Thursday, October 7, 2010

Florence, Italy - The Sites and Shopping

We hit Florence, Italy (Firenze, Italia) on Tuesday and Wednesday. Original plans changed a bit due to some minor scheduling issues but all worked out well.

We started with shopping on Tuesday after having a great Chicken Club....and then hit the Duomo (domed church - it has a long name which I forget exactly). Everyone in Florence just knows it as "The Duomo".

The Duomo:
This building (or more accurately, the main building in the collection of buildings) is enormous!

There's no way from outside on the ground to get a good, straight on, picture. But you may notice how there are no people in the above picture. This is because I'm looking up at about a 60º to 70º angle - so with the wide angle, the bottom of the picture is about 20ft off the ground.

Inside is even more impressive. The picture from the back of the great hall doesn't even capture the outer side walls with the camera at it's widest angle. And the dome above the round stained glass window is entirely out of view. By the way, the round stained glass window is about 50ft in diameter. The ledges just below and just above the round stained glass window are walkways with people on them. The upper walkway is the base of the dome! There are 463 stairs to the upper walkway (and many, many more to the top of the Dome).

Terrie decided she was going to climb the 463 stairs to the base of the dome! The stairway was quite narrow.

I waited below while she did the hike. Here's the view down to the floor looking towards the front of the great room (same direction in which the floor view is looking). If you look straight across at the walkways, you can see people on them.

From the base of the dome, she could see the top. Yes, that is a walkway around the top and if you look closely, you can see the windows which people can look through

Uffizi and the Accademia:
We hit both of these places on Wednesday, and neither of these allowed picture taking....for obvious marketing reasons.

For more information on the Florence Uffizi.

I found the Accademia more interesting with it's many Michael Angelo carvings, including the famous Statue of David. It also has a musical instrument section as well, which I found fascinating.

We definitely enjoyed the shopping...I think the women, more than I.

There is a pretty famous bridge of all jewelry shops along the entire bridge. The interesting thing is how it became a bridge of jewelry shops...when once it was a bridge of butcher shops many hundreds of years ago. Short version, the butcher shops smelled horribly...and a law was passed banning them.

Here's a picture of the bridge from the Uffizi.

Here is a picture while on the bridge (too many people for me).

Here's a picture of the (very dirty) river from the jewelry bridge.

And a little taste of a jewelry.

That was Florence (or Firenze) in a nutshell!

Ciao for now!

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