Second Stop in Italy: Florence

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Words really can’t describe Florence. I don’t think this picture really does it justice, but it is better than nothing.

You’ll have to go see it yourself some day. It is very very very worth it.

The history of the city is simply fascinating. Florence was the home city of the Di Medici family, the most powerful family in Italy for a period of four hundred years. They made their money from banking, and a good majority of the artwork and the architecture in the city was comissioned by the Di Medici family. Their family crest shows up just about everywhere.

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This is the old Di Medici family palace. It is a typical example of renaissance architecture, using simplicity in the design and playing with proportions. The bottom level is twice as tall as the first floor. This gives the illusion that the building is taller than it actually is. You can see the Di Medici family crest (the shield with the six balls) on the corner of the building.

If I’m being honest, Florence was the first city that I have visited where I was actually seriously impressed with the architecture. I know, I know, I’ve seen Paris and the Eiffel tower. I’ve seen Rome with…?? Sorry, I’m not a big architecture fan. Obviously. I much prefer God’s architecture to that of man. Give me a park over a building any time of day…

But it wasn’t only the renaissance architecure that I liked (although I really liked the play with the proportions). Two of the cathedrals in the city were likely the most beautiful buildings that I’ve ever seen in my life (even though I am fundamentally opposed to cathedrals and what they stand for). I just loved the beautiful green, pink, and white marble…

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Of course, no surprise to anyone who knows me, my favorite place in the city was the river. Gorgeous. I don’t know exactly why I love rivers so much. I just know that I do.

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The one thing I didn’t like about Florence was that they charged admission for EVERYTHING. Don’t get me wrong. I understand why they would charge admission for the Uffizzi and Accademia (the two art museums I visited). I mean…you get to see Michelangelo’s statues emerge from solid marble:

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But they also charge admission for ALL of the gardens in the city (at least all of the ones that I could find). Me, being me, found the green squares on my map and tried to get in…

Unfortunately, those green squares were surrounded by very tall walls. They didn’t show THEM on the map.

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At least the Piazzas in the city had free admission, and those were often green and nice. So I wasn’t completely disappointed.

I was actually intending to pay the admission to have access to the gardens of the Pitti Palace. Unfortunately, the day where I was planning my outing turned out to be very rainy. So I ended up reading a book in a cute cafe and reading with a couple of espresso and a panini.

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Have I mentioned how much I love my Kindle?

Wouldn’t travel anywhere without it.

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