Friday 23 August 2013

Florence, for a few days

A few days in Florence is never enough time in a city so packed with precious art and beauty. But, I did what I could, beginning with a visit to the Piazza della Santissima Annunziata and the nearby Spedale degli Innocenti. The museum there was closed, unfortunately, as I wanted to see it - and the square was baking hot.

The Spedale is one of Europe's oldest orphanages and opened in 1445. It allowed women to leave unwanted children anonymously by placing them on a circular stone. After they rang a bell, the stone was rotated 180 degrees, bringing the baby inside the orphanage.

There were some lovely frescos in the loggia around the entrance to the Spedale degli Innocenti including a Visitation that I thought was quite lovely.

There are always interesting works of art around the streets of Florence, like other Italian cities. This plaque looks like it represents a guild, perhaps of wood workers.

And of course, whenever I see a street shrine such as this beautiful Annunciation, I think of my blogging friend Annie who collects shrines of Venice!

One of my favourite spots is the Bargello National Museum of sculpture which is housed in a structure that is more than 750 years old. I find it cool for that fact alone! It is never crowded even though it is just behind the Uffizi Gallery and Palazzo Vecchio.

This grouping of musicians, by Renaissance artist Benedetto da Maiano, was delightful... was this bronze boy who just caught a fish that is still wriggling in his hands!


Anonymous said...

Of course the nice thing about living in Rome . . . . OK, ONE of the MANY nice things about living in Rome . . . is that you can make this trip easily. 'Tis a tad more complicated for those of us across the pond.

Annie said...

Thanks for thinking of me! That Annunciation is gorgeous! Thanks for the vicarious trip to Florence. :)

sandrac said...

Jerry, it is so wonderful to have all of Italy so readily accessible. I'm off to Umbria again in a few weeks and maybe Naples after that!

Annie, it's great to hear from you. I think of you every time I see a lovely street shrine!