7 days in Italy-5-19 to 5/25/2022

Day 3- Florence-5/21/2022

Discovering Florence

We are now approaching Ponte Santa Trinita (Holy Trinity bridge) named after the nearby Basilica of Santa Trinita.

The Ponte Santa Trìnita is composed of three elliptical arches and is the oldest elliptic arch bridge in the world.

In august 1944 the bridge was destroyed by mines laid by the retreating German army. In 1948 the city decided to rebuild the bridge as it was and where it stood, instead of replacing it with a modern bridge as proposed from some art historians, and was reconstructed from the original stones retrieved from the Arno River.

 

 

In 1608, in order to celebrate the wedding of Cosimo II de' Medici with Magdalene of Austria, the corners of the bridge were decorated with the statues of the Four Seasons that can  be seen today.

 

On the left is Winter by Taddeo Landini and on the right is Autumn by Giovanni Caccini

 

We crossed the bridge and we are now on the other side.  From this side of the bridge is the statue of Spring on the left.

 

On the left is Spring by Pietro Francavilla, Summer by Giovanni Caccini.

 

Panoramic view from the Santa Trinita bridge.

 

The two neighboring bridges are the Ponte Vecchio, to the east, and the Ponte alla Carraia to the west (see below)

 

The Ponte alla Carraia is a five-arched bridge spanning the River Arno.

 

 

Quay on the Arno river.

 

We are now headed to the Piazza Santa Trinita just north of the River.

 

Piazza Santa Trinita is Florence's shopping mecca is lined with luxury shops with countless high fashion and jewelry boutiques

In the center of the square is the column of Justice, an ancient Roman Doric column that was re-erected by the Florentine Medici dynasty in the Renaissance as a free standing victory monument with a porphyry statue of Justice at the top.

 

The column itself was a gift from Pope Pius IV to Cosimo I, while the figure of Justice was added almost twenty years later in 1581.

 

Via Tornabuoni, home to all the big fashion designers.

 

 

Gucci, Armani, Burberry, etc... all the upscale shops are located here.

 

 

We are now on Piazza della Republica a city square right in the center of Florence. 

 

Piazza della Republica  was the center of the ancient city of Florence during the Roman times.

 

Huge merry go round in the piazza.

 

We are now approaching the Piazza of Santa Maria Novella, one of the most beautiful square in Florence.

 

The main attraction in the piazza is the basilica

 


Enlarged between 1279 and the middle of the 1300s, the facade by Leon Battista Alberti dates to the 1470s and it is the oldest standing facade to still exist in Florence (all of the other main churches had their facades redone or actually finished in more recent times).
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There was a wedding in progress in the basilica so we could not go in.

 

There are 2 marble obelisks in the square.

 

Church of Ognissanti (church of all saints) is a Franciscan church located on the piazza Ognissanti.

Founded by the lay order of the Umiliati, the church was dedicated to all the saints and martyrs, known and unknown.

It is the burial place of the famous Early Renaissance painter, Sandro Botticelli.

 

The façade covers the terracotta and the lunette which are the exemplary works of Della Robbia. Benedetto Buglioni is the artist who designed the doorway of this artistic church

The Church of Ognissanti is one of the first church’s which was built in the baroque style of architecture, in the city of Florence. 

 

The center Nave.  The apse is designed in an ornate baroque style: its high altar was built with the pietre dure technique, a decorative art based on a stonework. 

 

Vaulted ceiling with frescoes form the 15th century.

The high altar

 

 

 

The church was home to many famous pieces of art which were collected by the Umiliati and preserved within this simple yet divine church.

 

The church also possesses a crucifix (ca. 1310-1315) which was long held to be the work of a follower of Giotto. The crucifix had become blackened by candle smoke and other dirt, and previous attempts at maintenance had been poorly executed. The process to clean the crucifix took several years. When the original bright colours reappeared, the researchers were confident that this was a work by the master himself. 

 

The restored crucifix was moved to the left transept of the church, where it can be admired once again.

 

Paintings in one of the chapel.

 

Statue of Sant Antonio di Davova with child, circa 1653 by Giovan Battista Poccetti.

 

Tomb of Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510).  His real name is Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi and that is what is appearing on the tombstone

 

View of the church from the altar.

 

We are now done withe the visit and we are now leaving the church.

 

 

NEXT.... Day 3-Discovering Florence continuation

 

 

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