Day 58: September 18th
We took a short train ride from Pisa to Florence and quickly found our hotel. We wanted to make the most of today and try to see the Piazza Del Duomo before closing.
Quoting from an article written by my mother for the business traveler, “The modern world was born in Florence, the city of the Renaissance, a word that means rebirth. It is a city associated with iconic personalities from literature, art, architecture, sculpture, religion, science and statesmanship—Boccaccio, Petrarch, Dante, Donatello, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, da Vinci, Cellini, the Medicis (they were not only rulers, there were also popes from this family) Savanarola, Machiavelli and Galileo…”
The Medici family in particular were a big patron of the arts and they commissioned a lot of these artists themselves. The Piazza Del Duomo was built during that period..it took a total of 170 years to build; plans kept changing as architects kept changing too. It was built to be the largest dome in the world and it certainly was at the time. It still dominates the skyline of Florence and is just stunning. Every single detail on the walls of the cathedral deserves all the attention and praise it gets. We even walked up the bell tower..while it was great exercise and had excellent views, the stairs were very narrow and there were tourists going both ways! Lets just say, when we were done, I was happy to have some fresh air!:)
We also strolled into the Battistero where it is said famous poet and author Dante was baptized. It is one of the oldest buildings in the city, built between 1059 and 1128.
The Duomo itself is quite bare on the inside but you can certainly appreciate its size. The main ceiling has frescos by Vasari….really stunning. To think they painted the ceiling while lying on their backs at such a height.
Even though the Piazza was extremely crowded the entire time(it certainly felt like one of the most visited tourist sites in Italy), we had a wonderful afternoon. After some tea in a local cafe we walked around a bit more just to soak in the atmosphere.
Dinner was back closer to our hotel. Tonight was also laundry night. We found a laundermat close to our hotel. Suddenly we were exhausted! We need all our energy for the Galleria degli Uffizi tomorrow. Can’t wait!:)