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Monday, March 26, 2012

Florence Three Hour Walking Tour

I talked my husband into a three hour walking tour of Florence.  I was in tears of gratefulness as the guide talked endlessly of medieval history.  She was British and studied Italian Literature in college.  When she came to Florence fourteen years ago she fell in love with the city and a handsome Italian.  Her insight to the every day life of the 15th century was fascinating.  It was very stylish to pluck your eyelashes and bleach your hair blonde as a sign of beauty.  Children were treated as young adults.    Children never played in the street as we know today. They dressed in adult like clothes and it was expected for them to be quiet.   Young girls married at the ages between twelve and sixteen. Women were very restricted and did not have the freedom to just leave the house if they wanted.  High heels were invented as protection from yucky things on the street due to horses and the like.  The tradition of walking before a lady was because sometimes garbage was thrown out of the windows.  It made me feel blessed we have garbage men to come and pick up our trash once a week.



The Ponte Vecchio Bridge was a place for merchants to sell meats and and hides.  The urnine from a horse was used to tan the hides and make them soft.  In 1580 a law was passed forbidding the selling of meat but replacing it with only silver and gold items.  It made the bridge a lot more pleasant to pass.  We saw beautiful fresco's on the tour.  We learned powder pigments of color were applied to wet plaster and the dark blue oxidized.  We saw statues of Saints.

  You can tell who they are by what they are holding in their hand.  The Saint was Mark an evangelist because he was holding a book in this hand.

My husbands feet might have been tired but he admitted he was fascinated with her interesting details.  She talked for three hours straight just to stop to take a breathe and a ten minute coffee break.  We hit gold when we discovered the tour.  

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