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Album: By Country | By Date Italy | January 2001 < Prev: Florence | Next: Wandering around Florence >
Travelogue: By Country | By Date Italy | January 2001  

January 2001 - Doing the Tourist Thing in Florence

Piazza del Duomo and Santa Maria del Fiore

 The duomo or Santa Maria del Fiore (St. Mary of the Flower, the "flower" is apparently Jesus).  The Babtistery is on the left.  Dante was baptised here. The facade, which looks like a Neopolitan ice cream factory gone terribly awry, is from 1887.. More cathedral That's the dome.   It was the first great dome of the renaissance.  Gothic churches were domeless.  Renaissance churches looked back at classical Roman domes.
Panel from the famous baptistery doors by Ghiberti who inexplicably spent something like 27 years working on them.  They are called the Gates of Paradise, apparently because Michelangelo generously praised them, probably while thinking of something else. Here's David slicing off Goliath's head.  What fires the easily impressed up about these doors is apparently the use of perspective to give the impression of depth.  The east door with the doors More cathedral facade.
Inside of Palazzo Vecchio Ponte Vecchio built in 1345.  It was the only bridge not destoryed by the Germans.  First segmental arch bridge built in the West.  The upper gallery was built in 1564 by Cosimo Medeci to connect palaces, keeping the riff raff away from the art loving nobles.  Riff raff on the Ponte Vecchio Looking up the Arne.
Homage to Dante inside the cathedral by Michelino in 1465.  This is fun only because the Florentines sentenced Dante to death - Dante was part of the losing faction - and Dante died in exile.  The inscription is in Latin, though Dante chose to write Divine Comedy in Italian.  We've read that Dante's use of Florentine Italian not only made Italian the language of European literature, but made the Florentine dialect standard Italian. The dome, painted by Vasari and Zuccari.  Tote's hand on his favorite column Some of the decoration on the facade
The outside again