Florence, Italy

No trip to Italy is complete without a visit to the city that is the lifeblood of Italian culture, history, and art.  There is so much to see, visit and do that one should spend a minimum of 3 days in Florence.

My must see in Florence is David.  There is no greater work of art in the world.  Hewn from 1 piece of marble and larger than life the degree of difficulty and amazing finished product makes it the greatest work of art.

Canon 5DMKII Sigma 70-200 @ 200mm 1/90 (handheld) f2.8 ISO 800 Lexar Digital Film

Florence originated as a Roman city, and later, after a period as a flourishing trading and banking center it was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance.  Florence was politically, economically, and culturally one of the most important cities in Europe and the world from the 14th century – 16th century.

The city is regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world.  The impact of its artistic, historic and cultural heritage in the world remains evident today.  Florence has a major impact in music, architecture, education, cuisine, fashion, philosophy, science and religion.  The historic centre of Florence contains numerous historical squares, Renaissance palaces, academies, parks, gardens, churches, monasteries, museums, and art galleries.

The facade of the Florence Cathedral and it’s Bell Tower are a must see:

Canon 5DMKII Canon 16-35L @ 16mm 1/500 f8 ISO 100 w/ Tiffen Circular Polarizer Lexar Digital Film

Starting in the late Middle Ages, Florentine money – in the form of the gold florin – financed development of industry all over Europe.  Florentine bankers financed the English kings during the Hundred Years War, as well as the papacy, including construction of their provisional capital of Avignon and, after their return to Rome, the reconstruction and Renaissance embellishment of the latter.

This shot is the dome of the Florence Cathedral:

Canon 5DMKII Canon 24-105L @ 40mm 1/500 f8 ISO 200 Lexar Digital Film

Florence was home to the Medici, one of history’s most important noble families.  Lorenzo de’ Medici was one of the key political and cultural masterminds of Italy in the late 15th century.  Two members of the family, were popes –  Leo X and Clement VII.  Catherine de’ Medici, married King Henry II of France and, after his death in 1559, reigned as regent in France.  Needless to say, the fortunes of Florence were extremely closely tied with the de’ Medici family for centuries.

This shot is of an Italian Cardinal speaking at a special mass we stumbled upon.

Canon 5DMKII Sigma 70-200 @ 200mm 1/45 (handheld) f3.5 ISO 2500 Lexar Digital Film

One last note on Florence – my favorite gelato on earth is found here.  Gelateria Carrozze is the place (Piazza del Pesce 3)  about 30 yards from Ponte Vecchio heading towards the Uffizi.  The Limone is my favorite.

Canon 5DMKII Sigma 70-200 @ 200mm 1/250 f4.5 ISO 320 Lexar Digital Film

We hope you enjoyed and will visit Florence with us next year.

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