Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Italy trip photo highlights

 I just got back a few days ago from Florence, Italy.  It went well, I was healthy, and the weather was fine.  I have many stories to share of my experiences, much to tell about the art, architecture, food and people.  Here is a short set of highlights.  More to come.
View of the Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace) from the roof cafe of the Uffizi (Offices) Gallery

The Duomo, the most breathtaking structure in Florence, the biggest dome in Italy.  What an amazing place, virtually pulsating with ancient energy.

The Pitti Palace: 6 Museums including the Costume Museum, Royal Apartments, Silver Museum, Porcelain Museum, Modern Art Museum, and Boboli Gardens (with nearby Bardini Gardens)

The grounds of the villa in which I was staying, in one of its apartments.  Olives, grapes, chickens, bamboo, cherries, and various herbs and flowers grow on the large estate.

I'giuggiolo was the local restaurant, and I mean "the" local one.  There was no other decent restaurant within three blocks of our neighborhood.  But this one was great, packed every night of the week.  Google translate offered some help with their online menu, but something was lost in the translation: i.e. "buffalo" refers to buffalo cheese, not meat.

Piazza Savanarola, not the most amazing church, but a nice big park, and semi-close to our bus stop.

Santa Maria Novella Church, and train station, the local hub of transport, where all buses eventually end up, and taxis are plentiful.  Some confusion in here, trying to exchange money (mistake!), and to find the bathroom (I thought It would have been easier).

Soccar Stadium I passed on my walk from home to downtown.

Santa Croce church and Piazza (plaza), a beautiful front, and a good place to meet people.

Church of San Lorenzo, a mighty edifice, surrounded by a crowded marketplace teeming with tourists.

The Gardens at Villa al Bosco di Fontelucente, a newish castle built by a rich immigrant family, the farmhouse of which now houses Richard Fremantle's Collection of Art by Foreigners in Tuscany, in Fiesole, a small old town outside Florence.

Piazza della Signoria, a large open space near some of the main attractions of Florence: the Palazzo Vecchio just behind the statue of Neptune, the Uffizi Gallery just down the alley to the right, and adjacent to the Loggia di Lanzi.

The Loggia di Lanzi, a vaulted archway full of sculpture of classical figures.

Inside the Palazzo Vecchio's large entrance.

Boboli Gardens, 11 acres of forest, lawns, hills, ponds and statuary. 

The Porcelain Museum, to the left, at the highest elevation point, and northernmost point of Boboli Gardens.  The Porcelain Museum was mercifully small, after much walking both in the museums of the Pitti Palace, and the Gardens.

Bardini Gardens, just adjacent to Boboli Gardens, and equally extravagant, surrounding Bardini Villa, a picturesque village.


  1. I'm really loving your blog. I don't think I've seen much of it before, but it's really great stuff. I went all the way through it over the last few days. Wow!

  2. Thanks, Dan. Been having fun with it.