This is an important historical landmark, situated in the Italian city of Florence (Tuscany). The Ponte Vecchio is the only bridge in Florence that was not destroyed during the occupation of Italy in World War II, which it is said is because of the orders given by Hitler. At the beginning of its existence, it connected the historical buildings on both sides of the river Arno, the Palazzo Vecchio with the Palazzo Pitti. There were butchers shops which then had to leave in the year 1593 in order to increase the prestige of the bridge. Then jewelers and gold dealers set up their shops there, continuing this tradition until today. It is one of the most important place in Italy, because of its beauty and importance.
Without drawing attention away from the majesty of its dome, approaching the Duomo is even more exciting because we can quickly feel the vertigo of the high tower, solid and white, the delicacy of the Baptistery doors or the strength of the walls of the cathedral. It is always full of people, no matter the time of day. There is always a queue to climb the bell tower and admire the city of arts, the frescoes in the dome or the precious and colorful marble floor. Do not forget to admire the walls, tombs and Renaissance frescoes. But surely the mixture of marbles outside are what caught my attention, that unique combination that looks like paint but in actual fact is rock art. That is Florence.
There are two forms of tourism. One where you go and stay in the place for a while. In the second case, where the Erasmus students go and maybe aren´t rushed to visit everything and forget to see some things. There are places I visited, but lived experiences and places that were part of the environment, like sitting on the lawn of Pisa and improvising a meal from the supermarket. When you find a ball and play a game with the shadow of the Leaning Tower as arbitrator it is normal and when you go back home and see the photos you feel like you can lose yourself but you discovered all that isn´t shown in the tourist guides.
A little Tuscan hideaway where time has stood still for centuries. From the breezy streets to its stone houses. Its tall towers, its people and its food make this place a perfect paradise to retire. It smells like artisan-ship, where they're savoring the good life, breathe the fresh air and it feels like heaven. It has everything you could possibly want.
My experience was amazing. I took a trip through Italy starting in Florence and I'm still amazed at how beautiful it was. I didn't expect it. I recommend that if you go to Italy, pass through Florence and to the Piazzale Michelangelo at night. You won't be sorry. It's beautiful, especially the view of Florence since you see everything from here. All my best!
This square was the center of Florentine power in their time of greatest splendor. Its non-symmetrical shape makes it a very unique place, while the small (or large) artworks that it contains form a unique and irreplaceable mosaic. You have the Palazzo Vecchio (Town Hall), the Loggia dei Lanzi, pavement cafes, the Neptune Fountain. Basically, it's a good place to visit to enjoy yourself and let go.
It's perhaps the most perfect example of Italian Gothic architecture. Nicola Pisano was the architect responsible for designing the majority of the cathedral. The entrance, characterized by the the drawing of fringes in polichrome marble. The bell tower and the Baptistery also stand out.
If you can visit around August 17th, the experience will be 20 times better. This is one of the city's biggest festivals and to celebrate it they decorate their streets with medieval flags, the locals are in the streets with scarves with seals of their clans, singing songs of the great festival, and they prepare the square for a bareback horse race. It's a great way to experience medieval Siena. And be prepared to be hot!
This museum with 50 rooms houses a multitude of pieces, including paintings from the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries, and other incredible works, it can be exhausting and chaotic, so I recommend taking a break, and looking for the cafeteria and its terrace. Not the food nor the prices are recommended, but the views certainly are. The clock tower of the Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza are a step away. Watch the pigeons, they don't bite!
We left Assisi to Nimes and back to Spain quite early in the morning. We had to travel more than 900 kilometers and before we wanted to talk a little walk around Pisa. We arrived around noon, just to park the car outside and head to the most famous monument of the city, the DEI piaza MIRACOLI or Square of Miracles to see the Duomo, the Baptistery, the cemetery and of course the Leaning Tower or bell tower of the cathedral. There are places like this that can turn out to be boring, trying to relate the characteristics of each monument to what was written about it and you can´t discovered anything new. For that reason i´m only going to try to put some photos in which I will try to show what we saw in only two hours.
The Palazzo Vecchio is the most important civil building in Florence. Its construction began in 1299 at the request of Arnolfo di Cambio. Initially it was the seat of the Priors of the Arts and the Signoria and the home of the Grand Duke Cosimo I de Medici, until they moved to the Palazzo Pitti. During the period 1550-1565, Vassari completely decorated it to make it available to the ruling family. It now boasts a stunning interior, with its rooms and bedrooms, the living room of the Cinquecento, the Hall of Francesco I de Medici etc.
The Basilica of Santa Croce was built in Florence in 1294 on the remains of a Franciscan church after the death of St. Francis of Assisi. It is located in the Plaza of the same name. Since its inception it has been a very important church. It has always been a meeting place for nobility, especially the Medici family. Throughout its history, it has undergone many modifications, ending up today as the Pantheon of the Italian Glories. Within the basilica are the tombs of Dante, Macchiavelo, Galileo Galilei, Michelangelo and others. A very interesting place.
To see Michelangelo's David is priceless, especially on Thursdays from 19 to 22h when the entry is free. That is, if you can get there early enough because there is always a line. You must stop here if you visit the city. I leave you with a picture of David from behind. You can discover the front when you come in person to see it.
There are many ways to visit the region of Tuscany in Italy. One of them is through the traces of the Renaissance: Medieval Architecture, Goethe, Florentine, and Mannerist paintings among other visual arts, so famous but also so forgotten...
You can also visit Tuscany to enjoy the gastronomy such as the Florentine Bisteca, the delicious Salami, soups like Minestrone, and pasta dishes. And the wines in the Chianti! Who there hasn't tasted the Brunello di Montalcino, Nobile di Montepulciano wine or the world famous Chianti?
But today I'll show you around Tuscany through the river Arno. Although not navigable, runs from east to west in the region. Born in the Apennines and linking Florence to Pisa, to other less notable populations. It flows into the Ligurian Sea. Of course, the means of transport must be by car or train. Its banks are a reflection of the architecture and landscape of Tuscany. Many bridges cross it, of course, for example the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. It brings together artists, goldsmiths and jewelers with ancient tradition.
The Renaissance palace of Pitti is another thing that simply cannot be missed in the Tuscan city. Across the Arno river over most points of interest in the city, it's known just as much for its architecture as for its spectacular gardens. It also used to be a royal residence in the past.
The Basilica of Santa Maria Novella is one of the largest churches of Florence. It is located northwest of the old part of the city near the railway station. Its facade boasts with different colorful marbles. Predominantly white and green, it was completed in 1470 by the Genoese, Leon Battista Alberti. Its wonderful facade is one of the most important works of the Italian Renaissance. The Basilica together with the square and adjoining buildings is impressive. There is also the Convent with its cloisters, which houses a museum with five different chapels.
Visiting Volterra lets you appreciate the architecture of different periods in cultures such as those of the Etruscan, Roman, Medieval and Renaissance, as this beautiful city is shrine of the architecture and art of these periods. This lovely town of over 11 000 is in the heart of the province of Pisa, a few kilometers away from Pisa city, capital of the province. Volterra keeps its medieval features in its narrow streets, towers and houses with lovely outsides, churches, palaces and squares, the Piazza San Giovanni, where you can find the Cathedral dating from the 12th century. Other interesting attractions in Volterra are the Roman ruins Velathri , which are easily seen from the top of the city, and also the Volterra Guarnacci Museum, dedicated to the exhibition of works made with alabaster (a type of stone or plaster). In the 19th century, the aristocrat Marcello Inghirami Fei, developed this activity by designing new machinery for the extraction of alabaster, and to make the process of manufacturing parts easier, and I think a school to train artists. For centuries, the progress of Volterra has been connected to the extraction of their local mine and craft.