Nov 162011

The main facade of the Duomo has so many elaborate intricate carvings.  Below is my attempt to capture some of those details.

[photo-upclose duomo facade santa maria del fiore]

Up close of Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore facade. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Going South from the Duomo is the Arno River.  It is a river that cuts through Florence from East to West and crossed by several old bridges. Below is a view of the beautiful calm river from Florence’s most famous bridge, Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge).

[photo-arno river florence. view from ponte vecchio old bridge]

Arno River. View from Ponte Vecchio Old Bridge. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge seen below) is Florence’s oldest surviving bridge (from 1345).  The bridge was originally occupied by blacksmiths, butchers, and tanners who used the river as a waste disposal dump site.  The stench and noise created by these workers got so bad that a Duke evicted them out in the late 1500s.  Replaced by goldsmiths and jewelers as new tenants, this bridge today is still lined with these shops from one end to another.

[photo-arno river and ponte vecchio old bridge florence]

Arno River and Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge). © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Another short train ride South East of Florence lands us to the fifth city, Siena.  It was once a capital and rival city to Florence during medieval times.  While Florence ultimately won the battle for political and economic superiority after Siena’s population reduced by two-thirds during the Black Death in the mid 1300s, Siena still competes with Florence as the prettiest medieval town.  Siena’s Duomo, seen below, directly competes with its neighbor Florence’s Duomo for grandeur and lavishness.

[photo-main entry and facade of florence duomo santa maria del fiore cathedral]

Main facade of Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

This Duomo’s interior reminded me of Egyptian sphinx and Middle Eastern architecture when I saw the horizontal zebra lines and blue painted domes with gold stars.

[photo-siena duomo's interior]

Siena Duomo's interior. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Climbing another narrow spiral staircase up to the top of the Duomo gives a rewarding view of the beautiful Tuscan hillside in the distance and Siena’s Il Campo plaza seen below on the right.

[photo-il campo and tuscan hillside from siena duomo dome top]

Il Campo and Tuscan hillside from the Duomo dome. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

[See more photos from my Italian trip -->]

  5 Responses to “Photos from my Italy Trip”

  1. My dream to visit Italy got bigger and bigger as I saw your pictures…. thanks for sharing all these beautiful pictures! I really like cities with long history. It’s fun to see. I hope your jet lag is cured! :-)

  2. Thanks Nami! There is definitely a lot of history in Italy. And yeah, I’m finally over the jet lag. Thanks for the wish! =)

  3. Beautiful photos.

  4. Your pictures are just beautiful! My husband and I went there a few years ago and the Colosseum was something else. To think of how many people and animals died is just insane! And all for sport. Its terrifying!

  5. I’m not easily imeprssed but you’ve done it with that posting.

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