florence, Italy

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, Universityof Wisconsin - Green Bay

Apart from Santa Maria Novella and the Synagogue (most interesting for its World War II rescue by the Italian Resistance), the main attractions in florence are in a fairly narrow zone.

  Below: The River Arno
Via dei Malcontenti

You'd be malcontenti, too, if you had to park so far out of town.

Santa Croce

The facade is imitative of the Duomo and dates from the 19th century. The church itself was begun in 1294. The architect of the facade, Niccolo Matas,  was Jewish, hence the Star of David. photos of the old facade, a thoroughly drab brick structure, survive; this is a vast improvement.
The tomb of Machiavelli. I admit the ink was still damp the last time I readThe Prince, but I have never really seen what was so "Machiavellian" about it. Machiavelli's principal sin, apparently, was bluntly recognizing what everyone else knew but pretended not to, that princes sometimes have to be ruthless.
Dante's tomb. The amount of history in a tiny space here just numbs the mind. This is actually a cenotaph; Dante is actually buried in Ravenna.
Above: Michaelangelo's Tomb Below: Galileo's tomb.
Tomb of the composer Rossini.

The Cloister

The crucifix above dates from about 1280 A modern rendition of it

The Refectory

Plaque commemorating a great flood in 1844. Another great flood in 1966 caused immense damage to florence's art treasures.

Palazzo Vecchio

Michaelangelo's David, or actually, a reproduction. The original is safely sheltered in a museum.
Below: The Uffizi. If that sounds like "Offices," that just what it means. Now an art gallery. This is full of art. Then there's the Louvre, the Prado, the Hermitage, the Met... How can there be that much art in the entire world?

Ponte Vecchio

Dante's House


The Duomo (Cathedral)

The first glimps of this when you round the corner is a jaw-dropping moment.

A torrential downpour began while we were inside. We could hear the rain pounding on the roof a hundred feet above.

Return to Virtual FieldTrips Index
Return to Historic Sites Index
Return to Professor Dutch's Home Page

Created 1 April 2007, Last Update 04 June 2020