Saturday, July 07, 2012
Florence....Magical, Magnetic & Magnificent: a cultural heavyweight!
Florence is utterly breathtaking. The birthplace of the Renaissance, the Tuscan capital is responsible for some of history's greatest artworks (from Michelangelo's 'David' to da Vinci's 'Mona Lisa').
For easy accessibility, I stayed in Santa Maria Novella (Hotel Aurora), hotel is situated directly outside the main train station and also where the main airport bus services drop off. Santa Maria Novella takes its name from the beautiful Dominican basilica its center.
Italian Beer & Risotto for dinner (after our hotel checked in)
Risotto is a dish that's become associated with fancy high end restaurants, but really, it's the epitome of Italian home cooking and comfort food!
The Best of Tuscany!
Day 2 in Florence, I joined the Best of Tuscany Tour.....we visited Siena, San Gimignano & Pisa.
- Our Tour Guide in Siena ; Right
- Piazza del Campo (here, twice a year, the entire city & extra onlookers crowd here to experience the famous Palio
SIENA - is one of Tuscany's most iconic Medieval towns. Exploring Siena on foot is the only way to discover this city of stone. This medieval city is made up of yellow-ochre buildings, terracotta rooftops and green shutters.
Left - Shopping in Siena, Centre - Palazzo Pubblico (Town Hall) & Right - Siena in medieval days!
This is the Duomo of Siena.......this beautiful Gothic cathedral was one of Italy's first. The Duomo holds several valuable works of art including works by Donatello, Bernini & the young Michelangelo.
The spectacular gothic cathedral with an elaborately carved exterior: considered by many to be one of the most beautiful churches in Italy
The real hghlight of this cathedral is the floor....Begun in the 14th century, the unique inlaid marble floor took 200 yrs to complete! The 56 different panels designed by 40 Italian artists were created with the world's most precious marble....
Left - An old book in the Libreria Piccolomini & Right - Heads of the Church
Stunning & captivating wall murals....
Left - the hexagonal dome of Siena ; Right - The Bakerwoman posing @ the entrance of The Duomo
The interior of the Duomo is indeed a treasure chest of artworks!!!!