Florence Journals

The Treasures of Florence

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A May 2004 trip to Florence by Tolik

Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace) Photo, Florence, Italy More Photos
Quote: Florence unlike any other city in Europe. The city is neither timeless like Venice, not eternal like Rom,e but its appeal goes way beyond the world of paintings, sculptures, and magnificent churches. The views of the city from the Rose Garden or Piazzale Michelangelo will take your breath away.

Apartment in Oltrarno

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Hotel

Apartment in Oltrarno Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
We had chosen the Oltrarno historic district in Florence as the place we were going to stay a week. The western part of the area was traditionally an artisans' quarter, while many of the ruling families chose to settle in the central or eastern Oltrarno. The apartment which we booked through the InterHome, is 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 Ni...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 8, 2004

Apartment in Oltrarno
18 Via Guicciardini
Florence, Italy

Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace)

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Attraction | "Palazzo Pitti"

Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace) Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
Palazzo Pitti is my favorite place in Florence. Yes, the Ufizzi Gallery is great but remember that the Medici family actually envisioned the Ufizzi, the Pitti Palace and linking them to the Vasari corridor as a whole; your pilgrimage to Florence will not be complete without the palace. I found that here you can easily get in without standing in line for several hours and there are no crowds, which are so typical of the Uffizi Gallery. The paintings are well placed and you can sit down and look at the walls and ceilings; you can really pay attention and not wait for a chain of tour groups to pass through so that you can come up to the painting. Back to the palace though. In 1549 Eleonor...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 8, 2004

Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace)
Piazza Pitti, 1
Florence, Italy 50125
+39 0552388614

Palazzo Pazzi

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Attraction | "The Palace Gallery Treasures"

Palazzo Pazzi Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
Although the Pitti Palace doesn’t quite compare to the Doge’s Palace in Venice or the Hermitage in St Petersburg, our family agreed that it was a top sight in Florence. You must see it no matter what. The central door of the palace leads you into the atrium. The splendid court (1560-70) by Ammannati serves as a garden façade to the palace. It is a masterpiece of Florentine Mannerist architecture. The night spectacles were held here from the 16th to the 18th century. The lower fourth side is formed by a terrace with the Fontana del Carciofo. The grotto beneath the terrace has another fountain with a porphyry statue of Moses Roman. The Grand Staircase ascends past the a bronze statue of G...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 8, 2004

Palazzo Pazzi
Via del Proconsolo, 10
Florence, Italy 50122

Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace)

Attraction | "Appartamenti Monumentali"

Quote:
The Appartamenti Monumentali (former Reali) - the Pitti's state rooms, renovated by the dukes of Lorraine in the 18th century, and then again by the King Vittorio Emanuele when Florence was the capital of the Kingdom of Italy (1865-71). The museum is located in the right-hand wing (same hours and ticket as Galleria Palatina). This series of state apartments, most of them decorated in the 19C by the Dukes of Lorraine, are notable particularly for their numerous portraits of the Medici by Sustermans, the Flemish painter who was appointed to the Medici court in 1619 and remained in their service until his death in 1681. On display also a fine group of 18th century tapestries. The rooms c...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 8, 2004

Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace)
Piazza Pitti, 1
Florence, Italy 50125
+39 0552388614

Museo degli Argenti

Attraction

Museo degli Argenti Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
The left-side wing of the palace is given over to the Museo degli Argenti (Silver Museum), arranged in the summer apartments of the grand-dukes, is entered from the garden courtyard (combo ticket with Museum of Porcelain and the Boboli gardens). Some of the most valuable objects are the vases belonged to Lorenzo di Magnifico. The rooms towards the Boboli gardens were the living quarters of the Grand Dukes. Here, and on the mezzanine floor, are displayed their bizarre collection of personal items and gifts presented by other ruling families. Also during our visit, the museum hosted an exhibition from the Pompeii excavations giving us a great chance to prepare ourselves for the visit to the ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 8, 2004

Museo degli Argenti
Piazza Pitti, 1
Florence, Italy 50125
+39 0552388710

Boboli Gardens (Giardini di Boboli)

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Attraction | "Giardino di Bóboli"

Boboli Gardens (Giardini di Boboli) Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
The Bóboli Gardens is the huge formal park behind the Pitti Palace. It is the most visited garden in Italy. The park is open 8:15am–6.30pm, closed first and last Monday of the month; entrance: €2.00. Five million people annually used to visit the most typical and splendid "Italian Garden" of the later Renaissance for free until the government in Rome decided to charge admission fee in 1992 (local residents still have free access and the EU residents pay €1 – with their passports in hand). The park was laid out by Tribolo in 1549, when Cosimo I took possession of the Palazzo Pitti. The gardsens were and continued after his death in 1555 by Marco del Tasso and Ammannati. After 156...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 8, 2004

Boboli Gardens (Giardini di Boboli)
Behind the Pitti Palace
Florence, Italy 50122
+39 (055) 2388786

Boboli Gardens (Giardini di Boboli)

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Attraction | "Touring the Bóboli Gardens - Part One"

Boboli Gardens (Giardini di Boboli) Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
We will tour this huge park clockwise, the trip will take 2 – 4 hours (you can escape earlier). Turn left from the entrance arch and you will find the so-called 'Fontana del Bacco', really an amusing statue of Pietro Barbino, the dwarf of Cosimo I, seated on a turtle, created by Valerie Cioli (1560). Here can be seen the last stretch of the Corridoio Vasariano from the Uffizi Palace. A path descends to the most popular place in the park - Grotta del Buontalenti, named after its architect (1583-93). The two statues of Apollo and Ceres in the niches on the façade (begun by Vasasi) are by Baccie Bandinelli, and the decoration above was added by Giovanni del Tadda. The walls of the 1st cha...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 8, 2004

Boboli Gardens (Giardini di Boboli)
Behind the Pitti Palace
Florence, Italy 50122
+39 (055) 2388786

Boboli Gardens (Giardini di Boboli)

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Attraction | "Touring the Bóboli Gardens - Part Two"

Boboli Gardens (Giardini di Boboli) Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
On the 1st terrace behind the Amphitheater are three Roman statues. On the upper level is a large fishpond surrounded by terraces planted with trees. Here is the famous Neptune Fountain. A short detour to the left leads through romantic winding alley overshadowed by ilex trees and a cypress grove, to the rococo Kaffeehaus, built in 1776(unfortunately it was closed for restoration during our visit). In the garden in front (where we enjoyed fantastic view of Florence) is the Ganymmede Fountain. From the Neptune Fountain steps continue to the top of garden and a colossal statue of Abundance. From here another breathtaking view embraces the whole city, beyond the Pittti Palace and t...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 8, 2004

Boboli Gardens (Giardini di Boboli)
Behind the Pitti Palace
Florence, Italy 50122
+39 (055) 2388786

Giardino Delle Rose (The Rose Garden)

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Attraction | "Giardino delle Rose"

Giardino Delle Rose (The Rose Garden) Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
Giardino delle Rose (the Rose Garden) located on the slopes of the hill below the Piazzale Michelangelo, offers the best view of Florence. There are three ways to reach the beautiful place: First one, our favorite - from the San Niccolò Church walk up along Via Monto alle Croci. At the fork turn left on Via San Salvatore al Monte running along the Rose Garden. You can enter the garden at the lower gate or two hundreds yards up, halfway to the Piazzale Michelangelo. Second way – walk or drive up along Viale Giuseppe Poggi; you will see the garden’s sign on your left. Finally, you can walk down from Piazzale Michelangelo (one level / terrace below). In 1865 Florence became a capital...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 8, 2004

Giardino Delle Rose (The Rose Garden)
Viale Giuseppe Poggi 2
Florence, Italy
055 262 5305

The Iris Garden

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Attraction | "Il Giardino dell’ Iris"

The Iris Garden Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
Il Giardino dell’Iris (the Iris Garden ) is located on the slopes of the hill east of the Piazzale Michelangelo. The garden hosts the International Iris Competition three weeks in May (this year it was May 2 – 20). Since 1954, varieties of irises from around the world have been sent to be judged in this amazing flower show. When you are tired of churches and museums, come here to escape the rigors of sightseeing. Can you imagine - more than 2,500 types of this flower that has symbolized Florence since 1251 are in bloom at the Iris Garden. We stayed in Florence for a week only but visited Giardino dell Iris twice because the tranquility of the place and the beauty of the flowe...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 8, 2004

The Iris Garden
Viale Dei Colli And Piazzale Michelangelo
Florence, Italy
055 483 112

Uffizi Gallery

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Attraction | "Galleria degli Uffizi"

Uffizi Gallery Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
The Galleria degli Uffizi holds Italy's greatest art collection; it means every visitor goes to the Uffizi first. There are three ways of getting into the gallery. First, and the worst one – you stay in the line from 30 minutes (in a rainy November day) to three hours. Second way – book in advance over the Internet, €5 or so extra (or over the phone €1.5 extra), then pickup your tickets at a separate entrance (you will spend some time in the line to get your tickets, up to 45 minutes). The best /easiest / cheapest way is to buy a ticket in another museum. We bought our tickets to the Uffizi at the Bargello museum at no extra charge and entered the Uffizi Gallery without staying in the line a ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 11, 2004

Uffizi Gallery
Piazzale Degli Uffizi, 6
Florence, Italy 50122
+39 05523885

Palazzo Vecchio

Attraction

Palazzo Vecchio Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
Palazzo Vecchio (the Old Palace) open Mon – Wed, Fri: 9am–7pm; Thursday, Sun 9am–2pm; entrance: €6. Bear in mind that in addition to casual visit Palazzo Vecchio offers several interesting tours. The Activities Tour ticket includes the Secret Routes and Invitation to the Court tours. First allows you to visit stairwells tucked in the walls behind beautiful paintings, an area between the ceiling and the roof of the Salon, and the private chambers of Duke Cosimo I. Invitation to the Court , conducted by a guide playing Eleonora di Toledo, includes re-enactment of Medici Court life. The Encounter with Giorgio Vasari tours through the Monumental Apartments (I believe it will cost you €2 ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 11, 2004

Palazzo Vecchio
Piazza Della Signoria
Florence, Italy 50122
+39 0552768325