Sunday, December 9, 2012


Florence was the city that, aside from Rome, I got to know the best during my time here. I visited on four separate occasions and I am so glad I did - the city is much more medieval than Rome is and much smaller. it's completely navigable on foot and it's the place where the Renaissance was born. I would have loved to live in Florence, even though it is small. here's what I saw in Florence.

Piazza della Repubblica: lots of cafes and shopping not pictured. on the other side of the arch is the old city center of Florence and the Arno

Arno River: really beautiful river with several bridges you can cross. 

Santa Croce. contains the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli. there's some great pieces by Giotto inside too. 

Tomb of Michelangelo, self explanatory. 

Orsanmichele. Orsanmichele is a great museum and church, and the exterior of the museum is beautiful. plus its right in the middle of a busy shopping and restaurant street. 

I Fratellini, a great sandwich shop near Orsanmichele. some people say it's overrated, others say it's the best panino in Florence: I'm more in the second camp. I've always enjoyed the sandwiches I got there!

Bargello Gallery. contains LOTS of stunning pieces of sculpture, including Michelangelo's Bacchus and Donatello's David.

Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, this is the Florentine Pieta/Deposition by Michelangelo. 

The original Doors to Paradise by Ghiberti, also in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo.

Santissima Annunciata. beautiful, beautiful church.

I hiked up to the top of the Duomo! I got really dizzy coming down and was definitely huffing and puffing.

but it was all worth it to get a closer look at the Last Judgment on the dome, this one by Vasari and Zucchero. it's a shame it's so hard to see from the ground level.

so high up!

even with the clouds, Florence is beautiful

Piazza della Signorina. this building is the Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall of Florence. just to the right of this photograph is the Uffizi.

Replica of Michelangelo's David, Bandinelli's Hercules and Cacus, and Cellini's Perseus and Medusa (one of my favorites). 

If you're ever in Italy don't leave without seeing Florence! It can be done in a day or two and is my favorite place in Italy. Tuscan food is delicious and of course, the leather markets here are famous. I saw other places besides the ones pictured, of course: San Marco is beautiful and has the famous Annunciation by Fra Angelico, the Uffizi gallery was one of my favorite museums I saw, Casa Buonarroti is small but lovely, Accademia has not only the David but also Michelangelo's unfinished Apostles, Santa Maria Novella which houses works by just about every famous painter of the period you can think of (Masaccio, Botticelli, Lippi, Bronzino, Pisano, Ghiberti, Duccio, Vasari, etc), and of course a fair amount of clothing shops and restaurants. If I were to go again I'd want to go the Boboli gardens, the Pitti Palace, and the Piazza di Michelangelo which is a little outside the city but has the best view of Florence.

mi mancherai, Firenze! alla prossima volta.

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