Florence .. our next destination

From Pisa to Florence is a short distance through Tuscan countryside

IMG_7181

It’s there that we had a two day stopover at the Croce di Malta Hotel in the heart of Florence .. birthplace of the Renaissance.    So much to see .. so little time on a tour.

Definitely a place to return to  !!

Copy of Copy (2) of Collages 226

Where do I begin !!!  Interesting hotel .. walk-about with a local guide .. walk-about on our own .. Galleria dell’ Accademia – home to Michelangelo’s most famous work, David .. dinner with wine and music in the Tuscan countryside  … .. .. … …

Driving through Florence ..

IMG_7183 IMG_7184

To compliment itineraries on tours, several ‘optional excursions’  are offered.  One of them, on ‘Best of Italy’,  is a guided tour of  the Galleria dell ‘Accademia

IMG_0743  Thank goodness for organised tours and pre-booked entries!!  The Accademia’s entrance is on a narrow street, which was packed with people, making two or more queues it seemed liked.  A little chaotic !!!  .. but we were told to stand in a spot and not to move from there until we were ushered inside.

IMG_7185

“The Academy of Fine Arts (Galleria dell’Accademia) founded in 1563, was the first school established in Europe specially to teach the techniques of drawing, painting and sculpture.   The art collection displayed here was formed in 1784 to provide material for students to study and copy.”

IMG_7187

“The most famous work is Michelangelo’s David (1504) a colossal (5.2m / 17ft) nude of the biblical hero who killed the giant Goliath.  The sculpture was the commissioned by the city for Piazza della Signoria (where a copy now stands), but was moved to the Accademia for safe-keeping in 1873. “

What an amazing experience to stand, and walk around, and admire this perfect !!!!   Amazing too, to think of those huge blocks of marble we saw in the marble-yards, can be transformed into something so beautiful, so perfect!  David stands within a circular glass enclosure, protected from vandals, but close enough to see the smoothness of the marble, the smallest of detail, the perfection of the human form.  No photography is allowed.  We didn’t see much more as a tour group, as we were only allowed in the vicinity of Michelangelo’s David and surrounding artworks .. all of which were amazing!       ( I tend to use that word often :) ! )

IMG_7188

Our hotel in Florence  .. Croce di Malta Hotel – a renovated convent!  .. situated around the corner from Piazza Santa Maria Novella.  Until mid 1800′s it was the old Suore della Carita (Sisters of Charity) Convent, which offered hospitality to Florence’s ‘ poor, virtuous maidens’ !!!

IMG_7401- our hotel

IMG_7403

IMG_7212

IMG_7204

IMG_7205

Breakfast area – we, as group, were at back on left …

IMG_7206IMG_7211

IMG_7208 IMG_7210

IMG_7437

Our ‘compact’  duplex room was facing Via della Scalla ..

IMG_7189 IMG_7191

There was a beautiful old writing bureau .. (I stood in the bathroom to take this pic!)

IMG_7195

IMG_7194

The rooftop terrace has wonderful views ..

IMG_7197 IMG_7198 IMG_7199 IMG_7200

IMG_7202 IMG_7201

Hubby and I had planned to have a drink on the rooftop terrace but, even though the view was amazing, a huge air conditioner unit was extremely loud.  Skipping the drinks idea, we headed straight for a pavement café at Piazza Santa Maria Novella, spotted Bob and Connie already seated, and joined them for pizza .. and drinks!   How stupid of me .. I didn’t take a photograph of the pavement cafés around the Piazza :(

Photos below - The next morning : Piazza and Santa Maria Novella .. built (1246-1360) on the site of a 9th century oratory .. the façade was completed by Leon Battista Alberti in 1470

Copy of IMG_7398

Gorgeous roses ..

Copy (2) of IMG_7399

After our typically Italian food and wine  .. delishhh  :)  hubby and I went for a short stroll before heading back to the hotel for a welcoming shower and bed!

IMG_7214 IMG_7215 IMG_7216 IMG_7217 Standing on Ponte alla Carraia over the River Arno looking towards Ponte Santa Trinita  with Ponte Vecchio beyond ..

IMG_7218

IMG_7219Early start the next morning for a full day ahead in Florence  .. next post .. and next .. and next ;)

Trafalgar Tours : Best of Italy : June 2013

About momsmeanderings

Wife ... mom ... granny .. in a nutshell ! Never a dull moment !
This entry was posted in church, hotels, Italy, rivers and canals, travel and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Florence .. our next destination

  1. Another interesting city. Love the views across the roofs. Its so typical Italian

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s