Subscribe

Receive updates via email:

 Updates via RSS

Tag Cloud

Blog Archive

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Photo Blog: Central Florence, Il Duomo & The David

We headed into downtown Florence today to tour around the central part of the city and see some of the main sights. The hot weather continues in Florence with today's temperature reaching into the mid-to-high 90's with a great deal of humidity. In fact, this afternoon we were greeted with a small thunderstorm that briefly cooled things off -- but left the air a little steamy in the aftermath. Used to the drier heat of Los Angeles, California -- we have adjusted a little to the more humid climate here. In addition, remarkably I have gone to wearing jeans, socks, and shoes in the evenings to keep off the mosquitoes given our battles with them so far.

Here are the pictures from the day:

We caught bus #26 from Casellina into downtown Florence to the Firenze Santa Maria Novella train station.  The bus ride -- recently air conditioned -- takes about 20 minutes to arrive downtown.We caught bus #26 from Casellina into downtown Florence to the Firenze Santa Maria Novella train station. The bus ride -- recently air conditioned -- takes about 20 minutes to arrive downtown.


The morning sunlight was good for a picture at the front of the church of Santa Maria Novella.  Spectacular inside (although no photos permitted), this is the site where Galileo proclaimed that the Earth orbited around the Sun from the pulpit.  The Piazza Santa Maria Novella was under heavy construction and closed off for the most part.The morning sunlight was good for a picture at the front of the church of Santa Maria Novella. Spectacular inside (although no photos permitted), this is the site where Galileo proclaimed that the Earth orbited around the Sun from the pulpit. The Piazza Santa Maria Novella was under heavy construction and closed off for the most part.


The morning sun provides for a nice picture from the side of Il Duomo from the Piazza del Duomo.The morning sun provides for a nice picture from the side of Il Duomo from the Piazza del Duomo.


Ashley and I pose for a quick traditional self-view photo in front of Il Duomo Firenze.Ashley and I pose for a quick traditional self-view photo in front of Il Duomo Firenze.


The entrance to the Duomo or Dome in Florence remains free, which is nice and the line to enter takes only about 5 minutes for us to enter.  Once inside, the main new learning for me was the size of the cracks in the actual dome itself.  You can see one of the major cracks in the picture above.  While inside, I briefly heard a guide mention that when it is hot in the summer (as it is today) that the cracks are greatly expanded, enabling the dome to breathe allowing the hot air to escape.  In the cooler months, these cracks close up and in some cases are barely visible to the eye.The entrance to the Duomo or Dome in Florence remains free, which is nice and the line to enter takes only about 5 minutes for us to enter. Once inside, the main new learning for me was the size of the cracks in the actual dome itself. You can see one of the major cracks in the picture above. While inside, I briefly heard a guide mention that when it is hot in the summer (as it is today) that the cracks are greatly expanded, enabling the dome to breathe allowing the hot air to escape. In the cooler months, these cracks close up and in some cases are barely visible to the eye.


While wandering the streets we come across Mercato Centrale -- a place where you can get meats, cheeses, pastas, wines, fruits, and more.  In this very popular location -- although considered for tourists by Florentines -- many vendors will pack and vacuum seal just about anything for you to take home.While wandering the streets we come across Mercato Centrale -- a place where you can get meats, cheeses, pastas, wines, fruits, and more. In this very popular location -- although considered "for tourists" by Florentines -- many vendors will pack and vacuum seal just about anything for you to take home.


And of course there is the famous Florence open air market where you can buy leather goods, souvenirs, scarfs, ties, and more -- all while negotiating with the street vendors and their shops behind.And of course there is the famous Florence open air market where you can buy leather goods, souvenirs, scarfs, ties, and more -- all while negotiating with the street vendors and their shops behind.


Lunch time and we break down and have our first pizza.  Here is Ashley with the classic margherita, ready to enjoy!Lunch time and we break down and have our first pizza. Here is Ashley with the classic margherita, ready to enjoy!


My first visit to Galleria Dell'Academia to see Michelangelo's David.  The real story?  Absolutely no line in front of the gallery to get inside.  On my previous visit, this line stretched around the corner with a one-to-two hour wait to get inside.  Whether it was the hot weather or the timing here at the end of August -- we do not know.  However, we quickly paid our 10 euro entrance fee and enjoyed a very uncrowded visit.My first visit to Galleria Dell'Academia to see Michelangelo's David. The real story? Absolutely no line in front of the gallery to get inside. On my previous visit, this line stretched around the corner with a one-to-two hour wait to get inside. Whether it was the hot weather or the timing here at the end of August -- we do not know. However, we quickly paid our 10 euro entrance fee and enjoyed a very uncrowded visit.


Il Duomo catches a little afternoon sun with some light clouds in the sky.Il Duomo catches a little afternoon sun with some light clouds in the sky.


One of my most vivid memories from my trip to Florence back in 1996 was eating gelato ice cream on the steps of Il Duomo with a group of friends.  Now back in Florence -- it is necessary for me to relive that moment again as I enjoy a Caffe Gelato.One of my most vivid memories from my trip to Florence back in 1996 was eating gelato ice cream on the steps of Il Duomo with a group of friends. Now back in Florence -- it is necessary for me to relive that moment again as I enjoy a Caffe Gelato.


Ending the day back at our bus stop in Casellina, a few Italian women chat just after the rain has stopped.Ending the day back at our bus stop in Casellina, a few Italian women engage in conversation just after the late afternoon rain has stopped.

0 comments: