Where We Be
Florence's Duomo dominates the skyline and stands at the heart of this city
The Duomo's beautiful facade uses alternating
bands of white, green, and red marble
Florence, Italy
The intricacy of detail on the Duomo's facade still impresses
Giotto's Tower and the octagonal Baptistery share
space with the Duomo on the huge Piazza del Duomo
Ghiberti toiled 27 years on the East Doors! The panels are a masterwork
of perspective in a time when perspective was still being explored.
Donatello depicted St. George as supremely confident in this sculpture which
graces Orsanmichele Church, epitomizing the confidence of the Renaissance
This copy of the Statue of David stands where the original once stood, just
outside the Palazzo Vecchio. The original now stands in Florence's Accademia.
Next to Palazzo Vecchio is the Loggia dei Lanzi,
an open-air museum housing dramatic statues
Our tour ends at the River Arno and its medieval Pont Vecchio -- the only
bridge in Florence spared at the end of WWII during the German retreat
The Uffizi Gallery is a repository of Renaissance art like none other. Here is
perhaps the most famous piece: Botticelli's "Birth of Venus."  [Not my photo]
The Baptistery is famous for its ten gold panels carved into the
East Doors. Michelangelo  called them "The Gates of Paradise."
Next up on our tour: The Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall
of Florence, overlooking the Piazza della Signoria
"Qui" ("Here") on Piazza della Signoria is where the monk Savonarola staged his bonfire of the vanities,
trying to burn away the Renaissance and all its changes -- but he was burned at the stake instead
Michelangelo's "Holy Family"  [Not my photo]
Titian's "Venus of Urbino" -- another blockbuster Uffizi painting  [Not my photo]
Brunelleschi's Dome is synonymous with the Renaissance. It was the first domed
structure since Roman times! And it's still the largest brick dome ever constructed.
This was our second visit to Florence, and the
focus of this visit was the Uffizi Gallery, one of
the premier art museums in the world. We had
missed it last time so this time we reserved
way ahead. It really is one of the world's great
repositories of art.

We also took a one-hour "Renaissance stroll"
through Florence to refamiliarize ourselves
with this great city. The Duomo, Giotto's Tower,
and the Baptistery with its golden doors are all
grouped-together must-see sights. Afterwards
we enjoyed strolling along pedestrian-only Via
Calzaiuoli and checking out the sculptures at
Orsanmichele Church. At Piazza della Signoria
we saw a copy of the statue of David where it
originally had stood, as well as an "X" marking
the spot where Savonarola's bonfire of the
vanities once burned. Just beyond were the
Uffizi and the River Arno's famed Pont Vecchio.