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Simon in Firenze (Florence)

Having enjoyed a Page & Moy Christmas in The Dolomites in 1998 I decided to try something similar in 2000

The highlight of the 1998 trip was a visit to Venice, and this year had comparable places to visit; FIRENZE was the place we spent our final day.

There is so much to see in Firenze that it is impossible to take in very much at all in a visit lasting about 6hours.  But with a bit of organisation and information I was able to run around a great many places, which I shall share with you below.

PONTE VECCHIO - One of just a handful or habitable bridges left anywahere in the world.  Home to jewellers shops, the "old bridge" is a visual delight spanning the River Arno in a way that even the masters of Victorian engineering could not equal.

SANTA MARIA NOVELLA - One of the many churches that I had studied on Open University studies.  Time was short, however, so elected to visit it for one reason only; Massaccio's "la Trinita" a fresco on the walls.  Sadly this wonderful early renaissance work was scaffolded out of view for reasons of restoration. Better luck awaited me at Christmas 2003 when I revisited Firenze (from Gavinana) and stood before La Trinita in all its restored glory.

BASILICA DI SAN LORENZO - A masterpiece by the architect Brunelleschi (who also built the dome on the Duomo).  I studied this delight on my OU course. 
Walk past San Lorenzo and you will be disgusted by its unprepossessing, not to say shabby, exterior;  Italian churches often ran out of money before they got around to cladding the outside.  But walk into San Lorenzo and you will marvel at the serenity and elegance of the most restrained and simple design of geometric derived arches and domes.  No fussy pinnacles from gothic, no over decorated pre-Renaissance designs, and certainly not the over gilding of the lily a la Baroque.  This is pure. 

FLORENCE CATHEDRAL - Also known as the Duomo, or Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, this is one of the largest religious structures in Europe.  Its fabulous Dome was a crown created by the master architect Brunelleschi, and was the largest dome built at that time, and few built since have matched it.  The church itself is full of interest and art both inside and out.  It is accompanied by the octagonal Baptistery with its marvellous bronze panelled doors attributed to Ghiberti and Pisano, and Giotto's Campanile which affords fabulous Florentine views if you can be bothered to climb its 414 steps.

There are many other places to see in Florence, and I have raided the internet to bring you pictures by Massaccio (CAPPELLA BRANCACCI), Fra Angelico (CONVENTO DI SAN MARCO) and Michelangelo (L'ACADEMIE).  These places do not allow people to photograph inside, rightly so, and I have therefore been forced to borrow from those who did manage to fire off their cameras.

So that was my 2000 visit, but in 2003 I had another opportunity to visit fabulous Firenze, and managed a much calmer tour around, and a chance to retake some of the photos in bright sunlight.  Enjoy.

click pictures to go to photos of that location


Click here for pictures of PONTE VECCHIO
Ponte Vecchio
Click here for pictures of SANTA MARIA NOVELLA 
Santa Maria Novella
Click here for Pictures of SAN LORENZO
San Lorenzo
Click here for pictures of FLORENCE CATHEDRAL
Florence Cathedral
Click here for VIEWS of Florence
Views of Florence
Click here to view WORKS OF ART
Art of Tuscany
For even more pictures To main Web Site

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