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me, and I responded to the appeal, for I enjoyed his music. He sang in this way for quite a while, then was ordered away by the gendarme. In a few minutes I heard a woman's voice, not very sweet, but well cultivated, at the hotel just a short distance away. Finally she was ordered away. They seem to permit them to sing long enough at a time to secure a little money and then make them move on. The singers do not seem to be in the least afraid of these officers, and most probably they are good friends.
Friday, September 16. This morning we took a carriage and went to the Palazzo Vecchio. It looks like a fortified castle, with its battlements, and was built in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. In the courtyard are beautiful fountains. One is a boy holding a fish and the water pours from its mouth. This is by Verrochio. In front of the palace is the Loggia del Lanzi, which is an open colonade with groups of handsome bronze and marble statuary. One is Perseus holding the head of Medusa, in bronze, by Benvenuto Cellini. These two buildings stand in the Piazza della Signoria. In the center of the piazza Savanarolo was burned.
We went from here to the Uffizi Gallery, where we saw Fra Angelico's angels, Botticeilli's "Birth of Venus," Albertinelli's “Visitation of Mary," Titian's “Flora," and many other beautiful paintings. In one of the rooms called the Tribuna are some of the gems of the collection, Raphael's Madonna del Cardellino (Madonna and Child with the Goldfinch) and his portrait of Pope Julius II and Carreggio's “Madonna with the Child," are among the finest of the paintings. Among the ancient sculpture in this room, the Medici “Venus” and the “Knife Grinder” are the most famous. I bought a copy of the Medici "Venus” in Carrara marble. From here we went to the Pitti Palace. It was not open to the public that day, but the gatekeeper interviewed the chief guard and we were admitted and shown all over it. The apartments of both king and queen are most beautiful. The handsome rooms are furnished in different colorings, all in perfect harmony. There is a painting by Botticelli in one of these rooms. We went into the picture gallery and saw Raphael's “Madonna of the Chair,” “Madonna del Granduca,” portraits of Pope Leo X, Julius II and La Fornarina ; also saw Giorgione's Concert.
In the afternoon we visited the monastery of San Marco with its beautiful cloisters and paintings by Fra Angelico on its walls in the cells of the Dominicans, who once occupied the monastery. Fra Angelico and Savonarola were both members of this order. This visit has been of the greatest interest to me. The whole atmosphere of the monastery seems to be filled with memories of these two great men.
The Foundling Hospital is not far from here. This building has a frieze of bas reliefs across its front, representing bambinos (babies) by Andrie della Robbia. These infants are dressed in swaddling clothes, a custom which still prevails among the lower classes in Italy. We went from here to the cathedral, with its great dome which was designed by Brunnelleschi; its campanile by Giotto.
Our own Longfellow has called this “the lily of Florence, blossoming in stone.” The lily is the arms of Florence.
In front of the cathedral stands the Baptistry (Church of John the Baptist) where all the children of Florence are baptized. Its beautiful bronze doors by Ghiberti are on the side next to the cathedral. On its panels are scenes from the Old Testament and wreaths of fruit and flowers. Michael Angelo said "These doors were worthy to be those of paradise.”
We went from here to the Church of Santa Croce (holy cross), which is the Pantheon of Florence. Among the many tombs and monuments here, we saw those of Michael Angelo and Galileo. There is also a beautiful pulpit in marble with bas reliefs showing scenes from the life of St. Francis.
One of the side chapels is decorated with some of Giotto's finest paintings, all taken from the life of St. Francis. This church was built by the Franciscans. From here we walked across the Ponte Vecchio (old bridge). This is lined with small jewelry shops that have belonged to the goldsmiths since the fourteenth century.
Saturday, September 17. This morning we went to the Church of Santa Maria Novella to see the frescoes in the choir by Gherlandaja. These are scenes from the life of the Virgin. We went into the cloisters, which are lovely, and out of which opens the Spanish chapel, with its frescoes showing the doctrine of the great Dominican teacher, Thomas Aquinas. The fresco on the right represents the Church Militant and the Church Triumphant. The heretics are shown as wolves hunted by the Dominicans, shown as black and white dogs. (The Dominicans were called the black and white hounds of the Lord.)
We went from here to the Church San Lorenzo. In the old sacristy we saw a frieze by Donatello; also a terra cotta bust of St. Lawrence. The new sacristy was built by Michael Angelo for the Cardinal De Medici as the family mausoleum. In here are the tombs of Giluliano de Medici, with its two beautiful figures of Day and Night; also the tomb of Lorenzo de Medici, with its figures of Evening and Dawn, all created by the cultured hand of this great artist, sculptor and architect-Michael Angelo. We saw the chapel of the princess, which is the burial chapel of the Grand Dukes of the Medici family. The decorations are most gorgeous in mosaics and colored marbles.
Leaving here, we went to the Academy of Fine Arts. Here is the magnificent statue of David by Michael Angelo, that once stood in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. We saw Botticelli's “Spring,” Fra Angelica's "Last Judgment," with its lovely bit of paradise (all of Fra Angelico's coloring are exquisitely beautiful), and “The Coronation of the Virgin,” by Perugino.
Then we went to the museum of the cathedral and saw the Singing Galleries taken from the cathedral,
one by Donatello is of dancing children; another, by Luca della Robbia, is groups of boys and girls singing and dancing. Both of these galleries are of white marble.
We went from here to the old market, where we saw lovely flowers, fancy straw hats woven by the women and children. The men were also working at them here in the market. Then we went to the Bargetto, once the residence of the chief magistrate of Florence. It is now a museum. It has a picturesque court with colonnades and a fine flight of steps. We saw here the statue of St. George by Donatello, a bas relief head of St. Cecelia and a fine bronze statue of Mercury by John of Bologna.
As we returned to our hotel we stopped at the old Church Ognissanti. It is quite close to the hotel. Americus Vespucius and his family are buried here under a marble slab in the pavement. This is a quaint and very old church. I would like much to have remained longer in Florence and to have seen more of the picture galleries, but my time is limited and tomorrow we resume our trip.
Sunday, September 18. We left here at 9:30. It was raining, but cleared before noon. The ride was interesting, though Italy is a desolate country. It is improving, however, and signs of prosperity are seen almost everywhere we go. We stopped for lunch at Arezzo, Hotel d'Angleterre, very poor in every sense. While waiting to be served, two American ladies came in. Evidently they were motoring.