A quiet courtyard, perfect for this dog's nap:
Piazza Della Reppublica Triumphal Arch, from when Florence was established as the capital of Italy, which lasted from 1865-1871. This plaza was built on the remains of the Roman city that was there before, and the quote on the arch translates roughly to "being built on the squalor of what came before.".
Inside one of the churches from our tour (I don't really know which church, but it was a smaller one.) This photo reminded me of Blues Brothers: "have you seen the light?" but James Belushi wasn't dancing in the aisle.
A side chapel in the church. The family who paid for this is buried in the tombs at the bottom of the picture, and they had pictures of Bible scenes painted at the Church's request, since at the time, most Italians couldn't read Latin, which is what all books, including the Bible, were written in. Also, one of the perks of being wealthy and trying to get in good with the Church, the family had themselves painted in the picture, standing right next to the Pope. In the scene from the Bible. Apparently this was the precursor to digitally altering a photo. Just have the painter draw an altered version of the photo, same effect.
Us with the Ponte Vecchio bridge in the background. During WW2, all the other bridges over the river were destroyed by Hitler wanting to slow invading trips, but he left this one because it had buildings on it, and he stored his artwork (as in, that he created) in those buildings. Or so tour guides tell gullible tourists.
View from standing on the Ponte Vecchio bridge:
We had many good meals in Florence, but our fanciest dinner was on Easter at Ristorante Toto, recommended by our friend Brad, and featuring the meat cutter/ pizza baker.
Greg contemplating the Ferrari store:
Andrea posing sort of like the David. This is a copy, although it is where the original used to be until the 1970's. Weather was taking a toll on the statue, so he got refurbished and put in the Academia Museum. Facts about David: he is seventeen feet tall; he symbolizes the people of Florence having finally gotten rid of the Medici family as rulers; he was carved out of one massive block of marble that had a giant crack, so other sculptors said it couldn't be used to make a statue this big; Michelangelo worked around the crack by having David lean back so most of the weight is on his right leg; his hands and feet are a bit big, which it is theorized is because he is a fifteen year old according to the Bible, except that not all of the rest of him looks like a fifteen year old; he is holding a slingshot that wraps around his back; there is a spot on the top of his head that isn't fully carved, which Michelangelo did on purpose with some of his works; David was supposed to go on one of the exterior ledges on the Duomo, but the city vetoed that since he was naked; too controversial for the Church, but ok for a main plaza.
Night shot of what is now the city hall. It used to be a palace for a couple different rulers, hence the tower built on the top in a different style; it was literally added on couple hundred years after the original building was built, when new rulers took over and wanted to demonstrate their might. By building a lookout tower. Nowadays, loads of statues are under an overhang right near the entrance, and the inside is a museum all in Italian, but that is still rather ornate and impressive.
Anyways, we also went in the Uffizi Museum and the Pitti Palace, which both left us feeling overwhelmed by trying to rapidly absorb hundreds of years of advances in painting and sculpture during the Renaissance, but we only spent a couple hours in each. Both could take days and just barely scratch the surface of all there is to see, but we also needed time to eat gelato.