Last day in Rome, bitter sweet, but I was ready to continue on my adventure to Florence! Last few hours in Rome were in search of souvenirs for my family, friends, and myself. I got a good amount of goodies but didn't want to spend all my euro when Florence and Venice has yet to come! Once that was done, our group headed out on a train for two hours but good opportunity to chill, sketch, talk, and look through my tour book (translation too while I was at it).
Just arrived and not too far from our hotel is the Duomo! Just amazing! I'm enjoying everything Florence has already, I even feel like it has more of a laid back atmosphere as opposed to Rome and strangely not nearly as many beggars. The people of Florence seem to be more hospitable too. It's interesting to see the similarities and differences of different places in Italy. Aside from that side note, one of the first artworks I see is the Mosaics of the Baptistry of the Duomo. The amount of gold leaf is unimaginable but made a overall amazing piece. The story behind it is Jesus is the main focal point with presenting a thumbs up and a thumbs down. The thumbs up is in the directions of those who will be saved while the opposing side with the thumbs down will be those who will perish in hell. Afterwards, I made it in time to see inside the Duomo. What was interesting was there was a live service going on the other side of the Duomo. How inspiring to have a church service surrounded by Renaissance artwork where many others hundreds of years back did the same exact thing.
Another artwork that I wanted to see was bronze doors, The Gates of Paradise, by Ghiberti. The door is almost three-dimensional so it is very effective displaying depth. It took Ghiberti 27 years to create and was able to win the Arte di Calimala (Cloth Importers Guild) competition. One of the competitors he defeated was Brunelleschi himself that ranked as runner up in the contest.
Once it was freetime, Lindsay, Caitilyn, Bailey, and myself went down to one of the bridges in Florence. Can this place get anymore beautiful? The sun was going down as we sat on the bridge taking photos and watching the boats go by. It made me want to live there so bad! If only my family and other friends were there too I could live happily.