Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Palazzo Pitti and Planning

Breakfast at La Scaletta again; Larissa made us caffè americano, rather than making us drink the coffee from the automatic maker—much, much better! That, with brioche (what we'd call croissant), soft, brie-like cheese, Tuscan bread, tomatoes and fresh fruit makes for a filling, if somewhat unusual breakfast.

Because it was supposed to rain, we decided to walk to Palazzo Pitti which is less than 5 minutes from La Scaletta, to tour the museums, which we skipped in favor of Boboli Gardens on our last visit. We saw the Galleria d'arte moderna  and Galleria Palatina, as well as the royal apartments.
Palazzo Pitti from the Boboli Gardens side, photo by Shawn September 2012
A Boldoni in the Gallery of Modern Art at Palazzo Pitti — I've become a fan
(from http://www.firenzemadeintuscany.com/media/1703796-boldini-ZXKJE81K.jpg)
Royal Apartments at Palazzo Pitti (from http://mikestravelguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Palazzo-Pitti-Royal-Apartments-2-800x533.jpg)
A room in the Palatine Gallery, Palazzo Pitti (from http://www.wga.hu/art/p/pietro/cortona/1/pitti02.jpg)
From the Gallery of Modern Art, Palazzo Pitti (from http://www.initaly.com/regions/aletto.jpg)
Much of the palace was remodeled in the 18th and 19th centuries, so it feels much newer and not much like the rest of Florence. The modern art was of much finer quality than the other collections seemed to be, and little of it on the level of the art in the Uffizi, which we spent one day in when we were here in September 2012; it's the kind of museum that would take years to see properly, as it is so easy to overload. (See Stendahl Syndrome.) We are glad to have seen the galleries and the apartments, but unlike most of what we have seen in Florence, we agreed that we would probably not go again to visit any of them. It was very warm in all of the galleries, and my non-existent allergies were really acting up and making me miserable, so I'm sure that somewhat affected my impressions, but I really do prefer the medieval and Renaissance to the 18th century especially.

We walked back and had lunch at Trattoria La Galleria, just down from the hotel, toward the Ponte Vecchio, and tucked back into an alleyway.
Trattoria La Galleria (photo from http://www.ristorantelagalleria.it/Filtrate/26.jpg)
I think I'm getting spoiled; the asparagi was slightly overcooked though accompanied by a delicious smoked scamorza (for an appetizer). However, the risotto alla funghi and Shawn's pasta were very good. (We had considered eating insalatta caprese at La Scaletta again, but found that they had closed the restaurant for lunch, in expectation of the rain that never came.)

We were tired after the morning of touring galleries and the last several days, so we spent some time planning to be sure to get in some of the things we wanted to do before we leave. We read some tour brochures, looking for a broader, one-day Tuscany tour that would get us out into the countryside this time, and especially to Monterriggioni. I found us an Art Viva tour that takes small groups to San Gimignano, Monterriggioni and Siena, and also includes a winery tour and lunch. With Cristina's help, Shawn made us tour reservations for tomorrow and reserved us tickets for the Galleria Accademia on Friday morning at 9:45—I've been ashamed to admit that we did not see the David the last time we visited Florence, so this time, we'll make sure that doesn't happen again.

We turned in a bit early, as we will have to be at the tour office by 8:15 AM, and we'll be walking to get there.

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