Florence, the Rise of Renaissance…Part (1)
Florence…capital city of Tuscany, lies on the Arno River and is known for the history and its importance in the middle ages and in the Renaissance for its art and architecture. Consider the birth place of the Italian Renaissance. Home of Dante, Machiavelli, Michelangelo, the Medici and Carlo Collodi (Creator of Pinocchio). It has the most important collection of Italian and Renaissance art in the world, largely thanks to the world-famous Uffizi Gallery.
Although it’s a small city, it’s the birthplace of one of the greatest revolution of mankind ever!!! The Renaissance!!!
I love the development of European history. That’s the reason why Florence was a must-go place for me during my trip to Italy. I’ve been studying the history of Renaissance since secondary school, and I was really interested in the arts and architectures of Renaissance. And I wanted to have a closer look at the beauty of this land…Florence, here I am…
I think I spent the least time in Florence among all the cities that I’ve been to in Italy because all places of interest are within walking distance and the cost for transportation is 0! You just need to get a good map with those routes and places of interest clearly depicted and then you can explore Florence with your ‘Bus No 11!’
We stayed at Leonardo House, a hotel that we booked thru Hostelworld.com! Great hospitality shown by Leonardo! He is a very kind person and I think he really care about his guests who plan to stay at his hotel. Before our arrival, he already sent us the e-mail to explain us about his policy, places of interest that we should visit so that we can plan earlier before we reach Florence. His place was rather hard to find because there’s no big signboard for it. According to Leonardo, his hotel is situated within the heritage site, a few thousand euros will be needed just to put the signboard. But he gave us the detailed map on how to get to his place. His house is cool, comfortable, quiet and the location is very strategic to access to other tourist hotspots! Some more free internet access is available!
So, where to go?
Minimum 3 days are required to explore the whole Florence…
Piazza del Duomo, in the suggestive cornice of the green, pink and white marble of its three major buildings, which are the Baptistry of San Giovanni, Duomo (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore) and Giotto’s Tower, embraces the religious heart of the city. Dominating the Florentine skyline!!!
The admission to the cathedral is free, but for the Dome, 6 euro is required and 3 euro is required for the entrance to the Baptistry of San Giovanni. For the Giotto’s Tower, entrance is 6euro and you have 414 steps to climb.
After visiting to the Piazza del Duomo, walk down to the Piazza Della Signoria where the Palazzo Vecchio and Gallery Uffizi are situated. There are lots of sculptures decorating the square, and the one that you mustn’t miss is the Fountain of Neptune. And if you plan to take picture with the fake ‘Statue of David’ for free, there’s one in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, and another one will be at the Piazza Michelangelo.
The one you shouldn’t miss is the Gallery Uffizi! The oldest art gallery in the world! Home of the world’s greatest collection of Florentine and Italian art. It is advisable to pay a visit although you may not be interested in art, because you can really be impressed by those drawings and it’ll make you appreciate the contributions by them. It makes you think that how far can their contributions actually influence the future world! Their way of thinking, drawing materials, themes of the drawings and lots more… It’ll change your future perspective! (Trust me :p)
The Gallery Uffizi is a double-storey building consisting 45 different rooms for displaying all the drawings of different period from 13th century to 18th century. And also drawings of world’s most famous painters, like Lippi, Pollaiolo, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and many more.
Botticelli’s ‘The Birth of Venus’ is the most famous painting in the gallery. Besides this, the other drawings you should pay your attention to are the ‘Primavera’ and the ‘Fortitude’, also painted by the same painter. And for those who’s fancy for Leonardo’s work, ‘Baptism of Christ’, ‘Annunciation’ and ‘Adoration of the Magi’ also available in room number 15. Approximately four to five hours will be needed for you to glance thru all the drawings, so you have to go as early as possible. It opens from 8.15am-6.50pm, Tuesday to Sunday, closes on Monday, and it will cost you 6.50 euro. It is advisable to pre-book the ticket online to avoid queues, (prebooking online advised + 3euro). But in winter time, I think you will get the ticket directly from the counter, like what I did….hehe… Too bad no picture is allowed!
After that, make your way down to the River Arno and Ponte Vecchio. Ponte Vecchio, between Via de’Guicciardini and Via Por Santa Maria, built in 1345, the only bridge which survived the Nazi bombing in World War Two. It’s a very unique bridge that you cannot find elsewhere in the world , there are rolls of jewelry shops along side with the bridge.
I think by the time you reach the bridge it’s almost in the afternoon already. Don’t hesitate to take as many pictures as you can. The picturesque view is really tempting you heart!
So, that’s enough for this post, I think you are bit bored already, hehe… Go to rest la, and stay with me for my next post about the rest of the Florence!
To be continue…