A few Days in Italy in Fall 2017 – Part 7 – Florence 3

July 25, 2018 at 18:46

What would Florence be without the Florence Cathedral? A whole lot less. This blog post features the Cathedral, the Baptistery, and the Campanile or Bell Tower.

Colonna di San Zanobi

Colonna di San Zanobi
Colonna di San Zanobi
In the 9th century the remains of San Zenobi were being transferred from the church of San Lorenzo to the then Cathedral of Santa Reparata. At the time San Lorenzo was outside the city walls and the Hungarians invading the country. While moving them in Winter they brushed against an Elm tree and it started to grow leaves. Nice story eh? So the column marks the spot where the tree was and has a metal tree image as well.

The cross above a crown of fire - and a dove
The cross above a crown of fire – and a dove

Pink Boy above an entrance next to the Colonna di S. Zanobi
Pink Boy above an entrance to the Opera of San Giovanni next to the Colonna di S. Zanobi

The Baptistery

Battistero di San Giovanni
Battistero di San Giovanni and the Bell Tower in front of the Cathedral

It is also called Baptistry of Saint John. It is one of the oldest surviving buildings in the city. Construction started in 1059 and it took 68 years to complete it.

Above the South Door
Above the South Door

Detail of the South Door: He preaches to the Pharisees. He announces Christ. Baptism of his disciples. Baptism of Jesus.
Detail of the South Door: He preaches to the Pharisees. He announces Christ. Baptism of his disciples. Baptism of Jesus.

Porta del Paradiso with Abraham and Isaac at the lower right
Porta del Paradiso – The Gates of Paradise

Above the East Gate

More Baptism going on

Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore

Or the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower or simply the Duomo di Firenze – the Florence Cathedral. Construction has begun in 1296 and it was structurally completed with the dome in 1436. Like most churches inside of old cities, it was built at the site of an older church. The oldest one on this site dates back all the way to 393! The (still) largest masonry dome in the world dominates all the pictures of Florence from above. It was constructed with 37.000 tons of material and over 4 million bricks alone. There is nothing left from the original façade. The Grand Duke Francesco I de’ Medici ordered its dismantling in 1587. The competition for a new one turned into a big corruption scandal and the church was left bare till 1876 when they started work on the façade you see now. It is made of green, white and red marble in a neo-gothic style. Together with the Baptistery and Giotto’s bell tower, it forms quite a harmonious entity.

Above the left entrance of the Florence Cathedral
Above the left entrance. The mosaic was made in Venice in 1886 after drawings by Nicolò Barabino. It shows the “Charity among the founders of Florentine philanthropic institutions”. On the left the Statues of cardinal Valeriani and on the right the bishop Agostino Tinacci

Further up more guys - the twelve Apostles
Further up more guys – the twelve Apostles

The pediment above the central portal contains a half-relief by Tito Sarrocchi of Mary enthroned holding a flowered scepter. And six more Apostels
The pediment above the central portal contains a half-relief by Tito Sarrocchi of Mary enthroned holding a flowered scepter. And six more Apostels

Giotto's Campanile or Bell Tower on the right
Giotto's Campanile or Bell Tower on the right- The tower is square in plan with 14.45 metre (47.41 ft) wide sides. It is 84.7 metres (277.9 ft) tall and has polygonal buttresses at each corner

Campanile

So many details at the Florence Cathedral
So many details

More details

Above the right portal
Above the right portal

The clock tower on the right

Above the right portal

No - I mean it - NO!
No – I mean it – NO!

Ohhhhhhhh! Why not???
Ohhhhhhhh! Why not???

Quiet up there!
Quiet up there!

All this fighting - All the time :-(
All this fighting – All the time 🙁

Let’s go inside the Florence Cathedral

The counter-façade with the Coronation of the Virgin by Gaddo Gaddi inside the Florence Cathedral
The counter-façade with the Coronation of the Virgin by Gaddo Gaddi

Joshua
Joshua

Arnolfo di Cambio - the architect
Arnolfo di Cambio – the architect

Ora Pro Animis - Pray for Souls!
Ora Pro Animis – Pray for Souls!

He got the swinging moves!
He got the swinging moves!

On the left a bust of Giotto at work and on the ride a bust of Brunelleschi
On the left a bust of Giotto at work and on the ride a bust of Brunelleschi

Saint Zenobius seated with his deacons St. Crescentius and St. Eugenius kneeling at the sides
Saint Zenobius seated with his deacons St. Crescentius and St. Eugenius kneeling at the sides

Equestrian Monument of Niccolò da Tolentino
Equestrian Monument of Niccolò da Tolentino

Equestrian monument of John Hawkwood (Giovanni Acuto) by Paolo Uccello
Equestrian monument of John Hawkwood (Giovanni Acuto) by Paolo Uccello

King David
King David

This window is from 1395
This window is from 1395

Another window

Domenico di Michelino's Dante and the Divine Comedy
Domenico di Michelino's Dante and the Divine Comedy

The famous dome - took 16 years to build it alone. The painting is 4000 square meter big!
The famous dome – took 16 years to build it alone. The painting is over 4000 square metres big!

Brunelleschi's dome with a fresco of the Last Judgement by Vasari
Brunelleschi's dome with a fresco of the Last Judgement by Vasari

The Vegliardi of the Apocalypse by Giorgio Vasari
The Vegliardi of the Apocalypse by Giorgio Vasari

The Last Judgement on the left - Hell down right
The Last Judgement on the left – Hell down right

The altar with the Cruzifix from Benedetto da Maiano
The altar with the Cruzifix from Benedetto da Maiano

S. Giacomo Minore on the left
S. Giacomo Minore on the left

San Giacomo Maggiore
San Giacomo Maggiore

Isaiah by Bernardo Ciuffagni
Isaiah by Bernardo Ciuffagni

One of the many paintings
One of the many paintings

This is a big church

He cleans wax all day long
He cleans wax all day long

The work never stops
The work never stops

The Bell Tower door
The Bell Tower door

Porta dei Canonici
Porta dei Canonici

Porta dei Canonici

Some construction

The Cathedrale in Florenz

Arnolfo di Cambio - There he sits and looks at his creation
Arnolfo di Cambio – There he sits and looks at his creation

You will see so many details on this church
You will see so many details on this church

Truly amazing

Annunciation by David Ghirlandaio, lunette of the door of the Almond
Annunciation by David Ghirlandaio, lunette of the door of the Almond

Madonna della Cintola by Nanni di Banco, tympanum of the door of the Almond
Madonna della Cintola by Nanni di Banco, tympanum of the door of the Almond

Of course, every door is decorated different
Porta di Balla – Of course, every door is decorated different

The door of the Canons
The door on the north side of the building

Snap snap

The last one for this trip
The last one for today trip

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A few Days in Italy in Fall 2017 – Part 6 – Florence 2

July 23, 2018 at 10:52

Lets keep walking and see what we find!
Detail above the door of the Complesso di San Firenze
Detail above the door of the Complesso di San Firenze

Badia Fiorentina
Badia Fiorentina
There was an older church called Santo Stefano on this place. In 960 it was sold to Willa di Toscana, mother of the Marquis Ugo. She build the Benedictine abbey called Badia Fiorentina around it. When Ugo became the Marquis of Tuscany he increased the donations.

Badia Fiorentina

Another altar

Giorgio Vasari, Assumption and saints
Giorgio Vasari, Assumption and saints

The pipe organ was built in 1558 by Onofrio Zeffirini
The pipe organ was built in 1558 by Onofrio Zeffirini

Tomb of Bernardo Giugni by Mino da Fiesole
Tomb of Bernardo Giugni by Mino da Fiesole

Apparition of the Virgin to Saint Bernard from Filippino Lippi
Apparition of the Virgin to Saint Bernard from Filippino Lippi. The painting was transferred from the church of Santa Maria del Santo Sepolcro, in the monastery of Campora, to Badia in 1530 to save it from the siege of Florence. An interesting detail is the depiction of a demon covered with fur and with threatening fangs hidden in the rock beneath the saint, who is depicted in ecstasy for the Marian vision.

The demon covered with fur
The demon covered with fur

The baptismal fonts
The baptismal fonts

At the Via del Proconsolo
At the Via del Proconsolo

Via del Corso
Via del Corso

You will find some art everywhere
You will find some art everywhere

The Florence Cathedral
The Florence Cathedral at the end of the small road

Chiesa di Santa Margherita in Santa Maria de' Ricci
Chiesa di Santa Margherita in Santa Maria de' Ricci

Almost like some Russian paintings and quite different from the others
Almost like some Russian paintings and quite different from the others

The image of the Madonna
The image of the Madonna behind at the altar. It was once outside on the wall of the church of Santa Maria degli Alberighi. On July 21st, 1501 a drunk and angry Antonio Giuseppe Rinaldeschi passed it after losing money playing dice. He collected some dung from the ground and threw it against the figure of the Virgin. Some reported him and he was later hanging from a window of the Bargello as a warning for others. Today the original is replaced by a copy and the original is here on the main altar that was built specifically to repair the offense.

Nice painting in the dome

The vault of the apse is frescoed by Lorenzo del Moro with the Assumption of the Virgin
The vault of the apse is frescoed by Lorenzo del Moro with the Assumption of the Virgin

The window is a copy of the painting of the Madonna from the main altar
The window is a copy of the painting of the Madonna from the main altar

Another big painting

This one is different - also notice the Polish pope
This one is different – also notice the Polish pope

Not so much gold in this church
Not so much gold in this church

Maria with the child
Maria with the child

Chiesa di Santa Margherita in Santa Maria de' Ricci
Chiesa di Santa Margherita in Santa Maria de' Ricci

The pipe organ is from 1989 and was later expanded
The pipe organ is from 1989 and was later expanded

Piazza della Repubblica
Piazza della Repubblica

The ancient centre of the city / restored from age-old squalor / to new life
The ancient centre of the city / restored from age-old squalor / to new life

So nice!

Everywhere you look - there will be a church
Everywhere you look – there will be a church

The Savoy
The Savoy

House on the Piazza
House at the Piazza del Duomo

House at the Piazza del Duomo

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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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