Firenze, the cradle of the Renaissance. The city I looked most forward to visiting. It was unfortunate that we only had a day there. The shopping at the market was awesome and of course, that took quite some time. I regret not snapping any photos but I was too busy checking out all the leather goods. If you’re looking for leather, Florence is where it’s at. I managed to buy a purse, very happy with it. Florence is also the city where I had my very first shot of grappa… that put me in a happy place for the rest of the afternoon! I definitely have to go back and stay longer next time. I have yet to explore the Uffizi and the Academia! I digress, let’s back up and start from the beginning…
So, as we were walking down one of the streets to get to the Piazza del Duomo, we were tantalized with glimpses of red and white and green marble. I couldn’t wait to get to where we were going, I was almost giddy with excitement!
At the end of street, there it was – The Duomo, called The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (aka Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower), is a gothic style cathedral adorned with Bruneslleschi’s dome. The facade is simply breathtaking, incorporating such intricate design using reliefs, statutes, and white, green and red marble. I had never seen anything like it before. It was an assault of the senses, but in a good way 🙂 The Duomo is actually part of two other structures located in Piazza del Duomo, the other two includes the Baptistery and Giotto’s Campanile. You can see a glimpse of the Baptistery on the right of the photo below and that tower is Giotto’s Campanile.
Here are some close-up details of the facade:
There are twelve of these statues on the facade. Here are six of them:
The huge doors are made out of bronze:
Giotto’s Campanile (this is the view from the back):
… and this is the close up view from the front.
In contrast to the outside, the inside of the Duomo is quite plain. Our photos of the inside the cathedral didn’t turn out so well as we didn’t have the tripod with us. However, make sure you look up under the dome and you will be rewarded with Vasari and Zuccari’s fresco depicting the Last Judgment.
Here are the three structures I mentioned earlier. The Baptistery (much older than the Duomo) on the left, the Duomo and Brunelleschi’s Dome in the centre and Giotto’s Campanile on the right.
In the evening, we went to Piazzale Michelangelo where we took this photo. Florence is magical at night.