Warning – Photos of nude statues ahead.
We spent only one day in Florence, so we didn’t get to see as much as we would have liked. Originally we thought we might return on one of the free days at the end of the trip, but it wasn’t to be. We didn’t have time to visit the Uffizi Gallery, but we did get to the Cathedral, the Gallery of Fine Arts, and the Ponte Vecchio.
The main square in Florence is the Piazza della Signoria, an L-shaped square in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, which is not only the political hub of the city, but also an open-air museum. Buildings along the square include the Uffizi Gallery and the Loggia dei Lanzi, also called the Loggia della Signoria. The Loggia dei Lanzi isn’t so much a building as a covered patio, open on two sides to the street, which houses some beautiful and famous statues.
Click any photo for a larger view.
|The Rape of Polyxena, by Pio Fedi, and “Perseus With the Head of Medusa” by Benvenuto Cellini||Closeup of The Rape of Polyxena||The Fountain of Neptune by Bartolomeo Ammannati|
Outside of the Loggia dei Lanzi at the entrance to the Palazzo Vecchio – the town hall of Florence – is a copy of “David”, by Michelangelo. The original is at the Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts. We did get to see the original, and it’s truly awesome, but photographs are not allowed. Oh, OK, here’s a photo of the copy sans sock:
Here’s the Ponte Vecchio, the medieval bridge which crosses the Arno. If you look closely, you’ll see people in the archways in the center, crossing the bridge. The upper part of the bridge is enclosed – that’s the small windows you see going across the bridge. In the 1500’s, the Duke of Florence had this enclosure, the Vasari Corridor, built to connect the Palazzo Pitti with the Palazzo Vecchio, so that he could move freely from the palace to the town hall without having to mix with the crowds. The bridge is lined with shops, a large number of which are jewelery shops.
The cathedral “Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore” is of course, one of the best-known landmarks in Florence, and it’s certainly a masterpiece. The white, green, and red (pink) marble used in this and other cathedrals is supposed to represent Faith (white), Hope (green), and Charity (red).
|Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore||Bell Tower||Detail of door|
|Painting inside the dome of the Last Judgement||Detail of The Last Judgement||Inside the cathedral|