Walking around the World – Grazie mille Firenze…

 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..

Medici gardens

The Medici gardens – only a small part of it

piazza della Liberta

Piazza della Liberta – It was fun to walk across everyday on my way to the historic center

Piazza Signoria

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

View from the Arno in Florence

 

Across the Arno were these gorgeous apartments and hotels, you can stand for hours taking it all in.

Ponte vecchio

 

The Arno River

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.

Stationary made in Florence

All stationary at this store is handmade by the family who has owned it since the 1820s.

Bread - Florence for blog 2

 

Bread, bread and more bread.

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10 thoughts on “Walking around the World – Grazie mille Firenze…

  1. I was there a few years ago and it is truly beautiful. Your pictures do it justice. It was the best part of my 16-day tour of Europe. I wish I’d seen that stationery story, though. Love the fact that it’s been run by one family for so long.

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    • Thank you Monica, as much as I loved Greece and Rome, it was Florence, Lucca and Fiesole that I loved the most. My love for the city is second only to Seville. 🙂 Oh the stationary stores are lovely. I went a little crazy. This particular one was gorgeous, expensive and truly original. I researched a lot of historical places like that before I left and wanted to see those as well.

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  2. I didn’t get to see as much of Florence as I would have liked (I got sick and all that) but we stayed within a short walk of the Duomo and that was a delight. Such *pretty* colors — greens and pinks, who would’ve thought? I didn’t get to go inside, though, did you?
    Thanks for these photos. The ones I do have are more of Pisa which has similarly gorgeous views of the Arno and its riverbanks. 🙂

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    • Isn’t it just gorgeous Tita? I will never get over the colors and how they seem to blend magically and seamlessly into what is the true essence of Florence. Pisa and Sienna are on my list for next time, as well as Cortona and the Amalfi Coast. No, I didn’t go inside the Duomo either, the lines were too long and I didn’t think my girls( who were so good throughout our holiday 🙂 )would survive, didn’t want to jinx the good behavior you see.

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  3. Shamitri, Your description is fabulous and your photos have me longing for the streets and sights of my favorite city, Firenze.

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  4. Lovely written words that describe your trip and also the photos. I have travelled to quite a few places, but most of my ‘pictorial memories’ are now on DVD and not through stills. 😦 Sadly I have not been to Florence (though my daughters went to Italy to watch their dad remarry at Lake Como). Yes I was jealous.
    My travelling has led me to – New Caledonia, Thailand (Phuket, Bangkok,Koh Samui). Bali. Vietnam. Top to tale of the UK. France. Spain. Ireland/ Scotland and the Czech Republic. Oh and Queensland and NSW 🙂
    Feel free to ask about any of those places if you haven’t ventured. 🙂

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    • Lake Como is supposed to be stunning. I wish you another trip to Italy, so you can record it for yourself. I don’t think the time I spent in Florence was nearly enough to cover all of its beauty. It requires another trip.. sigh. Where else have you visited? we have talked about Barcelona next… I hope it is soon 🙂

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