Monochrome

To The Light

When we travelled on the train up inside the Jungfrau, in the Swiss Alps, in 2015, they stop the train at a couple of places.  Everyone tumbles off and heads for the light, there are large windows that allow you an amazing view of the mountains.  More to follow.

Gazing At The Top Of Europe

In 2015 we went the Top of Europe , The Jungfrau, in the Swiss Alps, in fact we went in 2016, but we don’t talk about that trip, as it was a white out, we didn’t see a thing.  In 2015 we did, the weather was perfect, I have posted a little about the trip, but not any main posts.  As I’m into my third week with the cold from hell, I want to blog about something that will cheer me up and make me feel ……sorry…Christmassy,  So for a few days, I will be re-visiting the top of the world again.  By the way, the photo is me, gazing out into wonderland.

2015

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 photo below, 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 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.

Through A High Speed Train Window

Last year, 2016, we travelled to Venice, Italy by train, in fact about a dozen trains there and back.  The first part of the trip was by Euro Star from London to Brussels, there wasn’t that much to see through the window, and anyway we were moving way too fast.  Brussels to Frankfurt was more interesting, and the train had slowed down, just a little, so I could take a few photos through the window.  It is quite amazing what you can see, a little different than a car window, so here are just a few shots of what I found interesting.  After Frankfurt we changed trains again to take us for an overnight stop in Munich, and a very early morning walkabout of the city……to follow.