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Friday, May 13, 2016

Florence and art

On day four of Florence we gave ourselves a treat and we had our own personal tour guide. Our Tour guide Elena was so full of enthusiasm about Florence and art, she had us both totally enthralled for four solid hours.
So we started at the Gallerie Acadamia where I was the first visitor to lay eyes and take a photo of David . . . . 


It's funny people rave about this statue and I always kind of thought yeh he's pretty good, but after 
this tour I m totally in love with David, he is magnificent the detail are amazing and when Elena 
explained the sculpture shows the exact moment when David is ready to cast the stone at Goliath. Michaelangelo carved David when he was just 26 years old, he created a scaffold around David and for three years he worked under cover, sometimes sleeping within the scaffold. David used to stand on the Pallazzo della Signora , but was moved under cover prior to World War Two. Actually during World War Two he was totally encased in a brick tomb to protect him should Florence be bombed.



This is one of Michaelangelo 's slaves, there is six of these figures in the world four of them in Florence, two in Paris.  Most people beleive that these works were not completed. But some say that Michaelangelo was completly finished with them and that to him the sculptures represented the human souls constant battle to break free of its constraints and to become its true self.  They are each amazing in their own way. We have seen all six.

Palazzo Vecchio
The Pallazzo Vecchio is the town hall of Florence throughout the centuries it has had many names and various uses. But today it remains as it was when the Medici family moved out many centuries ago.



This is the roof of the "hall of the 500" in the palazzo Vecchio.  The palazzo Vecchio was one of the homes of the Medici family and in particular this one was the home of Cosomo the first and his wife Leonora. This hall was the towns council hall, where all the prominent members gathered to make decisions. They currently use it for various purposes including conferences.



These are the original keys to the gates of Florence. As I ve said previously Florence was a walled city. At dusk everyday the gates to the city would be closed and locked with these keys.



This is one of the rooms within the palazzo, it has paintings on three sides of the room and the ceiling and they represent the four elements. This Room was within the rooms used by Cosimo the first Medici.



Cosimo 's wife Leonora was very religious and this was her personal chapel.



During our walk around the city Elena showed us this wonderful old pharmacy. Today you can still go to this shop and they will create you a tea , tonic or powder for whatever ailments you may have, everything is totally natural. It smelt amazing. I would love to spend time here learning about how to make these natural medicines.



This is the ceiling of the cathedral of Florence.  When they built this church, for a very long time there was no roof on this section of the church as it was so huge they couldn't find a way to complete the dome satisfactorily. Then Fillippo Brunelleschi came along, it's too hard to explain how he completed the  dome, but it was very ingenious and involved using bricks in a herringbone pattern and it resulted in the dome requiring no visible internal supports.



And finally we visited the Basillica Santa Croche. This church is the principal Franciscan church in Florence and contains the remains of many famous Florentine's including Galelo , Machiavelli, Foscolo and Michaelangelo who's tomb you can see in the image above. The sarcophagus looks grey but in real life it was a lovely purple coloured marble.

We had an amazing day with Elena, and even though we discussed spending an extra hour with Elena ( and she would of been payed more) she rightly identified that four hours would well and truely fill our brains almost to the point of overload.

She even took us to a library which used to be a convent, which had the best view of the dome of the cathedral and great coffee.

We had a wonderful morning and then a little more of a relaxing afternoon, to allow our minds to digest all we had learnt.

If you are visiting Florence and would like a wonderful tour guide we can highly recommend Elena


I love History

Ciao 

Googy Girl

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