Sunday, 8 June 2014

Beautiful Florence...and living in a palace

Today we took a three hour walking tour seeing the sights of this beautiful city. The sights were varied... we walked by many places and visited others including a visit with David (the Michelangelo one!)
As the website advertised,  the expert commentary from our guide, Paolo and a great itinerary made this whirlwind tour most 'worthwhile and unforgettable'.

We visited David and the unfinished slave statues at the Accademia Florence...and skipped the queue.

The photographs of the  statue do not give any indication of the sheer size that confronts you as you walk toward the highlighted end of the gallery.. It is seventeen foot of marble which weighs six tons. The  ceiling above David which lets in the natural light is equally spectacular.
The domed ceiling above David
 We continued on on the Florentine heat and visited the Uffizi Courtyard, the sculptures of Piazza Signoria and the Orsanmichele Church. The Palazzo Vecchio where the Medicis resided  before they moved to the Palazzo Pitti.
The guard at the Palazzo Vecchio in fifteenth century dress
It was fascinating to hear that the Medicis built a 1.7 kilometre walkway above the city for their private access from one palace to the other.
Medici walkway from palace to palace.
The original metal studded fifteenth century timber door in the Medici palace..amazing
We walked through the crowds ...Paolo told us Florence has more than ten million visitors each year...and it felt as though they were all here this week.
Lunchtime crowds around the Duomo.
 We chanced upon a wedding in the Piazza della Signoria. The wedding couple were photographed by many people in the crowd!

Duomo by day
As it was Sunday the Duomo was closed until the afternoon but  we had walked past it yesterday in the late evening. It was beautiful and we took many photographs.
Duomo by night
 After the tour we stood near the Ponte Vecchia over the Arno River and watched the locals in their Sunday leisure activities. Their beach was a lawn with rose bushes as they watched the kayak races.
Kayak races  under the Ponte Vecchio
The beach on the Arno River

A detour for lunch to Buca Poldo which had been recommended to us in Castellina. Another wonderful Italian meal with dessert and vino at lunchtime.
Buca Poldo...with Fiona, Sandie, Kristen, Bronwyn and Annie

   I trudged  home to rest for the afternoon (we walked many kilometres again today) to escape the heat as two of the others (who shall remain nameless) hit the leather shops once more.
A quick rest in the middle of the tour
Kristen and I researched the history of the apartment we are staying in. We discovered we are staying in the Palazzo Antinori Brindisi...a palace  built in the fifteenth century and renovated in the nineteenth century.
From Wikipedia...
"The facade on Via dei Serragli is very simple with twin doorways on each side and two rows of simple rectangular windows highlighted by cornices on the upper floors." The entryway to our apartment is the passageway for carriages covered by vaults lowered and decorated with statues and geometric colums in imitation stone. We overlook a beautiful garden where Poggi ...from Wikipedia..."showed all his skills, magnifying the illusion of proportion to the neo-Renaissance loggia set in an elevated position reached by a steep stone staircase.
Poggi's garden
This is our apartment described on Wikipedia and is the staircase where the girls stood for the photo in yesterday's blog.
The steps to the apartment above the old stables
The downside ...between the four of us we lugged over one hundred kilos of luggage up that staircase! And it has to go down the steps again on Wednesday!

A domani...

1 comment:

  1. Just remember, there is no such thing as too many shoes and handbags when in Italy!