Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Palazzo Vecchio

Once again I wander off with my school to listen in vain while the wonders of Renaissance Italy are described in detail to my non-comprehending ears.

Sure, now I can understand a scattering of familiar words, occasionally even entire phrases can be guessed at successfully, but generally I stand dumb while others laugh with glee as they translate the (almost certainly) lame jokes cracked by our guide.

Actually I shouldn't be discouraged by my slow progress as we have decided most of the South American students (of which there are many) are actually cheating by already knowing Spanish or Portuguese. We have not yet, however, found a way to explain the comparitive success of the Japanese students.
Anyway, we went to the Palazzo Vechio, the so called 'Old Palace' because the Medici's moved to their New Palace (Palazzo Pitti) when Cosimo's wife took a dislike to the scant size and lack of greenary present in their original abode.
When I say 'scant size' you obviously have to think in terms of the megalomaniacal patrons of the Renaissance (and their Spanish wives). Palazzo Vecchio is, of course, huge and richly decorated with works by Michaelangelo and Donatello (amongst others).

Of course you will find the ubiquitous statue representing the struggle between Florence and Siena, Florence inevitably portrayed as the meak female, Siena the brutish male.

Did I mention we are off to Siena this weekend? By bus. Not car.

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