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jOSiAh's ^_~ Haven

Florence, Italy

Florence (a.k.a. Firenze) is the famous city of arts in Italy. Everywhere you go, you see... art. And peddlers selling art, either their own work or pirated copies of famous works.

Along the beautiful River Arno...

You can find lots of lamp posts like these...

Away from the river into the city centre, you can find the famous Galleria Uffizi containing collections of famous arts and paintings. I did not have the time to visit it, but then again I don't think I understand art enough to appreciate them (^^;)

Further into the city centre in Piazza della Signoria is Palazzo Vecchio, which is now the mayor's official residence. Also pictured here is Michelangelo's famous "David" statue. A fake one of course. The real one is in Galleria dell' Accademia, which I didn't visit. Then again, who can tell the difference? (>.<)

The Loggia della Signoria.

Horse carriages are a norm in Italy.

Into the heart of the city, we can find Florence's most famous landmark... Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore. The cathedral is simply breathtaking... the picture does not do justice to it at all. There is marble everywhere on the exterior; white, green and red. Since it was a Sunday morning when I visited, tourists were not allowed inside. Fortunately I managed to wiggle my way in using a "prayer visa"... (^_~) Didn't have time to attend mass though... but then everything will be in Italian anyway... This also goes without saying that no pictures are alllowed (^,^)

The Dome, or cupola.

The bell tower.

The Baptistry of St. John. Towards the right of the picture is the "Gate of Paradise": the bronze door on the east portal, created by Lorenzo Ghibert after winning a competition to design the doors.

This is a closeup of the bronze door (along with some tourists ^^;). It contains 10 panels depicting stories from the Old Testament of the bible, like Adam and Eve, Noah's Ark, Moses etc. Again, this is just a reproduction: the real one is in another museum, I think.

Back at River Arno, this is the famous Ponte Vecchio (Ponte = bridge). If you think it's just some old bridge, think again.

You won't even realise that you're on a bridge. It felt more like a street to me... with lots of people (>.<)

Finally, a view of Florence taken at about 9pm from Palazzo Michelangelo, a square on top of a hill. Yet another copy of "David" can be found here. From the picture, you can see the River Arno and its many bridges, the Duomo, and also the Palazzo Vecchio (the lonely tower in the middle). Beautiful.

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