Friday, July 19, 2019

Firenze at Last!


Firenze!  I've been up and down Italy on trains a time or two
and passed by this station regretfully without stopping.
On September 16, 2018, I finally stepped off the train and into an incredible city:
Firenze!  Florence!


Santa Maria Novella Railway Station



Terry read about this ancient and beautiful art-filled city,
studied its maps, and poured over its guide books
for months before we arrived in Florence. 
He knew how much I wanted to visit it, and this trip was for me.

Me?  I looked at a map or two and read Kim Stanley Robinson's Galileo's Dreams,
I like to walk into a new place without preconceptions,
a luxury I can enjoy because I married a trip planner extraordinaire.

Tourists Viewing Florence
from the top of the Duomo's Cupola
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






This Tourist Looks Down
from the top of the Duomo's Cupola
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



Terry arrived with the best of everything tabbed in a travel book
checked out of our neighborhood library.
Me?  "I wonder what's around this corner!"

Wherever we travel Terry always exclaims,
"I do all this careful planning before we go on a trip,
and you just want to throw a monkey wrench into the works!"

If I had a cruise for every time he accused me of that,
I'd have sailed the world's oceans and seas multiple times
and finally be ready to stop!  Not!!!  I never want to stop!

La Cantinetta Wine Bar
Near the Church of Santa Maria Novella
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




But no matter how much one has prepared, 
stepping into the twisting puzzle of Florence's streets
for the first time can be bewildering!
  

Which Way Do I Go?
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Through a Gate into an Unexpected Garden
San Miniato al Monte
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


Firenze is famous for its churches, museums, architecture, and art,
and for being the birthplace of the Renaissance,
that expansive florescence of European intellectual life during the 14th to 17th centuries
that precipitated social and political upheaval throughout the continent.

Advances in science, mathematics, technology, and engineering, 
and new thinking in philosophy, literature, music, and the arts
lifted Europe out of the Middle Ages and into the beginning of the modern world.


The Birth of Venus
by Sandro Botticelli
Uffizi Gallery
Florence, Italy



To me, Florence is far more than its history.
I loved wandering its streets and absorbing the life of this vibrant city.


A Street Artist Taking a Break
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





A Horse and Carriage Move through the Traffic
Viewed from the bell tower of the Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Bellevue House
The Hotel We Stayed in for Four Nights 
Via della Scala
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



Along the Arno River
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






A Roman Lion
II Century A.D.
Moved from Rome to Florence in1787
Piazza della Signoria
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Fountain of Neptune
by Bartolomeo Ammannati
with the National Museum of the Bargello in the background
Piazza della Signoria
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






A Wedding Photographer's Perfect Shot
San Miniato al Monte
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






One Small Truck!
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Enjoying the Sunset Overlooking the Arno
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Terry Admires Synthetic Crystal Glass
Mario Luca Giusti's Store
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Florence Triumphant Over Pisa
by Giambologna
National Museum of the Bargello
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Why the Little Dog???
Giambologna's Florence Triumphant Over Pisa
National Museum of the Bargello
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Terry Checks His Guide Book
National Museum of the Bargello
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Painted Silk Taffeta
by Giovanna Carzoni
Church of Santa Maria Novella
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





The Complete Taffeta Antependium
by Giovanna Carzoni
(A decorative piece that hangs on the front of a Christian altar)
Church of Santa Maria Novella
Florence, Italy



Patiently Waiting
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Pigeons Enjoying the Sunshine
Church of Santa Maria Novella
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



We had planned to stay two nights in Florence but quickly realized
this was a woefully inadequate amount of time and doubled our stay.

We deliberately avoided guides, giant lines, and gaining all the biggies,
like Michelangelo's David and the Uffizi Gallery.
We spent hours lingering over Italian spritzes in the late afternoon heat
discussing the wonders we had seen;  Florence is supersaturated with wonders!

A Definite Wonder
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Giotto's Campanile
Why is the bell tower caged and the cupola not?
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





The Roof of Giotto's Campanile
 Adjacent to the Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Baptistry of St. John
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Climbing Down from the Campanile
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




An Oasis Among the Rooftops
Climbing Down from the Campanile
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Sunset Along the Arno
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Pinocchio in Bartolucci Florence 
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Triumphal Arch
Piazza della Repubblica 
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved







Backside of the Triumphal Arch
Piazza della Repubblica 
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




Florentine Sunshine
National Museum of the Bargello
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




Mosaic Marble Pavement
The Baptistery of St. John
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



We will return to this wondrous city!

The Baptistery of St. John by Moonlight
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Till next time ~
Fundy Blue


Sidewalk Cafe
Florence, Italy
September 16,  2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Personal Note:  I'll be on the move shortly.  I'll post and visit as I can along the way!


For Map Lovers Like Me:
Location of Italy




Location of Florence





Location of Ponte Vecchio




36 comments:

  1. That was a fun tour Louise!!! :) If ever I get over my fear of flying, Italy is where I want to be...the art, the wine, the architecture...thanks for sharing!!! :)

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    1. Thanks, Rain! Italy is amazing! I can't wait to go back! I had a lot of fun putting the post together. The only snafu I had was that our cable and internet went down shortly after midnight last night, and I couldn't complete my post until this morning. Argh!!! Me and the internet! 😱 I hope all is well with you, Alex, and the fur babies ~ including that cute little squirrel!

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  2. The statues, that huge lion, how ever did they move it? The mosaics and street artists, no wonder you want to return. All the tiled roofs, what work they did all those years ago and still as good as the day they were done.

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    1. Hi, Jean! I, too, wonder how they moved things like the Roman lion ~ Let alone put a roof on the cupola or the bell tower. Just thinking about it freaks me out! I am in awe of the craftsmanship of the past, especially when almost everything I touch today is cheapened from even a few years ago. Hugs to you and Hugh!

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  3. It's beautiful. I love some of those views. We plan a few things, but mostly we leave some days up to chance. You never know what you'll find by wandering around.

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    1. Thanks, Diane! I do love to wander! btw, I just finished your book "Overcoming Obstacles with SPUNK!" I really enjoyed it because it's so positive, informative, and inspiring. I'm having a blast reading books by IWSG members. Have a great weekend.

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  4. Extraordinary!

    What an adventure!

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  5. Amazing how famous that Venus painting is. I'm glad it survived ages of Christian leadership.

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    1. Me too, Adam! Conquerors, Christians and otherwise, throughout the ages have destroyed so many beautiful things! Have a great weekend with Daisy!

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  6. Wow, you sure explored and got lots of great shots. Is it wrong that I thought hopping on a sled and going down that first roof might be fun...at least until you hit the ground lol you throw a monkey wrench into a perfect plan? Geez.

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    1. Hey, Pat! That sloping roof was one of the scariest photos I have taken, because I don't like heights and all I could think of was sliding down that roof. I felt like I was being pulled into the void. As for the sled ~ after you, my friend! All the best to you!

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  7. You took some amazing photos! I love Florence too -- spent a couple of days there about 10 years ago but I'd go back in a heartbeat! I was crazy about the Renaissance when I was a teenager (*cough* geek *cough*) so going to Florence was a dream come true!

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    1. Thanks, Debra! A couple of days is not enough ~ I certainly hope that you get to go back to Florence. My parents were passionate about history and art, so of course they made the Renaissance come alive for me. Reading about it in books and seeing pictures is one thing. Seeing the wealth and power and where the cultural and scientific changes occurred quite another. And the art! And the architecture! You can see a photo of the Duomo and its cupola; but nothing compares with standing at the base of the cupola at the top of that dome and looking down! Me? I was crazy about dinosaurs! Talk about geeky! I think geeks rule, btw! Have a good one!

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  8. Brilliantly taken images dear Louise !

    how amazing that little focus during capture can make the photo EXCELLENT and you did great job here :)

    thank you for taking us along ,Florence is our dream destination like Spain ,Italy and i hope we will visit there someday ,till then we are watching "touropia" online a traveling show that shares best places to visit in the world ,quite amusing to watch on big screen of 50 inches

    i can relate to your attitude as either i would have avoided the crowded places as well :) Terry made your dream come true by putting so much love and care and this is so sweet of him :)

    Renaissance is something so intriguing to me ,i studied about it during my masters and i was touched by changes brought by thinkers and educationists .it is biggest proof in history that WAY OF THINKING can bring the revolution to life for better

    art galleries are absolutely fascinating and captivating !

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    1. Thank you for your kind words about my pictures, Baili! I try to get the best composition when I take a picture, but I often have to do some editing to get the exact picture I want. How cool that you are watching travel shows! Our world is an amazing place, and I hope you get to live your travel dreams.

      We take things like a big screen tv for granted, but they really are quite something. Today is the 50th anniversary of men landing on the moon, so I have been reliving that moment and watching a lot of documentaries about Apollo 11 on tv. When I watched the lunar landing 50 years ago, it was on a small 12 inch black and white tv and the reception was very snowy. There must have been eight or nine of us crowded around that little tv hardly daring to breathe. We thought it was miraculous to be looking at the newscast and seeing Armstrong step onto the moon. Now I'm seeing it all again on a big screen like yours. What a difference! We're so fortunate to be living today and enjoying modern technology! Of course, 50 years ago, we thought we were very modern ~ LOL

      I think what you said about the Renaissance is so true. It was a time when mankind broke free of old ways of seeing and understanding the world and ushered in a new era that improved life for so many. Centuries later, we still have a long way to go, but look how far we've come! We're in the midst of mind boggling change right now, and the way young people are bringing about change gives me great hope for the future.

      All the best to you and your family! Hugs to you!

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  9. What a great trip and you had me with that first pic--of a train!

    www.thepulpitandthepen.com

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    1. LOL! You do love trains, Jeff! And you write the best accounts of traveling by train that I have read! Take care!

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  10. Louise, you have excelled yourself with these wonderful photos of magnificent Florence
    in the amazing region of "the charms of Tuscany".
    It was an area of Italy that I so much enjoyed in my 6 months of touring Europe way back in my youthful days..........don't ask too many questions of that period of my life, Louise!!
    Unfortunately Europe was still divided, otherwise I would have had more months there as no way was I going to go behind that wall - thus no Bratislava, Dresden, St. Petersburg or Berlin.
    But Florence was right up there with Lausanne, Copenhagen, Oslo and Salzburg.
    I travelled with a euro-pass - the rules/regulations I can assure you from what I have been told are far better these days than in the 1980's.
    The rail systems of Europe are so far superior to anywhere else in the World - here in Australia I regret to say it is Third World!
    I really hope you and the "other half" have a fantastic time.......lucky buggers!!! ha ha.
    Cheers
    Colin

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    1. Thanks, Colin! I'm so glad that you enjoyed my photos! I am amazed by the train service in Europe that is fast, frequent, and efficient. But then, Europe is smaller and much more densely populated than in places like Australia, Canada, or the western US. I was a decade ahead of you having traveled in Europe in late 1972 through the first quarter of 1973. A friend and I traveled from London to Amsterdam by train, but then we bought a used Volkswagen van in a back alley of Amsterdam and spent a month traveling down to Madrid. We had planned to go on to the Mediterranean beaches, but I met an American on a blind date in Madrid and that changed my entire life. I ended up marrying my date months later and emigrating to the US, something I never imagined growing up in Canada. The things you do for love! Have a good one!!

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    2. Actually Louise when I got home after the posting my time in Florence, I checked my travels diary and it was in 1974 that I was in Florence etc on my European Odyssey!
      I did try to e-mail you but the link on your blog site doesn't work.
      Cheers
      Colin

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  11. You have a wonderful blog! The topics you write about are very close to me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    I follow you through GFC! If you want, go to my blog :)

    MY NEW POST ♥♥♥

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    1. Thanks for your kind comment, Nastya! I'm in the midst of traveling, so I wasn't able to reply before now. I definitely will pop by your blog! Thanks for visiting!

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  12. Yes! My husband and I went to Florence years ago and absolutely loved it! We made that our base and ventured to Pisa and a few other places. One of my favorite things besides the food - swooning for the delicious food!!! - was getting to actually see so much of the art I had only read about in school. It about blew my mind. :)

    Glad to hear you had such a wonderful time!

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    1. Thanks, Madeline! I agree! ~ The food was fabulous! Both my parents were painters and art historians. Mom had me looking at her art history books before I could read, so you know that seeing so much marvelous art I had only seen in pictures was amazing! It just about blew my mind too! I'm traveling, so I couldn't answer until now. Have a good one!

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  13. lOVELY PHOTOS! What a coincidence! I am going to stay in Florence in under a month- we are staying in a villa outside of Florence for a week but one night in Florence and we shall be arriving by train there from the UK! We actually got engaged last time we went there- CBC proposed in the Bell tower!!

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    1. Kezzie! How lovely to see you here! Thanks for sharing your memories about CBC and the Bell Tower. I hope that you have a fabulous time in Florence ~ I so want to go back! I think of you often and hope all is well! Sorry that I just replied now. We're in Vegas and heading for Nova Scotia tomorrow. Take care! Hugs to you!

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  14. My daughter went on a high school trip to Italy. She returned with a gift for me: a beautiful glass necklace from Florence. I treasure it.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Hi, Janie! How lovely that your daughter brought you such a special gift. Italian glass is exquisite. I hope that you are doing well! Hugs to you!

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    2. An inspiring place to visit.

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  15. Your pictures and the way you marvel at what you experienced make me want to go and soon.

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    1. Thanks, Heidrun! I hope you do get a chance to see Florence soon!

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  16. Thank you so much for this visit to Florence! How much I want to see it! I am more like you, I also enjoy finding out what is around the next corner! Your photos, I can't thank you enough for sharing them here. I read something recently about the man who wrote Pinocchio but I'll be dang if I can remember it. Maybe it will come to me today.,😯

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    1. Hi, Kay! How great to see you, Kay! I'm traveling, so I'm hit or miss on Blogger! I hope all is well with you! Florence is marvelous, and you would love it!

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  17. Jason is the same. Will plan down everything to a T, but I'm more of a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal and often steer us off course. There are so many amazing hidden gems to be found off the beaten path!

    Firenze looks absolutely incredible to explore! Thank you for sharing your photos. I am not sure if I'll get there some day, so I always appreciate looking at other's experiences and live vicariously through them.

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    1. Thanks, Theresa! Off the beaten path is always good, and you have discovered some wonderful spots! I live vicariously through other people too! I hope all is well with you! We're on the move ~ out of the country! Take care!

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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate the time and energy you put into making them very much.