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  • Day16

    Chiesa di Santa Maria Maggiore, Florence

    December 7, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 11 °C

    As Brad and I headed out for our morning coffee we came across Chiesa di Santa Maria Maggiore, the oldest church in Florence. The original church existed as early as the 8th century and is first documented in 931 AD with the current building constructed in the 11th century and undergoing extensive renovations to the façade in the 13th century. The exterior is quite plain and simple so the inside was a bit surprising with some very interesting decorations, and the tombs of several prominent historical people.

    The artworks include frescoes on the ceilings and pillars, which are always the first things to catch my eye, a Nativity by Matteo Rosselli and a vivid polychromed stucco relief panel, the Madonna del Carmelo. The artwork in this church was unusual with a mixture of wooden and metal sculpture protruding from the pillars to realistic statues of Jesus after his crucifixion. While not one of the most impressive churches we have seen, it was a little gem hidden in plain sight in a big city.
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  • Day16

    Mercato Nuovo, Florence

    December 7, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    After meeting up with Peta and Errol for another coffee (Italian coffee is the best), we started exploring the streets of Florence. Even though we have been here before there is still so much to see, so much history to absorb. As we were making our way towards the Piazza della Signoria, we can across the Mercato Nouvo and we knew we had to stop and shop for some Italian leather items – it was a must.

    The Mercato Nuovo or Straw Market is located in the historic centre of Florence and is a covered market that has been open for business as far back as the 11th century. It gets its name from one of the traditional products sold in the market, straw and from the fact it is the “new” market place that replaced the old market in Piazza Vecchio. The Market stalls are protected by the loggia del Porcellino with high arched openings, which was constructed in 1551.

    The most famous attraction in the market is the Fontana del Porcellino which features a bronze statue of a wild boar. This piece is a replica of the original which stands in the Uffizi Gallery and was created by Pietro Tacca. Visitors to Il Porcellino put a coin into the boar’s mouth with the intent to let it fall through the underlying grating for good luck or to have a wish come true, and rub the boar’s snout to ensure a return to Florence or for good luck. There are a variety of “traditions” associated with this statue dating back to as early as 1766 when a Scottish literary traveler made note of it. These traditions have kept the snout of the boar in a state of polished sheen while the rest of the boar’s body has patinated to a dull brownish green. It has also been replaced a couple of times due to the wear on the snout.
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    Jenny Kelly

    I’ll have one of each colour please??

  • Day16

    Gallerie degli Uffizi, Florence

    December 7, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Next on the agenda for today was a visit to the Gallerie degli Uffizi, one of the oldest museums in the world and one of the world’s most famous art galleries. The Uffizi hosted over four million visitors in 2018, making it the most visited art gallery in Italy. Established in 1581 it officially opened to the public in 1765. The museum possesses about 3100 works of art and there are usually about 1700 on display at any given time, with the majority of the Uffizi collection from the period between the 12th and 17th century. Among the famous artists whose work is on display here are Leonardo da Vinci, Raffaello, Sandro Botticelli, Raphael and Michelangelo. Records show that even da Vinci and Michelangelo visited the Uffizi to see the precious art collection.

    The gallery also boasts and invaluable collection of ancient statues and busts from the Medici family, which adorn the corridors and consists of ancient Roman copies of lost Greek sculptures. Some dating back to the 1st century BC. It is amazing to see the amount of detail that can be achieved and carved into a block of marble. It is unfathomable how the artists even knew where to start. Very impressive.

    It was great to see some of the more “famous” pieces but it also made us wonder what made them more well-known than some of the other pieces, especially when we saw other artworks just as impressive. I guess the question is still valid today. What makes art a notable piece of art? We all liked different pieces and that is the great thing about the arts, not everyone has to like the same thing. We all have our own unique taste.

    Occupying the first and second floor of the large building constructed between 1560 and 1580, and originally built to accommodate the Florentine magistrates, the building itself is a work of art with the amazing painted ceilings throughout the external rooms. I love the ceilings with their weird images, delicate lines and vivid colours and spent a lot of the visit looking up. There are some crazy looking creatures painted on the ceiling, that’s for sure, and yet all together the ceilings give the building such an elegant and regal feeling. It is impressive.

    I think this is one gallery that needs more than one day to explore if you want to have the time to appreciate all of the art on display, as it is quite extensive and a bit of an art overload when trying to see every room. The crowded tour groups didn’t help but we are lucky we are here in the “off” season as I can only imagine how busy it would be in the official “tourist” season. Overall, I enjoyed it and hopefully Brad, Peta and Errol enjoyed it too.
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  • Day6

    Frühstück und weiter gehts

    September 4, 2020 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    ...nachdem wir ein paar Weg-Croissants und das Auto aus seinem Hotel abgeholt haben (Parkgebühr für 38 Stunden - 82 € - geht auf jeden Fall - Fast so hoch wie der Preis für die 2 Nächte Unterkunft für unsRead more

  • Day8

    „Warum ist Jesus grün?“

    January 18, 2020 in Italy ⋅ 🌧 9 °C

    Heute sind wir für unsere Verhältnisse früh aufgestanden, haben sehr lecker bei uns im Hotel gefrühstückt 🥐 und sind aufgebrochen, um Florenz zu entdecken. Als erstes sind wir auf einem Antikmarkt umhergeschlendert, der direkt vor unserer Haustür war. Dann haben wir uns die Basilica di San Lorenzo, Baptisterium San Govanni, Kathedrahle von Florenz, Palazzo Vecchio und Loggia dei Lanzi von außen im Regen angesehen. Nach einem kurzen Blick ins Innere des Palazzo Vecchio war klar, das wir gerne eher etwas Regengeschützes machen wollen. Also besuchten wir die Uffizien und sahen uns dort ganz viele „Maria mit Kind“ 👩‍👦Kunstwerke der Privatsammlung der Medici, der reichsten Familie Florenz, an. Als wir raus kamen, hatte es aufgehört zu regnen. Dann sind wir die Brücke Ponte Vecchio entlang gegangen. Und Richtung Piazzale Michelangelo abgebogen. Um von dort oben einen Atem beraubend schönen Blick zu haben müssen wir einen Steilen Weg hoch gehen. Der war sehr Atemraubend...🥵
    Dort oben haben wir großen Hunger bekommen und sind den ganzen Weg zurück gegangen, um auf Siris Wunsch hin, in einem American Diner in der Nähe unseres Hotels zu essen.🍔
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  • Day7

    Einmal quer durch Italien

    January 17, 2020 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 7 °C

    Heute saßen wir 12 Stunden lang im Zug.
    Auf der Fahrt zogen an uns Flamingos🦩, etliche Kakteen🌵, Orangen- 🍊und Zitronenbäume🍋, der Ätna🌋 und der Vesuv🗻 vorbei. Außerdem sind wir wieder Fähre von Sizilien ans Festland gefahren. Aber das Meer mussten wir noch nicht verabschieden, denn für ein paar Stunden sind wir mit dem Zug direkt daran vorbei gefahren. Nach fast 9 Stunden Zug- und Fährfahrt sind wir in Neapel in einen Schnellzug umgestiegen. Mit rund 300km/h waren wir dann nach rund 3 Stunden in Florenz.
    Aber was macht man 12 Stunden in einem Zug OHNE WLAN? Essen! 😋
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Florence, Florenz, Florencia, فلورنسا, Florensiya, Горад Фларэнцыя, Флоренция, ফ্লোরেন্স, ཧྥུ་ལོ་རོན་ཟིའུ་ཡ།, Firenca, Florència, Флоренци, Florencie, Fflorens, Firenze, Φλωρεντία, Florenco, Florentzia, Floréncia, فلورانس, Florâns, Flórans, פירנצה, फ़्लोरेन्स, Ֆլորենցիա, FLR, Flórens, フィレンツェ, ფლორენცია, 피렌체, Florens, Firense, Firenz, Florencija, Флоренций, Фиренца, ഫ്ലോറൻസ്, Флоренц, फ्लोरेन्स, Sciorenza, Florença, Firence, فلورنس, 50123, Florența, Firenzi, Florencėjė, ఫ్లోరెన్స్, ฟลอเรนซ์, Lungsod ng Florencia, Floransa, Florénsa, Флоренція, Florensya, פירענצע, 翡冷翠, 佛罗伦萨