Monday, December 28, 2009

Ciao, Firenze


Florence, or Firenze as it's called in Italian, was one of the most beautiful cities of the renaissance. The architects of Florence took their inspiration from Rome, which had some of the best architecture of the Roman Empire. When Rome fell, a lot that was known about buildings was forgotten, but the Florentines brought a lot of it back. For example: the people of Florence wanted to have a dome on their basilica, but domes had no dome had been built of designed since Roman times. Nevertheless, they built their basilica, and commissioned an architect named Brunelleschi to design the dome. He went to Rome to study domes such as the one in the Pantheon and how they were built, and designed and built a dome for the basilica. It was the first dome built on that scale since the Pantheon. It eventually became the inspiration for many other domes, including St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
There is simply too much of Florence to see in one day, but unfortunately that is all we have. Plus, all day we had to deal with my limp, a result of a disastrous ice skating attempt in Rome. It's not broken, but it will take some time to heal completely. In our little excursion we visited the Academy Museum, where Michelangelo's sculpture David is housed, the fore mentioned basilica with the dome, and the Ponte Vecchio, or "old bridge". There is definitely more to see in Florence, but we just don't have the time. This morning we will be taking the train to Venice. I definitely look forward to seeing it.
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