The city of Florence


The Capital of Tuscany and the home of the Renaissance. It is said that to know a place is to walk the streets,eat the food and slow down. In Firenze one also walks through time, back to the days of the Renaissance. It isn't only the great amounts of art work, displayed in "piazzas" or in museums, it is also in churches and in private residences where you find the works of many familiar names of artists, and sculptors. It is stepping back into a time when the Medici family and Firenze was a power to behold on the Italian peninsula. Welcome to Firenze, welcome to the Renaissance.


Florence city with Ponte Vecchio bridge on Arno river


The Ponte Vecchio

The Ponte Vecchio is an amazing structure that has survived throughout the centuries. Stroll lazily onto it and feel the weight of its history. Gaze onto the Arno River as the light plays on its waters. Feel the romance of Florence as you feel the wind gently linger on your skin. Literally translated as "old bridge", the Ponte Vecchio has been destroyed by natural disasters and rebuilt time and time again. It was originally built in Roman times. It was a major crossing for soldiers. Eventually it became home to merchants who realized the economic advantage of setting up shop on the Ponte Vecchio. Destroyed in 1333 when a flood washed away its wooden foundation, it was rebuilt in 1345 with a stone foundation.

Around medieval times, after the Black Plague, the powerful Medicis moved to Florence. Cosimo I de'Medici could not stand the stench from the common shops and soon the Medici wealth and influence forced the blacksmiths and butchers to move off the bridge to make way for goldsmiths and artisans. Between 1565 and 1800, a back row of shops were added.


Additionally, in 1565, the top level of the bridge was added as Cosimo I de'Medici's own personal crossing from his offices to his home, Pitti Palace. Miraculously, Ponte Vecchio survived WWII unscathed. It was the only of Florence's bridges to do so. Ironically, the bridge did not survive nature. In 1966, the shops were destroyed by flood, although the bridge itself survived. It remains the only bridge in Italy that has buildings on it.

Today, the Ponte Vecchio is a bustling market of gold shops. From its meager beginnings as a crossing for soldiers to its opulent shops today, it still holds its roots of function, practicality, and mercantilism.


Florence (Italy) (Italian Firenze; ancient Florentia), city, central Italy, in Tuscany Region (Toscana), capital of Florence Province, on the Arno River. Located at the foot of the Apennines Mountains, Florence was originally the site of an Etruscan settlement. The city is world famous for Gothic and Renaissance buildings, art galleries and museums, and parks. In addition, it is an important commercial, transportation, and manufacturing center. It is a market for wine, olive oil, vegetables, fruits, and flowers, and it lies on the railroad and main highway linking northern Italy and Rome. Manufactures include motorcycles, automotive parts, agricultural machinery, chemicals, fertilizers, plastics, and precision instruments. Florentine handicraft industries are traditional and famous, producing silverwork, jewelry (especially gold and cameos), straw work, leather goods, glass, pottery, wood carvings, furniture, and embroidery.


Piazza Duomo and Campanile Tower - Florence

Dome of Duomo - by Brunelleschi (1460's) - architectural marvel - largest dome in world in 1400's - built without scaffolding

The Florence Duomo is dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore and is typical of Italian Gothic architecture. duomo florenceThe present building was designed by Arnolfo di Cambio (c. 1245-1302), one of the greatest architect- sculptors of his age, who considerably enlarged the existing structure. This was finished in around 1367 and was completely covered with coloured marbles like the earlier Baptistery, although the uncompleted facade was given its covering in the nineteenth century. The Cupola remained unfinished, and in 1421 the polygonal base was erected. Two architects won the competition to design the dome, Lorenzo Ghiberti (1368-1445) and Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446), but it was Brunelleschi who actually built it using remarkable technical knowledge to achieve the uniquely beautiful results we see today. Completed in 1436, the Cupola is the most characteristic feature of the Florentine skyline, symbolising a great cultural tradition and the city's civic awareness. One of the most notable features of the exterior apart from the apses is the beautiful Porta della Mandorla on the north facade, so-called from the large aureole around the Assumption of the Virgin (mandorla = almond) sculptured by Nanni di Banco (1380/90-1421). Inside are several important works of art, offset by the architecture's taut Gothic forms, completely different from medieval buildings north of the Alps. Of primary importance are the two frescoes on the right-hand wall showing the equestrian monuments of the "condottieri" John Hawkwood and Niccolò da Tolentino by Paolo Uccello (1436) and Andrea del Castagno (1456). The fresco decoration of the clock on the inside wall, showing four vigorous heads of male saints, are by Paolo Uccello. duomo florence Many of the sculptures from the Duomo are now kept in the Museum of the Opera del Duomo (see separate entry) but others are still in place, such as the lunettes by Luca della Robbia above the doors of the Sacristy or the bronze door of the Mass Sacristy. The great Pietà by Michelangelo (c. 1553) has been temporarily removed.


The splendid stained glass windows should not be forgotten, mainly executed from 1434-1445 to the designs of such important artists as Donatello, Andrea del Castagno and Paolo Uccello. Also notable are the wooden inlays of the Sacristy cupboards to the designs of Brunelleschi, Antonio Del Pollaiolo and others.

The Cupola's interior remained undecorated until Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) and Federico Zuccari (c. 1540-1609) painted a huge and not entirely satisfactory Last Judgement there. The "Cupolone" or huge dome remains, with the cathedral bell-tower known as the "Campanile di Giotto", the most striking feature of any view of the city. Giotto, the famous painter and architect designed the tower, although at his death in 1337 only the lowest part was complete. Work was continued under Andrea Pisano (c. 1290-1349) and Francesco Talenti (active 1325-1369) who completed the structure repeating the decoration of marble relieved by windows; the traditional pointed finial was never added. The sculptured marble panels illustrate a cycle centred around the theme of the order of the universe.


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


Interior Duomo from west door


The cathedral complex includes the Baptistry and Giotto's Campanile. The three buildings are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the Historic Centre of Florence and are a major attraction to tourists visiting the region of Tuscany


The basilica is one of Italy's largest churches, and until the modern era, the dome was one of the largest in the world, being surpassed in width only by that of the Pantheon in Rome. It remains the largest brick dome ever constructed.


Cupula de Brunelleschi basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore

The inside of the Duomo contains intricately decorated marble floors, but the rest of the inside is fairly simple for an Italian church, this is perhaps because the fresco adorning the dome is one of the best in Italy.

The fresco, designed by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zucchari is called "The Last Judgement." One side of the dome is painted with images of heaven and the other with images of hell culminated in a very nasty looking devil.


Baptistery in Florence:  Built in sixth or seventh century, but using some Roman material from a Temple of Mars.

The octagonal baptistery of San Giovanni, facing the cathedral, dates mainly from the 11th to the 15th century, although some parts were built as early as the 5th century; it is noted for doors of gilded bronze, especially the east door, called the Gate to Paradise, which was executed by the Florentine goldsmith Lorenzo Ghiberti and depicts sculpted scenes from the Old Testament.

Nearby are the Spedale degli Innocenti (foundling home), with Brunelleschi’s graceful portico decorated with ten of Andrea della Robbia’s best-known blue and white terra-cotta medallions; the Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts, housing many works of Michelangelo, including his David (1501-1504); and the Archaeological Museum, with an outstanding Etruscan collection.

Southward, near the Arno, stands the handsome Franciscan Church of Santa Croce, built, except for a modern facade, in the 13th and 14th centuries. This church, with an interior of classic Franciscan simplicity and decorated with frescoes by Giotto and other masters, is called the Pantheon of Florence because it contains the tombs of Michelangelo, the statesman and political philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli, the poet and dramatist Conte Vittorio Alfieri, and the operatic composer Gioacchino Antonio Rossini, as well as monuments to many other noted Italians.


The Baptistry or Battistero di San Giovanni is one of Florence’s oldest buildings, built between 1059 and 1128 in the Florentine Romanesque style


Until the end of the 19th century, all catholic Florentines were baptised here


Florence atau dikenal juga sebagai Firenze. Di sini anda bisa merasakan kotanya anak muda, cantik-cantik dan serba siplah. Bila anda tiba di depan pintu Baptistery, anda akan terkagum-kagum dengan melihat ukir-ukiran pintu besi yang dihiasi dengan gambar-gambar timbul menceritakan mengenai kehidupan Kristus, diberi nama Tor San Ranieri. Arsitek pertamanya bernama Buschetto da Pisa, sebagian bergaya Byzantium, juga bercampur dengan gaya Baroque. Pembangunannya dimulai sekitar tahun 1000 dan berakhir abad ke 13. Uniknya, di depan gereja ini ada bangunan bundar dengan atap seperti setengah bola, yang dinamakan Tempat Baptis.


Bronze panels 'Gate to Heaven' by Lorenzo Ghiberti 1403 on east doors of Baptistry

These are copies. Originals are in the Duomo Museum.

Adam and Eve
The Fall and Expulsion
Cain and Abel
The Work

The Flood
The Drunkenness of Noah

The Sacrifice
of Abraham
The blessing of Isaac and Jacob
Sold by his brothers

Ghiberti panel on Baptistry door: Joseph sold into slavery, cup of gold in Benjamin's sack, Joseph reveals himself to brothers

Dante and other famous Florentines baptized here


Inside the dome showing mozaic the Last Judgement


The city of Florence is dominated by the towers of its many palaces and churches and by the huge dome of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.

The facade, although not built until late in the 19th century, is faithful in style to the rest of the edifice. The cathedral is the most imposing structure on the right bank of the Arno.

A Gothic structure with an exterior ornately decorated with red, green, and white marble, the cathedral was begun in 1296 by the Florentine architect Arnolfo di Cambio, continued on a somewhat different plan by his successors, and crowned with the great dome (1420-61), designed by Filippo Brunelleschi.


The Basilica of Santa Croce

Rebuilt for the Franciscan order in 1294 by Arnolfo di Cambio, is the burial place for the great and good in Florence. Michelangelo is buried in Santa Croce, as are Rossini, Machiavelli, and the Pisan-born Galileo Galilei, who was tried by the Inquisition and was not allowed a Christian burial until 1737, 95 years after his death. There is also a memorial to Dante, but his sarcophagus is empty.
It looks onto the Piazza Santa Croce, which is the site of the annual soccer game in medieval costume, the Calcio Storico.


The monument of Dante at Piazza Santa Croce

A teacher was declaiming lines from "La Divina Commedia" to his students sitting on the steps of the Church, under Dante's monument.
A very emotional moment in a beautiful, warm night.


This monument is truly unique, not only for the purity of the Gothic style, but also for the famous works of art it contains and its historical importance. The Basilica of Santa Croce, one of the largest churches in the city, is attributed to the genius of Arnolfo di Cambio who seems to have begun work in 1294. Work continued into the second half of the 14th century but the church was not consecrated until 1443. The facade with its three gables dates to the 19th century (project by N. Matas) and the campanile in Gothic style also dates to this period (1847, project by G. Baccani). A portico of airy arches runs along the left flank and shelters the 14th-century tomb of Francesco Pazzi. On the right side of the church are the Cloisters, with the Pazzi Chapel in the background, and the Museo dell'Opera di S. Croce. The imposing interior has a nave and two side aisles separated by slender octagonal piers from which spring spacious pointed arches with a double molding. The beauty of the Church has been partially obfuscated by 16th-century remodelling. The floor is covered with old tombstones for the entire length of the nave which has a trussed timber ceiling. The transept has a number of chapels, including the Cappella Maggiore with the Legend of the Holy Cross (1380) by Agnolo Gaddi. On the altar is Gerini's polyptych with the Madonna and Saints and, above, the Crucifix of the school of Giotto. A Deposition from the Cross (cartoon by Lorenzo Ghiberti) in stained glass can be admired on the interior facade. Below to the right is the Monument to Gino Capponi (1876), and to the left that to G. B. Niccolini (1883). A splendid marble pulpit by Benedetto da Maiano (1472-76) stands in the nave. To be noted in the right aisle, at the first altar, is a Crucifixion by Santi di Tito (1579); on the first pier is the famous bas-relief by Antonio Rossellino (1478) of the Madonna del Latte. The stained-glass windows date to the 14th century. The most famous funeral monuments are along the walls of the right aisle. These include the monument to Dante Alighieri by Ricci (1829); to Michelangelo, by Vasari (1579); to Alfieri, by Canova (1803); to Machiavelli, by I. Spinazzi (1787).
Fragments of frescoes by Orcagna are to be seen behind the fourth altar and further on is Domenico Veneziano's fine fresco (1450) of St. John the Baptist and St. Francis.
Next comes the tabernacle in pietra serena by Donatello and Michelozzo with the Annunciation (1435 c.) by Donatello. and then the Tomb of Leonardo Bruni by Bernardo Rossellino, the funeral monument to Rossini and the one to Foscolo. The right arm of the transept contains the Castellani Chapel superbly frescoed by Agnolo Gaddi (1385) with Stories of the Saints. On the altar a Crucifix by Gerini.
At the end of the transept is the Baroncelli Chapel, with the splendid Gothic tomb of the Baroncelli family and a lunette with a Madonna by Taddeo Gaddi. The frescoes on the walls with Stories of Mary are also by Gaddi and the Madonna of the Girdle is by Bastiano Mainardi (1490). The Coronation of the Virgin on the altar is by Giotto.
Michelozzo's portal leads to the Sacristy, with the Rinuccini Chapel, frescoed with Stories of the Magdalen and the Virgin by Giovanni da Milano. The fine altarpiece is by Giovanni del Biondo (1379).
Michelozzo's Medici Chapel, built for Cosimo the Elder, is at the back. It contains a magnificent bas-relief by Donatello and various works by the Della Robbias. Various chapels (14th- cent.) with important works open off the central zone of the transept.
These include the Velluti Chapel with Stories of St. Michael Archangel, perhaps by Cimabue; the Chapels of the Peruzzi and the Bardi families frescoed by Giotto with Stories of St. John the Evangelist (1320) and Stories of St. Francis (1318); the Tosinghi Chapel with the Assumption in Heaven, also by Giotto; the Pulci Chapel with frescoes by Bernardo Daddi. Of particular note in the left aisle is the Marsuppini Sepulcher by Desiderio da Settignano.


Interior Santa Croce church


Tombs of Michelangelo, Marcony, Galileo Galilei, etc. inside Santa Croce church


The tomb of Michelangelo

Michaelangelo's tomb, created by Giorgio Vasari and assistants, is only one of many tombs and memorials in the side aisles of Santa Croce.
Other greats buried in Santa Croce include Galileo Galilei, Machiavelli, Giacomo Rossini, Enrico Fermi, Marconi, and a memorial to Dante Aligheri, who is actually buried in Ravenna.
The church has masterpieces of sculpture and frescoes by Donatello, Giotto and Renaissance artists too numerous to mention in this brief note.


The tomb of Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei (15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642) was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who is closely associated with the scientific revolution. His achievements include the first systematic studies of uniformly accelerated motion, improvements to the telescope, a variety of astronomical observations, and support for Copernicanism. Galileo's experiment-based work is a significant break from the abstract approach of Aristotle. Galileo is often referred to as the "father of modern astronomy," as the "father of modern physics", and as the "father of science". The motion of uniformly accelerated objects, treated in nearly all high school and introductory college physics courses, was studied by Galileo as the subject of kinematics.


Beside the cathedral stands the 14th-century campanile, or bell tower, which was begun by Giotto and continued by Andrea Pisano. Adorned with exquisite bas-reliefs, the campanile (82 m/269 ft high) is perhaps the most beautiful in Italy.

The octagonal baptistery of San Giovanni, facing the cathedral, dates mainly from the 11th to the 15th century, although some parts were built as early as the 5th century; it is noted for doors of gilded bronze, especially the east door, called the Gate to Paradise, which was executed by the Florentine goldsmith Lorenzo Ghiberti and depicts sculpted scenes from the Old Testament.

Near the cathedral is the Bargello, or Palazzo del Podestà, a fortresslike building of the 13th and 14th centuries, which houses a National Museum. The latter has collections of enameled terracottas by the della Robbia family and sculpture by Donatello.


Palazzo della Signora

The Palazzo Vecchio ("Old Palace") is the town hall of Florence. This massive, Romanesque, crenellated fortress-palace is among the most impressive town halls of Tuscany.[1] Overlooking the Piazza della Signoria with its copy of Michelangelo's David statue as well the gallery of statues in the adjacent Loggia dei Lanzi, it is one of the most significant public places in Italy.
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.



David was created between 1501 and 1504 Michelangelo. It stands at an impressive 17 feet in height and is carved of marble. The statue represents the Biblical hero David, a favored subject in the art of Florence. It was originally commissioned as one of a series of statues of prophets to be positioned along the roof line of the east end of the Duomo. Its size made such placement highly impractical and it was instead placed in the square outside the Palazzo Vecchio, the seat of Florentine government. The sculpture was unveiled on September 8, 1504 when Michelangelo was just 29 years old. Because of the nature of the hero that it represented, it soon came to symbolize the defense of civil liberties embodied in the Florentine Republic, an independent city-state threatened on all sides by more powerful rival states and by the hegemony of the Medici family. The eyes of David, with a warning glare, were turned towards Rome. Because of the toll taken on it by the outdoor elements, the statue was moved to the Accademia Gallery in Florence in 1873. It was replaced at the original location by a replica that, though accurate, nevertheless lacks the power of the original.


The Piazza della Signoria, containing the Fountain of Neptune (completed 1576), is dominated by the majestic Palazzo Vecchio, or Palazzo della Signoria, a rough and sturdy but pleasingly harmonious building surmounted by a crenellated 94-m (308-ft) bell tower. Built between 1299 and 1314, this palace became the seat of the town council in 1550; later the Italian Chamber of Deputies met there from 1865 to 1871. The vast halls and state apartments are ornately decorated in the style of the late Renaissance.

Opposite is the Loggia dell’Orcagna (late 14th century), also called Loggia dei Lanzi, a roofed structure open at the sides, which houses a number of statues, among them the bronze Perseus (completed 1554) by Benvenuto Cellini and the Rape of the Sabines (1579-1583) by Giambologna.

Between the Palazzo Vecchio and the Arno stands the Palazzo degli Uffizi, built late in the 16th century to house government offices and law courts. It is famous for its art gallery, the Uffizi Gallery, one of the finest in Europe, which contains an unsurpassed collection of works by the greatest painters of Italy and a rich sampling of works by Flemish and French masters.


Loggia dell'Orcagna (century 14)


Ratto delle Sabine at Loggia dei Lanzi (The Rape of the Sabine woman)


The nearby Ponte Vecchio, which is lined with goldsmiths’ and jewelers’ shops, was built about 1350; it is the only bridge in Florence spared during World War II and leads across the Arno to the Palazzo Pitti on the left bank. This building, begun in 1458 and subsequently much enlarged, was the residence of the grand dukes of Tuscany from 1550 to 1859. It contains another famous art collection, particularly rich in works by Andrea del Sarto, Raphael, Il Perugino, Titian, and Tintoretto. Behind the Pitti are the vast Boboli Gardens, used for outdoor concerts during the music festival held each year in May.


Piazza Santa Trinita


Piazza Santa Maria Novella


Interior Santa Maria Novella Church


On the right bank of the Arno, in a kind of half-circle around the cathedral and the Palazzo Vecchio, are many famous churches and palaces. Noteworthy are the 13th-century Gothic Church of Santa Trinità, possessing a fine, luminous interior and a 16th-century baroque facade; and Santa Maria Novella (13th-15th century), with a colored marble facade and richly decorated cloisters, one of the most beautiful churches in the city. Eastward are the 15th-century church and cloisters of San Lorenzo, designed by Brunelleschi. The adjoining structure is the Medici Chapel, private chapel and burial place of the famous Medici family. Above the crypt of the Medici Chapel is the New Sacristy (1519-1534), for which Michelangelo was both architect and sculptor; the sacristy contains the tombs of Lorenzo II de’ Medici, duke of Urbino, with figures of Dawn and Twilight; and of Giuliano de’ Medici, duke of Nemours, with figures of Day and Night.


The Deposition

The Deposition, was finished when the sculptor was 78, although Michelangelo himself did not finish it. He abandoned the sculpture out of disgust over an impurity in the marble that had laid undiscovered through most of the eight years that Michelangelo had worked on the sculpture. The female figure to the left was actually finished by Tiberio Calgagni. The standing figure in the back, depicting Nicodemus (or possibly Joseph of Arimathea), is believed to be a self portrait of Michelangelo. This sculpture is on display in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo.


The Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, built by Michelozzo for Cosimo de’ Medici in the mid-15th century, faces San Lorenzo across a large piazza. Typical of the residences built by prominent families in this period, the ground floor is a private fort with a graceful courtyard, and handsome chambers occupy the upper stories.

It houses the Medici Museum. A few streets to the northeast is the former Dominican monastery of San Marco, also largely the work of Michelozzo.

It is now a museum in which are preserved the works of the two monks and painters Fra Angelico and Fra Bartolommeo, as well as the cell once occupied by the preacher and reformer Girolamo Savonarola.


Bukit David dengan tiruan patung David karya Michelangelo


Bila anda jalan kaki ke Gereja San Lorenzo yang di sebelahnya ada jalan tempat orang biasa shopping barang-barang dari kulit asli, termurah lagi di Italy. Dari situ ke Piazza Michelangelo dan Museum Uffici. Florence ini merupakan kotanya Michelangelo waktu masih muda, konon menurut cerita diduga Michelangelo itu gay. Donatello juga berkembang seninya di kota Medici ini. Dari tempat ini (yang seperti bukit) kita bisa melihat kota Florence dari ketinggian lereng bukit, dengan patung "David" karya Michelangelo berdiri megah di sana, memang pemandangannya indah, terlebih di sore hari sekitar jam 16.00, layaknya kota Florence bermandikan cahaya keemasan di sana-sini.









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