|The Duomo and Brunelleschis' Dome, From our Roof-Top|
|Our Window View|
Santa Croce Basilica
Our three weeks in Italy are winding down. We look forward to a few days in Venice and then we will be heading for home. This trip has been amazing, but I think that both Susan and I are looking forward to getting back to New England. Hopefully, by the time this blog is posted we will be enjoying New England’s crisp autumn weather and brilliant fall foliage.
|Alley Green, Florence|
After a lovely week in the relaxed environs of Tuscany, the next days of our trip were spent in the cities. Florence and Bologna were both fascinating, but in different ways. I had planned to cover both Florence and Bologna in this article, but we have been so busy along the way that it has been difficult to find any time to work on the images. When you are in such beautiful and interesting places it is hard to justify wasting time in front of a computer screen. This article will focus on Florence, including as many pictures as I can get to process.
|Duke and Duchess of Urbino, Uffizi Gallery|
You will notice that this article is a few days late. Since getting back, I had to deal with my wonderful Fall Foliage Workshop, and a massive dose of jet-lag. I can’t wait to work my way through the rest of the Italian images, I know what I will be doing during stick season, but in the meantime, here are a few glimpses of the fascinating city of Florence.
|The Duomo Dome|
Florence is known as the birthplace of the Renaissance, and is rich with monuments to that important epoch of history. The city is dominated by Brunelleschi’s remarkable cathedral dome, completed in 1436, topping the intricately ornamented multicolored Duomo. There was no possibility that I could get Susan to climb to the top of the dome, but she did manage to get to the roof-top bar at our hotel. From the roof we had a spectacular panoramic view of the city. Both of our kids were staying in Air B&Bs, but they were sure to join us for evening cocktails on our roof.
|Jeremy, Gina, Susan|
|On the Roof|
Grayson, Abby, Kerry, Cuyler
Our hotel was on the Arno River, close to the shop-lined medieval Ponte Vecchio, which was the only bridge across the Arno that was left intact by the Germans in World War II. Florence’s many narrow streets open on busy plazas, churches, shops, and endless museums.
|Uffizi Gallery Across the Arno River|
|Long Lines around the Uffizi Courtyard|
By far the most famous art gallery is the Galleria degli Uffizi. The Uffiz was built to house the massive collection of pictures and sculpture collected by the powerful Medici family. The museum is famous for long lines, but we were lucky to have reserved tickets and had only a relatively short wait. Once inside, the Uffiz is intimidating.
|Ceiling Uffizi Gallery|
|Cosimo de Medici the Elder|
We saw only a fraction of the more than ninety galleries. Works by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vince, Michelangelo, Raphael and many lesser known artists were on display, and along the halls were ancient and more “modern” sculpture. After 3 hours we reached artistic overload and had to escape for a relaxing afternoon exploring the Boboli Gardens behind the Palazzo Pitti.
|Adoration of the Magi (Detail, Unfinished)|
Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo
Florence is a beautiful and historic city. We explored much on foot and ate much more. It was here that I finally found a Gluten free pizza! I began to tire of beautiful churches and statues and began studying the people on the street. I was inspired by an exhibition of the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson at the Musei Civici in San Gimignano. I may do an article solely on some of the wonderful faces of Italy.
|David by the Uffizi|
We were reluctant to leave. I didn’t know what to expect from Bologna, but I was very pleasantly surprised. That part of the trip will need to wait for the next article in this series, but I am heading back to New England and given the fall foliage who knows when I will get back to the thousands of my Italy pictures.
In the meantime, you can follow my slowly growing archive on my
Blogna, Lake Como and Venice are to come!
|Sunset on the Grand Canal|