Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Venice to Florence

Today we ventured out to a cool costume museum in Venice. The building itself was quite pretty with painted ceilings and other beautiful detailing. The first room had a temporary exhibit with small art pieces made from natural materials, many of which could be used to make clothing. Some of these were pretty spectacular.

The clothing was awesome. The museum contained both men`s and women`s clothing. The dresses had the typical corset and large hips shape. The details on the clothing was immaculate. Think of the hours and skill that would go into these one-of-a-kind pieces and the sewing or details was likely all done by hand. There was an entire room filled with men`s vests and they all again had very fine embroided details. Just beautiful!

The museum also contained a section on perfume manufacture during the same time period as the clothing. I really enjoyed this part as I am starting to play around with making perfumes in my own home lab. If only my lab could look as pretty at this one! Mine is still a pretty great lab, but I just LOVE the wood. 

They must have had thousands of dollars worth of essential oils, musks, and other fragrances in the museum that you could smell. It will probably be the only time I ever get to smell real musk, Sandalwood, and rose essential oils as they are either endangered or prohibitively expensive.

After the museum, we stopped for a cappuccino and a quick break to rest our tired feet and backs. Then walked around the Rialto bridge and did some browsing and shopping. We bought a cool mask from La Bottega dei Mascareri, which is a tiny shop run by a pair of brothers located at the bottom of the Rialto bridge. They make top quality Venician masks by hand. Their masks have been in many movies and in famous Shakesphere festivials.

For lunch, we found a really good stand up pizza and calzone type sandwich shop and then it was back to the hotel to get our bags and make our way back to the train station for our trip to Florence.

It felt almost like a culture shock to go from quiet, car-free Venice to the bustling city of Florence. We were greeted with a traffic jam and lots of horns. We made our way to the Airbnb apartment we rented for our first two nights in Florence. It was a cute little two floored apartment in the historic center.

We then went out to the Farmacia di Santa Maria Novella perfume shop. It is a convent that is famous for its production of perfumes, herbal medicines, and body care products. It was a beautiful shop, but very crowded and pretty pricey, so we did not buy anything.

For dinner we went to a Trattoria across the street from our apartment. It was an establishment that caters to locals with cheap, excellent food. 

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