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Florence: What Sites Surpassed Your Expectations?

Florence: What Sites Surpassed Your Expectations?

Old Apr 29th, 2006, 11:33 AM
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I was blown away when I walked up the staircase in San Marco, and first laid eyes on The Annunciation by Fra Angelico at the top. I don't think I breathed for a whole minute.

Even now when I think of that moment, the hairs on my arms stand on end.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2006, 04:20 PM
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Anything else?
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Old Jul 23rd, 2006, 04:32 PM
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The view from Piazzale Michelangelo.
Old Jul 23rd, 2006, 06:54 PM
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Ah...David....such splendor.

Here is my journal entry of my visit to see David...

..."Turn another corner and whammo...there he is in all of his tremendous height and glory. Now there is a David in the Piazza de Signoria (just off the Uffizi and in front of the Palazzo Pitti) and there is another David on Piazza de Michaelangelo above the city, but you just don't get any grasp of the size of David until you are standing in front of the real macoy.

Truly this is one amazing sculpture.

You can walk all the way around him, and see him from all different angles, and with each little degree of turn his expression changes and the movement of his body changes (which is a planned design by Michaelangelo).

It is particularly interesting to see the change in expression...when you face him headon he looks like he is in simple contemplation, as you face in front of him you can see the concentration and tension in his face as he gets ready to bring down Goliath.

As my brother has mentioned...his hands are really something to behold, and there is particular meaning to why his hands appear out of proportion to his body, but at the moment the reason escapes me (but I did get a little booklet on him, so I can get into that later)

Sat and watched him for a while...perfect view, with all the tourists passing by...young and old standing and gawking."

Going back to Florence in less than 2 months...taking the DH with me..to experience all..including sitting in front of David again. Can't wait!
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Old Jul 23rd, 2006, 07:16 PM
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The first glimpse of the Duomo from the taxi-the pure Renaissance look of it, it's dominant, central position in the city, and the unusual pink and green color overwhelmed me. I never tireof looking at it day or night, and always want to dine in places where I can see it from some vantage point, all lit up at night. I love that Duomo-more than any other in Europe.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2006, 09:04 PM
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Santa Croce was already mentioned, but the cloisters, the Pazzi chapel, and the outdoor areas are my favorites there. I never skip a visit to SC while in Florence.

And the Bargello: the finest sculpture museum, and a great building.

Now, it isn't art or scenic beauty, but I am always blown away by the Mercato Centrale. I love to look at everything there.

I am so glad to read that others are awed by the Baptistry mosaics. To think that I was in Florence three times before I ever saw them!
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Old Jul 23rd, 2006, 09:08 PM
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Sitting in Fiesole, drinking wine, and watching the sun set over Florence sounds heavenly. I'd like to do that, and have found what bus to take to get there -- but where would you suggest I sit and drink in both the wine and the view? Perhaps have a bite in October.

Anyone else with specific suggestions?


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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 06:39 AM
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The whole city!!! I know that there are some Florence haters on this board, so my expectations were not high. My husband had spent a day or so there about 20 years ago and insisted on adding Florence to our trip. We scheduled three nights and we so needed more time! There are so many things we didn't get to see.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 07:23 AM
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Re the out-of-proportion hands and head of David.

I read that the statue originally was supposed to be sited on a rooftop or dome, and so Mchlnglo made the hands and head larger so the detail can be seem from a distance.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 07:48 AM
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All of Florence was more than I expected. Because I was meeting my student-daughter, and I know many, many students are there, I was expecting Florence to feel like a funky college town, like here in the States. Instead, I enjoyed its classy, upscale, artistic character very much. Loved Florence. Of course, it helps to see it with someone who has lived there and knows her way around.

And David, of course. How on earth did Michelangelo create such a life-like man out of marble? It's amazing. I thought it would be awesome, and it even surpassed my expectations. I was told his hand is over-sized to represent that in the Renaissance people began to think that man can craft his own destiny. They were moving away from the idea of fate, or leaving destiny to the gods.
Old Jul 24th, 2006, 08:02 AM
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the skies! I'd certainly seen dramatic skies before visiting Florence, but I was surprised at how many pictures I took trying to capture the unique lighting and cloud cover we saw in early May. The contrast between the sky and whatever you were viewing - the bridges over the Arno, the Duomo or Castello - really put some excitement into the vista.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 08:05 AM
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I guess for me was the boboli gardens on the Piti palace - I thought is was an oasis on a very overcrowded city ( I was there during eastern....). The Duomo also impressed me very much. On the other hand, I'd like to say that I was disapointed with the Ufficio Gallery - I was expecting a lot more.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 08:35 AM
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Have several moments in Florence that I remember especially well...
The first sight of the Duomo as we strolled from our hotel on the 1st day. Didn't have the lay of the land yet so was thrilled to see the dome between the narrow streets.
Same day...finding Santa Maria Novella - going inside to be thrilled at the Masaccio "Trinity".
Seeing the "David" was truly awe inspiring.
I agree with a previous poster on the breathtaking moment when climbing the stairs in San Marco to come upon Fra Angelico's "Annunciation". What a thrill.
Climbing Giotto's Tower near the Duomo (had shorter lines than the Duomo so we opted for the tower) to see glorious views of the city. And the view of the city from high in the Boboli Gardens.

So many things...we just didn't want to leave. The only reason we tore ourselves away was because Venice was waiting for us next.

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