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Analogue Adventures – Europe 1984 -Rome to Florence, Italy

All photos taken on June 28, 1984.

Another morning, another breakfast of…..rolls and coffee.

We were off to Florence today and had high hopes to see Michelangelo’s David. It was a 3 hour drive and by the time we got to Florence it was after Noon. We found ourselves stranded on Piazza Michelangelo with fine views of the city of Florence, because that is where Cosmos had their “arrangement” with shops and restaurants.

First, we had to line up for the tour group photos. I must admit this is a great photo, but its no Michelangelo’s David. This process took the better part of 15 minutes.

We made many good friend son this tour, most of home have either passed away or we have lost track of. Notice tour guide Allison’s coy pose at bottom right.
My shot of Florence

Then we got some shopping time and finally, we had lunch. Our lunch was pizza, milkshakes, and gelato. Obviously, we found no need to watch our girlish figures in the early years,

We kept asking Allison, can we please go down to Florence, but she was having none of it and there did not seem to be any taxis up there anyway. Sigh.

Finally at 2:30, we found ourselves in Piazza Della Signori in Florence, ready to start our walking tour. And no, Allison would not yet set us free.

Piazza della Signoria is a w-shaped square in front of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. It was named after the Palazzo della Signoria, also called Palazzo Vecchio. It is the main point of the origin and history of the Florentine Republic and still maintains its reputation as the political focus of the city. It is the meeting place of Florentines as well as the numerous tourists, located near  Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza del Duomo and gateway to Uffizi Gallery.

(Source: Wikipedia)

From the Piazza, it was a short walk to Il Duomo (Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore).

Florence Cathedral, formally the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore is the cathedral of  Florence, (Duomo di Firenze). It was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to a design of Arnolfo di Cambio and was structurally completed by 1436, with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi. The exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink, bordered by white, and has an elaborate 19th-century Gothic Revival façade by Emilio De Fabris.

The cathedral complex, in Piazza del Duomo, includes the Baptistery and Giotto’s Campanile. These three buildings are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the historic centre of Florence and are a major tourist attraction of Tuscany. The basilica is one of Italy’s largest churches, and until the development of new structural materials in the modern era, the dome was the largest in the world. It remains the largest brick dome ever constructed.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Our walk continued on past the Medici Palace to Chiese di San Lorenzo, which contained the Medici tombs.

The Basilica di San Lorenzo is one of the largest churches of Florence, situated at the centre of the city’s main market district, and the burial place of all the principal members of the Medici family from Cosimo il Vecchio to Cosimo III. It is one of several churches that claim to be the oldest in Florence, having been consecrated in 393, at which time it stood outside the city walls. For three hundred years it was the city’s cathedral before the official seat of the bishop was transferred to Santa Reparata.

San Lorenzo was the parish church of the Medici family. In 1419, Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici offered to finance a new church to replace the 11th-century Romanesque rebuilding.  Filippo Brunelleschi, the leading Renaissance architect of the first half of the 15th century, was commissioned to design it, but the building, with alterations, was not completed until after his death. The church is part of a larger monastic complex that contains other important architectural and artistic works: the Old Sacristy by Brunelleschi, with interior decoration and sculpture by Donatello; the Laurentian Library by Michelangelo; the New Sacristy based on Michelangelo’s designs; and the Medici Chapels by Matteo Nigetti.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Florence seemed to be the city of churches, so we continued on to Chiezza Santa Crocé to see the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli.

The Basilica di Santa Croce is the principal Franciscan church in Florence, and a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church. It is situated on the Piazza di Santa Croce, about 800 meters south-east of the Duomo. The site, when first chosen, was in marshland outside the city walls. It is the burial place of some of the most illustrious Italians, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, the poet Foscolo, the philosopher Gentile and the composer Rossini, thus it is known also as the Temple of the Italian Glories.

The Basilica is the largest Franciscan church in the world. Its most notable features are its sixteen  chapels, many of them decorated with frescoes by Giotto and his pupils, and its  tombs and cenotaphs. Legend says that Santa Croce was founded by St Francis himself. The construction of the current church, to replace an older building, was begun on 12 May 1294, possibly by Arnolfo di Cambio, and paid for by some of the city’s wealthiest families. It was consecrated in 1442 by Pope Eugene IV. The building’s design reflects the austere approach of the Franciscans. The floorplan is an Egyptian or Tau cross (a symbol of St Francis), 115 metres in length with a nave and two aisles separated by lines of octagonal columns. 

(Source: Wikipedia)

At long last, it was our free time and we rushed over to find that the Accademia Museum’s last admission time was 4:15 and it was now 4:45. No matter how we pleaded and begged, no exceptions would be made. Thanks Cosmos.

They did recommend that we might like to try the Galleria degli Uffuzi with works by Da Vinci and Bottecelli. Sorry, no photos inside the museum were permitted at the time.

The Uffizi Gallery is a prominent art museum located adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria in the  Historic Centre of Florence. One of the most important Italian museums and the most visited, it is also one of the largest and best known in the world and holds a collection of priceless works, particularly from the period of the Italian Renaissance.

After the ruling House of Medici died out, their art collections were given to the city of Florence under the famous Patto di famiglia negotiated by Anna Maria Luisa, the last Medici heiress. The Uffizi is one of the first modern museums. The gallery had been open to visitors by request since the sixteenth century, and in 1765 it was officially opened to the public, formally becoming a museum in 1865.

(Source: Wikipedia)

We finished off our free time by walking along the Arno River to the Ponte Vecchio.

The Ponte Vecchio (“Old Bridge”) is a medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River, in Florence. It is noted for the shops built along it; building shops on such bridges was once a common practice. Butchers, tanners, and farmers initially occupied the shops; the present tenants are jewelers, art dealers, and souvenir sellers. 

The bridge connects via Por Santa Maria to via de ‘Guicciardini.

The name was given to what was the oldest Florentine bridge when the bridge to the Carraia was built, then called “Ponte Nuovo” in contrast to the pons Vetus. Beyond the historical value, the bridge over time has played a central role in the city road system, starting from when it connected the Roman Florentia with the Via Cassia Nuova commissioned by the emperor Hadrian in 123 AD.

In contemporary times, despite being closed to vehicular traffic, the bridge is crossed by a considerable pedestrian flow generated both by the notoriety of the place itself and by the fact that it connects places of high tourist interest on the two banks of the river: piazza del Duomo, piazza della Signoria on one side with the area of Palazzo Pitti and Santo Spirito in the Oltrarno.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Back on the bus at 6:30 for transport to our hotel Hotel Concorde. Like most Cosmos hotels, this one was located out of the city center.

Supper was in the hotel and we dined on minestrone soup, potatoes, carrots and veal. Fresh peaches for dessert. All washed down with good Italian wine and our tears for not seeing Michelangelo’s David.

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Published by kagould17

Not much to tell. After working for 3 companies over 43+ years (38 years 7 months with my last company), I finally got that promotion I had waited my entire career for……retirement. I have been exploring this new career for the past 7+ years and while it is not always exciting, the chance to do what I want for myself and my family instead of what my company wants has been very fulfilling. Early on, there was a long list of projects in my “to-do” hopper and I attacked these projects with a vengeance for the first 9 months of retirement. Eventually, my brain told me that this was not what retirement was about, so it took me another 5 months before my industriousness again took over and I attacked another line of projects, this time somewhat shorter and less complicated, as well as many new projects related to the family weddings in 2016. After going hard for 6 weeks and 3 weddings, my body was telling me to relax, then the flu bug hit and as soon as that was done with me, my sciatic acted up. No rest for the wicked. In 2020 and 2021, the Covid 19 pandemic changed the whole retirement gig. I was lucky to not be still working, for sure. I enjoy photography, gardening, working with my hands, walking, cycling, skiing, travelling, reading and creating special photo and video productions obtained in my first pastime. I may never become wealthy in any of these pursuits, but I already feel I am rich in life experiences far beyond any expectation.

14 thoughts on “Analogue Adventures – Europe 1984 -Rome to Florence, Italy

    1. It was frustrating to be stuck on a hill with the tour group while the strict itinerary was followed. Why they did not offer a Cosmos $13.50 option for this one is beyond me. We would have taken that one. 😊Thanks for reading Lynette. Allan

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  1. The photo may not have been quite to Micaelengelo’s David standards, but it took him not just 15 minutes, but 3 years 😀
    The photos are worth the 15 minutes, and more, imo! Did you hear Florence is supposedly instituting a daily visitor charge?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The group photo with Florence in the background is a work of art,. to be sure. I had not heard this about Florence. I had heard that Cinque Terre was going to restrict visitors though. These places are victims of their own success I suppose. Glad we were able to visit when we did. Thanks for reading. Allan

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  2. How frustrating to be so near and yet not get to see that famous statue! As beautiful as your other photos are, I feel your pain. My son and daughter-in-law were lucky enough to visit Florence on their honeymoon, and they loved it!

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    1. This did ruin Florence and Italy for us for a while> We did not visit Italy again until 2019, when we went back on our own to Pisa, Lucca and Cinque Terre. That did a lot to change our minds. Thanks for reading Anna. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How frustrating to miss Michelangelo’s David. While the Piazza Michelangelo provides a nice view of Florence, it’s kind of in the middle of nowhere. At least you were able to visit a few of the churches in Florence, which are so beautiful. The Uffuzi is a great consolation prize. I actually prefer it to the Accademia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a learning experience. While we have sometimes taken a tour in a country we visit, we have not taken a long coach tour since. The Uffuzi was a good option, but our time there was also limited due to Cosmos’ schedule. We must go back to Tuscany and Liguria. Stanley Tucci’s Searching for Italy showed more of Liguria in the latest episode. Thanks for reading Linda. Happy November. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

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