I am excited to report I have found a café near my hotel who serves adequate chocolate croissants – ok they are better than adequate, they are effing GREAT! They have nearly the same amount of butter that their French counterparts do AND they are filled with chocolate cream! Served with a café latte, it is a superb way to get the blood moving in the morning. Considering I woke up this morning and my booty was S-O-R-E, I decided that I would take things easy for the next couple of days! Holy Cinque Terre, Batman, maybe five villages in one day is a bit much for this Segnora. I thought I would keep things easy this afternoon since I was planning on meeting Claudio at around 1pm to get some lunch. So, I sat at this lovely little café and wrote all morning (pure heaven, really, I must win the lottery and soon). Close to one, I packed things up and walked to his work, but he wasn’t there, so I called him and he said he couldn’t talk now because he was working. Ooooohhhhh reeeeeallllly?? Interesting……you sir, are full of shit, so I took myself over to get some pizza instead.
As I wound my way through the streets, I came to a corner that had two pizza places to choose from – quite honestly, there were probably 20 more on that particular road to choose from, but I decided to stop at the corner. I looked at one and then the other, and when in doubt, head left, so I went left (I am not really sure why left, instead of right other than most people choose right and I just have to be a rebel and a go left GAWD). Guess where that little streak of orneriness got me? Square in front of the OTHER restaurant that Claudio works at! I was taking a gander at the menu when he walked out of the shop and said “Oh hi!” I think I fell backwards ten feet so that I could eat a healthy sized crow. I guess some people do actually tell the truth and I need to stop being so cynical ALL of the time, you see, his English was too bad to explain that they called him in on his day off. Luckily, they don’t have take away (as they call it here) pizza and I wanted to sit in the piazza to people watch while I ate and wait for my embarrassment to pass. Touché, Universe…..ToooShay!
So I walked across the street and ordered up a big fat slice of prosciutto and cheese take-away pizza, then went to sit in the piazza so that I could get stalked by the pigeons. When I refused to hand over my delicious pile of dough, melted cheese and ham, one of them actually tried to poop on me! Bastardo! Not wanting the risk of any pigeon poo landing on my pizza, I quickly shoved the rest of it in my mouth and went to visit …… what? (you have a 50/50 shot here of getting it right) A Museum, yes!
The Museo Delle Cappelle Medici is actually part of a church (so you would have been right if you guessed either way) and was designed by Michelangelo. The Medici Family were big supporters of the arts and sciences in Florence, hence why it became the cultural mecca that it has, so when the last in a very long line of heirs died in the 17th century she bequeathed all of the Medici collection to the city of Florence. However, the Medici family is best known in history for the diplomatic role they played in restoring Henry IV status to the Catholic Church (I think it helped that one of the Dukes from the family was Leo X brother – it is never what you know, but WHO you know that matters).
Anyway, the museum houses much of the elaborate and gaudy artwork that the family collected over the years. More importantly, it holds the tombs of all of the family members, including the five giant, most ostentatious tombs I have ever seen – I am pretty sure they won the “he who dies and gets buried in the biggest, most expensive and elaborate tomb possible, gets to play poker and hang out with the Big Guy upstairs” contest and they made sure that they were going to win that annual bidding contest for the next thousand years too. Holy Mother of Mary – I wish they had allowed me to take pictures, but alas no foto allowed. Suffice to say, each one was 3 stories tall, and about 15 feet wide, completely sculpted in marble of various colors, topped with a bedazzled crown the size of Chris Farley’s waist, then a sculpture of each duke was placed in the inset above that. Of course, three of the sculptures are missing and probably somewhere in Russia on the black market, but above each sculpture the family crest is displayed (which now explains why I have seen the same crest on many of the street corners in the city – kind of makes the efforts of taggers to “claim” their part of the ‘hood with some lame ass spray paint look really pathetic now – guess what? This is the Medici house, beeeyatch!).
I was so dizzy from looking at these monstrous pieces that I about fell down the stairs into a group of Japanese tourists who were gawking at the other tombs in the family crypt, sculpted by Michelangelo. Well, at least most of them were anyway….he did as much as he could before he definitively left for Rome in 1534 – now, how do you just leave a bunch of graves unfinished that you were paid for and up and go to Rome? Asino! And how can you tell? Well the sketches he left on some of the walls for one and for another, the frickin’ MADONNA WITH CHILD is missing her foot! I am going to go out on a limb here too and say that Michelangelo may have been gay, because he can’t sculpt a woman’s breast to save his life, yet he makes every man’s ass he sculpts perfect. Instead, these poor women have been eulogized with what appears to be a botched plastic surgery job in need of serious repair and quickly! AAAAAAAAAaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh! Get me out of here!
As I rushed out, I darted right went around the corner to the San Lorenzo Basilica. They were really excited to have the remains of some dude named Don Carlo Gnocchi Beato on display for three days only! I opted out. And I think it may be time for me to take a break from churches for the next several days…..