Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Churches & Gardens & Wineries, OH MY!

This morning I started my day off by going to the San Lorenzo Basilica which is right across the street from my apartment. Needless to say it was beautiful inside. It's the oldest church in Florence, and houses the remains of Donatello. It was really cool, my favorite part was the portion of the ceiling that was done based on the Northern Hemisphere constellations. The ceiling had all of the mythological creatures drawn out (the crab, the bear, etc), but then the mosaic pieces that were done with gold leaf actually represented the stars in the sky and were within the ceiling to give the idea, when squinted at, that you were looking at the sky at night.

After that wonderful adventure I went on a field trip to the Giardino dell'Orticultura, basically the Horticulture Gardens. I'm not going to post many of these photos yet seeing as how they're for class and I have no idea what I'm doing with them yet... well I kind of do, but I haven't put my artistic touch on it yet. So here is one of the photos I took just to give you a preview!

After that I came back to the apartment, then Jess and I decided to go and see the Battistero di San Giovanni. It is this little place right outside of the Duomo and was absolutely gorgeous. The ceiling was done completely in mosaics and it was amazing! The detail and care with which this place (and many others in Italy) was created is something people don't take the time to appreciate or create themselves. Below are a few pictures from inside/outside of the place.

This is the beautiful mosaic ceiling in the San Giovanni

After this mid-day adventure it was time for me to go with my wine class to the winery 'Fattoria di Bagnolo' which is known for the Chianti wine. The owner of this winery is also a very talented olive oil producer, and salami/meat/cheese ager. I tried some of the most delicious red wines (Chianti) today, and the olive oil was fantastic. The salami do delicious and tastey. Truly all of it was amazing. Plus I'm pretty sure I geeked out numerous times as we were explained all of the fermentation processes, and because I was also able to explain what one of the parts on the barrel was for (it was to keep out any direct contact of oxygen with the wine). It was pretty much amazing, and as I've stated numerous times... this could become a passion and a career for me. I'm loving every second of it. Below I've posted some exciting photos from the winery.

Ya... I could live in this villa easily! Rumor has it he rents out the upstairs as an apartment.

The vineyard area and the olive trees.

The Winery/French Barrel aging room. Yummy!

After that the API group went on a cultural event to the Piazza del Michelangelo. We had the chance to see a beautiful sunset. I have posted some of my photos below. It was truly a beautiful experience. I loved it!

This is the St. Croce church where we met today before heading to the Piazza del Michelangelo which is pictured below!

Our group of friends that all hang out just sittin' and chillin' at the Piazza del Michelangelo after the excursion and before our 'dinner!'

Other then that (ha ha ha... I did so much today)... I have nothing going on until Thursday night when we head out to Sorrento/Amalfi/Capri/Pompeii for the weekend... tough life right?

Love you all! Ciao!

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