Weathered steps

And they’ve been weathering since two hundred years B.C.

Fiesole

these steps are Roman, and to be found in Fiesole near Florence, Italy. They’re my entry for this weeks photo challenge at the daily post. Happy Thursday all!

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A Tuscan favourite

This week’s photo challenge, set by Ben Huberman is the last for 2017. He asks us to share our favourite photo of the year, but how do you choose one, or even ten?  It doesn’t have to be a technically good image, but meaningful to us in some way. When I started looking through my files for the photo that means most to me this year, I ended up in tears, because it would have to be one of my beloved border terrier Dido, who I lost in May. Whoops here I go again.

Once I picked myself up, I settled on a photo of the Tuscan countryside. This was a place I’d wanted to visit for a while, so finally seeing it meant a lot to me.

If you have a favourite photo to share for the year, join in with Ben

 

Florentine evenings

On a warm summer evening what could be nicer than a stroll around Florence? Whether you like to absorb some culture, like Signore Aleghieri Dante’s statue. in Piazza  Santa Croce,

or, find a delicious and authentic meal in the Mercato Centrale.

then you could catch a bus up  to Piazzale Michelangelo, join the crowds and watch the sun go down.

 

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If you’re really lucky there might be a gelatto festival taking place!
Now, if I was going to the Piazzale again,I’d walk back down the hill instead of waiting ages for a bus, that then got caught in a traffic jam, but hey, we live and learn.

Unless you’re staying in the Oltrarno, the Piazza Della Repubblica may be on your way back to your hotel, and it’s a lively place for a little nightcap.


If you get lost in any back alleys,

never worry,


wherever you are the Duomo will always help you to get your bearings.

Traces of the past

I’d more or less abandoned the idea of going to San Gimignano while in Florence, it just seemed we’d be trying to pack too much in to a week. A late change of plan made it possible and The Duomo, Santa Maria Assunta stands out as one of the high points of my visit to Tuscany. The walls are covered with 14th century frescoes of the Old and New Testaments, that are truly stunning. Here you can see a glimpse of fresco and some of the ten round and four octagonal columns.

And the amazing ceiling.
I’m posting for Paula’s Thursday special, she’s be happy to see you if you’d like to join in.

Bridges across the Arno

At least seven bridges span the River Arno in Florence, here are some of them,

Beginning with the closest, Ponte Vecchio, the only one not bombed in WW2. Next Ponte St Trinita, Ponte alla Carraia – my favourite, and way off in the distance, the most modern, Ponte Amerigo Vespucci.

I’ve chosen this photo for Paula’s Thursday special, pick a word from five. I chose spanning and the photo was taken through a window in the Uffizi.

Three Favourite photos

That I can’t choose between.

I get a bit snap happy when I’m in a new, exciting place, and I must say that since I’ve been taking photos, I notice the world around me so much more. I do get fed up with carrying things though, so some days if a camera feels too heavy or it won’t go in my bag of the day, I’ll move down to a smaller one. Of course the phone is the easiest option, but limited in its capabilities.

I rarely take my dslr out these days, so these three images were all captured with my biggest active camera. They’re the ones I like best from a week in Florence, with a day out in Tuscany.

Do you have lazy camera days or are you okay with carrying heavy things? Perhaps it’s a girl thing, after all we do need ALL the contents of our handbags, an umbrella if it rains and a warm layer if it gets too cool!

Enough waffle, these are the three photos.

An exhibition in Florence
View of the Tuscan hills from Fiesole
The anticipation of rain, Siena

Like or dislike any of them?

A walk in the Oltrarno

On our second full day in Florence we decided to do part of a walk in a guide book.  We weren’t following it exactly because it didn’t make sense. Okay I’ll confess, the first part was too close to our hotel, so we skipped it. In doing so, we emerged on the river bank  further east than the walk, so took a slight diversion. Where’s the fun in exploring a new city without going up some back alleys?

We emerged on Piazza Santa Maria Del Carmine, where the church of the same name had a rather dull exterior, and had a peep inside.

This church of the Carmelite order was built in 1268, but was damaged by fire in 1771 and the interior rebuilt in the Rococo style 11 years later. It was nicer inside than out.

We got our bearings back and headed for the Via Santo Spirito, occasionally getting distracted, wondering what was up there or around that corner.

One of the things we did find from the walk description, was this pretty stone tabernacle from the 14th century. The fresco of the Madonna with Child and the Saints Paolo and Gerolamo) is reputed to be the work of Bicci di Lorenzo. The little figure between the  saints is the person who the commissioned the fresco.

A sharp shower sent us rushing for an espresso and a bit of a sit down.

Then we were off again.

Towards Santa Spirito, the heart of this creative, bohemian area.

Oltrarno is the home of many artisan workshops, including the fabulous shop I showed you last week. Surprises and smiles are around every corner.

 

Close to a nursery school, we came across this moving sculpture, in honour of the Armenian genocide.

Let us not forget.

Back to the streets and we were drifting south to what we thought was a secondary entrance to Boboli gardens.

So we turned tail towards the direction of the river, passing elegant gates leading to secluded mansions.

We didn’t fetch up where we expected even then.

Instead we found the Pitti Palace and lunch in a cafe opposite. I made a mistake in that cafe, ordering something with meat. I was quite upset that I’d mixed a word up, but they kindly changed it for what I’d intended to order. That’ll teach me not to think I’m too clever!

We had a gelato and watched the world go by after lunch,

and of course I loved this sculpture.

We ended this walk, which I’m sharing with Jo, who knows it well, at Ponte Vecchio.

I wonder where she’s walking this week.