There are some
* Piazza Stazione, 4A (in front of the railay station)
- Tel.: (+39) 055 212 245
- Fax: (+39) 055 238 226
* Via Cavour, 1R (close to the Cathedral)
- Tel.: (+39) 055 290 832 and 055 290 833
- Fax: (+39) 055 276 2760 383
- www.firenzeturismo.it/content/view/90/26/lang,en_EN (offices)
* E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are lots of good guide books for Florence and the many museums. One of the best ones was given to me only after our trip, but that's not too bad, as I'm sure I wil be back and it will be very useful then.
It's called "Just add Water..." and was thought of and written by several authors from the friends of the museums in Florence, the Amici dei Musei Fiorentini. It's on sale in the gift shops in Florence, also - I just checked- at amazon.com.
The explanations and descriptions are embedded in a story , an uncle is taking his young nephew to Florence. While this story is somewhat unlikely - I have yet to meet a young boy who is SO interested in art and who remembers SO much of what his uncle tells him - this book is an excellent guide to the museums and churches of Florence.
I thouroughly enjoyed reading it, even it was after our trip there.
Favorite thing: Ok so you know how in Spain you get served free tapas (snacks) when having a drink? Florence is way more generous, because in almost every bar/club we visited there was ample food on offer for anyone who bought a drink! And I mean real food, dishes of pasta, italian antipasti, bread, cheeses...etc etc food that you could get full up on! We were astonished at this and wondered if we were attending a private party by mistake; their response was 'help yourself, as long as you buy a drink from the bar!' sweet :)
GOOD REASONS TO VISIT FLORENCE IN THE WINTER TIME
February is a very good month to visit Florence. The hotel prices are not so high. I found a single room with shower, tv, air condition amd breakfast in the three star hotel for 24 Euro. I booked via www.bookings.com The price for the room in the summer is 80 Euro.
There were no queues in any museums. So you don't have to book in advance. Museum booking fees are not so cheap as you think. From 3 to 10 Euro. If you want to visit two or three museums you can save money for a good meal.
If you are hungry you can find a free place in cheap restaurants and I think the prices in the summer are higher than in the winter.
The weather was ok. About 15-18 Grad Celsius.
There are five important words to add to your Italian vocabulary.
Permesso- when you want to pass someone or through a crowd of people when you are on the bus and want to get off, for example, use the word permesso. Excuse me just doesn't work as I found out last night.
Scusa- use this word if you step on someone's foot or bump into them.
Conto- that is the bill you ask for in a restaurant.
Per favore- please
Grazie- thank you.
Florence is beautiful, magnificent and awesome. The whole downtown is like an open air museum of art.
It could a ready stage set up for Romeo and Juliet. The fortress like family towers, the bridge and the sculptures all over town.
If you are a history of art fan, Florence (and Rome) should be where to spend days exploring and soaking in to get an A plus term paper.
Have studied art history of the Renaissance sculpture Ghiberti's masterpieces of door panels, it was a great delight to see them face to face in Florence.
Yet, it seemed surprising that such priceless masterpieces, some taking over 20 years to complete were so exposed to public and the weather. Theft and corrosion?
Then I was told the truth. They are replicas. The real ones are in a museum. OK, fair enough. These replicas are still to be marvelled.
Tutti cosa! Florence retains its old qualities and even though this is somewhat deminished by the tourist aspect of street sellers trying to flog you bags and sunglasses its beauty shines through. Florence is my favourite city in the world although I can't pinpoint one particualar aspect, the architecture is amazing and the views from the surrounding hills looking down on the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio are excellent, especially from Piazza Michelangelo.
Fondest memory: Everytime I come to Florence its purely the view from Piazza Michelangelo that remains my fondest memory, I always think of Giacomo Puccini's - O Mio Babbino Caro when Im there.
Favorite thing: Arno is the largest river in the area, but by global standards is a small one - with a lenght of 241 kilometers, from the mountains to the Tyrrhenian Sea. Arno passes Empoli, Pisa and Florence, regurarly flooding the last one, last time in 1966. For preventing more floods a damn was built recently upstream Florence.
Favorite thing: Right in front of the Palazzo Pitti I saw this sculpture that resembled so much with the works of Brancusi - the great Romanian sculptor. I guess I saw more in Florence, meaning there was some kind of street exibit. I wonder if somebody could tell me which school or artist was that.
Favorite thing: I was impressed by the simplicity and yet marvel of the big clock on the tower of the Palazzo Vecchio. 12 roman numbers, divided by twelve crosses, short hour and minute arms, elegant as a modern swiss watch. I wish I could have seen the mechanism behind the clock, surely it is ingenious and it had its part of breakdowns, but so many hours passed trough that clock, I really am amazed seeing those old tower clocks.
Favorite thing: Streets and people on the streets offers many things to the tourist's eye. Some people are live-statues (I hate that job, but some might consider fun to watch the poor man or woman which is actually sweating under the bronze painted sheet), some are comics (alledgedly), some try to sell paintings, that are actually scanned pictures. You might find between those hoaxes some real painters, like the one in the picture. I would buy a hand-made picture of the dome from this man. I did not actually, but I will next time in Florence :))
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.
You might know my lucky number is 14 (and more exact 214), so I am always happy to see such a nice door at number 14 on a street in my travels. And I like doors, being a subject themself in photography. I am thinking if I would enjoy living at this address in Florence - yes I would :)
Actually the number might be unreadable as the picture is too small in VT but you will take my word for it won't you? :)
Favorite thing: Pictured trough the statues on the wall of the Ufizzi Galleries (see both pictures of this tip), the two geniuses of art rivals, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (March 6, 1475 – February 18, 1564) and Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519), are the most famous product of Tuscany. Though Michelangelo was, as I said, a genius in art, I personally consider Leonardo to be a true pioneer with an unlimited vision, ahead of its times, doing researches in so many fields, but especially in anatomy, astronomy, civil engineering and optics.
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