Florence – The Birthplace of the Renaissance – Day 1 – Part 2

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Window shopping in Florence can be an artistically educating experience, particularly in the Oltrarno neighborhood.

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A plaque on a wall pays tribute to the birthplace of famous Italian lawyer and politician, Giuseppe Mantellini.

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In Piazza San Felice, a small triangular space just past the Palazzo Pitti, you will find La Colonna di Cosimo I, or the Column of Cosimo I.  Erected in memory of the Battle of Marciano/Scannagallo, the column was originally topped with a statue representing Peace, which has been lost, unfortunately.

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The Public Baths building dates from the early 1900’s.  In recent years, local residents have been pushing to reopen this structure on a regular basis, in an effort to keep the neighborhood more attractive, and cleaner.  When the building first opened, it was a modern version of the ancient Roman spas/baths.

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The Ex-Chiesa di San Carlo dei Barnabiti dates from 1636, and was the home of the Barnabite Order.

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The Arno River cuts through the city of Florence.  Walking across one of the bridges, which connect the two sides of the city, always fills me with happiness.

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We crossed the Arno, on Ponte Santa Trinita, the oldest elliptic arch bridge in the world.  The bridge, as we see it today, dates from 1569, but the very first bridge on the site was a wooden bridge built in 1252.  This was destroyed years later, by flood waters.  The bridge was bombed by retreating German troops in 1944, but was faithfully reconstructed in 1958, using the original stones, which had been fished out of the river.  On each end of the bridge, there are two statues, representing the Four Seasons.  These were added in honor of the marriage of Cosimo II de’ Medici to Maria Magdalena of Austria, in 1608.

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Soon after crossing the Ponte Santa Trinita, you will find yourself in the small, triangular square, Piazza Santa Trinita.  The column you see, in the middle of the square, dates back to the ancient Romans, and is called the Column of Justice, due to the statue of Justice that sits on top of it.

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Next up: More from beautiful Florence, including a visit to Santo Spirito!

Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations which may appear.  If you have enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for more posts from Florence, as well as other Italian destinations.  Grazie!

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