Florence Journals

The Other Side of Florence

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A May 2004 trip to Florence by Tolik

Via Guiccardini Photo, Florence, Italy More Photos
Quote: Since the early 19th century, Florence (Firenze in Italian) has been celebrated as the most beautiful city in Italy. We decided to explore this wonderful city and booked an apartment in the old town historic area south of the Arno River.

Apartment in Oltrarno

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Hotel | "Apartment at Via Guicciardini"

Apartment in Oltrarno Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
The apartment, which we booked through the InterHome, is in historic old town, in a wonderful position to explore Florence on foot. Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Pitti and the Boboli Gardens are approx. 100 m away. It takes 5 to 7 minutes’ walk to reach Piazza della Signoria or Galleria degli Uffizi. Access to the apartment from Via Guicciardini is through a courtyard which has one of the best ceramic shops in Florence. Here also you will find a memorial plate informing that Niccolo Machiavelli lived here. In the building there is a miniscule lift. The one-bedroom apartment has been renovated and furnished in Tuscany country style. The large windows of the living rooms overlook the characteristic courty...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 10, 2004

Apartment in Oltrarno
18 Via Guicciardini
Florence, Italy

Osteria Vasari

Restaurant

Osteria Vasari Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
A typical Florentine restaurant - small and friendly. Lunch euro 12 – 15. Dinner from euro 19. It offers good beef with tomato and buffalo mozzarella; also serves great soups and pastas. The food is delicious. Everything here is extremely fresh.

Eating in an osteria, you don't have to eat a full meal, and there is plenty of choice between snacks and more substantial dishes.

The Osteria also offers specials (first course + second course + side dish + fruit and drinks) from euro 19.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 19, 2004

Osteria Vasari
25R, Via de Bardi
Florence, Italy
055-2346435

Via Guiccardini

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Attraction | "Guiccardini Street"

Via Guiccardini Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
Next to Ponte Vecchio, across the Borgo San Jacopo is a fountain of Bacchus and a Roman sarcophagus. Via Guiccardini where we stayed for a week, starts here. The Guicciardini street (ex-Volterana because it leads to the town called Voltera) runs from the Ponte Vecchio towards Piazza Pitti. This narrow picturesque street is one of the busiest in Florence but the shops provide interesting possibilities for the Florence visitors. At the end of the road at No.15 is Palazzo Guicciardini, residence of Luidgi di Piero Guicciardini, Godfalonier of Justice. Famous historian and writer Francesco Guicciardini was born here in 1483. Francesco wrote here History of Italy in 1530. The courtyard and garden (1...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 10, 2004

Via Guiccardini
Guiccardini Street
Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge)

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Attraction | "Ponte Vecchio Bridge and the Vasari Corridor"

Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
The direct route from the city center to the heart of Oltrarno crosses the river on the Ponte Vecchio, the most famous bridge over the Arno River. The Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) is to Florence what the Tower Bridge is to London. Original bridge was built near the site of the Roman crossing, which was farther upstream. It was built in 1345 to replace an earlier bridge that was swept away by flood, and its shops housed first butchers, then grocers, blacksmiths, butchers, fishmongers and tanners. Ponte Vecchio was the only bridge until 1218. When Cosimo moved to the Pitti palace, Vasari was commissioned to link the Uffizi with the palace. In 1565 he built the Corridoio Vasariano constructed as a p...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 10, 2004

Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge)
Over the Arno River
Florence, Italy 50125

Parco di Villa Demidoff

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Attraction | "Demidoff Monument"

Parco di Villa Demidoff Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
To the right of the charming Piazza Demidoff is a public garden called the Demidoff Gardini, with a statue covered by a Victorian glass canopy - monument to Nicolo Demidoff, Russian Ambassador in Tuscany. This square was dedicated to the Russian noble Nikolaj Demidoff (1773 – 1828). The Italians converted his Russian first name to the familiar Nicolo. Count Demidoff had been ambassador in Florence in the years 1820 - 1828 and lived in the palazzo Serristori (16th C) at the side of the square; during these years Demidoff was a great benefactor for the city and financed several school and assistance institutes. In 1870 the heirs of Demidoff donated to the City of Florence the marble monument (a w...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 10, 2004

Parco di Villa Demidoff
Via Bolognese
Florence, Italy 50036
+39 055409427

Costa San Giorgio

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Attraction

Costa San Giorgio Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
From the back of Piazza San Felìcita, the narrow lane Costa San Giorgio winds up the hill towards Forte di Belvedere. At the fork with Costa Ascarpuccia (a beautiful road which leads downhill to Via de Bardi) is the church of San Giorgio Sulla Costa. The Baroque interior is one of the best in Florence. The altarpieces are by Redi, Vignali and Passignano, on the ceiling the Glory of Saint George. Further up the Costa San Giorgio at #19 is the villa purchased by Gallileo for his son. Here Ferdinando II visited the great scientist in 1620. Gallileo himself lived from 1610 – 31 farther along the road. Alternatively, from the foot of Ponte Vecchio you can pass beneath the Corridoio Vasariano and follow up...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 10, 2004

Costa San Giorgio
Oltrarno
Florence, Italy

Borgo San Jacopo

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Attraction

Borgo San Jacopo Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
From the bronze fountain on the corner of Via Guiccardini walk westwards along Borgo San Jacopo, an ancient road 1st mentioned in 1182. On the corner of pretty Via Toscanella, Torre Marsili di Borgo is a fine tower-house. Nearby is second tower, Torre dei Rossi Cerchi. Piazza Angiolieri next to the hotel offers fantastic view if the Ponte Vecchio. On the right is the church of Santo Jacopo Sopr’ Arno. Its 11th century portico was transported here from the demolished church of San Donato a Scorpeto. Inside the Baroque interior and Romanesque columns. The church is used for concerts and exhibitions. Borgo San Jacopo brings you to the Piazza Frescobaldi with a pretty fountain on the corner desig...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 10, 2004

Borgo San Jacopo
Oltrarno
Florence, Italy

Via Maggio

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Attraction

Via Maggio Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
Via Maggio is the principal street of Olrtarno (it actually means the Main St). It was open after Ponte Santa Trinita was built (1253) and became fashionable street after grand-dukes moved to Palazzo Pitti (16th century). Palazzo Riscardi at No.7 is the largest palace (15C). It has fine courtyard. On the right is Palazzo Bianca Cappello at No.26, built by Francesco I for the Venetian girl. She was first his mistress and afterwards his wife. Continuing a stroll east on Via Mazzetta, one arrives shortly at Piazza San Felice, just off a corner of the vast Pitti Palace. Between 3pm and 5pm, a visit can be made to the apartment of poets Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, Florence’s one of the ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 10, 2004

Via Maggio
Oltrarno
Florence, Italy

Florence Tour

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Attraction | "Florence Gates and Fortifications"

Florence Tour Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
Porta San Feridano (1324) and the adjoining stretch of the wall are one of the best preserved parts of the fortifications. The gate protected the road to Pisa. It preserves interesting ironwork and huge wooden doors. High up on the tower is the emblem of the city. Via Romana, one of the most important streets of the Oltrrarno, leads to the Porta Romana, a well-preserved gate (1237). Porta San Giorgio (St George Gate) is at the end of the Costa di San Giorgio. The gate was built in 1260 and is the oldest gate to survive. The fresco within the arch is the Virgin and St George. On the other side is a carving of St George fighting the dragon. Pretty Porta San Miniato (14th ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 10, 2004

Florence Tour

Florence, Italy

Beginning of Florence

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Story/Tip

Florence Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
Five centuries BC, during Etruscan times, fortified hilltown Fesole was the only settlement in the area (8km from the present day Florence). First settlement on the banks of the Arno River was founded as a colony of the Etruscan city of Fiesole in about 200 BC when the Romans spanned the Arno River with a bridge. It was built on the foot of the hill of San Giorgio but destroyed in 82 BC during the Roman civil wars. The Roman colony was established here again in 59 BC. A new town arose on the north bank, peopled not only by natives from the area but also by retired veterans from the Cesar’s legions. Piazza del Republica was the old Forum and Via degli Strozzi its main street called then the Decumamus M...Read More