Monday, April 28, 2008

Florence~Birth Place of the Renaissance

I had already decided that Florence was my favorite city but unfortunately that was before we went to Venice, Chiavari, and also before we toured the Amalfi Coast. Hmmm, it is so hard to choose just one. I have learned that all these cities have their own personalities, their own uniqueness, their own endearing qualities. And because there must needs be opposition in all things~they all have some annoying quirks too.

Florence is the most like cities in the US, I think, with a lot of added charm and antiquity. The reason I feel that way is because we took a two hour bus tour of the city and the surrounding areas and so we got to see the big picture. I wish we could have done that everywhere we went. Sometimes when you just plop yourself down in the middle of a city and go from spot to spot it is difficult and harder to get your bearings.

Restorante on a Piazza

~Grampa & Spencie in the Piazza near the Uffizi~
I am not sure why they are both leaning to the right but it may have something to do with Ross taking the picture??

The golden doors to the Baptistery~You guessed it, The Patron Saint of Florence
is John The Baptist!

The boys near Ponte Vecchio,
one of the the oldest bridges in Italy.
Build in Roman times and rebuilt in the 14th century.

Ponte Vecchio is over the Arno River and is noted for still having shops built along it, as was once common. Butchers initially occupied the shops; the present tenants are jewelers, art dealers and souvenir sellers.

The Duomo (or church) where Michelangelo and Galileo are buried ~
along with many others whose names you would recognize.

In Florence we got to see the inner city, the posh shopping areas, the relics, the museums, the statuary, the river, the bridges, the vista points and the surrounding mountains. And best of all we got to see the residential areas. Florence is such a clean, orderly, and romantic city. I just can't think that there is anything you could want for in a city that isn't there. I am sure there are areas of poverty but we didn't see them.

One of the neighborhood scenes. We were all so ready for something besides marble and stones, it was fantastic to just be outside claiming a little of your own personal space for awhile.

Is there such a thing as quaint opulence? If so, that is what we saw. These homes are owned by wealthy people and the houses have been in families for generations.

Getting to see all the posh areas and the homes and gardens was so great. It was a treat to see big trees too. Much of Italy is treeless. It was a real example of not conserving natural resources, as centuries ago timber became very hard to come by!

Hillside ascending up to a vista point above the City.

Everything was so lush and green, flowers everywhere, bright blue skies and no smog. Maybe we were just there at the perfect time but I don't see how it could have been better. However, Spencer would have disputed that!

Spencer and Ross were bored to tears on the bus ride...we should have brought lots of activities for them. Poor kids, they were so good with all the public transportation to places they didn't even really care to see.

Rossie was pretty happy on the city buses if he could sit down. In Italy kids get booted right off the seats if an adult comes on the bus. He was not liking that too much! Spencer was more resigned to it.

Overlooking the city from Michelangelo Piazza in the late afternoon.
It was so much fun for us to be there with Laura and the boys.


Miss Jen said...

wow, you guys got some great shots. Can't wait to get over there and have a look myself.

Miss Jen said...

on blueberries: go to


Laura said...

Love all the pictures, especially the beautiful chapel/cathedral where Michelangelo was buried. Magnificent. Ross and my Ethan do look like twins!!!