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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Piazza della Signoria

One of the great things about the beginning of the year is that I get to have a new calendar. This year's is a small desk calendar with a new page for every day .... of Italy :) The one for yesterday has a photo of the statue of Neptune in Piazza della Signoria, Florence. Here's a little from Wikipedia ...

Piazza della Signoria is an L-shaped square in front of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy. It was named after the Palazzo della Signoria, also called Palazzo Vecchio.

It is the focal point of the origin and of the history of the Florentine Republic and still maintains its reputation as the political hub of the city. It is the meeting place of Florentines as well as the numerous tourists.

The impressive 14th century Palazzo Vecchio is still preeminent with its crenellated tower. The square is also shared with the Loggia della Signoria, the Uffizi Gallery, the Palace of the Tribunale della Mercanzia (1359) (now the Bureau of Agriculture), and the Uguccioni Palace (16th Century, with a facade probably by Raphael). Located in front of the Palazzo Vecchio is the Palace of the Assicurazioni Generali (1871, built in Renaissance style).

The square holds a lot of statues, including the one on my calendar page from the Fountain of Neptune by Bartolomeo Ammannati. It was commissioned for the wedding of Francesco I de' Medici with grand duchess Johanna of Austria in 1565.

- Neptune

Perhaps the most well known statue in the square is by Benvenuto Cellini - Perseus with the Head of Medusa ....

This one is my favorite as I like the Greek myth of Perseus and the Gorgon with her snakey hair, who could turn people to stone :)


Blogger Jeff said...

I love the Piazza. That's where they strung up yer boy Savonarola too.

Where else can you get a cup of coffee for $8.00?

Anne and I had a great time there. I don't think we missed a single gelato stand on the whole route down there from the Duomo. We had An American Girl in Florence on our bedroom wall for a long time.

6:11 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Jeff,

Nice photo.

Are there still soot marks in the Piazza? What a fun city :)

I was in Florence but I only remember the hotel for some reason. It sounds like you got a lot more out of your visit. Was that your honeymoon?

6:16 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

It might not have been as bad as in that photo by Ruth Orkin, but it's still pretty sooty. Those annoying little Vespa motorbokes are everywhere. Generally speaking, I found the air quality in Europoean cities to be horrible. Much worse than here.

Yes, we went on our honeymoon. We also went to Rome, Assisi, Siena, San Gimignano, Venice, Stresa (Lake Maggiori), and a small town called Carpi. Those statues remind me of a semi-funny story about our stay in Florence, but I'd have to tell you offline.

6:12 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

I meant sooty from the people burnt at the stake like Savonarola .... eeek! :)

11:06 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

I wonder how Neptune got those great abs . . . ?

5:05 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

PS: Jeff, that's a great photograph.

5:05 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Susan,

Yes, Neptune is very ripped - he obviously works out :)

7:40 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Must be all those crunches he does between spearing fish.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...


The guys in Florence haven't changed very much since 1951. Probably since 1591. :)

Neptune... Body by Nautilus!

6:22 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

No, Jeff. I'm sure he's a free weights kind of god.

10:49 AM  
Blogger cowboyangel said...

Sadly, I never made it to Italy. The piazza looks cool.

I've always loved Cellini's Perseus.

11:54 AM  

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