Saturday, December 18, 2010

Concert at Palazzo Vecchio

Living smack in the middle of Florence's mecca of magestic cathedrals, I awake each morning to a divine, melodious symphony of chiming church bells enthusiastically beckoning me to rise. But this morning was special because as the bells resounded I knew today Florence would be at its best, covered by a mystical coat of snow, just waiting to surprise me with endless sensual delights.

This ended up being a day of unequalled splendor that could never have been planned! It started with the divine opus of church bells and concluded with a grand finale concert conducted by the master Domenico Pierini in the breathtaking Salone dei Cinquecento of the Palazzo Vecchio.

I started the day on an escapade to explore Florence's winter wonderland in my much appreciated New York snowboots, to experience this extraordinary moment of snow before it melts away. From the snowboarders gliding down the hill of Piazzale Michelangelo, to the snow-laden bridges of the Arno, the city was magnificent. I snapped uncountable photos and marveled in these fleeting moments of capturing so many precious and rare perspectives of my city.

During the day I paused in several places to warm up. First on the rooftop of Rinascente to warm my tummy with a cioccolata calda (100% pure melted hot chocolate) and later as I was passing by Palazzo Strozzi, I decided this would be the perfect time to see the Bronzino exhibit, which revealed to me another great master of Renaissance art. I then stopped at my favorite lunch place for a panino finocchiona.

After a long day of exploration and appreciation for my city, I remembered that that there was to be a concert at Palazzo Vecchio for which I had tried to get tickets several times. However, nobody, including the palace's curators knew how to get tickets! I entered the ticket office at 6:20 PM, expecting that the concert would be sold out. However, to my surprise, I was told to simply enter, no ticket was necessary...and that the concert would be starting in only 10 minutes. Lucky me! What a dramatic climax to an already perfect gift of a day!