Another day of touring.  This city really can keep you busy – there is so much to see!  There are a list of museums and palazzo’s that are on our Ufizzi pass that we want to get done before the end of the year so we had three site’s that were open today.  Very close to our apartment and as we walk into the downtown is this church called Ognissanti.  It is not open very often so we had to go today.  It was originally founded as a monastery in 1249 with the church constructed in 1250.  Both Botticelli and Domenico Ghirlandaio worked at this church.  The facade is nothing much and then you open the door and walk in a and it is unbelievable!  Botticelli was buried here and in the monks supper room off of the cloister Ghirlandaio painted his Last Supper (before Da Vinci’s).  We went from there into the downtown area to a place we have walked by numerous times in our month and a half here and never really noticed it.  The facades all look the same when things are closed.  They pull down the metal doors and it is hard to tell there is something there worth looking at.  This place we went today is the Palazzo Davanzati.  It is a five-story, late-medieval tower house which gives you a rare look at a noble dwelling in  the 14th century.  It was pretty interesting.  After we went through the first three floors (we had to make an appointment to see the top two for after Christmas) we walked over to the Medici-Riccardi Palace a block from the Duomo.  Bruce and I are both reading about the 300 years of Medici rule/influence here in Florence and we are at the part where Cosimo the Elder lived in this magnificent palace that he built.  At the time the local politicians of the day were very upset that he built something this grand.  Besides the immediate family, the palace also hosted many famous Florentines: teenage Michelangelo, who lived almost as an adopted son; Leonardo da Vinci, and Botticelli, and the Medici pope Leo X was raised here.  The family in some part lived here until it was sold to the Riccardi family who expanded it in the 1700’s.  This palace was considered the first and best example of Renaissance architecture as applied to palaces.  I added some pictures of Christmas downtown when Bruce and I went down tonight to hear a concert by the Orchestra da Camera Nuova Europa.  It advertised Christmas concert but it was Mozart, Vivaldi and Corelli.  We enjoyed it anyway.

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