Friday, February 18, 2011

Five* More Pictures of Florence

Earlier, I posted five pictures of Florence, and talked some about wandering around this city that Nat and I are both really fond of, both for its art treasures, its food, and its streets and atmosphere. Since then, Nat’s been once more, but I hadn’t until we stopped in a few weeks ago to give our pal Shane (who you may be sick of hearing about—then again, how could you be?) a one day Florence overview before he headed back solo, and to meet up with Angela and Bobby, some pals of our pal Jeremy Holt who just were lucky enough to move to Florence. Before meeting up with them for lunch though, we walked Shane around a bit, starting with the Duomo and strolling down Via dei Calzaiuoli to the Piazza della Signoria, one of the main piazza’s in the city, where the Palazzo Vecchio sits, as well as where the horses who buggy folks around Florence stop for snacks:
Also, in the same piazza corner as the Palazzo Vecchio and on one edge of the Uffizi (which is just off the piazza) is the Loggia della Signoria. The Loggia is a sort-of covered porch, where at one point city officials would sit when ceremonies and demonstrations and jugglers were in the piazza, but which now houses an incredible outdoor sculpture museum (the art’s been there since about the 18th century). There aren’t a ton of sculptures there, but the quality is out-of-hand, and the collection includes two favorites of mine, Cellini’s (who features prominently in the title poem in Want, by the by) Perseus and Giambologna’s last work, the spiraling, forceful, Rape of the Sabines:
Florence, naturally, is famous for a number of things: art and culture, leather goods, the Negroni, Dante and the lack of Dante, and much more, but also for fashion. With the latter in mind, and as we often end up walking by the Ferragamo palace (usually on our way to Procacci), Nat and Shane and Bobby and Angela (we met up with them at lunch) decided to stop by the Ferragamo shoe museum. I skipped it and up the street, but Nat was kind enough to take some awesome pictures and I wanted to put one here, because fashion has played its part in Florence history, and because I think this picture of shoe forms (which Ferragamo was famous for) is awesome:
From there, we wandered over to the Oltrarno, or east of the Arno river, side of Florence. The Oltrarno is a charming place to walk through, with bigger sites (Pitti Palace, for example), but also with winding streets with small shops where artisans and craftspeople work, tasty restaurants tucked away in corners, and more. I also love the view over the river, either looking at one of Florence’s bridges, or just at the apartments, hotels, and homes (while dreaming of living there myself of course):
But maybe when considering all of Florence’s beauties, both smaller and larger and gigantic, nothing is as enjoyable as sitting down with a glass or two of wine with friends old and new. Luckily, though we saw a good part of the town this trip, we still had time for this very undertaking--sitting down in a cozy bar in the Oltrarno neighborhood with Angela and Bobby (they were nice enough to introduce us to the bar):
Another fabulous day in Florence—hopefully not our last before the pre-tirement ends.

*Okay, okay, there are really six pictures here. But through the magic of computroning, I combined two into one. Which makes six five. Right?

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