Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Florence, Italy - Places Worth Exploring


Two days in Rome flew by just like that, leaving was quite sentimental because there are still many other places to visit, but I guess, rather impossible to do so. However, upon setting foot at Central Florence, I had no regrets. Another stunning beauty I found out as we went from one place to the other.     

Piazzale Michelangelo 
Since I didn't carry a sweater and wore slippers for the comfort of walking, I struggled with sightseeing in the freezing morning. Actually, I didn't expect the weather to be cold during summer. If not for the shawl, I would have frozen apart. I then walked from across the road and into Piazzale Michelangelo - a square dedicated to renowned Michelangelo and designed in 1869 by Florentine architect Giuseppe Poggi for the panoramic views of Florence and the Arno valley.

This piazza sits atop a hill above Oltrarno neighborhood and on the opposite side of the river across the Duomo. Here it is the magnificent backdrop of Tuscan countryside that stretches towards the Tuscan villas, the olive trees and the rambling city wall all the way to Porta Romana. Also, picturing is a must and before I left, I bought a few pieces of the handmade accessories from the lady vendor. Not cheap but I didn't mind as remembrance and to add to my collection. 







Piazza Della Signoria  
We then walked quite a distance to arrive at Piazza Della Signoria  - an elegant square built at the end of the thirteenth century as a symmetrical contrast to the city's religious centre. This piazza is one of Florence's landmarks that hold all cities glorious symbols and has been at the heart of Florence politics. Dominated by the fourteenth century, Piazza della signoria with its high crenellated tower is surrounded by other significant structures - the Loggia della Signoria and Palazzo degli Uffizi on the south side, the sixteenth century Palazzo degli Uguccioni on the north side and the Palazzo del Tribunale di Mercanzia(about 1359) on the east side.

This piazza is also a cultural center with a unique outdoor sculpture gallery. In front of the piazza is the replica statue of Michelangelo's David, while the real one is housed at Gallery Del la Academia. At the side entrance, there's the 16th century sculpture of the legendary hero Hercules and Cactus. Other attractions are the “Neptune’s Fountain", carved out of marble and bronze, the bronze equestrian and the statue of Duke Cosimo 1 who lived here between 1540 and 1565. 






Lunch was then at one of the Italian restaurants, sadly I wasn't pleased but eating was essential to fuel the body with energy to arrive at Baptistery of St John. 

Baptistery of St.John
One of the oldest buildings in the city and constructed between 1059 and 1128 in the Florentine Romanesque style, this Baptistery named after St. John the Baptist (San Giovanni Battista) has an octagonal plan and is covered by a dome with eight wedges. The construction of the building began around the fourth century on the ruins of a Roman house. The structure was rebuilt several time and in the following decades, the marble covering, the floor of inlaid marble and the dome were completed. The outer cladding is made of white Carrara marble and green Prato marble to create the three horizontal bands decorated with geometric panels and round arches. This Baptistery is also renowned for its three sets of artistic bronze doors with relief sculptures including the Gate of Heaven that features a modern and vital sculpture and now, this baptistery is a symbol of Florentine Renaissance

Ponte Vecchio 
Thereafter, we walked to the Baptistery Ponte Vecchio - the oldest of Florence's six bridges and one of the city's most iconic sights. Here we viewed the Arno River and the unique, historical and special bridge with its Medieval arch, and the houses with an extension hanging supported with long wooden shores over the river. Today, these houses are used as shops selling a wide assortment of jewelry, ranging from affordable modern jewels to pricey antiques, a traditional still continued since the middle ages.  



By evening, the sightseeing curtains at Florence were drawn while I looked forward to the next day's visit to Venice.  


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21 comments:

  1. Wow places Nava loved your clicks and post dear :D

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  2. Amazing travelogue with stunning pics

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  3. Wow!Beautiful sculptures and buildings.

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  4. Looks like a great place to visit.. you explained it so beautfilly that I just want to pack my bags and go there..:)

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  5. Last year I was there.. lovely place.. nice write up

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  6. Simply beautiful! Loved the panoramic views and the sculptures!

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  7. Beautiful pics and write up wish you posted the series in a row so I would get continuity.

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  8. I had been to Italy last year.. We enjoyed more at Venice, as there the public transport was through waterways, hence the best.. But as you said the view from Florence City was awesome.. I took many clicks there.. Loved the ancient sculptures in the city.. To talk about Rome.. it is a city which to explore fully we need 7-8 days, but we were there just for 2 days like you guys.. We had days full eating out Italian thin crust pizzas for which they are very famous.. Also we tried a restaurant (Indian) Haveli at Florence, which was just awesome I must say! We had a 6-7 days tour to Italy! Memorable trip indeed.. :) All your clicks are awesome and a good write up!.. :)

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  9. I have been to Italy 5 years ago.. Nice clicks and love your write up .. Now I am searching for my Italy trip photos..

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  10. What a beautiful trip with such amazing places to see! I have plans to visit Italy since ages but it gets difficult with two small kids. Maybe soon. Esepecially after looking at your pictures, I have to plan something soon:-)

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  11. I have yet got the chance to travel to Italy but really would love to...some day. Your pictures are lovely. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. Looking forward to seeing your Venice post! And making a trip of my own too:D

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  13. I'm thinking of a trip to London, then off to somewhere else. This will come as a good reference :)

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  14. The good thing of joining tour is that tour guide will tell u about the place.

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  15. We are planing to go to Italy in 2015 I hope i can make it :) thanks for sharing this, I'm still cheking around where we go, beautiful pictures Nava !

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  16. A wonderful travelogue and the clicks are lovely.

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  17. Florence is a magical city, I simply adore the photos :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  18. I have been in italy last yr..we went to Rome..wonderful place..
    Great clicks navneet

    my recent one :http://www.vanitynoapologies.com/2013/09/wet-n-wild-mega-last-lip-color-mauve-outta-swatches-review.html

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  19. When i went to Spain, i had this experience of the humans dressed as statues... So much art people do ( other than to earn some bucks :)) Nice pics. I agree, Italian food is a little bland, but i love that it's loaded with cream and cheese :)

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