I ought to add that, in addition to the various salons in the Uffizi, the long corridors are hung with pictures too, in chronological order, the earliest of all being to the right of the entrance door, and in the corridors there is also some admirable statuary. But the pictures here, although not the equals of those in the rooms, receive far too little attention, while the sculpture receives even less, whether the beutiful full-length athletes or the reliefs on the cisterns, several of which have riotous Dionysian processions. On the stairs, too, are some very beautiful works; while at the top, in the turnstile room, is the original of the boar which Tacca copied in bronze for the Mercato Nuovo, and just outside it are the Medici who were chiefly concerned with the formation of the collection. On the first landing, nearest the ground, is a very beautiful and youthful Bacchus. The ceilings of the Uffizi rooms and corridors also are painted, thoughtfully and dexterously, in the Pompeian manner; but there are limits to the receptive capacity of travellers’ eyes, and I must plead guilty to consistently neglecting them.
Andrea del Sarto—Fiesole sights—The Villa Palmieri and the “Decameron”—Botticini’s picture in the National Gallery—S. Francesco—The Roman amphitheatre—The Etruscan museum—A sculptor’s walk—The Badia di Fiesole—Brunelleschi again—Giovanni di San Giovanni.
After all these pictures, how about a little climbing? From so many windows in Florence, along so many streets, from so many loggias and towers, and perhaps, above all, from the Piazzale di Michelangelo, Fiesole is to be seen on her hill, with the beautiful campanile of her church in the dip between the two eminences, that very soon one comes to feel that this surely is the promised land. Florence lies so low, and the delectable mountain is so near and so alluring. But I am not sure that to dream of Fiesole as desirable, and to murmur its beautiful syllables, is not best.
Let me sit
Here by the window with your hand in mine,
And look a half-hour forth on Fiesole
—that was Andrea’s way and not an unwise one. For Fiesole at nearer view can easily disappoint. It is beautifully set on its hill and it has a fascinating past; but the journey thither on foot is very wearisome, by the electric tram vexatious and noisy, and in a horse-drawn carriage expensive and cruel; and when you are there you become once more a tourist without alleviation and are pestered by beggars, and by nice little girls who ought to know better, whose peculiar importunacy it is to thrust flowers into the hand or buttonhole without any denial. What should have been a mountain retreat from the city has become a kind of Devil’s Dyke. But if one is resolute, and, defying all, walks up to the little monastery of S. Francesco at the very top of the hill, one may rest almost undisturbed,