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Monday, October 01, 2007

Florence - Day 5

Last night wasn't a good night - I really needed to sleep but my cough just wouldn't stop, an hour and half later after getting into bed I was still coughing.

So this morning I'm off to a chemist to get something. I feel a bit bad that this is my fifth day here and haven't really visited any of the sites. So I'm going to visit the duomo with the "good" camera where I hope it will be early enough to avoid the larger crowds.

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I should start with the place I've spend most of my time - the market.

and just nearby is the Chiesa di San Lorenzo

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It's classed as a masterpiece of Renaissance church architecture it was started by Brunetti and completed in 1461 by Manetti. It sits on the site of the ancient church of St Ambrose from 393.

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An important part of the San Lorenzo structure is the Cappelle Medicee - The Medici Chapels comprise the octagonal Cappella dei Principi (Chapel of the Princes) and the Sagrestia Nuova (New Sacristy).

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The Cappella dei Principe is the Medici mausoleum and the Sagrestia Nuova is a design by Michelangelo. It is the funeral chapel of Lorenzo the Magnificent's family. Michelangelo worked on it until 1534 and it was then completed by Vasari and Ammannati.

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The facade remains unfinished even though Michelangelo did present plans for it.


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The views from the front of the church - oh for a perspective corrective lens to make it all line up!

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As you can see the street markets wrap around the church

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The duomo is only a block away from here - straight up this street

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As you reach the street you meet traffic lights and get a rather uninspiring first look at the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore which is unfortunate as it is anything but uninspiring.

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Frankly it's just too big to fully appreciate and trying to capture it fully in one photo is a futile exercise.

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It's better to break it up into sections and focus on the details


Right Side:

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The Centre:

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There's something about these two statues

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it's the facial expression and the eyes especially that make them so lifelike

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Main doors:

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Detail over the main doors

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Left Side:

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It's here that people are queuing to visit the church.

Besides the Basilica there is also the Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistry of St John)

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This group huddled in front of the doors are sketching (very poorly)

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and if you can't get near the doors - just use your zoom80DSC_2006.jpg

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Then there's also the Campanile di Grotto to see

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Whatever the angle, it is most impressive. Standing 87.5 meters high there's 414 steps between you and the top of this thing.

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As part of the basilica itself, the magnificent Cupola which reaches its peak at 91 meters.

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The climb to reach the top is 463 steps.

Now I did mention a queue...well the end of it was someone down there

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near the entrance of the cupola.

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Horses tucking in for a well deserved feed in front of the Basilica.

By this stage I'd had enough - you need to keep one eye on what you're trying to photograph, the other eye on the traffic and another eye on the gypsies.

At least I sort of felt better that I had done "something" in Florence. I returned home, armed with cough suppressant.

You can see more photos at my Flickr set: Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore

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