Florence Trip Report

Aeladh Bradley Brady, Form V, reports on the Art History trip to Florence at the end of January.

The senior art and culture trip this year say us travel to beautiful Florence, Italy to immerse ourselves in the culture and to see the art we have been studying in class. We took an early flight on Friday morning the 26th of January and arrived at our Bonifacio hotel later that day. We unpacked, settled into our rooms and then went to the San Marco Restaurant for a three course evening meal. (The tomato pasta dish was absolutely delicious.) After we sat, ate and caught up with each other we were brought to see the Duomo for the first time. The Duomo was absolutely beautiful, the sheer size and detail that went into the building of the cathedral was breathtaking. The detailing on the doors in particular caught my eye. I was amazed at how someone could create such a technically detailed piece of art.

On our second day we got up at around 7:30 am for breakfast. We were greeted by a spread of delicious pastries, cold meats, bread, cereal and fruits. After our breakfast we got ready for the day and collected our sketchbooks to go on our way to the Galleria Dell’Accademia. The gallery was full of people from all around the world who had come to see pieces like the sculpture of David and the numerous collections of paintings and sculptures. I was taken aback by the realistic aspects of the sculpture of David by Michelangelo. The musculature and veins were particularly impressive. My favourite part of the tour was the sculpture room. Numerous sculptures of men, women, young boys and girls were littered throughout the expanse of the room. It was very interesting to see the process of how they would have been made on a video also. I really enjoyed my time in the Galleria Dell’Accademia.

After this we went to visit the Piazzale Degli Uffizi. We saw paintings by Giotto, Cimabue, Botticelli, Leonardo Da Vinci, Raffaello, Michelangelo, Titian and Caravaggio. We saw paintings we had studied by Giotto and Cimabue, both their renditions of Madonna enthroned. The sheer size of the paintings were incredible. We went around the town to find somewhere to eat.

Myself and some of the other fifth years went to get pizza. It was so delicious. Possibly the best pizza I have ever had. After lunch we went to the museum of the Medici Chapel. The Medici’s were a patron family who sponsored the artists and commissioned some paintings. In some cases they even paid to be in some of the paintings. Many students were drawing in their sketchbooks during our visit here as they were rightly very impressed by the architectural style and beauty of the chapel. That evening we went to the Hard Rock Cafe. There was a large selection of meals on offer from burgers to Caesar salad. All were thoroughly enjoyed. We were allocated free time. We went around and admired the architecture and tried some deserts such as tiramisu and macarons. Later on in the evening when we all met back at the carousel a man was playing the accordion. Soon a dance had begun in the square started by two fifth form pupils and many other pupils on the trip and locals joined the conga line.

Day three we went to the Pitti Palace (Galleria Palatina) and the Boboli Gardens. It was a lovely warm, sunny day so walking around the gardens was very relaxing. We soon after walked over the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest of Florence’s six bridges. It is one of the city’s most famous images. The shops housed under the porticos first belonged to the Commune. Towards the 15th century, they were sold to private owners and they began to develop them further structurally.

That night for our final dinner out we went to the Vecchia Firenze Restaurant for our final three course evening meal. We had a lovely pesto pasta, chicken and also an ice cream dessert. We then headed back to the hotel for an early night as we were going on an early flight back to Dublin.

I would like to thank Ms Murphy for organising the trip and I’d like to thank Ms. Cullen and Mr Finn for the amazing trip also. We all had an excellent and unforgettable time and made many new special memories in Florence.