We are quickly drawing to a close with our posts about Italy (about time right?) but we've still got one or two left.
While wandering around looking for a site we had apparently already been to (Santa Maria Novella) we found the Mercato Centrale and decided to explore inside. They had all sorts of stalls selling a really wide variety of food stuffs including many meat stalls. There was also a huge outdoor tent set up outside where a lot of the produce was sold.
A stall inside selling dried fruit! We both love dried fruit, especially pineapple so we got a few different types. Coconut and pineapple were great, while kiwi and strawberry were kind of strange. In the outdoor tent, we managed to buy a few nutmeg nuts to take back with us because it isn't sold anywhere (that we can find it) in Saudi. This was quite an adventure since we didn't speak italian and the little old lady didn't speak english, but it worked out in the end.
After exploring the market and eating tasty snacks, we walked to the Macchine di Leonardo, a great little museum all about Leonardo da Vinci. They were playing a History Channel documentary about him and the museum attendant started it at the beginning just for us. We watched for over an hour before we got tired and wanted to see all the cool displays. It turns out he had a pretty interesting life.
Water wheels and cool triangle spheres were only some of the awesome displays.
This clock is cool because it uses swinging weights to turn the gears for the clock. The weight wraps around the two poles at the top and the back and forth motion moves the clock. Check out this youtube video for a better idea of how it works.
Water wheels to move water. Everything was assembled using these ropes or big metal staples, but I'm not sure if those are accurate or if it just looks cool.
This was cool because as you crank the handle (not shown) the tube spins and moves water from the bottom basin and deposits it into the top basin. This was used a lot to move river water apparently.
Robot drum player! By cranking the handle at the waist, the pulleys moved the string so that the sticks beat against the drum head.
After many hours at the museum, we decided to walk back to the Duomo and go inside, since we only went inside the Campanile before.
I totally want this 24 hour clock. I can just snatch that up right? Plus, did you notice that it ticks just like a backwards clock! Double bonus.
Interior of the Duomo.
Looking up into the dome.
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