Plaque shows the level of the high water line from the devastating floods of November 1966. I remember my Mum and Dad went to Europe in 1967 and took photos of water marks still visible and I think, if I remember correctly, quite a few places were still closed
Santa Croce … construction began around 1294 on the Gothic church of Santa Croce, which contains tombs and monuments of famous Florentines, such as Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli, as well as “radiant early 14th century frescoes by Giotto and his pupil Taddeo Gaddi. In the cloister alongside the church stands the Cappella de’Pazzi (Pazzi Chapel), a Renaissance masterpiece designed by Filippo Brunelleschi.
The Piazza was a little chaotic as there was scaffolding/seating all around with the sand in the middle. During the traditional feast of St John, held every year on June 21 ( a few days prior to our visit), a tournament is held in the Piazza called calico .. a tradition which was restarted in 1986.
It’s a mix of soccer, rugby and wrestling played in 16 century costume without any set rules. The match is played between the city’s four districts : Santo Spirito, Sante Croce, San Giovanni and Santa Maria Novella. The aim is not to score goals, but to hospitalise your opponent!!! Sounds rather brutal !!!!! Although I’m sure it’s not as drastic as that!! The winning team is presented with a white calf which provides the “‘where-with-all for a vast communal feast to end the celebrations”‘
Italian leather shops groaning with enticing goods …
Antonella ushered us into Peruzzi .. a shop filled with genuine top quality Italian leather goods. Ahhh the smell of real leather !!!! Before we browsed and/or bought (those lucky enough to!!) we had a demonstration …
The Peruzzi family is one of the oldest families in Florence, starting as leading bankers in the middle ages. In 1948 Mr Rino Peruzzi began the business of making and selling a vast array of leather goods, most of which were embellished with gold leaf inlays and decorations. Peruzzi is now one of the most important leather producers with exports worldwide
After the demonstration we were shown jackets made from various leathers .. oh my .. the one I tried on was made of the softest softest leather ..
Unfortunately, while we were there, there was another very large tour group that came in, pushing their way in front of us, and thus pushing us out of their way while we were looking at all the smaller items trying to choose keepsakes and suitable gifts to bring home. Hubby and I don’t like fighting through crowds, so we left with only coin purses for the girls in the family ..
After strolling up and down streets we found ourselves at the back of Palazzo Vecchio. We spotted this open door, which lead into a courtyard. Enormous door with an extremely thick double door and huge bolt !
A wedding photoshoot in the courtyard of the Palazzo ..
Putto with Dolphin ..
Moving away from the crowds ..