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Monday - Liverno/Florence Or Firenze (Page Two)

Time For The First Adventure, A Ride To Florence From The Port At Liverno

Did you know? - Florence is located in the north central Tuscany region of Italy. The Renaissance was born in Florence, and the city has long been famous for its museums, universities, and architecture. The powerful Medici family exerted their influence over the arts and the politics of the city during the 15th century.

Some of the most talented of the Italian artists of the Renaissance lived and worked in Florence at one time or another - Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raffaello, Donatello, and Brunelleschi - and all left their mark on the city. Florence has had its share of tragedy along with its artistic glory.

During World War II, the Germans blew up every bridge over the Arno except the famous Ponte Vecchio. In 1966, the Arno flooded the city, and Florentines found themselves under 15 feet of mud, and with many of their art treasures damaged or destroyed.

48 Miles from Liverno to Florence

Did you know? - Florence (Italian: Firenze, alternative obsolete spelling: Fiorenza, Latin: Florentia) is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with 367,569 inhabitants (1,500,000 in the metropolitan area).

The city lies on the River Arno and is known for its history and its importance in the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance, especially for its art and architecture. A centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the richest and wealthiest cities of the time, Florence is considered the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance; it has been called the Athens of the Middle Ages. It was long under the de facto rule of the Medici family. From 1865 to 1870 the city was also the capital of the Kingdom of Italy. Florence is often known as the "Jewel of the Renaissance".

The historic centre of Florence attracts millions of tourists each year and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. Florence is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and its artistic, historic and cultural heritage and impact in the world remains to this day. The city has a major impact in music, architecture, education, cuisine, fashion, philosophy, science and religion. The historic centre of Florence contains elegant squares (piazzas), Renaissance palaces (palazzi), academies, parks, gardens, churches, monasteries, museums, art galleries and ateliers. The city has also been nominated, according to a 2007 study, as the most desirable destination for tourists in the world.

The city boasts a wide range of collections of art, especially those held in the Pitti Palace and the Uffizi, (which receives about 1.6 million tourists a year). Florence is arguably the last preserved Renaissance city in the world[10] and is regarded by many as the art capital of Italy. It has been the birthplace or chosen home of many notable historical figures, such as Dante, Boccaccio, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Niccolò Machiavelli, Brunelleschi, Michelangelo, Donatello, Galileo Galilei, Catherine de' Medici, Antonio Meucci, Guccio Gucci, Franco Zeffirelli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Roberto Cavalli, and Emilio Pucci.

Catching The Choo Choo In Liverno To Go To Florence

Did you know? - Livorno Centrale (Italian for "Livorno Central") is the main railway station of the Italian city of Livorno. It is situated in the Piazza Dante on the eastern edge of the town. It is on the Pisa–Livorno–Rome line and handles nearly 5,300,000 passengers annually. Trains of various types stop at the station, including Inter-city and Eurostar.

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Liverno train staton
Livorno Centrale station was opened on 3 July 1910 and is locate
in Pliazza Dante which is across town from the cruise ship doc

The Livorno Centrale station is about 3-12 kilometers
or (1.8-7.2 miles) from the port area

Saved by a sign!  We can get pizza here!
Nope... It's the name of the station...
Pisa Centrale and it is about a mile walk to the leaning tower

We are now headed somewhere... Florence maybe???

Ah... Florence Here We Are!!

Florence By Satellite

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Florence train station
Stazione Santa Maria Novella

Did you know? - Firenze Santa Maria Novella (in English Florence - Basilica of Santa Maria Novella)  or Stazione di Santa Maria Novella - Firenze SMN is the main national and international train station in Florence, Italy. The railway station is used by 59,000,000 people every year and is one of the most important in Italy.

Short walk from the train station (ipper left) to the piazzas in Florence which we visited

Did you know? - Spending only one day in Florence, or Firenze, as it is called in Italy, is almost overwhelming. Florence is one of the most beautiful, fascinating, and popular cities in Europe for travelers.

Because of this popularity, many cruise ships sailing the Mediterranean include Livorno, the nearest port to Florence, as a stopover. Even very small cruise ships cannot sail up the Arno River to Florence, so after docking in Livorno, you will need to ride a bus the 1-1/2 hours into Florence for a full day shore excursion.

Short Walk To Our First Stop: Piazza Santa Maria Novella

Did you know? - Piazza Santa Maria Novella: With the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella and the Alinari phography museum, is one of the principal squares of Florence. It is opposite of piazza della Stazione, accessible by Via degli Avelli.

Santa Maria Novella Church

View to the Grand Hotel Baglioni

From the satellite

Did you know? - Santa Maria Novella, near the train station, is a beautiful church and contains great artwork, including a recently restored Trinity by Masaccio.

Also, the Chiostro Verde, to your left when facing the front entrance of the church, contains frescoes by Paolo Uccello which are quite unusual in style and well worth seeing, if the separate entrance is open. Off of the church's cloister is the wonderful Spanish Chapel which is covered in early Renaissance frescoes.

The "Ugly American"

Did you know? - In 1300, Pope Boniface VIII said that Aristotle was wrong, the universe was made out of five elements, not four: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Florentines.

Artists everywhere

It was a short walk to the Hotel Minerva in the Piazza Santa Maria Novella

The Grand Hotel Minerva is located in Piazza Santa Maria Novella,
in the heart of the historical Florence.

The façade of Santa Maria Novella, completed by Leon Battista Alberti in 1470.

Did you know? - This church was called Novella (New) because it was built on the site of the 9th-century oratory of Santa Maria delle Vigne. When the site was assigned to Dominican Order in 1221, they decided to build a new church and an adjoining cloister.

The church was designed by two Dominican friars, Fra Sisto Fiorentino and Fra Ristoro da Campi. Building began in the mid-13th century (about 1246), and was finished about 1360 under the supervision of Friar Iacopo Talenti with the completion of the Romanesque-Gothic bell tower and sacristy.

At that time, only the lower part of the Tuscan gothic facade was finished. The three portals are spanned by round arches, while the rest of the lower part of the facade is spanned by blind arches, separated by pilasters, with below Gothic pointed arches, striped in green and white, capping noblemen's tombs.

This same design continues in the adjoining wall around the old churchyard. The church was consecrated in 1420.

Keep On Walking Down Via de' Cerretani To The Piazza del Dumo

Did you know? - Piazza del Duomo: Piazza del Duomo is located in the heart of the historic centre of Florence. Is one of the most visited place in the Europe and the world; here we can find the Florence Cathedral with the Cupola del Brunelleschi, the Giotto's Campanile, the Florence Baptistry, the Loggia del Bigallo, the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, and the Arcivescovile and Canonici's palace. The west zone of this square is called San Giovanni square.

We are ready to jump on a bike and go!

Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore in the Piassa del Duomo (directly in the center)

Did you know? - The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore is the cathedral church (Duomo) of Florence, Italy, begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to the design of Arnolfo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi.

The exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink bordered by white and has an elaborate 19th century Gothic Revival facade by Emilio De Fabris.

View from above

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Not the leaning tower!Bob was leaning!
It is Giotto's Bell Tower

Did you know? - Giotto’s Campanile is a free-standing campanile that is part of the complex of buildings that make up Florence Cathedral on the Piazza del Duomo in Florence, Italy. Standing adjacent the Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Baptistry of St. John, the tower is one of the showpieces of the Florentine Gothic architecture with its design by Giotto, its rich sculptural decorations and the polychrome marble encrustations.

This slender structure stands on a square plan with a side of 14.45 meters (47.41 ft). It attains a height of 84.7 meters (277.9 ft) sustained by four polygonal buttresses at the corners. These four vertical lines are crossed by four horizontal lines, dividing the tower in five levels.

In Giotto's campanile there are seven bells:

  • Campanone("biggest bell"): 1705, diameter 2 m, height 2.10 m, c. 5300 kg, note A2, cast by A. Bruscoli e C. Cenni
  • La Misericordia ("mercy bell"): 1670, diameter 1.52 m, 1817 Kg, note C3, cast by G.Santoni
  • Apostolica: 1957, diameter 1.25 m, 1200 kg, Note D3, cast by P. Barigozzi
  • Annunziata: 1956, diameter 1.15 m, 856.5 kg, Note E3, cast by P. Barigozzi
  • Mater Dei ("God's Mother bell"), 1956, diameter 95 cm, 481.3 Kg, note G3, cast by P. Barigozzi
  • L'Assunta, 1956, diameter 85 cm, 339.6 Kg, Note A3, cast by P. Barigozzi
  • L'Immacolata, 1956, diameter 75 cm, 237.8 Kg, Note B3, cast by P. Barigozzi

The Florence Cathedral and Baptistery of St. John from Piazza del Duomo

Forence Bapistry in Piassa Del Duomo

Beautiful artwork

Did you know? - The three huge bronze doors date from 1899 to 1903. They are adorned with scenes from the life of the Madonna. The mosaics in the lunettes above the doors were designed by Niccolò Barabino.

They represent (from left to right): Charity among the founders of Florentine philanthropic institutions, Christ enthroned with Mary and John the Baptist, and Florentine artisans, merchants and humanists. The pediment above the central portal contains a half-relief by Tito Sarrocchi of Mary enthroned holding a flowered scepter.

No, those are NOT the Three Stooges -
It is actually St. Giovanni Baptistery in Florence, Italy

Did you know? - The octagonal Baptistery stands in both the Piazza del Duomo and the Piazza di San Giovanni, across from the Duomo cathedral and the Giotto bell tower (Campanile di Giotto). It is one of the oldest buildings in the city, built between 1059 and 1128. The architecture is in Florentine Romanesque style.

The Baptistery is renowned for its three sets of artistically important bronze doors with relief sculptures. The south doors were done by Andrea Pisano and the north and east doors by Lorenzo Ghiberti. The east pair of doors was dubbed by Michelangelo "the Gates of Paradise".

Shhhhhh... We Are Inside Now

Did you know? - Florence Cathedral is built as a basilica, having a wide central nave of four square bays, with an aisle on either side. The chancel and transepts are of identical polygonal plan, separated by two smaller polygonal chapels. The whole plan forms a Latin cross. The nave and aisles are separated by wide pointed Gothic arches resting on composite piers.

The dimensions of the building are enormous: length 153 metres (502 ft), width 38 metres (124 ft), width at the crossing 90 metres (295 ft). The height of the arches in the aisles is 23 metres (75 ft). The height from pavement to the opening of the lantern in the dome is also 90 metres (295 ft)

The Gothic interior is vast and gives an empty impression. The relative bareness of the church corresponds with the austerity of religious life, as preached by Girolamo Savonarol

Vasari's fresco begun in 1572, and completed by Federico Zuccaro.

The Florence Duomo Ceiling

We Walked To Piazza della Repubblica

Did you know? - Piazza della Repubblica: It is a square in the centre of Florence, location of the cultural cafes and bourgeois palaces. Among the square's cafes, the Giubbe Rosse cafe has long been a meeting place for famous artists and writers, notably those of Futurism.

Plaza De Republica

Did you know? - Piazza della Repubblica marks the site of the forum, the centre of the Roman city. The exact present site of the Colonna dell'Abbondanza marks the intersection of the axes of the cardo (now via Roma, via degli Speziali and via degli Strozzi) and decumanus (now via il Corso).

Foundations of a thermae complex on the south side and a religious building were found in the 19th-century demolition of the warren of medieval streets that had encroached upon the site. Via del Campidoglio and Via delle Terme, for example, were named after the archaeological remains beneath them.

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Plazza Republica Arch Inscription

"I'm getting powerful hungry!"

Bob need refeuling

Wine time at the Caffé Le Giubbe Rosse

Did you know? - Caffè Giubbe Rosse is a café in Piazza della Repubblica (13-14r), Florence. The giubbe rosse of its name are the "Red Shirts" of Garibaldi's forces during the Risorgimento, a badge of honour for liberal Italians, reflected in the silent allusion of the waiters' red jackets.

The café has a long-standing reputation as the resort of literati and intellectuals. Alberto Viviani defined the Giubbe Rosse as "fucina di sogni e di passioni" ("a forge of dreams and passions").

The Giubbe Rosse was the place where the Futurist movement blossomed, struggled and expanded; it played a very important role in the history of Italian culture as a workshop of ideas, projects, and passions. "We want to celebrate love of danger, of constant energy, and courage. We want to encourage going in aggressive new directions, feverish sleeplessness, running, deathly leaps, slaps and blows"

Did you know? - Today piazza della Repubblica is alive with historical literary-cafès where scholar, artists (like the members of futurism) and men of culture meet each other: Caffè Gilli, Paszkowski, Caffè Giubbe Rosse, and Caffè Gambrinus.

Short Jaunt To The Piazza della Signoria Containing The Palazzo Vecchio

Did you know? - Piazza della Signoria: It is the focal point of the origin and of the history of the Florentine Republic and still maintains its reputation as the political hub of the city. The impressive 14th century Palazzo Vecchio is still preeminent with its crenellated tower. The square is also shared with the Loggia della Signoria, the Uffizi Gallery, the Palace of the Tribunale della Mercanzia (now the Bureau of Agriculture), and the Uguccioni Palace (16th century, with a facade by Raphael). Located in front of the Palazzo Vecchio is the Palace of the Assicurazioni Generali.

Palazzo della Signoria
Palazzo della Signoria is now called Palazzo Vecchio
Few blocks south of Plaza del Repubblica

Did you know? - Originally called the Palazzo della Signoria, after the Signoria of Florence, the ruling body of the Republic of Florence, it was also given several other names: Palazzo del Popolo, Palazzo dei Priori, and Palazzo Ducale, in accordance with the varying use of the palace during its long history. The building acquired its current name when the Medici duke's residence was moved across the Arno to the Palazzo Pitti.


It's 2:14... We are awaiting the cuckoo to come out!

Talk about casting a large shadow

Did you know? - Above the front entrance door, there is a notable ornamental marble frontispiece, dating from 1528. In the middle, flanked by two gilded lions, is the Monogram of Christ, surrounded by a glory, above the text (in Latin): "Rex Regum et Dominus Dominantium" (translation: "Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords".

This text dates from 1851 and does not replace an earlier text by Savonarola as mentioned in guidebooks. Between 1529 and 1851 they were concealed behind a large shield with the grand-ducal coat of arms.

They don't call Bob "Sortie" for no reason... It's a fake

Did you know? - Michelangelo's David also stood at the entrance from its completion in 1504 to 1873, when it was moved to the Accademia Gallery. A replica erected in 1910 now stands in its place, flanked by Baccio Bandinelli's Hercules and Cacus.

Benvenuto Cellini's statue Perseus With the Head of Medusa

As seen in the Pageant Of The Masters in Laguna - Loggia dei Lanzi

Donna is brave.... Time to take a short rest at the Fountain of Neptune

Did you know? - The Fountain of Neptune is a fountain in Florence, Italy, situated on the Piazza della Signoria (Signoria square), in front of the Palazzo Vecchio.

This work by Bartolomeo Ammannati (1563–1565) and some assistants, such as Giambologna, was commissioned on the occasion of the wedding of Francesco I de' Medici with grand duchess Johanna of Austria in 1565. The assignment had first been given to Baccio Bandinelli, who designed the model but he died before he could start working on the block of Apuan marble.

The Neptune figure, whose face resembles that of Cosimo I de' Medici, was meant to be an allusion to the dominion of the Florentines over the sea. The figure stands on a high pedestal in the middle of an octagonal fountain. The pedestal in the middle is decorated with the mythical chained figures of Scylla and Charybdis. The statue of Neptune is a copy made in the nineteenth century, while the original is in the National Museum.

The Florentine Civic Museums Are Near

Did you know? - The task of the Florentine Civic Museums is to conserve and enhance the city’s art heritage, making it available for public enjoyment in the broadest and most democratic manner possible. They represent a public service, with cultural and social functions, and a right of the citizens.

The Florentine Civic Museums are made up of a wealth and exceptional variety of collections mostly housed in ancient buildings: the Museum of Palazzo Vecchio, the Museum of Santa Maria Novella, the Firenze Com’era museum in the convent of the Oblates, the Fondazione Salvatore Romano in the refectory of Santo Spirito, and the Museo Stefano Bardini that reopened in the Oltrarno district in April 2009 after 10 years’ work of renovation and rearrangement.

Ponte Vecchio

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Did you know? - The Ponte Vecchio ("Old Bridge") is a Medieval bridge over the Arno River, in Florence, Italy, noted for still having shops built along it, as was once common. Butchers initially occupied the shops; the present tenants are jewellers, art dealers and souvenir sellers. It has been described as Europe's oldest wholly-stone, closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge

The bridge spans the Arno at its narrowest point where it is believed that a bridge was first built in Roman times, when the via Cassia crossed the river at this point. The Roman piers were of stone, the superstructure of wood. The bridge first appears in a document of 996.

After being destroyed by a flood in 1117 it was reconstructed in stone but swept away again in 1333 save two of its central piers, as noted by Giovanni Villani in his Nuova Cronica. It was rebuilt in 1345, Giorgio Vasari recorded the tradition in his day, that attributed its design to Taddeo Gaddi, besides Giotto one of the few artistic names of the trecento still recalled two hundred years later. Modern historians present Neri di Fioravanti as a possible candidate.

Sheltered in a little loggia at the central opening of the bridge is a weathered dedication stone, which once read Nel trentatrè dopo il mille-trecento, il ponte cadde, per diluvio dell' acque: poi dieci anni, come al Comun piacque, rifatto fu con questo adornamento. The Torre dei Mannelli was built at the southeast corner of the bridge to defend it.

The bridge consists of three segmental arches: the main arch has a span of 30 meters (98 ft) the two side arches each span 27 meters (88 ft). The rise of the arches is between 3.5 and 4.4 meters (11½ to 14½ feet), and the span-to-rise ratio 5:1.

Ponte Vecchio
Over the bridge to the galleries

Ponte Santa Trinita

Did you know? - The Ponte Santa Trìnita (Italian for Holy Trinity Bridge, named for the ancient church in the nearest stretch of via de' Tornabuoni) is a Renaissance bridge in Florence, Italy, spanning the Arno.

The Ponte Santa Trìnita is the oldest elliptic arch bridge in the world, the three flattened ellipses giving the structure its celebrated elegant appearance. The outside spans each measure 29 m (95 ft) with the centre span being 32 m (105 ft) in length.[1] The two neighbouring bridges are the Ponte Vecchio, to the east, and the Ponte alla Carraia to the west.

The bridge was constructed by the Florentine architect Bartolomeo Ammanati from 1567 to 1569. Its site, downstream of the equally remarkable Ponte Vecchio, is a major link in the mediæval street plan of Florence, which has been bridged at this site since the thirteenth century.

The wooden bridge of 1252 was swept away in a flood seven years later and was rebuilt in stone and destroyed in a flood in 1333. The bridge of five arches constructed by Taddeo Gaddi was destroyed in the flood of 1557, which occasioned Ammanati's replacement.

Four ornamental statues of the Seasons were added to the bridge in 1608, as part of the wedding celebrations of Cosimo II de' Medici with Maria Magdalena of Austria: Spring by Pietro Francavilla, Summer and Autumn by Giovanni Caccini, and Winter by Taddeo Landini.

I am NOT tired.. I am NOT.. I am NOT....
Ponte Santa Trinita in the background

Ponte alle Grazie is a bridge over the Arno River

Did you know? - The original Ponte alle Grazie was constructed in 1227. It was rebuilt in 1345 with nine arches, making it the oldest and longest bridge in Florence. Two of the arches were filled in during 1347 in order to widen piazza dei Mozzi.

Structures were built on the bridge, much as can be seen on the modern Ponte Vecchio but these were eventually abandoned and were removed in 1876 to make way for railway track.

In August 1944, the bridge was destroyed by the Nazi army as they withdrew before the advancing Allied forces in World War II. Following the end of the War, a competition was held to create a new design for a replacement bridge.

The winning design, the work of a group formed of architects including Giovanni Michelucci, Edoardo Said, Riccardo Gizdolich and Danilo Know and an engineer, Piero Melucci, feature four slender piers with thin arches between them. The new bridge was completed in 1953.

While the new design is harmonious with the surrounding city, its modern design and construction materials do not reflect its predecessor.

Back to the center of the center of the city looing for the train station
"I know there is spaghetti somewhere around

Time to shop before heading back to the ship

Train to liverno

Do you remember???

Next Destination - Monte Carlo (France)