Favorite thing: Besides Michelangelo, Brunelleschi and da Vinci, Giorgio Vasari was one of the most famous and talented artists of Florence in the middle ages. He lived in the 16th century and some of his brilliant works are the rebuilding of the Palazzo Veccio and the construction of the Uffizi Gallery building. Moreover he painted the Duomo’s cupola, a highlight which you can admire best on the way up on it.
Favorite thing: While we were in the Boboli Gardens I wanted to find the statue of Baccus on the back of the turtle. I collect turtles and try to find souvineers with turtles on them when I travel. Its one of those strange things the guys in hats do when they travel. I saw a picture in a guide book of this statue at the Boboli Gardens and just had to have my picture taken with it. However we could not find it at the gardens. We did not buy a guide for the gardens. That was our first mistake. The gardens are huge with a very steep incline. After climbing the hills and and walking all over the gardens we were still unable to find the statue of Baccus. Finally exhausted we decided to give up our hunt and leave. On our way to the exit we found Baccus. He was located right next to the exit gates of the garden. Lesson to be learned from this: BUY A GUIDE BOOK.
Favorite thing: This statue of Dante stands just outside the main entrance of Santa Croce. Inside the church there are many graves and monuments. This history found inside this church is amazing. One of the graves inside the church is Dante's. I was literally overwhelmed walking amoung the crypts and monuments inside this church. Michaelanglo, Dante, and Galileo are just a few of the people whose crypts are within the walls of this church.
Favorite thing: This sculpture and many others can be found at the cloisters in Santa Croce. Also at Santa Croce is the world famous leather school. I do not have good notes about this piece of sculpture and I have tried researching on the internet unsuccessfully. If anyone knows any information about the statue I would be glad to note your comments in this tip.
Favorite thing: As I stated in the previous tip the Boboli Gardens are huge and have a very steep incline. When you first enter the gardens and climb the first set of steps it appears you have reached the top of the gardens. At the top of the steps is this beautiful statue. However you are not at the top of the gardens yet. Beyond this there is another steep hill and lots of climbing to do. But it is worth the climb. The gardens are exceptional.
Favorite thing: This is another of my favorite statues in Florence. I have always like the myth about Perseo and this statue with him holding the head of Medusa tells the story very dramatically. This is found in the Signoria Square where there are numerous statues and copies of statues. This particular statue has been in Signoria Square for over 400 years. However in 1993 there was a terrorist explosion near Signoria Square at the Ufizzi Gallery. A car bomb exploded and the statue broke into thousands of pieces. It took eight years to restore the damaged statue. But it is back in the square today and I am glad I had a chance to see it.
Favorite thing: This is the Baptism of Jesus found in the Museum Della Opera next to the Duomo. This piece stands in a hallway by itself and is not displayed very well. However when we came across it we had to stop and take in the beauty of the work. There was a stairway across from it and we were able to get pictures of it from several different angles as well as from overhead on the stairway.
The Piazza della Signora is considered the cultural centre of Florence. Here you can sense the large open-air gallery feeling which is thronged with great statues and fountains.
I am standing in front of the famous Neptune's Fountain by Ammannati. You will also find an exact replica of Micelangelo's David here in this piazza where the original once stood here in the Piazza della Signora in front of the Pallazzo Vecchio (the original is now located at the Galleria dell' Accademia).
Throughout Florence, you will without a doubt see this peculiar shield with six balls prominently displayed on buildings all over town. It is the family crest of the Medici, the most famous family in Florence.
For more information on the history of the Medici family go to this site:
stay on Piazza della Signoria to see the Palazzo Ducale and to visit the Museum Uffici Gallery which contents some marvellous works of the Italian Renaissance.
Fondest memory: Have a look at the David of Michel Ange (a bit small on the photograph). Its body proportions are volontarily wrong to give a good impression viewed from the feets of the statue.
Michelangelo was born March 6, 1475
His father placed him in the workshop of the painter Domenico Ghirlandaio.
His father had connections with the Medici family (ruling family of Florence). After 2 years of studying art, he was invited to the household of Lorenzo de Medici.
His most famous sculpture is David, which was made between 1501 and 1504. It is the symbol of Florence and is 14.24 feet tall (4.34m). It was originally placed in the Piazza della Signoria in from of the Pallazo Vecchio.
Fondest memory: Seeing Michaelangelos only painting. Unfortunately, like the Sisteen Chapel, security will not let you take a picture of it.
YOU MUST SEE IT YOURSELF, it is very special and valuable piece of art.
Favorite thing: Florence is a city of art. That is the only way to descibe it. There are sculptures and statues everywhere. Here is a replica of one of my favorite sculptures, The Rape of Sabine. The original is in the Galleria Della Accademia. There is a no photography rule at the gallery. This statue fascinated me. Out of one piece of stone three very detailed individuals were created. And there is such a story in just this one statue. There is the older man being defeated by the younger man who is raping the Sabine woman. With just a piece of stone such drama was created. This replica is found just outside of the Vecchio Palace.
Favorite thing: This is a replica of Michaelanglo's David. It stands outside of the Vecchio Palace where the original David once stood. To protect it from vandalism David was moved to Galleria della Accadamia. This replica gives you a perspective on the size of the statue. There are several replica's of David throughout Florence.
Favorite thing: The Boboli Gardens are just behind the Pitti Palace. They are very large and have some very steep hills. Be prepared for lots of walking and lots of climbing. But they are worth the efforts. The art work combined with the gardens are very beautiful. Also there are some unusual sculptures and pieces of sculptures throughout the gardens. This one pictured here really caught my interest.
Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) is a Florentine painter that experienced an upheaval mid-career. Early on, he was under the patronage of Lorenzo d’Medici and created such fabulous paintings as Birth of Venus and Primavera. He traveled to Rome and helped paint some of the side paintings in the Sistine Chapel for Pope Sixtus IV.
However, Botticelli, upon his return to Florence, came under the spell of Savonarola, who preached against many “vanities” in Florence. Botticelli is known to have place many of his own paintings into the flames of Savonarola’s “Bonfires of the Vanities”, which was fueled by many peoples’ artworks, jewelry, books, wigs, and anything else that the friar felt was sinful. The reason that Botticelli’s most famous works (Birth of Venus and Primavera*) were not destroyed is because they were the property of Lorenzo d’Medici at that time. After the era of Savonarola, Botticelli’s work changed to religious scenes rather than pagan themes.
I have listed the works by Botticelli that can be found in Florence. If you are short on time, I highly recommend you visit the Uffizi and see the Botticelli works on display. You can also visit the site of Savonarola’s execution, at the site of the “Bonfires of the Vanities” in the Piazza del Signoria.
Madonna della Loggia
Madonna in Glory with Seraphim
Madonna of the Rose garden
Madonna and Child with Six Saints
Discovery of the Body of Holofernes
Return of Judith to Bethulia
Portrait of Man with a Medal of Cosimo the Elder
Adoration of the Magi
Pallas and the Centaur
Birth of Venus
Madonna of the Pomegranate
Virgin and Child with Four Angels and Six Saints
Coronation of the Virgin
St. Augustine in his Cell
Calumny of Apelles
Adoration of the Magi
Virgin and Child with Two Angels and St. John the Baptist
Madonna of the Sea
Santa Maria Novella
Birth of Christ
Portrait of a Young Man
Portrait of a Young Woman
Madonna and Child and Young St. John the Baptist
Ospedale degli Innocenti
Madonna and Child with Angel
Tomb of Botticelli
No photos are allowed in the Uffizi so I do not have any pictures of Botticelli's works. However, you can see an informative video about this artist and some photos of his works at the Khan Academy website.
The Uffizi Gallery is a wonderful art gallery – full of works by so many famous artists. Our class visited the museum twice during our week so that we could absorb it all. Be sure to walk around outside the museum and have a look at the statues of the famous Florentines. If you make your way to the river you will get a good view of the Ponte Vecchio and the Vasari Corridor. Let’s head into the Uffizi…