09 April, 2009

Venice, Italy - My Skywatch Post

Thought I would change our direction and travel north and east to Venice this week. These two photographs are probably my favorites of Venice. The weather was perfect this day, absolutely perfect. Be sure to check out Skywatch Friday for more terrific sky photographs from my e-friends all of the world. We had over 350 participants last week. I know you will enjoy.

06 April, 2009

Palazzo Vecchio and the Torre d'Arnolfo -Florence, Italy-My World

View of the Palazzo Vecchio from the Piazza della Signoria
Close up of the Coats of Arms of the Florentine Republic.

Notice the Coats of Arms of the Florentine Republic.

Looking from the Arno River to the Palazzo Vecchio.

Located in the Piazza della Signoria, the Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace) stands out. The Palazzo is the town hall of the City of Florence. This massive, Romanesque, crenellated fortress-palace is among the most impressive town halls of Tuscany. Overlooking the Piazza della Signoria with its copy of Michelangelo's David statue as well the gallery of statues in the adjacent Loggia dei Lanzi, it is one of the most significant public places in Italy.

The Palazzo was constructed between 1298 and 1302 as the Palazzo della Signoria, the residence of the Signoria (govenment), it then became the ducal palace of the Medicis. And, during Florence's brief speall as capital of Italy (1865-71), it was the seat of the National Parliament. Today, most of the Palazzo Vecchio is now a museum however, since 1872 it has housed the office of the Mayor and City Council of Florence.

The Torre d'Arnolfo - bell tower atop the Palazzo is 308 feet in height. This tower contains two small cells, that, at different times, imprisoned Cosimo de' Medici (the Elder) (1435) and Girolamo Savonarola (1498). The tower is named after its designer Torre d'Arnolfo. The solid cubicle shaped building is enhanced by the simple tower with its Lederle clock. The large, one-handed clock was orginally constructed by the Florentine Nicolo' Bernardo, but was replaced in 1667 by a clock made by Vincenzo Viviani.

The cubical building is built in solid rustic stonework, with two rows of two-lighted Gothic windows, each with a trefoil arch. Michelozzo Michelozzi added decorative bas-reliefs of the cross and the lily in the spandrels between the trefoils. The building is crowned with projecting crenellated battlement, supported by small arches and corbels. Under the arches are a repeated series of nine painted coats of arms of the Florentine republic. Some of these arches can be used as embrasures (spiombati) for dropping heated liquids or rocks on invaders.

These photographs were taken in February 2009 during my recent vacation to Italy.

Please be sure to stop by and visit other participants from around the world at MY WORLD TUESDAY, you won't be disappointed. I truly enjoy the great variety of photographs from all around the world and hope you will find them as enjoyable.