In the Orsanmichele (Orto [garden] San Michele) church you find this sculpture of San Marco by Donatello, created 1411-13). The original was place on the southern side, where now a copy stands. Of course we also went to see Michelangelo's David in the Accademia of Firenze (great if you like very early renaissance) but I was disappointed. The idea of making the head oversized to compensate for the perspective didn't do it for me. Donatello also made his Saint Mark (Orsanmichele's church) in such a way that its optimal viewing is from below, but it looks more natural to me. Not that natural is neccesary or preferable...The story about this sculpture is funny. When the guys that commisioned the statue saw it they had all sorts of suggestions to Donatello how to improve it. Donatello said he would do the needful but never touched the statue. When it was placed in the niche the viewpoint from below was so different and convincing that the commissioners were very pleased with the final result, not knowing Donatello had not changed anything. Of course, anecdotes like these are rather silly. We all know this world is teeming with incompetant idiots. Fortunately there are a few people who really know what they are doing.

The main cathedral of Florence is a magnificent building. We often refer to is as the Duomo, although the crazy genius Brunelleschi constructed the dome a century after the main building had been completed. Anyway, this church dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore is wonderful, with the bell tower of Giotto to further complete the scene. And then there are the mosaics (please do click on the picture to see the enlargement...). But don't think they are byzantine...they were conceived by Nicolò Barabino in the late 19th century...

The day after visiting the Uffizi (and in a way that was disappointing for me, I had expected more top paintings but then, I am biased toward the Venetians), we started a walk around Firenze. End of September, beginning of October is a very pleasant time. Lots of tourists though, can't imagine why... Even so, we could stop at a terrace here or there and enjoy the old town. The walk starts from the Duomo, then south towards the Orsanmichele church, then to the old bridge (ponte vecchio) over the Arno river, following the river a bit to the east, stopping at the Santa Croce and back through the old town. You can download the route to your smartphone: Firenze (KMZ) or Firenze (GPX). The KMZ is required for, which is really wonderful.

From Orsanmichele to Ponte Vecchio (the old bridge), which is mainly a jewelry shopping mall. Views from the Uffizi (above), the bridge itself, with fellow travellers and from the quai (below).

Photo Clément Bardot, on Wikimedia Commons


The inside of Orsanmichele is also gorgeous.

From Ponte Vecchio to the Santa Croce church is a short walk, and you will come through narrow streets with impressive buildings. And at every turn you may get a glimpse of the Duomo, so you know where you are.

The Santa Croce church is another marble/marvel with a statue of Dante on the side.

And the view of Piazza Santa Croce from the stairs of the church is also wonderful.

Starting on the return to the Duomo from the Santa Croce we get some lovely views of the Duomo through narrow streets. And a street corner, Via dei Servi and Via Maurizio Bufalini, has a nice Madonna col Bambino.