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A few Days in Italy in Fall 2017 – Part 5 – Florence 1

June 26, 2018 at 14:56

Camping Firenze

After our breakfast at the Villa Noce in Brescia, we put our luggage in the car and took the small side streets down to Florence. The last few kilometers it was really down some really small streets. In the late afternoon we arrived at Camping Firenze. A few others had the same time frame so I had to wait a while till we had the card to open our house for the next few nights. We were lucky and got one in the last row where the campground ends and only a fence and some green separated us from the Arno river.

Our home for the next 3 nights
Our home for the next 3 nights

Comes with shower and toilet
Comes with shower and toilet

Enough space and at the far end of the place. The Arno river is behind the fence so it was quiet!
Enough space and at the far end of the place. The Arno river is behind the fence so it was quiet!

Welcome beer at the campground
The evening sun warms our patio. Perfect for our sundowner and welcome beer!

Florence

Got some Italian sweets for breakfast. Had our coffee and took a bus shuttle from Camping Firenze to the center of Florence. Not really in the center but very very close to it.

Porta San Niccolò
The bus stopped acoss the Porta San Niccolò

Ponte alle Grazie
Since we had no clue where to go first we followed the croud along the Arno river towards the Ponte alle Grazie. A nice bridge that was rebuild after the last World War.

Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale

National Central Library or Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale
The National Central Library of Florence or Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze is the largest in Italy and one of the most important in Europe. The library owns approximately 6,000,000 printed volumes, 2,689,672 pamphlets, 25,000 manuscripts, 4,000 incunabula, 29,000 editions from the sixteenth century, and over 1,000,000 autographs.

Dante statue
Dante statue

Galileo Galilei Statue
Galileo Galilei Statue

We decided to turn right into the city after the library.

Old "doorbell" - why is he looking ot the left?
Old "doorbell" – why is he looking to the left?

Torre di Arnolfo
Torre di Arnolfo

Club del Gusto in the Via dei Neri
Club del Gusto in the Via dei Neri

Lots of meat in this place
Lots of meat in this place

In the good old times only Maria was looking down at you!
In the good old times only Maria was looking down at you!

Small side street
Small side street

A clean sidewalk is important
A clean sidewalk is important – it greets the visitors even before they enter your shop. Good thinking from the Italian business woman!

Quite a busy place
Quite a busy place

This is where the locals go shopping for breakfast
This is where the locals go shopping for breakfast – and the tourist for a second snack as well.

Torre di Arnolfo - we getting closer
Torre di Arnolfo – we getting closer to the main piazza of Florence

Fountain at the Piazza del Grano
Fountain at the Piazza del Grano

Piazza della Signoria

The Piazza della Signoria is a big square in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. The L-shaped square was named after the Palazzo della Signoria which is also called Palazzo Vecchio. It is the center of the Florentine Republic and the center of town.

Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio
The Palazzo Vecchio or Old Palace is the town hall of Florence. Plans for the construction formed in 1299 and the construction begun.

The entrance of the Palazzo Vecchio
The entrance of the Palazzo Vecchio. Above the main door is a marble frontispiece from 1528. In the middle, you can see the rounded monogram of Christ. Flanked by two lions and with the inscription “Rex Regum et Dominus Dominantium” – King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

A copy of Michelangelo’s DavidA copy of Michelangelo’s David to the left of the entrance.

First Courtyard

First courtyard with Putto with Dolphin by Verrocchio in the middle, and frescoes of Austrian cities on the wall by Vasari
The first courtyard of the Palazzo Vecchio with Putto with Dolphin by Verrocchio in the middle, and frescoes of Austrian cities on the wall by Vasari. The courtyard was designed in 1453 by Michelozzo.

So many nice details
So many nice details

The frescoes on the walls are quite detailed paintings of some cities of the Austrian Habsburg monarchy. Painted in 1565 by Giorgio Vasari for the wedding celebration of Francesco I de’ Medici and Archduchess Johanna of Austria, sister of Emperor Maximilian II.

The city of Graz
The city of Graz

The city of Vienna
The city of Vienna

So much violence - Samson repressing one of the materialistic philistines by Leonardo’s younger brother Pierino da Vinci
So much violence – Samson repressing one of the materialistic philistines by Leonardo’s younger brother Pierino da Vinci

Another fountain
Another fountain

The Loggia dei Lanzi is coming up next
The Loggia dei Lanzi is coming up next

Loggia dei Lanzi

The name Loggia dei Lanzi dates back to the reign of Grand Duke Cosimo I. The Loggia was used to house his Landsknechts – in Italian: “Lanzichenecchi” and shortened to Lanzi. The Landsknechts where German mercenary pikemen. The construction started in 1376. Now it serves as an open-air sculpture gallery.

Temperance - one of the Four Virtues
Temperance – one of the Four Virtues on the façade of the house.

The Renaissance sculptors of the 15th century found that free-standing nudes had been missing in Europe since the Roman Empire. So they went and developed the figures of classical antiquity in new and more realistic poses. The statues around Piazza della Signoria twist and turn their heads and shoulders, hips and legs are unaligned to illustrate shifting weights. They gave figures in paintings and statues an overall dynamic and life-like appearance.

Benvenuto Cellini's Perseus with the Head of Medusa
Benvenuto Cellini's Perseus with the Head of Medusa

Underneath Perseus you can see Jupiter
The bas-relief on the pedestal, representing Perseus freeing Andromeda, is a copy of the one in Bargell

The Rape of Polyxena by Pio Fedi from 1865
The Rape of Polyxena by Pio Fedi from 1865

Vacca's Medici lion in the front and Menelaus supporting the body of Patroclus on the right
Vacca's Medici lion in the front and Menelaus supporting the body of Patroclus on the right

Hercules and Nessus
Giambologna’s marble sculpture Hercules beating the Centaur Nessus from 1599. It was placed here in 1841 from the Canto de’ Carnesecchi. It is sculpted from one solid block of white marble with the help of Pietro Francavilla

The Rape of the Sabine Women y the Flemish artist Jean de Boulogne, better known by his Italianized name Giambologna
This work was made from the largest single marble block ever transported to Florence. It is the first group representing more than a single figure in European sculptural history to be conceived without a dominant viewpoint. It can be equally admired from all sides.

Back to the piazza again to take a look at the last marble statue
Baccio Bandinelli’s Hercules from 1533
Baccio Bandinelli’s Hercules from 1533. Impressive muscles on Hercules – the demi-god is pulling the hair of Cacus. The poor man will be clubbed and strangled in a minute. But for now, Hercules’ attention is diverted by someone passing by the left of him. You can see the eyes of Cacus have already started to bulge, the thick lips might as well quiver. Too much violence at this square.

Statue Cosimo I de 'Medici

The Equestrian Monument of Cosimo I was erected in 1594 at the piazza. It is from the sculptor Giambologna, who also completed the Rape of the Sabines in the Loggia dei Lanzi.

Hello horse
Hello horse – in the back the Old Palace or Palazzo Vecchio

Statue Cosimo I de 'Medici

The conquest of Siena
The base of the statue features reliefs with scenes from the life of Cosimo. Here you can see his entrance into Siena as a ruler after his victory over that republic in 1557

The election of the Grand Duke
And here his coronation in Rome as Grand-Duke in 1570

Donatello's statue Judith and Holofernes
Donatello's statue Judith and Holofernes

Art in the square
Art in the square

The piazza with the tower of  Badia Fiorentina and Monastero on the left
The piazza with the tower of Badia Fiorentina and Monastero on the left

Food for the masses
Food for the masses – a break for me. More pictures to come! Please stand by!

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A few Days in Italy in Fall 2017 – Part 4 – Brescia 3

June 20, 2018 at 10:59

Chiesa di Santa Maria della Carità

The Chiesa di Santa Maria della Carità or the church of the Buon Pastore is a Baroque-style Roman Catholic church. Construction of the original church started in 1481. A wealthy man – Laura Gambara – erected the church, a monastery, and a convent to shelter fallen women or prostitutes. In 1640 construction of a new church begun. The new church is also known as Church of the Good Shepherd. It was ruled until 1998 by the adjacent monastery with the same name. If you look at the outside you would never imagine what a remarkable baroque overload awaits you inside.

At the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Carità
At the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Carità

The two columns are from the ancient Basilica of San Pietro de Dom that was demolished in 1603 to make space for the new Duomo
The two columns at the door are from the ancient Basilica of San Pietro de Dom that was demolished in 1603 to make space for the new Duomo

Fascinating paintings in this church
Fascinating paintings in this church

The frescoed dome
The frescoed dome

Maria with child
Maria with child

Little side altar
Little side altar

Hmmm
Hmmm

Where you usually find Jesus - there is Maria in this church
Where you usually find Jesus – there is Maria in this church

The baby gets his own little place
The baby gets his own little place

Looking at you!
Looking at you!

The high altar
The high altar

The high altar with the reproduction of the Holy House
The high altar with the reproduction of the Holy House

This is a fantastic example of Baroque-style
This is a fantastic example of a Baroque-style church

The bible awaits you
The bible awaits you

There is a lot to see in this church
There is a lot to see in this church

A perfect example of false architecture. It does look quite good
A perfect example of false architecture. It does look quite good

Fresco of the vault with false architecture
Fresco of the vault with false architecture

The frescoed dome
The frescoed dome

The frescoed dome

Santi Sebastiano, Antonio and Rocco from Francesco Paglia
Santi Sebastiano, Antonio and Rocco from Francesco Paglia

The left altar with the altarpiece by Antonio Gandino
The left altar with the altarpiece by Antonio Gandino

Angels and the bird on top
Angels and the bird on top

This lady with a scull is quite small at the bottom of it. Check out the marbel works
This lady with a scull is quite small at the bottom of it. Check out the marbel works

The floor - as amazing as the rest of the church
The floor – as amazing as the rest of the church

Tempio Capitolino

The Tempio Capitolino or the Capitolium is an old Roman temple. It stands next to the Roman theater and the remains of the city forum. This is the most important complex of ruins and remains of Roman public buildings in northern Italy. The construction has begun in 73 AD and it is dedicated to Cesar Vespasiano.

At the Tempio Capitolino
At the Tempio Capitolino

Chiesa di San Zeno al Foro
Chiesa di San Zeno al Foro

The white stones are the original ones
The white stones are the original ones

At the Tempio Capitolino
The Roman theater

At the Tempio Capitolino
The theater could host about 15,000 people

Nice pipe work at the Via Giovanni Piamarta
Nice pipe work at the Via Giovanni Piamarta

Down the Vicolo San Clemente
Down the Vicolo San Clemente

Mickey - still happy
Mickey – still happy

Down the Vicolo San Clemente

Down the Vicolo San Clemente

Lots of faces
Lots of faces

Looking down Via Carlo Cattaneo
Looking down Via Carlo Cattaneo

Fountain at the Piauuetta Labus
Fountain at the Piauuetta Labus

Looking down Via Agostino Gallo
Looking down Via Agostino Gallo

At the corner of Via Agostino Gallo and Via Carlo Cattaneo
At the corner of Via Agostino Gallo and Via Carlo Cattaneo

Square version
Square version

Almost at the end of Via Agostino Gallo
Almost at the end of Via Agostino Gallo

Time to walk back to the Hotel

Look at this place - how nice is this?Look at this place – how nice is this?

Chiesa di Sant AgataChiesa di Sant Agata

Tight security at the Via DanteTight security at the Via Dante

Santa Maria della PaceSanta Maria della Pace

Torre della PallataTorre della Pallata

Torre della PallataTorre della Pallata

Fountain at the Torre della PallataFountain at the Torre della Pallata

Fountain at the Torre della Pallata

Everything on saleEverything on sale

Via delle BattagelieVia delle Battagelie

Piazzale Guiseppe GaribaldiPiazzale Guiseppe Garibaldi

Ohhhhh - time to walk back to the hotel!Ohhhhh – time to walk back to the hotel!

A few Days in Italy in Fall 2017 – Part 3 – Brescia 2

June 19, 2018 at 14:53

The Duomo Vecchio

The Duomo Vecchio stands next to the New Cathedral of Brescia. Officially it is called the Winter Co-Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. Or the Old Cathedral or La Rotonda because of its round setting. And the adjacent main cathedral next to it is known as the Summer Cathedral.
Confusing? A bit! There are only documents that state that the cathedral was build in the 11th century on a basilica layout style church. As far as Romanesque round churches in Italy go this is one of the most important ones.

The Duomo vecchio

When you enter the church you see a sarcophagus and behind it the big round space with parts of the roof. What looks quite small from the outside is really big if you see it from the inside.

The sarcophagus of Berardo MaggiThe sarcophagus of Bishop Berardo Maggi (1308) made of red marble.

The audience of Santa MariaThe audience of Santa Maria

One of the paintingsOne of the paintings

Tumb of Balduino LambertiniTumb of Balduino Lambertini

Hmmm - looks like some horsesHmmm – looks like some horses

Cappella delle Sante Croci or the Chapel of the Holy CrossesCappella delle Sante Croci or the Chapel of the Holy Crosses

If you see the outside you would not expect thisIf you see the outside you would not expect this

A lot of goldA lot of gold

Details!Details!

Not as nice but still..Not as nice but still..

King Mechisedec offers bread and wine to Abraham from MorettoKing Mechisedec offers bread and wine to Abraham from Moretto

Translation of the bodies of Saint Dominator, Saint Paul and Saint Anastastius from Francesco MaffeiTranslation of the bodies of Saint Dominator, Saint Paul and Saint Anastastius from Francesco Maffei

This one is differentThis one is different

Almost super modern the way they have the crossAlmost super modern the way they have the cross

You have to look up in this churchYou have to look up in this church

More to see up hereMore to see up here

Nice paintings!Nice paintings!

Hanging with the angelsHanging with the angels

Looks different when you are thereLooks different when you are there

Up there is the entranceUp there is the entrance

Tumb of Domenico de DomeniciTumb of Domenico de Domenici

Another altarAnother altar

Palazzo Broletto

The Broletto Palace was once the medieval home of the reigning lords of the city. Now it is the home of the provincial administration. It is located between Via Mazzini and Piazza Paolo VI in Brescia. The first wood building on this place dates back to 1187. Later it got rebuild in stone and the whole thing got bigger.

Torre del Pegol
The Torre del Pegol or tower of the people or tower of the market is about 54 meters high. It was build in the 11th century.

West Gate or Porta Orientale; carved template above door from Venetian rule, expunged in 1790s
The West Gate or Porta Orientale from the Piazza Paolo VI. The carved template above the door states the Venetian rule and dates back to the 1790s.

Detail of the facade
Detail of the facade

The portico with loggia of 1626
The portico with loggia from 1626. I wonder if the writing that is gone is not from arround 1937?

Looking towards the tower you can see the roof of the New Cathedral
Looking towards the tower you can see the roof of the New Cathedral

Details of the facade

Up to the Castello

We passed the Piazza Speri to walk up to the Castello.

At the Piazza Tito Speri

Tito Speri
The Monument to Tito Speri at Brescia. It was formally inaugurated on its original site at the Piazza Speri in Brescia on 1 September 1888. He was the head of the revolt against the Austrian puppet state – the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia in the so-called Ten Days of Brescia. That is how long it took the Austrian troops to get the city back.

Right at the entrance! Really?
Right at the entrance! Really?

The Castle of Brescia is also known as Falcone d’Italia (“Falcon of Italy”) was built between the 13th and the 16th century. It is one of the largest castles in Italy. It is located on top of the Cidneo Hill at the northeast side of the town.

Over the entrance - The Lion of Venice
Over the entrance – The Lion of Venice

Part of the Castello
Part of the Castello

One of the towers
One of the towers

The bridge to the inner ring
The bridge to the inner ring

Up to the gardens
Up to the gardens

And back down again
And back down again

On the way down towards the city
On the way down towards the city

Door bells at the Constrada Sant Urbano
Door bells at the Constrada Sant Urbano

Piazza della Loggia

We walked over the Piazza Bell'Italia that is connected to the Piazza della Loggia. The Piazza della Loggia was designed in the middle of the Renaissance period. Towards the end of the fifteenth century, the real construction began. The buildings at the square are all in a quite modest Venetian style.

On the Piazza Bell'Italia
On the Piazza Bell'Italia

View from the clocktower towards the Bell'Italia
View from the clocktower towards the Bell'Italia

Monument to the Bella Italia
Monument to the Bella Italia from Giovanni Battista Lombardi, erected in in 1864. It is officially a monument to the fallen of the Ten Days of Brescia. At this place was a Venetian column before with the lion of St. Mark on top that got demolished by the revolutionaries in 1797. The original column was erected in 1455. The public executions in Brescia were held for centuries at its base.

Shooting of captured insurgents
There are 4 plates on the sides. This one shows the shooting of captured insurgents of the Ten Days of Brescia

The arcades placed along the east side of the square
The arcades placed along the east side of the square

The clock tower
The clock tower was built between 1540 and 1550. The clock has two different quadrants which mark the hours, the lunar phases and the zodiacal signs.
On the right you see a memorial for the 8 people that got killed and the 102 wounded ones from the terror attack of May 28, 1974.

Macc de le ure
On the upper part there are two rods and a bell. Locals called the two man “Macc de le ure” now they are better know as “Tone and Batista”.

The astronomical quadrant
The side facing the Piazza della Loggia has an astronomical quadrant and the tympanum painted by Gian Giacomo Lamberti in 1547

Fountain of the dolphins
Fountain of the dolphins

The Piazza della Loggia
The Piazza della Loggia with the Town Hall at the end

The Palazzo della Loggia
The Palazzo della Loggia

Nice decorated house

Monte di Pietà
Monte di Pietà

Entrance of the Palazzo della Loggia
Entrance of the Palazzo della Loggia

This is what you see if you walk out that door
This is what you see if you walk out that door

Look up - he looks down at you!
Look up – he looks down at you!

And if you look over there
When you step out to the square you see this

Before the electric bell
Before the electric bell

Christian painting all over the place
Christian painting all over the place

In case you have no clue where you are
In case you have no clue where you are