Florence - the artisan centre of Italy

Trip Start Jul 02, 2013
Trip End Aug 08, 2013

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Where I stayed
Via degli Alfani, 84 Florence, Tuscany 50121 Italy

Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Monday, July 22, 2013

If you ever get a chance to visit Italy, Florence is a must do.
Its a truly beautiful city, well kept and clean. 
Florence (Firenze in Italian) was at its peak in the Middle Ages and was considered the birthplace of the renaissance period. It was the the medieval finance and trade centre of Europe and one of the wealthiest cities at that time. 
Florence was also home to Medici family, who sponsored and supported many artists and artistic projects, including Leonardo Da Vinic and Michelangelo.
In fact Michelangelo, at age 26, got the gig to sculpt the Statue of David over Leonardo Da Vinci, which has now become the recognized worlds best sculpture of man.
We saw the iconic Duomo (Florence Cathedral) which is just spectacular and massive. Construction was first started in 1296 and completed in 1436, and is the worlds largest brick constructed dome, however decorating the outer walls using green, pink and white marble, took another 450 yrs to complete. Henry and I climbed both the stand alone bell tower (414 steps each way) and the Cathedral Dome (463 steps each way) for some majestic views over Florence - well worth the climb.
After dinner, I took a stroll up to the Michelangelo lookout and took some pic as dusk descended over Florence. At the lookout is a replica of the statue of David, which is ok, but Shirely and I lined up at 8am (hoping to miss the big queues) see the real thing and after 2hrs of waiting, we were in.
 Now, I don't have a great sense of artistic appreciation in my DNA, however this statue was perfection. It was carved from a slab of marble left over from the construction of the Duomo. It took 3 yrs to complete and when finished in 1504, stood just over 5 meters high and weighed about 6 tons. The level of detail and human proportion is amazing.
Apparently your not meant to take photos of the statue, but along with the hundreds of careful visitors, I manage to grab a quick snap of the real thing.
Ponte Vecchio is also quite famous, it's a bridge over the river where they have built shops attached to the outside of the bridge, quite unique.
We're off to Venice tomorrow, just a short trip north to see the city of canals. 
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Loving your blog Rod. Looks like you are having a fantastic time. Regards Av

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