Day 67: Florence
I woke up early again this morning, around 7:00am, this time to see the Uffizi Gallery. The Uffizi Gallery holds some of the most influential paintings of the Italian Renaissance. When I walked in, I bought an official guide book that had detailed pictures and descriptions of the paintings for €10, which was well worth it. Art has so much more meaning when you know a little about it.
One of the paintings I wanted to make sure I saw was a painting by Andrea del Verrocchio.
The scene depicts the baptism of Christ, and with parts of the painting completed by Verrocchio’s apprentices, one of which was Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo did the painting of the angel on the far left, but instead of using an egg-based paint, which was standard at the time, he surprised everyone by using oil instead. The oil gave the angel much deeper colors that weren’t possible with the egg tempera. The story is told that after Verrocchio saw what he did with the angel, he said Leonardo would do all the faces from now on, and having been surpassed by one of his student, he would never picked up a paintbrush again.
After visiting the Uffizi, I spent the afternoon planning out my train schedule for the rest of the trip. They Italian clerk who clerk I had was very helpful and I think he appreciated me printing off the trains I wanted. I wanted to reserve the rest of my trains now, because they limit the amount of seats available to pass holders, and I don’t want to get stuck paying full price. I had to make three reservations, including one overnight one, which turned out to be pretty expensive around €90 for all three. I can’t imagine how much it would be if I didn’t have a Eurail pass.
At night, I got dinner at a cheap restaurant recommended through my guidebook and picked up another cone of gelato. I’d prefer to not spend a lot of money on meals, but I don’t have any problem spending €5 for gelato.
Tomorrow I’ll be taking a three hour train to Naples and then catching a local train to Sorrento. After spending two nights in Sorrento, I’ll take the train to La Spezia, and then another local train to Vernazza, a small town in the Cinque Terre. After spending three nights there, I’ll finally take an overnight train to Paris on July 28th, and arrive in Paris around 8:00am on July 29th. I’ll then spend two more nights in Paris before flying out on the 31st.