Where We Be
Florence's Duomo dominates the skyline and stands at the heart of this city
The beautiful facade of the Duomo 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" (Note: Not my photo)
The Baptistery is famous for its ten gold panels carved into the East Doors by Ghiberti -- dubbed by Michelangelo "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" (Note: not my photo)
Titian's "Venus of Urbino" -- just another blockbuster Uffizi painting (Note: not my photo)
Brunelleschi's Dome is synonymous with the Renaissance -- the first domed structure since Roman times! 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
missed it last time and were determined to see
it this time, so we reserved 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 famous golden doors
are, of course, all must-sees. Afterwards, stroll
along pedestrian-only Via Calzaiuoli (stopping
for gelato!) and check out the sculptures at
Orsanmichele Church. Continue to Piazza della
Signoria where you can see a copy of the statue
of David where it originally stood, as well as an
"X" marking the spot where Savonarola's
bonfire of the vanities burned. Just beyond are
the Uffizi and the River Arno's Pont Vecchio.