Thursday, May 9, 2013

Reliving Florence

We just managed to get all our photos in one place, so this week I had the chance to go through them, organize them a bit, and make some albums.  It's like living the trip all over again...

All our nights in Italy (except one) were spent in this lovely B&B on via Dante Alighieri.  We were given keys to the front door (isn't it funny how the doorknobs are in the center of the door?) and after walking up to the second floor, you arrived in the main sitting room, below.  A simple breakfast with breads, cakes, fruit, yogurt, coffee, and tea was available here every morning, and many guests met here in the evenings for the wifi, which couldn't be accessed in all the rooms.  Off of this room was another sunny sitting area and a balcony which looked out into the courtyard (see the next photo, below).

The ceilings at the Dei Mori were all covered in these lovely frescoes, dating back to the 15th century.  It was lovely to lie in bed in the morning and imagine who painted them and who else may have looked up at them over the years.

All the bedrooms were located down this short hall.  Notice the old brick archways.

The narrow cobblestone streets outside the Dei Mori look like this...

 and this.  It was easy to imagine Dante Alighieri, Giotto, the Medicis and other historic Florentines wandering down the lanes toward the Piazza della Signoria, only a few minutes away on foot.

Perhaps Florence's most famous piazza, it is shown here from Giotto's famous campanile near the Duomo.  The large castle-like structure with the tower is the Palazzo Vecchio, where the city government met and where the Medicis lived at one time.  The famous Ufizzi Gallery museum housing many works by Botticelli, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Michelangelo, is also off this square.

Here I am, enjoying my first views of the Palazzo Vecchio and all the sculptures, tourists, and cafe`s that line the square.

One of the main attractions here is a copy of Michelangelo's David.  The original was situated here until the 1800s, when it was moved to the Accademia.  You're not allowed to photograph that one, so it's nice to be able to take home pics of this one, although it doesn't have quite the impact surrounded by all the brickwork and other distractions.

Mark loved seeing this balcony, which apparantly was in a scene in one of the "Hannibal the Cannibal" movies!

Beneath the Palazzo Vecchio is this lovely carved courtyard where you can wander (for free) and admire all the gorgeous details of the ceilings and columns.

There is also a replica of this Putto statue on a fountain (the original can be seen inside the palazzo), which is said to have been a favorite of Lorenzo Medici.  Isn't he cute?  It was amazing to be surrounded by all that fantastic artwork within such a short walk of the B&B!  I wonder what it's like to live there and see it on a daily basis!

Here we are having our first of many dinners near the street at a little trattoria.  We had bread with olive oil and herbs, fresh ravioli, risotto, and wine (what else?).  Salute!

1 comment:

Vivien Zepf said...

Florence, Florence, Florence - a magical city! I was lucky enough to just be there myself. I think I could go back every year and be entranced every time. So glad you were able to enjoy such a special trip in such a special city.