Important Words To Learn
Favorite thing: 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.Related to:
- Women's Travel
Florence - Great Outdoor Museum
Favorite thing: 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.
Beautiful Replicas - Baptistery Door panels
Favorite thing: 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.
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Favorite thing: 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.
Clock of Palazzo Vecchio
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 :))
Favorite thing: 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.
Lucky number 14
Favorite thing: 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? :)
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Michelangelo and Leonardo
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.
Favorite thing: There are lots of internet cafes in Florence, many of which are near the Mercato San Lorenzo. I used the Caironet. I found it to be pretty clean and convenient.
Locations are Via Faenza, 49r, Via De Ginori, 59r, and Via De Macci, 90r.
I dont know how the price compares to others.Related to:
- Women's Travel
Favorite thing: I think Firenze has the best gelato that I have EVER tasted! When I was in Firenze the weather changed from nice and sunny to a bit cold and raining – but no matter the weather it was always a good time for gelato. And it’s not just that Firenze has great gelato it’s that they give you so much (in comparison to, let’s say, Rome) for a fairly good price.
Fondest memory: I remember my friends and I getting gelato and then going and sitting near the open air museum in Piazza della Signoria. Three scoops of ice-cream, I can’t remember now what I asked for, but I bet it included fragola (strawberry), all in a very large cone. It was too much and none of us were able to finish our gelato. I mean, just look at the picture and tell me that doesn’t make your mouth water.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
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Favorite thing: There are number of streets in Florence which are of exceptional beauty. Some of them we admire because of its important historical sights or palaces, the others because we were captured by an small "unsignificant" detail.
Fondest memory: The open picture of this tip shows my favourite street of Florence. I dunno the name of the street, it is not that important to me, all I recall it is close to Spedale degli Innocenti. It is the real gem of the medieval Florence, and that is what counts here.
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Favorite thing: Firenze lies at the foot of the Appennines, in the large plain cut by the Arno river, and is considered as the heart of Italy. The first settlement was founded here during the 8th century BC, but little is known of these so-called Vilanovan culture. In 59 BC, the Roman city was founded here with the characteristic square ground plan of the castrum. In its early stages, the town passed from hand to hand, Ostrogoths, Byzantines, Goths, Lombards and Franks ruled here before, in 1183, the city became a free Commune. Soon after the first clashes between Guelphs and Ghibellines have started here, lasting for many following years. The Florence's roots were Guelph and in 1226 they defeated their bitter rivals, once and for all. After these wars, an upsurge in the arts and literature started here and Florence became the new cradle for Italian and European culture. This were the times of Dante, Giotto, Arnolfo di Cambio, and powerful families Pitti, Frescobaldi, Strozzi and finaly the Medici.
Fondest memory: The river of Arno gave the life to the city, it is his heart and soul. The whole old core of the city lies along its both banks connected with several bridges, among which Ponte Vecchio is the wide world most famous.
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