Thursday, April 28, 2011

ITALY - TUSCANY: FLORENCE

After travelling to Rome last year, I have come back to Italy to visit two nice areas of northern Italy: Tuscany and Lombardia. There are really lovely villages in these two provinces of Italy, as well as the beautiful city of Florence.


As with Rome, I wanted to visit Florence since I was a child. When I saw pictures of the Duomo, the Dome of Brunelleschi, El Palazzo Vecchio and El Ponte Vecchio I said to me:" hopefully in the future I can take a closer view of these masterpieces in Florence". Fortunately this time has arrived and I have enjoyed some fantastic days in Florence and Tuscany.

I spent two days in Florence, but I think that an additional day should have been necessary to enjoy this beautiful city of Tuscany more quietly. 


- Beautiful Places in Florence

  • Piazzale Michelangelo
  • San Miniato al Monte
  • Duomo Group (Duomo, Campanile, Baptistry)
  • Views from the Duomo Dome
  • Piazza della Signoria
  • Palazzo Vecchio
  • Ponte Vecchio

- Museums
  • Los Uffizzi
  • Galleria dell'Academia (David de Michelangelo)
  • Palazzo Pitti
  • Il Bargello

- Churches
  • Santa Croce
  • San Lorenzo and the Medici Chapels
  • Orsanmichele

Piazzale Michelangelo


Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence
Red flowers in Piazzale Michelangelo, one of the most lovely places in Florence. I really liked the views of the city from here

Red flowers
I really liked these red flowers in Piazzale Michelangelo


San Miniato al Monte


San Miniato al Monte in Florence
Main façade of the San Miniato al Monte church. From here the views of Florence are fantastic

Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo
View of Florence from a place close to Piazzale Michelangelo

Duomo of Florence
A closer view of the Duomo of Florence, where you can appreciate the impressive dome designed by Brunelleschi



Duomo



Duomo of Florence
Main facade of the Duomo of Florence

Dome of the Duomo of Florence
The impressive and wonderful dome of the Duomo of Florence, a masterpice of Brunelleschi

Painting on the dome of the Duomo of Florence
Painting on the dome of the Duomo of Florence

Marble floor of the Duomo of Florence
Marble floor of the Duomo of Florence. Unlike the exterior, the interior of the cathedral is quite austere excluding the floor



Campanile



Campanile from the dome of the Duomo of Florence
El Campanile from the dome of the Duomo of Florence


Views from the Duomo Dome


Florence from the Duomo Dome
In this picture taken from the Duomo Dome you can see three interesting buildings of Florence: on the left El Palazzo Vecchio; on the right at the top, El Palazzo Pitti and, on the right at the bottom, the Orsanmichele church

Florence from the Duomo Dome
Another view of El Palazzo Vecchio from the Duomo Dome

Florence from the Duomo Dome
We were lucky because the day was lovely and the views from the dome were fantastic. To avoid the queue we arrive at the duomo at 8:30am



Baptistry



Piazza del Duomo in Florence
Piazza del Duomo in Florence with the octagonal baptistry, the campanile di Giotto and the stunning dome

Gates of Paradise in Florence
A detail of the Gates of Paradise, the east pair of doors of the Florence Baptistry, as they were dubbed by Michelangelo. They are a masterpiece of Ghiberti



Piazza della Signoria


David de Michelangelo in Piazza della Signoria
Replica of el David de Michelangelo in Piazza della Signoria in front of El Palazzo Vecchio

Neptune fountain in Piazza della Signoria
Neptune fountain in Piazza della Signoria in Florence

Palazzio Vecchio in Florence
El Palazzio Vecchio and, beside it, the Uffizi

Palazzio Vecchio in Florence
Piazza della Signoria is actually Florence's public living room and outdoor sculpture gallery. Here you can see El David


Palazzo Vecchio



 Palazzio Vecchio in Florence
El Palazzo Vecchio is the most important building in La Piazza della Signoria, where the lovely Loggia on the right shelters Cellini's masterpiece Perseus and Giambologna's Rape of the Sabine Women

Palazzio Vecchio in Florence
I really liked the medieval look of El Palazzo Vecchio in Florence

Sala dei Cinquecento inside El Palazzo Vecchio of Florence
The wonderful Sala dei Cinquecento inside El Palazzo Vecchio of Florence



Ponte Vecchio



Ponte Vecchio from the Uffizi
Ponte Vecchio from the Uffizi. The shops hanging from both sides have housed gold- and silversmiths since the 16th century

Ponte Vecchio in Florence
Walking along el Ponte Vecchio. I really liked the medieval look of this bridge

Ponte Vecchio in Florence
Lovely view of el Ponte Vecchio and the Arno river in the evening

Palazzo Vecchio and Duomo at night


Palazzo Vecchio at night
Palazzo Vecchio at night

Duomo of Florence at night
Duomo of Florence at night


Florence is without any doubt the city with the most stunning buildings and masterpieces I visited in Tuscany and Lombardia, especially the Duomo and El David de Michelangelo. Its old city is lovely and preserves its medieval essence. 

The next day I visited the charming village of San Gimignano and Siena. Siena is smaller than Florence and has preserved even better its medieval look. It's really pleasant to walk along the streets of Siena and to spend a lovely afternoon in La Piazza del Campo. The Duomo of Siena is amazing and the views of the town from La Torre del Mangia of El Palazzo Vecchio are great. All in all, I liked more Siena than Florence.

You can see more pictures of the days I spent in Rome last year clicking on the next links:

Finally, other great cities I have already visited are:


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