Florence – A bit more culture.

My second day in Florence was spent in much the same fashion as the previous day; that is to say, hunting down the city’s most famous sights and ensuring I had ‘done’ them to satisfaction.

First on my list was the ascent of the monumental Cupola and Dome, designed by Brunelleschi and quite frankly one of the most impressive constructions I have ever seen. It ranks, for me, up there with the Taj Mahal and the Eiffel Tower in terms of demonstrative power, history, scale and ultimately long term impact. It was eventually completed under the supervision of Cosimo de Medici as a monument to the everlasting impression the Medici would have on the Italy and it has succeeded, impressively, in achieving that aim. To such an extent, in fact, that there is still a law in Florence that forbids anyone building anything taller than the Duomo.

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The Duomo as seen from the Campanile.

From there, I wandered back through the leather markets for which Florence is reknown, past the Cappella Medici and then doubling back on myself towards the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, which boast an absolutely stunning Baroque painted ceiling depicting the Apotheosis of the Medici. This is a rather understated (only by Florence’s standards) Palazzo, but one that is something of an oasis of calm away from the hustle and bustle of the Piazza del Duomo, not a stone’s throw away.

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The Baroque Hall with ‘Apotheosis of the Medici’ ceiling.

It was at this point that I decided to venture into the older, even-more labyrinthine Oltrarno side of the river with a view to discovering a bit more of Florence’s less touristy side. After having wandered aimlessly for a good, long while, it became apparent I had absolutely no idea where I was, but definitely more by luck than judgement I found myself at the far entrance to the Boboli gardens. I wandered through these enormous gardens and up to their highest point, before finding myself at the back of the Palazzo Pitti (famous for hosting the largest menswear trade show in the world, twice a year in January and June) and so warmed up for the coming Fashion Night Out by perusing the costume gallery and silver museum.

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Palazzo Pitti with Boboli Gardens and Florence in the background.

The Vogue Fashion Night Out definitely requires its own post, but now that I have finished editing the photos, expect more to come soon!

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