A Travellerspoint blog

Guide to Experience the Florentine Elegance

Life Around Duomo and the Streets of Florence

The regional bus terminal in Florence is on the out skirts of the city. You arrive in== Villa Constanza and catch the tram that takes you to the city centre: Santa Maria Novella; the main train station for regional trains. Duomo is just five minutes’ walk from the main station. The open art gallery and other main attractions of Florence are all scattered around the station. You get a nice view of the Dome and there are a plenty of shops to buy your souvenirs and there is a Mc Donald's also right across the street.

Florence is best experienced on foot in its streets and lanes and not inside the museums unless you are a historian or an art buff. Stroll, walk and meander along the by lanes of this renaissance retreat to experience the Florentine charm and the love for design and fashion. Soak in the styles that speak of European elegance, feel the delights and enjoy the experience called Florence.

The tram and other public transport system is perfectly integrated with the city plan and is super user friendly across all of Europe. The landscape around the stations, and the way they integrate the nature and the machinery, not for a moment do you see anything that isn't aligned or causes obstruction or restricts the view. The system is in sync with the city topography and everything flows seamlessly and appears natural. A real delight for the pedestrians and those who rely on public transport.

Sounds of Florence

Florence to my surprise is a lot more silent than Venice or Rome...There is this quietness in the city where ever you go that makes the sounds of Florence so bold, clear and vibrant, that you can't miss to take note of the beats.

The sound of hooves from a horse drawn carriage in the back alley near Pont Vachhio or the Old Bridge caught me by surprise. The flamboyant shopping windows from designer labels added a layer of charm for the eyes. The smell of gelato, cheese, bread and pizza along with wine fills the air with an aroma that makes everything in Florence full of Fragrance of food with fashion.

Florence is a never ending Fiesta with its Florentine architecture laced with richness of renaissance art and aesthetics that has been carried forward and reflects in its modern sensibilities.

The Magnificence of Duomo:

Duomo or the Dome is what the Cathedral of Santa Maria De Fiore is commonly known as. At the time of its construction during in 15th-17th century it was the largest free standing dome in the world.

Duomo happened at the peak of the Renaissance. Florence was abuzz with financial activity and its merchant class headed by the Medici family left no stone unturned to grab the attention of the world.
From Michelangelo to Da Vinci to Berlusconi, Dante; big names from the world of art and literature graced Florence and left a mark on the streets of this city. Duomo is at the heart of Florentine culture as it marks a peak unprecedented in the history of architecture. The heavenly adorned exterior and a free standing dome inspires awe in the Creator and its Creation. The detailing on the walls is breath taking, the Baptistery outside the Duomo with the Gates of Heaven cast in Brass; depicts the stories from Old testament with a never before perspective that created the 3D effect for the first time.

A day isn't enough to admire and marvel this magnificent creation if you really want to know and understand the intricacies and the details of this wonder from the Renaissance.

A portrait of an artist as a Young Man in Florence:

Duomo is a magnificent masterpiece of art and architecture since the turn of the 15th century. And it continues to inspire both the arts and the artist.

The streets around Duomo are lined up with colourful canvases soaked in water colour impression of this Renaissance Megalith and set against the pastel settings of the Tuscany Region. Located in the central north of Italy, this area is known for its Olive Green Fields and Farming and Vineyards.

I dared to get up and close to get a feel of what it is like to paint with water colours; the artist was generous enough to let me record while he was at work. The myriad post card sized impressions of the Duomo and the Tuscany region in subtle pastel tones took my breathe away and left me spell bound as I panned the camera from frame to frame down the aisle.

The setting and surrounding with Duomo lurking in the background speaks for itself. The world at large busy clicking and rushing has no interest in these tiny colourful creations.

In today's times we don't mind spending twenty euros at a take away on a single meal but we think endlessly when it comes to buying from these artist who create souvenirs that speak to you and souvenirs that can one day become part of your family stories and heirloom, once they end up on your walls.

It was one such water painting in my home; of a village scene with an electric pole and wires and a few tiny birds sitting on them and an empty village road, that generated so much interest in the child in me, about the possible origins of the place and the stories that must have belonged to that space. The Painting had a signature at the bottom right hand corner that read in Hindi; Tejraya.

Posted by Kandarp Jain 15:42 Tagged architecture of florence cathedral santa duomo maria renaissance florentine

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by Kandarp Jain

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