Florence is truly a most glorious city, abundant in beauty, art and history. She is Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Donatello, and Botticelli’s Primavera. She is the heart of Renaissance, her most famous medieval city, Sienna, was home to Shakespeare’s now famous Romeo and Giulietta, originally written by an Italian in the 15th century – Yes!! it’s true. Her biggest patrons – the Medicis, with their vast amounts of wealth and influence, not only ruled Florence, but controlled her heavily charged political scene for thousands of years. They own most of the works of art housed at the Uffizi and aren’t we a lucky bunch? they worked really hard( for their own reasons) to preserve those works that millions of tourists flock to, throughout the year. I read recently that they were also patrons of Galileo and even had him tutor their children for at least two generations, then in turn, he named Jupiter’s four large moons after them – can you imagine the power of these people? I don’t know if I would like to be called Callisto ( although as a nymph of Artemis, she was gorgeous) or Ganymede but it is an interesting fact. Whilst there are copious examples of Renaissance influenced novels today and I admit I have purchased at least six, for they are brilliantly written of course, yet, I found the stunningly detailed writings of Frances Mayes about her new home ‘Bramasole’ in blissful Cortona, my favorite go-to book on all things Tuscany. Um, I really don’t want to bore you with too many details and feel a bit verbose for doing so, it’s just that I have wanted to visit Firenze for years ( sorry, I like to pronounce her name the way the Italians do) and to see it come alive every day, was just brilliant. I awoke at sun rise and watched it color the city a pale orange, I walked everywhere, every street, until I literally couldn’t feel my feet. I celebrated the color purple, for it is the color of Firenze and I carefully watched Botticelli’s ‘La Primavera,'( apparently commissioned by someone in the Medici family- I am not surprised) pushing past some forceful tour group leader who didn’t want anyone in her spot, so I could absorb every detail of Spring’s most famous allegory and recall all of it when I came back home. I will return someday. For now, her memory is imprinted within me. I hope you enjoy her and for those of you who have been, here’s to many more of visits..
The Medici gardens – only a small part of it
Piazza della Liberta – It was fun to walk across everyday on my way to the historic center
This fountain of Neptune by the Piazza della Signoria is beautiful. I’ve seen one in Madrid, but this seems to have more significance. The people of Florence were known to dominate the seas, as such, Neptune was constructed to protect many sea-faring merchants and soldiers.
Across the Arno were these gorgeous apartments and hotels, you can stand for hours taking it all in.
A view of the Arno from the Oltrarno( means beyond the Arno) district, with its artisan shops and restaurants, it is truly the core of Florence.
All stationary at this store is handmade by the family who has owned it since the 1820s.
Bread, bread and more bread.