Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446) was a sculptor in the Florentine workshop, made himself known in 1401 by winning the competition of the second door of the Baptistery in Florence, only that he was to share the work with Lorenzo Ghiberti, so he renounced, leaving Ghiberti to finish those doors, which led to the commission of other doors, later renowned as The Gates of Paradise. This brought a rivalry between those two men, most battles took place while both were in the supervising council for building the Duomo. Brunelleschi remained famous for designing the dome of the Duomo, winning the competition, backed by the Medici family, with an original design. Brunelleschi worked to build the dome for the rest of his, from 1423 to 1446. The dome was fully completed only in 1461, 38 years from the start, finished by Michelozzo.
Hats off for Brunelleschi for designing and struggling so many years on the dome of the Duomo. He did other plans, like the Pazzi Chapel and The Ospedale degli Innocenti (an orphanage), but nothing the size (renowned) as the dome. There is also an unfortunate episod from Brunelleschi's work, when he took chance in shipyards, building a very big boat called Il Badalone, which sank on its maiden voyage on the Arno River, moving marble from Pisa to Florence, taking down with it a sizeable part of the man's fortune. That's got to hurt and make him turn to static architecture.
His statue lies now prowdly west of the Duomo, showing him with the plans of the dome and looking up as he was supervising the works.
go up high high high....
we went up to the michaelangelo vale for a few times, on day time, nite time, sunset.....it was a nice place to look at ponte vechio from far, and enjoy the scenary of florence....there are buses going up to the vale. so its very convenient. I also saw adults racing in a mini circuit of mini motocycle racing. Very interesting. great place for photograph. There's a cafe there too, but not at the highest point. There's also an outdoor DAVID on top of the vale.
You want Gold? They Have Gold!
This famous bridge in Florence houses may gold and silver jewelry shops. Whether you're in the mood to shop on just brouse, this is the spot.
For more information on the bridge, see my "Must See."
.. GOLD!! SILVER!! For more information on the various shops, see the web site below.
Drive there and leave you car...
Drive there and leave you car in a garage. Walk everywhere. Or better yet take a train.
Parking is hard so arrange for garage service through your hotel. Yes, that is a car the size of a moped in the picture!!! That way they can put it in a small space.
Of course, there are lots of...
Of course, there are lots of good restaurants in Florence, many of them are quite expensive, but that is due to the high pressure of tourism: they're not the best ones. My suggestion is to go and have dinner in Borgo Santo Spirito, that is, the "opposite" site of the river, across Ponte Vecchio. These are the ones I would suggest:
ANGIOLINO - Borgo S. Spirito 16 - 055 2398976 - closed Sunday nights, and Mondays - less than 20 Euro (take care of Osteria S. Spirito, the opposite corner of the same square: there's plenty of tourists, high-tone music and an unuseful invasion of international cuisine)
CASALINGA - V. Michelozzi 9 - 055 218624 - closed on Sundays - less than 20 Euro
Osteria Cinghiale Bianco - Borgo S. Jacopo 43 - 055 215706 - closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays - less than 20 Euro As you may be aware, there's not an "Italian" cuisine, but several regional cuisines: Toscana, is one of the Italian region with the widest range of recipes and most variated ingredients. So, please, if you want to visit Florence, avoid the miserable
flatness of fast-food, and leave behind canned Chinese food: enjoy olive oil, salami, pecorino (sheep) cheeses, finocchiona, beef steak "a la Fiorentina", "acqua cotta", porc livers "con la rete", black cabbage, "cannellini" white- beans, "cacciucco a la Livornese" (mixed fish in tomanto soup),
"pasta e ceci" (chick-peas), "ribollita" (vegetable soup), pork "arista" with potatoes, "spezzatino" (chopped veal) with potatoes, porc "stinco" (leg), "polpettone" (huge minced meat ball), "trippa" (intestines), "rognone" (kidneys) and Siena's panforte and the rest.....!