Renaissance Florence (Firenze)… Born Again Culture

This nice kitty with his finger like paws greeted us on the Piazza del Signoria... along with several other sculptures.

This nice kitty with his finger like paws greeted us on the Piazza della Signoria… along with several other sculptures. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson)

I made the point in my last blog–I am returning to Florence. The two-hour trip to Florence from the Port of Livorno where our ship was docked, and the two-hour trip back, seriously sucked up what little time we had to enjoy the legendary Renaissance city.

Our first act upon arrival was to plot out our plan of attack, which we did over café lattes and scrumptious Italian pastries. Why suffer? I really, really hate to eliminate treasures, however. Florence is where the birth of the Renaissance took place and is chock full of art.

Florence Cafe Latte

While our day in Florence was short, it wasn’t so short we couldn’t enjoy a Cafe Latte.

The Uffizi Gallery alone, with its world-class art including masterpieces by Sandro Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci, would take up half out time. Beyond that we plotted out a walk that would take us to the Duomo Basilica and then back to Santo Croce Basilica, where we were to catch our bus. Sadly, I crossed off the Accademia Gallery, which includes Michelangelo’s original David.

But not to worry… there was a magnificent copy of David in front of the Uffizi Gallery in Piazza della Signoria. It was in this square, BTW, that the infamous priest Savonarola (1452-98) held his ‘Bonfire of Vanities’ and encouraged the good citizens of Florence to bring their art treasures and books to be burned.  Somewhat ironically, Savonarola, who was quite vain in his own way, was also burned in the square.

Copy of Michelangelo's David standing in front of the Uffizzi  Art Gallery.

Michelangelo’s David has always been Peggy’s favorite sculpture. How’s a guy supposed to compete? This copy stands in front of the Uffizi Gallery on Piazza della Signoria where the original David stood.

Neptune sculpture by Ammannati.

I enjoyed these charging horses pulling Neptune’s chariot on Piazza della Signoria in Florence. The horses were carved by the Sculpture Ammannati.

This sculpture by Benvenuto Cellini shows Perseus holding up the head of Medusa, which he had just lopped off. Hopefully her eyes are closed. Otherwise you would be turned to stone.

This sculpture by Benvenuto Cellini shows Perseus holding up the head of Medusa, which he had just lopped off. Hopefully her eyes are closed. Otherwise you would be turned to stone. I am thinking the stuff flowing out of the neck is a little weird.

The most dynamic sculpture on the Piazza del Signoria is the Rape of the Sabine Women by the sculpture Giambologna.  The story goes that Romulous needed more women for his new city of Rome, so he went to the nearby town of Sabine and kidnapped them.

The most dynamic sculpture on the Piazza della Signoria is the Rape of the Sabine Women by the sculpture Giambologna. The story goes that Romulus needed more women for his new city of Rome, so he went to the nearby town of Sabine and kidnapped them. See the close up below.

Rape of the Sabine Women by Giambologna

A close up of Giambologna’s sculpture, which he carved from a single block of marble.

They didn’t allow photos to be taken in the Uffizi Gallery, but when we came out, a short walk took us to Florence’s most famous bridge, the Ponte Vecchio.

Florence's most famous bridge

A view of the Ponte (bridge) Vecchio crossing the Arno River in Florence.

A close up of the Pont Vecchio in Florence. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson)

A close up of the Pont Vecchio in Florence. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson)

For my final picture today, I selected this view looking down the Arno River from the Pont Vecchio.

For my final picture today, I selected this view looking down the Arno River from Pont Vecchio.

NEXT BLOG: We will visit two of Florence’s great churches: the Duomo and Santa Croce. Prepare to be dazzled.

10 comments on “Renaissance Florence (Firenze)… Born Again Culture

  1. Love these shots.. the architecture reminds me of New Orleans especially the colored shutters.. Yes, that shot of Peggy is priceless..love it 🙂

  2. I remember my first visit to Florence where I had to be dragged away form David…..nothing had prepared me for the sculptures in Florence….and I was as fascinated as the first time. If I could afford it, I would cover our 5 acres with the appropriate LARGE sculptures!

  3. Curt, these are wonderful photos. And I too love the pic of Peggy and David! 🙂 I think we both took shots of similar subjects, but your photos of Giambologna’s sculpture is waaaaay better than anything we managed to snap. ~Terri

    • Thanks Terri. Peggy and I have made it to Watson Lake on our way back south from Alaska. Wi-Fi is off and on, so to speak. But I am amazed that they even have it in some of the places we have been. –Curt

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