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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