Sunday, April 13, 2014

Florence, a "ROOM WITH A VIEW"

A view of Florence from our living room.  
Enlarge and you can see the Duomo!
One of the special aspects of Europe is their desire to keep its beauty intact. They don't tear down and build new, they restore and renovate. H&M store?  Fine,  but keep the exteriors the same. Real beauty never gets old, classic style and architecture can exist forever.
Florence has kept so much of its character you see it in the buildings, the Arno river and it's bridges, Pitti Palace and Boboli gardens, the Uffizzi Gallery, Palace Vecchio and so many churches and landmarks that you can imagine (just block out the thousands of school tours) what if felt like to be young Michelangelo playing futbol in San Marcos Piazza...ok that's a stretch...but it is very cool.  Grazie Lorenzo Medici and the good people of Florence for keeping the timeless view of a beautiful city.

We have been in Florence for a week now -  it's true, "...when one visits Florence - you should have a room with a view"  (From the 1985 Academy Award movie A Room with a View).  
This post is just to let you know we arrived to this beautiful city and the views from every corner are spectacular:

The view entering Florence from Porto Romana.  
This gateway built in the 14th century with the original iron doors (you can't see in my picture) is what we walk through on our daily journey into Florence. The marble sculpture is of 2 women by Pistoletto - the vertical woman is pointing towards Rome, and the other woman placed on the head of the first,  looks towards the city walls entering Florence.  

View of Ponte Vecchio from the Galleria degli Uffizi.  I took the picture from a window in the museum.  For those that are Dan Brown fans - his latest book Inferno takes place in Florence -the Vasari Corridor is a covered passageway built in 1564 by Giorgio Vasari for the Medici family that connects the Pitti Palace across the Arno to the Uffizi Palace  - the corridor is about a kilometer in length that starts out near where I am - heads toward the Arno and goes across the top of the Ponte Vecchio through a church and snakes its way over the tops of houses to the Boboli gardens and exits in a couple of places in the Pitti Palace.

The Duomo or the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral - The Dome in all the famous views of Florence

View from the Palazzo Vecchio - The second Vasari corridor connects the Uffizi Palace with Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio or the Palazzo of Penises.  (I'll get close-ups in a later post)
  This is the best view of a buttocks!  (until I see David)

View of Florence from the Galleria del Costume connected to the Palazzo Pitti

View of Florence sitting on the steps of  Piazzale Michelangelo with a chocolate gelato. 
The sky makes this a perfect view!

View from the basilica San Miniato al Monte.  
Saint Miniato or Minias, the first  Christian martyr in Florence was beheaded outside the gates of Florence - Tales of the Crypt say that he picked up his head, put it back on his shoulders crossed the Arno and walked up the hill  (where this church was founded) to die.  
 I think he still haunts this place, I don't blame him with a view like this!

From Florence on Bus 7 to the scenic hills of  Fiesole.
This is where Leonardo daVinci hung out experimenting with his flying machines.

Most entertaining view of modern Florence is watching the crowds/vendors in Mercato Centrale with a glass of Chianti - Salute!  

We can feel the Renaissance taking hold.......