure.
  • Having a purpose and a goal, helped me get over the crowd related discomforts.
  • Having an audio guide of some sort – I used American travel writer Rick Steve’s mobile app, his Uffizi Gallery Tour lasts 50 min and you can download it for free online. Wearing headphones and listening to a guided presentation helps tune out all of the busy activity.
‘Statue of a woman, at the Uffizi Museum,’ Digital Photograph 2019
‘Statue of a woman, at the Uffizi Museum,’ Digital Photograph No 2, 2019.
‘Statue of a woman, at the Uffizi Museum,’ Digital Photograph No 3 2019.
Photographic series of the ‘Statue of a woman’

I found an advantage to being in a space full of people. I could take photos of strangers without being creepy or imposing. I set up the camera to photograph an early 2nd century CE Roman ‘Statue of a woman,’ displayed in the Sculpture Hall (a busy thoroughfare.) I only managed one photo before people started to walk in-front of me seemingly oblivious. Instead of getting frustrated I just continued to take photos as no one seemed the least bit bothered by it.

I liked the photos, especially the contrast between human and statue. When compared to the unchanging, solid statue form in the background, the foreground human figures blurred with movement, appear temporary and fleeting.

The Uffizi Gallery
The Venus dé Medici (1st century B.C.)

Before visiting the Uffizi, I installed Rick Steve’s mobile app on my Iphone. The app provides individual guided tours of some of the world’s most visited galleries. I used this app on my Iphone with headphones to navigate the collection. Not only was it free It was also very very helpful.

The tour takes you on a chronological journey of Italian Renaissance art. You get a clear insight into a period in European history, covering the span between the 14th and 17th centuries and marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity. You also get to see the ancient world stone sculptures that inspired the Renaissance painters.

Bellow are some pictures of a few of the artworks, in the order of which they featured on the self guided audio app.

Giotto – Madonna and Child (circa 1310)
Botticelli – The Birth of Venus (c. 1485)
Michelangelo Buonarroti – The Holy Family (c. 1506)
Parmigianino – Madonna of the Long Neck (c. 1540)
Titian – The Venus of Urbino (1538)
Walking in Florence

Miró, an artist whose work I saw and loved in Venice, says he gets inspiration for his painting’s from his daily walks.

” I find the the most favourable atmosphere…..in my daily walks: the noise of horses in the country, the creaking sound of wooden cartwheels, of footsteps, cries in the night, crickets. The spectacle of the sky dazzles my mind. When I see the sun or the crescent of the moon in the immense sky, I’m absolutely overwhelmed.”

Ahhhh quiet Florence alleys/streets.
Photo taken on a casual stroll up away from the busy city centre into the hills
Looking down on Florence from the hills.
Florence
Cool bug

Tomorrow we are heading North West to Carrara which is off the popular tourist route. Carrara is a Tuscan city on the Mediterranean Coast and is known for the quarries of white and blue-grey marble – the same stuff  Michelangelo carved his famous sculpture David from.

With a population of only 60 thousand Carrara will feel much smaller. I am looking forward to a break from big cities and a little down time to process all that I have seen and learnt.

2 comments

  1. Cheryl Frew says:

    Nicola, When in Europe I was often taking in a view or looking at a piece of art or admiring amazing workmanship & people would walk in front of me completely oblivious of my presence. It use to frustrate me in the beginning, why couldn’t they walk behind me, such bad manners, but then I thought ‘oh it’s just like bring in new world’ standing at a supermarket shelf deciding which item to get haha – people are the same everywhere 😂
    What an amazing journey you have had.
    Enjoy Carrara. Safe travel home.
    Love you guys

    • nicolahansby says:

      Thats funny and so true, that it’s just like being at the supermarket!!! It has been wonderfull experience and I feel very lucky to have been able to do it, especially with Mitchell. I am still playing catch up on the blog posts. We are enjoying our final night in Rome, heading to the airport tomorrow morning where we will start the long journey home. Lots of Love. xxxxxxxxx

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