Florence, Italy: August 1, 2004

  1. A typical flagstone-paved street, with the Cathedral emerging in the haze at the far end. The Duomo is also known as S. Maria del Fiore.

  2. The Duomo looms large over everything nearby. Its charateristic patterns and coloring are an effect created by inlaid marble.

  3. The baptistry, a separate building. The Duomo was about 150 meters from our hotel, Hotel Casci, on Via Cavour. (Hotel highly recommended. See Hotel Casci's web site.)

  4. A closeup of a window in the Duomo.

  5. The Baptistry.

  6. The bell tower.

  7. The yellowish building in the middle with the iron balcony is the 15th century building ("once owned by Rossini") that houses Hotel Casci. Hotel Casci is the entire second floor. I'm not sure what's on the other floors. The big boxes with blue lids out front are the neighborhood recycling containers.

  8. At Piazza Vecchio is this stupendous civil monument, begun in the 13th century and as you can see, under construction still. The building is called the Palazzo Vecchio ("Old palace"), and it was the residence of the grand duke in the 16th century. It is now used as the Florentine town hall. The trusty Florence Art Guide has fantastic history of this building.

  9. Neptune rises up just in front of the Palazzo Vecchio.

  10. This is a reproduction of "The Rape of a Sabine" by Giovanni Bologna, or Giambologna, 1581-1582. I am pretty sure the original is housed in Accademia Galleria (the museum where the statue of David is found.) It's a stone's throw from Neptune. In fact, this portion of Piazza Vecchio (or some other piazza?) is stuffed with reproductions, including a reproduction of David. Interesting history of this statue can be read at http://www2.students.sbc.edu/dwarzski00/sabines1.html. One interesting thing about this statue is that it is meant to be viewed from any angle - it twists around the central axis.

  11. A head has been severed. This is another statue in that general area, stuffed with statues. The lion on the left is the symbol of Florence. Note that the lion is also the symbol of St. Mark, one of the four evangelists, but I think this is not related.

  12. A full-length view of the head-severer.

  13. I guess I liked this statue! The web has come to the rescue. This is "Perseus with Severed Head of Medusa" by Cellini, located in the Piazza Della Signoria.

  14. This is the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge), primarily noted for the fact there are buildings built right along the bridge. Today they all sell jewelry to tourists (or, try to.) This is the narrowest point of the River Arno, and was the point that whoever-was-in-power tried to control. I would say Ponte Vecchio was a ten minute walk from our hotel. I liked going over the river - the other side was less congested with tourists, and had some great restaurants.

  15. Ponte Vecchio.

  16. Santo Spirito church on the other side of the Arno. It seemed to be closed. In this immediate neighborhood can be found 3 great restaurants (that I tried. Likely there are many more.)

  17. A Ponte not Vecchio.

  18. Now I'm really in trouble. Not only do I not know who this is, I don't remember where the statue stands.

  19. Ditto. Although if I had to take a guess, I'd say they're in Piazza Signoria, which is right next to Piazza Vecchio and Neptune.

  20. Ponte Vecchio. According to this web page, it was first constructed in the 14th century.

  21. A church in the middle of Florence. For some reason, I blank out on this one; every time I'd see it, I would have to try to remember. Gerhard can tell me.

  22. A closeup of the name-forgotten church.

  23. Now this one is easy. Il Duomo, or Santa Maria del Fiore. It is so huge, you can use it as a landmark and direction-finder from all over the city.

  24. It is a very beautiful and pretty and unique church, so I'm not going to apologize for taking 100 pictures of it!

  25. A closeup of the intricate marble work.

  26. Statues (full size, I think) on the baptistry.

  27. Detail of the door.

  28. The back of the dome ... under construction.

  29. Some of the Italian street artists are perhaps not as market-obsessed as they might be. This guy is taking a nap in the afternoon.

  30. S. Croce, in the warm twilight. Under construction.

Marianne Mueller
Last modified: August 16, 2004