Thursday, August 29, 2013

Italy - Florence (2006)

Day 4 : 3rd May 2006

We covered 2 places in day 4 due to a close distance between Pisa and Florence, which is merely 90km. We left Pisa city right after lunch which was great as we had a Chinese cuisine that day. Zuri and I were on "pork free meal", hence, we were separated at luncheon table where pork was served as we were the only 2 Malaysian Muslim in the group.  Asian enjoy hot spicy chilies with their meals, hence it explain why we were so craving for hot & sour soup added with cut chilies. We left Pisa with a full and healthy tummy. We arrived at Piazza Michelangelo to view the statue of David and to enjoy breath taking aerial views of this Renaissance splendor (seen in 2 photos below) at almost 5.30pm. 

Take notice of the Florence Cathedral (Duomo) and the outstanding Brunelleschi's Dome seen from the Michelangelo Piazza

View of the Arno River and the Ponte Vecchio, an old bridge

A city size shrine to the Renaissance, Florence offers frescoes, sculptures, churches, palaces, and other monuments from the richest cultural flowering the world has known. The rich sculptures came from its dazzling historical past, i.e., Dante, Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli are some of the most resonant of the medieval age. It was sad to see the famous statue of Prophet David (Muslim and Christian are sharing the same prophet, Prophet David was given a Torah and old testament during his time spreading God's teaching) was sculptured by Michelangelo in a naked pose. I opined that David statue deserved more honorable thought before the Holy Church,who are so learned with gospel and old testament (Bible) knowledge to allow such sculpture be shown on public. Sigh! 

A duplicate statue of David, front & back angle. The original statue is placed in the museum

Florence is in the capital city of the Italian Tuscany region and of the province of Florence. It has a population of less than 400,000 peoples. Florence is popular for it's history and this historic city attracts millions of tourist each year. It received a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982 and has been ranked as 1 of the most beautiful cities in the world by FORBES magazine due to Florence history, culture, renaissance arts and architecture and importantly it's monument. I myself was amaze with a beauties of such preserve city when we reached the most popular points of interest. It was difficult to choose for the entry post as the whole photo collection are indeed very beautiful, but I hope it covers all places that I visited that day.

Basilica of Santa Croche

Walking tour of Florence covers the traffic less historic city centre, from Piazza Santa Croce to the sculpture studded Piazza Signoria, guided by a local tour guide. The local guide waited at the Piazza della Signoria, an L shaped square in front of Pallazo Vechio (an old palace turned into as a city hall) to provide city briefing. We were told that both the Piazza and Palazza are the focal point and the history of Florentine republic.

The Basilica di Santa Croce is the principal Franciscan church in Florence 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 square is also shared with the Loggia della Signoria, the Uffizi Gallery, the Palace of the Tribunale della Mercanzia, built in 1359 (now the Bureau of Agriculture) and the Palazzo Uguccioni (1550, with a facade attributed to Raphael, who however died 30 years before its construction). Located in front of the Palazzo Vecchio is a Palace of the Assicurazioni Generali (1871, built in Renaissance style).

Statue of Heracles by Baccio Bandinelli in front of Pallazzo Vecchio

The tiger and the Leos (me) next to Loggia dei Lanzi, works by Flamini

Cosimo Medici Statue

The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (Saint Mary of the Flower) is the main church of Florence, Italy. It is ordinarily called as “Duomo di Firenze”, 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 includes the Baptistery and Giotto's Campanile. The 3 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.

Standing proud with the bronze door, a Papal symbol at Duomo Basilica Cathedral Church. The door is showing a coronation of Mary Bibilical images

The octagonal Baptistry stands in both the Piazza del Duomo and the Piazza di San Giovanni, across from the Duomo cathedral and the Giotto bell tower (Campanile di Giotto). It is one of the oldest buildings in the city, built between 1059 and 1128. The architecture is in Florentine Romanesque style. Florentine style has not seen the spread of the Pisan Romanesque or Lombard, however, its influence was decisive for the subsequent development of architecture, as it formed the basis of which drew Francesco Talenti, Leon Battista Alberti, Filippo Brunelleschi and the other architects who created the ' Renaissance architecture.

Another beautiful renaissance wooden door of the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore

Standing adjacent the Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Baptistry of St. John, the Campanile di Giotto is one of the showpieces of the Florentine Gothic architecture with its design by Giotto,  rich sculptural decorations and the polychrome marble encrustations. The slender structure stands on a square plan with a side of 14.45 metres, a height of 84.7 metres sustained by four polygonal buttresses at the corners. These four vertical lines are crossed by four horizontal lines, dividing the tower in five levels.

Campania di Giotto @ Bell Tower at Piazza del Duomo

Standing next to impressive door at Palazzo Vechio

I snapped numerous statues of David, the duke Cosimo Medici, Neptune fountain, Dante Alighieri etc a renown figures in mythology, biblical and founding history of Florence and Italy in Palazzo Vechio. Every statues has it's unique and acceptance by who appreciate arts. As there were too many, I'm sharing few of the statue photos in this entry for you and for me to appreciate a contribution of arts beside appreciation of the history behind it.

Statue of Dante in the Piazza di Santa Croce

Uffizi Gallery external view 

The reason why I took the 7 panels was to relate to 7 verses of surah Al-Fatihah from the Quran, where I thought to explore the interpretation of the surah in relation to other Holy Books

We had another Chinese food as a diner in the Florence city before we were put to rest for a night at Hotel Ercolini & Savi - Montecatini Terme. I would recommend the hotel to all due to it's location and excellence service. The hotel is situated in Pistoia, a city and comune in the Tuscany region of Italy. The capital of a province of the same name, located about 30 km west and north of Florence and is crossed by the Ombrone Pistoiese, a tributary of the River Arno.

Stay tune to another adventure on day 5 in the city of romance, Venice.

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