Friday, December 9, 2011

Florence part II - the rest

...and the rest of the cool stuff in Florence.

5. Florence
 Streets of Florence catching glimpses of the Duomo

 San Lorenzo (beautiful inside but no photos)

Santa Maria Novella (beautiful inside but no photos)

Santa Croce (beautiful get the picture)

 Cappella de' Pazzi (an early Brunellschi dome for the Architecture buffs)

 Ponte Santa Trinita on the Arno river

The Ponte Vecchio

 On the Ponte Vecchio

 Piazza della Signora and the Palazzo Vecchio where a replica of Michelangelo's David stands

 Piazza Della Republica

Palazzo Pitti (now a massive gallery)

 View from the Boboli Gardens behind the Palazzo Pitti

 Boboli Gardens behind the Palazzo Pitti

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Florence part I - Duomo di Firenze

Next on the itinerary was Florence. We just happened to be staying an apartment that was overlooking the central Piazza del Duomo, which is home to the famous church, tower and baptistry. This was a great base to explore some great buildings, galleries and gelateria. Some of the highlights were the original statue of David and the Uffizi Gallery (where photography was not allowed).

4. Duomo di Firenze,11.256732&sspn=0.001917,0.005284&vpsrc=0&t=m&z=18

 The main dome of the church. Designed by Brunelleschi and finished in 14630

 The front facade with our accommodation in the left background. (The facade is a 19th century neo-gothic addition)

 View from our apartment

 (Very) early morning shot of the dome from our accommodation

 View from the top of the dome looking at Piazza della Signora, the Palazzo Vecchio (building with tower) and the Uffizi (U-shaped building behind and to the right of the Palazzo Vecchio)

Badia Fiorentina (tower on right) and Casa di Dante (Dante's reputed birthplace on the left)
 Mum and Dad up top

 Yours truly in front of Giotto's Tower

 Giotto's tower by night (designed by Giotto in 1334, completed in 1359)

Fresco on the inside of the dome

Baptistry in the late evening

 East door of the Baptistry "Gates of Paradise"

Inside the Baptistry 13th Century mosaics depicting the Last Judgement

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lucca, Pisa, Viareggio

From our base in Caprignana we explored the surrounding attractions. In particular the central city of Lucca (birthplace of Puccini) and the iconic Pisa (THAT tower). We also spent a day at Viareggio which is on the Mediterranean sea and is a huge resort town and a centre for luxury yacht building.

3. Lucca, Pisa, Viareggio

San Michele in Foro (11th - 14th century Romanesque facade)

Narrow streets in Lucca

One of many towers in Lucca - this one we got to climb
 ...and the view from the top

One section of Lucca was built over an old Roman amphitheatre, hence the curved street and oval shaped Piazza dell'Anfiteatro


Duomo di San Martino (another Pisan style Romanesque cathedral from the 11th Century)
 Duomo di San Martino

Baptistry, Duomo and leaning tower at Pisa

Yes, it leans
 Obligatory tourist photo #1:...but I can hold it up with just one finger!

The beach at Viareggio, looking north towards the Carrara mountains

Sailing in the Mediterranean
Attack of sea urchins!!!

Art Nouveau architecture - the formerly grand "Gran Caffe Margherita