Italy Extravaganza~ Day XII, Part III

     Well, today we leave Florence behind. I really miss this place already. Despite my constant bitching and moaning about the Pitti palace, the entire building is just so amazing. The other place we went to was the Duomo, which I made sure to get plenty of shots to take back with me. The entire outside has a band of coats of arms circling around the whole thing, and as you would imagine, I got plenty of close shots. Think of it! This entire time, my desire was to get close to the coats of arms, enough to where I could actually make out the name and get every detail. Take, for example, the coats of arms of the former abbots in the monastery. They were close, but still high up enough on the wall that getting a shot was a pain in the butt. Here, they were pretty much right at eye level. The only restriction was how open I could keep my eyes in the bright sunlight. Naturally, we also got the famous square and the statue of Cosimo de Medici. I am somewhat reluctant to admit that we only did that on the way to something else. While we were on our way through, there was a car show with a bunch of Italian roadsters. I wanted the statue, they wanted the cars. Well, at any rate, next time we start in on our stay in Lucca, along with our day trip to Pisa. With that, things will really start to slide down to the end game. With no further rambling from me, let’s make a start of it, shall we?

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      As much of a pain in the butt as getting into old Florence was, we were certainly closer to everything I wanted to see. That coat of arms was the first picture I think I took that day. By this point in the trip, I was exhausted. For whatever reason, this coat of arms helped revive my interest.

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     And this sealed the deal. Good God, just look at that building! The entire thing is so ornate. If it hadn’t been so bright out, I could have spent hours in this square just enjoying the outside of the building.

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     You can see some scaffolding to the right. It was kind of sad to show up at a time when the scaffolding was there, but that building deserves some loving. Look at the design in that shot. Even the tiled roof feels ornate, old and something worth paying close attention to.

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     A shot of some slightly less ornate design, with the baptistry in the background. Oh, have no fear. I got that too.

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     Here I really wanted to catch as many ornate things as I could in one shot. The stonework, the archway the building is a marvel.

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     And here is my typical shot for scale. I was so blown away by the sheer size of the place. Now, granted, I had been in bigger. Padova comes to mind, for instance, but this was so much more ornate.

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    And here is a shot of the baptistry tower. I was unwilling to leave the Cathedral behind.

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     Cave Canem. Because even small coffee bars right off of the Duomo run by some random jerk can’t avoid kitsch. It means beware the dog.

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     Another shot for the arch and the stonework. The real shame of these buildings is that I never felt like I got it all. There had to be something I was missing. It was an art overload.

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     One more of the dome for good measure. The genius of this building, in terms of the most basic visual element, is that no matter where you come from there’s something to see. That sounds simple, but it means that the way the building looks could actually change dynamically depending on where you come from. Your first experience may very well be different from mine.

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     Getting closer and closer to the tower. The detail on that one too is just incredible.

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     One more arch. Every single one had such amazing art. I had to hold back at this point, but I felt like I could let loose a bit more since we were coming to the end of the trip.

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     I kept this shot to show the sun. It got in the way of a lot of my pictures. I had sunglasses before I came here but they were swiped. Who steals prescription sunglasses?

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    And here is the first slight closeup of the tower. I wanted more of the cathedral first, but I couldn’t help but take a few shots of the tower before I went inside.

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     One more arch. I think what I love about this is the colors. They’re really so vibrant, and again the red and green are just amazing together.

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     Another arch. I tried to get every single one that was worth taking a shot of. So. Pretty much, every single one.

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     Lion face!? Well, some face. It reminds me a bit of the old guy at the train station. The face on the wall old guy, that is.+

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     A shot of the tower next to the duomo. I wanted a shot to illustrate how close they really are to each other.

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     A closeup of the stone design near the base of the tower.

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     One more arch and a closeup of more stonework at the bas…hey wait a minute! Is that a coat of arms? Oh yeah.

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     And are those actual images, not just designs? Oh yeah. I am so there. But I’m not into this enough to get closeup shots of each one.

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     Another two coats of arms on the sides of the tower. Not the design running around the whole base of the tower.

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     And of course, we need a shot of the tower from up close, looming in the air above us. I could have gone up, but that would have required money so…no.

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     I did try to take closeup shots, but the sun was not being a team player.

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     A closeup of these coats of arms showed me a depressing amount of cleaning that needed to be done, both on the stone and the coats of arms. Price of admission, I suppose, is tower cleaning.

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     And here I made one more attempt at the stonework. It was better, but I would have liked to do it from a bit closer than this.

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     I just really liked this shot is all.

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     And it was at this point that I began hunting coats of arms. Also, check out the arch.

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     A few of these coats of arms seem to have a place of prominence. I don’t know nearly enough about heraldry to know why.

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     They sure are cool, though, aren’t they?

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     While you can’t read the text on these unless you close in on them, the coats of arms are still amazing. But that’s nothing. Get ready, because here it comes.

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     Look at that! Rows of coats of arms! They go around the whole front of the building, it seems like.

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     I only took one or two shots before I was dragged inside, however.

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     Another of my favorite designs. You see it done in this style in quite a few churches.

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     Here’s a long shot for scale. The place is huge, but I still think Padova is bigger. The pillars aren’t nearly as large here either.

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     Ok, yes. I took lots of pictures of the floor again. I’m just fascinated by how much effort went into the floor. No church in America does that, that I know of anyways.

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     Another shot for scale. There’s something about the shots from the ground that always make me smile. It makes you realize just how high the ceilings are.

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     What I like about the floor here is the combination of different geometric shapes. Circle and square, circle and octagon, and so on.

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     A plague with actually reasonably legible writing.

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     One more design on the floor.

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     I stood here and waited for this to clear. Eventually, I just took the shot. This design is even better than the first.

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     Some of the paintings felt kind of out of place, however. I liked it, just felt like it was out of place.

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    More coats of arms.

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     Is this another one of those weird clocks? I can’t tell.

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     One more of the same designs. How many is this in one church?

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     I wanted to take pictures of the stained glass windows, but…damn you sunnnn!

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     Oh, goodness. Look at that dome. I haven’t been so overwhelmed by a piece of art since Ravenna.

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     Very simple cross coat of arms.

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     A coat of arms in the stonework that clearly needs some loving.

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     This is yet another really incredible design on the floor.

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     Another design like this? I might have gotten this one, already, but it looks like another one.

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     I really did try and take pictures of all the coats of arms.

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     It was a depressingly large task, because I kept seeing ones that I had missed the first time around.

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     That and taking a shot of each one was simply not happening.

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     It made me wonder why they were here. Most of them are hardly from noble houses, or anything.

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     Well, I tried to tighten up here a bit and get more methodical.

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     Down in front, lady!

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     Well, I guess I did try and get all close and get the text under the coats of arms.

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     An elephant? Well, these are still cool coats of arms.

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     It was so amazing, to see all these things lined up. Especially because, again, they hardly seem to be from noble houses most of the time.

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     These are really complex coats of arms, for all these people. I really need to look into the history of this building.

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     One last shot of the coats of arms and then I had to go. Not because I wanted to, just got dragged away.

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     One last shot of the front of the building.

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     Now let’s obsess over the doors of the baptistry.

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     I really, really need to learn the history of this city. Especially considering that we’re learning about linear perspective this semester in class.

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     I really wanted to make sure I got every bit of these doors.

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     So I finally got to the point where I just started off taking one panel at a time.

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     This was an endeavor also doomed to failure. I was dragged away too soon to get them all.

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     Apparently, they did the seven virtues on one section of the door.

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     Sadly, in my hurry, some of those pictures didn’t end out very well.

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     Looking back, I’m really wish that I had taken the time to go into the tower.

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     And here I didn’t even get the ones that were important, I got to wrapped up in these seven.

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     Well, either way, I got all the ones I could get before we had to leave.

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     While I was in Italy, I considered myself to be Miss Cobwebs eyes. So I took pictures with that in mind.

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     Abandoned building in old Florence?

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     Oh yeah! One of my favorite kinds of coats of arms. The stonework with color.

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     And here’s my favorite kind of street shot.

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     This is the most famous plaza in Florence and the one place I wanted to go. So naturally, we only came here through chance and walked right on through.

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     More coats of arms, this time around the clock tower.

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     So naturally, I had to get them before I left.

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     I don’t think I tried to get another shot of this, but that is very cool. I don’t even know what it is, but I like it.

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     Long shot of the plaza and the statue, along with the car show.

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     One more shot of the plaza. Again, we walked right through it.

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     Here it is. The statue of Cosimo a little closer up.

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     One of the clock tower for scale.

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     And one more of Cosimo for the road.

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     And one of those do not enter signs that clearly has been tampered with. Fight the powah! Till next time, everyone. Lucca and the final posts are almost here.

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