09/14/2019 - 09/14/2019
In Medieval times, Florence was a center of European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of the era. It is considered by many to be the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has been called "the Athens of the Middle Ages." Florence has a famous turbulent political history , which included periods of rule by the powerful Medici family. From 1865 to 1871, Florence served as the capital of the Kingdom of Italy. In addition, UNESCO declared the Historic Center of Florence a World Heritage Site in 1982. The treasure trove of art is beyond compare. We have visited Florence twice before while on organized tours, and wanted to return to be able to chart our own course and approach the city in a "less rushed" manner.
DId I mention that the lure of its leather goods (for this girl) cannot be understated?
There are two trains to Florence that depart daily from the airport, and we were on the 11 AM train. Not every train ride affords such historic views (these are of Rome and sorry that the train windows were filthy).
We are trying something new on this trip. Instead of booking hotels, we are using Vacation Rentals By Owner. Here are some views of our apartment.
After settling in, we went out on a walking junket. Here is our first glimpse of the Duomo as we rounded the corner.
The building is so massive that it is impossible to capture more than parts of it in one frame...so here are pieces of the Duomo for your viewing pleasure.
Across the way is the Baptistry, with the famous doors designed and carved by Ghiberti. They are known as the Gates of Paradise, because Michelangelo reportedly said that he believed that the doors were so magnificent that they might well be found at the entrance to Paradise.
We walked by the Church of Orsanmichele.. This niche was considered to be revolutionary, as the foot of Doubting Thomas extends beyond the base, which was radical for the time. (Thank you Art History 101).
Here are a few scenes as we walked to dinner across the Arno River, in Piazza Santo Spirito.
And a few more from our walk home.
We put a lot of miles on these feet today!
No luggage yet for Tommy.
Photos are tagged Florence and Italy