Architecture

Finally, The Duomo, Florence, Italy

Florence 2016 – We had finally arrived at The Duomo, Florence’s Cathedral and I wasn’t quite prepared for the size of the building, its massive.  You come across it quite suddenly, turning a corner and its there, it fills the whole space that you are looking at.  Its amazing, just a bit overwhelming for a second or two, still you eyes adjust to the sheer size and the decorative mix of pink, white and green marble.  As it was late in the day and the queues were still long, we didn’t see the stunning interior, but maybe one day.  For me, I was just happy to stand and take photographs of  this splendid Gothic building, which was began in 1296 and structurally finished in 1436.  The cathedral complex, located in Piazza del Duomo, includes the Baptistery and Giotto’s Campanile. These three buildings are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

A Walk to the Duomo, Florence, Italy

 

Florence 2016 – When we left the Pitti Palace, we wanted to see Florence’s Cathedral, the Duomo, before we had to catch our train back to Venice.  Many of the photos have been posted before as single posts, but I wanted to add them all together, the photos of The Piazza della Signoria with a copy of Michelangelo’s David  are new photos.  We didn’t have time to see the real David, but maybe next time.  Next and last stop is the Duomo.

Ceiling Frescoes & Gallery of Costumes In The Pitti Palace, Florence, Italy

 

Florence 2016…..Do not be fooled by this austere looking fortress of a building, it houses some of the greatest treasure that Florence has to offer.  The Pitti Palace, which after we had explored the Boboli Gardens, really the backyard of the Palace, included in our ticket price, was entry to the Costume Gallery.  The Palace is extremely large, in fact vast, my husband took one look at me, and shook his head……please no more, I need a coffee, unfortunately the only way to achieving his wish, was to go through the galley to the exit…..sorry.  It was a quick trip through history, but I still managed some photos.  You do really need to spend at least half a day in the Palace, including visiting the gardens, as there is so much to explore.   Regrettably we only have one day in the city, which was quickly coming to an end and we still had much more on our list to see.   

A view of the Boboli Gardens from inside the Palace.

A little history…..This enormous palace is one of Florence’s largest architectural monuments. The original palazzo was built for the Pitti family in 1457, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi and built by his pupil Luca Fancelli. The original construction consisted of only the middle cube of the present building (the middle seven windows on the top floor). In 1549, the property was sold to the Medicis and became the primary residence of the grand ducal family. The palace was then enlarged and altered from 1560, Bartolomeo Ammannati designed and added the grandiose courtyard and two lateral wings.

The Palace from the Gardens.

The Costume Gallery is housed in the small building of the Meridiana of the Pitti Palace, which was begun under Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo in 1776 and ended in 1840 and chosen as residence by the families that ruled Tuscany and by the Savoy house until 1946. The Lorraine/Savoy rooms display the exhibitions of the collections of historical clothes and accessoires, which had previously been stored in the palace´s warehouses.  The collections cover the period between the 18th century and the present-day.

I have mixed the photos together to make a patchwork of the items that caught my eye on our quick trip through the rooms…..to find coffee, which we did, in the grandest place, that I think I have ever drunk coffee in.  In the below photo, is where we sat and husband gathered back his strength with some wonderful Italian coffee, plus not forgetting cake for that little extra.

The gift shop from above.

 

The Gardens of Boboli, Florence, Italy

Florence 2016, The Gardens of Boboli where you really do need to be wearing walking boots, thank goodness we were.  Of course its just more then a garden, its one of the greatest open air museums in Florence….The gardens are a spectacular example of “green architecture” decorated with sculptures and the prototype which inspired many European Royal gardens, in particular, Versailles.  My husband had read about the sculptures and this was the reason we were now visiting this amazing green oasis, after the heaving city centre and a bonus…..the rain had stopped.

The building of the garden start in the 15th century, the original fields and gardens were laid out by the Borgolo family, in 1418 the property was bought by Luca Pitti.  In 1549 the gardens were greatly enlarged and became the Medici family’s new city residence.

The gardens continued to be enrich and enlarged in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, becoming a wonderful outdoor museum setting, for both Roman and Renaissance statues.

When you reach the highest point in the garden, you can rest and look out over the amazing view of Florence and the surrounding country side.  Next stop is the ‘The Museums of the Pitti Palace’.

Pitti Palace

 

A Walk Through Florence, Itlay

Florence 2016, after our lunch, we made our way to a garden that was on my husbands wish list, Boboli Gardens, husband has a thing about gardens, so on our way there, and its quite a walk, I took some photos.  I have played around a little with the photos as they were very dark, due to the poor light.  Next stop, the gardens.  

The Church of Santa Felicita, Florence, Italy

Florence 2016, sometimes it was very hard to work out if you were looking at church or some other building.  It was only when I got home and looked up the photos of the what I thought were churches, I was then able to give them a name.  I nearly walked by Santa Felicita, it was only because someone else was taking photos that I stopped.  It was locked, apparently it is open on Saturdays, but of course it wasn’t a Saturday, but maybe in the future we will come back on a Saturday.  

I think it is worth a visit after I read the following…..in the 4th Century a church was built on this place by the Christian community of Florence, which inhabitated on this side of the river, opposite to the Roman city; this early-christian building was subsequently modified and enlarged (in 11th Century, and then in 14th Century, when a tower located by the church was transformed in bell-tower), so that today only few fragments of the originary structure are still recognizable.

The Church of San Frediano in Cestello, Florence, Italy

The next church we saw on our trip to Florence 2016, was the Church of San Frediano in Cestello.  You can’t really miss it and by walking over the bridge, I got some good exterior photos.  We had got lost trying to find our way to the centre of the city, but in doing so, we found a church that allowed me to take photos with out a flash, The Church of Ognissanti, which I have posted about.  

It was another church the you could not take photos, so we had a quick peep inside, but you had to pay, so we just stood at the door.   As it was now lunch time and still pouring in rain, so we decided to find some where to eat.

 A little history…….The church stands on the place of the monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli, founded in 1450 and since 1628 owned by the Cistercense monks, who ordered in that year architect Gherardo Silvani to build the church.  The original design saw the façade of the church on the southern side, towards Borgo San Frediano and the Oltrarno, but the Cistercense monks preferred the façade to be built on the northern side towards the Arno and the city, and commissioned Antonio Cerruti to build the church following these directions.  The new construction begun in 1680 and ended in 1689, when Antonio Ferri completed the dome.  The façade was never carryed out and remained uncompleted.  In 1783 the convent was closed and transformed in the Archiepiscopal Seminary, which is still active today.

We did find somewhere to eat and husband was happy to sit and rest, it was still raining, but by the time we had finished our meal, it had stopped raining.  Although it did start again before the end of the day, but still plenty to see before then.