Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Florence 5/22!

It's a couple days late due to technical difficulties, but here's our first day in Florence!
Today was a very low key day for us. We drove this morning from La
Spezia to Florence via bus. Most people were checking the inside of
their eyelids for holes, while the rest of us were taking in the view
of the Tuscany country side. The group arrived at Plazzo Ricascli in
Florence around 11 am this morning. The hotel we are staying at is a
renovated monastery with amazing Frescos and statues that were a part
of the original framework from when the time that the monks were
living in the compound.

After checking in, Dr. Ballarini took the group Florence to witness
the famous sites in Italian history. We first went to see the exterior
of the church Chelsea di Santa Maria del Flor. The church, for most
students, was simply breath taking. Everyone was amazed at the
architectural detail of the building, and most people were very
impressed at the size of the dome on the roof. Then we walked to the
Arno River to see the view of the hills surrounding Florence.

After hanging around the Arno River, everyone split up to enjoy
amazing gelato (a staple of many students) and eat at local
restaurants unique to Florence around Chlesea di Santa Croce. We
reconvened after lunch to tour the Chlesea di Santa Croce and witness
the work of the restoration after this disastrous flood that occurred
on November 4th, 1966. We were able to see Cimabue's Crucifix, which
was a favorite of many students. It was favored by most because most
students were commenting on how they were amazed by the story of the
volunteers who descended on Florence to help restore Cimabue's
Crucifix and many other religious artifacts.

After a full day, we were given free time to explore the city of
Florence, do laundry and catch up on sleep. Tomorrow we head to Pisa.