Monday, October 27, 2014

Florence, Italy.

The rain of the previous day had left the river a little dirty, but the sky was blue, and it was warming up so we headed out to the Uffizi Gallery.  .

No photographs were allowed in the gallery at all.  I got told off for taking this one...

But I was allowed to take this one of the view from the window of the gallery to the Ponte Vecchio. 

Some of the beautiful artwork in the gallery...  That I wasn't allowed to take photos of.. Honestly, it was my finger, it just pushed the button.

The view from the verandah of Palazzo Vecchio...This massive, Romanesque crenellated fortress-palace is among the most impressive town halls of Tuscany. Overlooking the Piazza della Signoria with its copy of Michelangelo's David statue as well as the gallery of statues in the adjacent Loggia dei Lanzi, it is one of the most significant public places in Italy.

And from the reflection in the rubbish bin....

The next two were from the Dutch Painter Jacob Isaacksz van Ruisdael (1629 - 1682). He was a prolific Dutch Gold Age Landscape painter, and is considered the most famous of four Haarlem family members who created landscape paintings, though traditionally their works have been difficult to tell apart.

Ruisdael's favorite subjects are simple woodland scenes, similar to those of Everdingen and Hobbema. He is especially noted as a painter of trees, and his rendering of foliage, particularly of oak leaf age, is characterized by the greatest spirit and precision. His views of distant cities, such as that of Haarlem in the possession of the marquess of Bute, and that of Katwijk in the Glasgow Corporation Galleries, clearly indicate the influence of Rembrandt.

He frequently painted coast-scenes and sea-pieces, but it is in his rendering of lonely forest glades that we find him at his best.

Unlike the other great Dutch landscape painters, Ruisdael did not aim at a pictorial record of particular scenes, but he carefully thought out and arranged his compositions, introducing into them an infinite variety of subtle contrasts in the formation of the clouds, the plants and tree forms, and the play of light.

Another artist work that I liked.  Unfortunately my photo of what it is didn't turn out in my hurry to take it undetected!

After the Uffizi Gallery, we went to an amazing pizza restaurant for lunch that was hugely popular and I could see why - very lovely food. The back on the Florence streets to explore...  The Florence Cathedral..

After walking around, we climbed the hill for views over the city.  I took a bit longer than everyone to get to the top of the hill!

The Florence Cathedral or The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, stands out above the city. It is the main church of Florence. Il Duomo di Firenze, as it is ordinarily called, was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to the design of Arnolfo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi. The exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink bordered by white and has an elaborate 19th-century Gothic Revival fa├žade by Emilio De Fabris.

The cathedral complex, located in Piazza del Duomo, includes the Baptistery and Giotto's Campanile. The three buildings are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the historic centre of Florence and are a major attraction to tourists visiting the region of Tuscany. The basilica is one of Italy's largest churches, and until development of new structural materials in the modern era, the dome was the largest in the world. It remains the largest brick dome ever constructed.

The cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Florence, whose archbishop is currently Giuseppe Betori.

The Palazzo Vecchio standing above the city....

The Basilica of Santa Croce also stands tall by the River Arno. The Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross) is the principal Franciscan church in Florence, Italy, and a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church. It is situated on the Piazza di Santa Croce, about 800 metres south-east of the Duomo. The site, when first chosen, was in marshland outside the city walls. It is the burial place of some of the most illustrious Italians, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Gentile and Rossini, thus it is known also as the Temple of the Italian Glories.

After being on top of the hill for some time, we started back down to the river and noticed the setting sun, so walked quickly to the Ponte Vecchio fror some sunset images...

And like many European Bridges, there were all those locks telling of people's love for other for eternity...

I'm sure we went somewhere for dinner after that, but I can't for the life of me remember what we did! Although it was Steven's last night before heading back to Rome and ultimately the USA. So it was sad goodbyes to Steven.

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