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Firenze

City of the Flower

rain 15 °C

Florence is a beautiful city absolutely FULL of renaissance history. It is very famous for a lovely bridge which crosses the river. Now there are other bridges but in the past is was the only bridge. The Medici family were one of the richest families of the renaissance time and while initally they had only(!!) one castel, they came to own a second one on the other side of the river. Because they had enemies (as all the rich of the time did) they didnt ever go outside, so they made a corridor for themselves going from one castel to the other and they used this bridge, building the corridor on top (as a second story to the bridge). At the time there were all kinds of shops on the bridge, including butchers and when this channel was made...the shops produced a smell that the medici family did not like, so they ordered that the only shops allowed on the bridge were to be goldsmiths...and to this day there are only jewellers on this bridge.

There are so many churches and architectural monuments of the renaissance time in Florence that it is hard to describe them all. But often they were decorated with dark green and white stone. I loved the Santa Maria Novella, which had a spherical ring like structure outside the front of the church, it was a scientific instrument used to measure the rotation of the earth. It is representing a time when the church was accepting some of the scientific discoveries...

Of course I went to the academic gallery and saw my good friend David. Before going, I really didnt think it was going to be anything special...just a big statue of a naked guy. But it really was special...the sheer size of the statue, (8 tonne), the smoothness of the body and the flawlessness of the body. It was perfect and it represented David when he killed Goliath. He looks young and innocent but proud, I can see why Florentines made it the symbol of their city. David asked me to say hi to you all.

The Uffitzi museum was just as interesting because it showed the evolution of Renaissance art. It really showed how it began with very little colour, depth and expression and it finished with very imaginitive artwork. Of course nearly all of the pieces were of Mary and Child though!! I dont know enough about art to appreciate the 'Birth of Venus' or the 'Announciation'.

I spent half a day at Pisa and was really surprised at how small and how white the Leaning tower is. I mean, my initial thought was that it was a model of the real thing!! It was so clean because it was being cleaned and I suppose it just looked small in comparison to the many other buildings I saw in Italy...it was still about 8 levels high. Going up the tower was weird, with a sensation of feeling sea sick (but not that bad) and from the top I got really excited because I could see the Pisa soccer team training...oh I have to go and watch a game of soccer!!

Posted by gouramanis 10:14 Archived in Italy

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