Visiting Florence can seem like being in a time warp. You’re surrounded by the Renaissance in the museums, galleries, churches, and public places. We spent this morning following the Renaissance walking tour (from the Steves book and app again). The tour took us by the Bargello and we decided to stop in. This small museum was quiet and uncrowded, so it was a pleasant change from the streets full of tour groups. It contains a large courtyard, several Michelangelo sculptures on the ground floor and Donatello sculpture in the room above (add some Leonardo and Raphael and you have the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). There’s also a famous bronze statue of Mercury by Giambologna that made us think of flowers.
We also visited the Bapistry where we admired its bronze doors and ceiling mosaics, especially the Last Judgement where you can see Christ giving a thumbs up or thumbs down to the dead who wish to enter heaven. (Really! Look closely at the picture and check out the hands.)
The Orsanmichele Church was open so we walked in. This church was originally a granary and you can see signs of that in the design. Inside is a beautiful Gothic Tabernacle and the exterior of the church has niches in the walls where statues (two more Donatellos) are housed. After a long morning of walking, we decided to get some gelato and then return to our hotel for a rest.
For the evening’s entertainment we ventured outside of the touristy part of Venice to the Nelson Mandela Forum where it was truly time to do the Time Warp again. We saw a touring company perform the Rocky Horror Show and it was great fun. It was in English of course, except for an Italian speaking narrator who apparently was a local celebrity because he got a lot of applause as soon as he entered. We enjoyed this little break from the Renaissance and a time warp back to the 70s.