Florence

Three of the cells were inhabited at different times by Savonarola, and
contain memorials of the pious ascetic, a coat of penance, a crucifix,
and religious volumes.

Sir Martin Conway writes, in “Early Tuscan Art”: “In Savonarola’s cell
there hangs a relic of no small interest–the handiwork of Fra Angelico
himself. It is stowed away in so dark a corner that one can hardly see
it. Eyes accustomed to the gloom discover a small picture of the
crucified Christ, painted on a simple piece of white stuff. When the
great preacher mounted the pulpit, this banner was borne before him. In
those impassioned appeals of his, that electrified for a time the people
of Florence, collected in crowded silence within the vast area of the
newly finished cathedral, it was to this very symbol of his faith that
he was wont to point, whereon are written the now faded words, _Nos
predicamus Christum crucifixum_.”

In the church of San Marco are the tombs of Sant Antonino and the
learned Pico della Mirandola.

Among the other churches of note is Santa Trinita, originally an example
of the art of Niccolo Pisano, but it has been modernised. It contains a
monument by Luca della Robbia, and some splendid mural paintings,
depicting the career of St Francis, by Ghirlando. There are more
paintings by this master in the Franciscan church of Ognissanti.

Santa Croce is a great burial-place, rich in monuments of illustrious
Florentines. Michael Angelo’s tomb is here, and near to it is the
resting-place of Galileo. A monument to Dante, the tomb of Alfieri, by
Canova, the memorials of Machiavelli, Aretino, Cherubino, and many
others are in this building. My necessarily scanty description of the
splendours of this church are offered with an apology for want of fuller
space to describe them.

Donatello’s “Crucifixion” is in the north transept, and the Capella
Peruzzi and the Capella Bardi are decorated with frescoes by Giotto.
Agnolo Gaddi’s paintings are in the choir. Reluctantly, one leaves this
great treasure-house. A mere catalogue of its works of art would fill
pages.

We have glanced at two of the palaces. Let us now visit the stern
Palazzo Vecchio, once the Senate House of the city. The building dates
from the thirteenth century, and was the home of the Medici.
Verrochio’s fountain beautifies one of the courts. Inside the palazzo
are mural paintings by Ghirlando.

Another of the interesting buildings is the Bargello, an important
museum. Michael Angelo’s “Dying Adonis” and “Victory” are in the court,
and there are more works of the great artist within. Dante lectured in
one of the halls of the Bargello. Benvenuto Cellini’s design for
“Perseus” is in one of the rooms, and there are reliefs by Della Robbia.

The Riccardi Palace is redolent with memories of Lorenzo. It stands in
the Piazza San Lorenzo, and in the same square is the church named after
him, containing some very beautiful monuments. Donatello was buried
here, and a stone marks the grave of Cosimo de Medici. Lippo Lippi’s
“Annunciation,” and Michael Angelo’s works are the glories of this
church. The New Sacristy contains Angelo’s “Day and Night” over the tomb
of Giuliano Medici, and that of Lorenzo de Medici adorned with statues
of “Dawn and Twilight.” These are among the most magnificent examples of
Michael Angelo’s statuary.

Near to the railway station is the Church of Santa Maria Novella, a
glorious specimen of Gothic architecture, with a fine façade. In this
church are paintings by Orcagna, Lippi, Cimabue Ghirlando, and other
artists. The frescoes in the Strozzi Chapel, and the Spanish Chapel of
this Dominican church are of great interest. Orcagna’s paintings in the
Strozzi Chapel are of the fourteenth century. The chapel was dedicated
to St Thomas Aquinas, who was greatly honoured by the Dominican order.

Modern Florence is a bright populous city, with wide main streets,
squares, and pleasant gardens

Sources:

  • The Project Gutenberg EBook of Old Continental Towns, by Walter M. Gallichan
  • APT Firenze, Florence Official Tourist Office 
    The APT Firenze website is filled with useful information, including Things to Do (with a long list of cooking classes), Where to Stay, Itineraries,  and Events. This is an excellent resource.
  •  

    Firenze by Net
    his site provides excellent information for museums, art itineraries, music organizations. The response time is excellent.

  •  

    Enit.it
    This site is the main Italian tourist office web site, based in Italy, which provides an English version. The performance can be frustratingly slow but the detailed information is excellent. By choosing the region of Tuscany, then the province of Firenze, then the city of Florence, you can display a list of all the museums (with opening hours, which vary from museum to museum), or all of the events for a month, or all the hotels.

  •  

    Firenze.net
    This comprehensive website, available in English, is an excellent source of information but at time of writing the performance is quite slow. It provides up-to-date news of interest to tourists.

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    Fiesole Township
    This website provides excellent information about the attractions of Fiesole, including its villas, museums, churches, and fountains.  It also has brief descriptions of hotels and restaurants and an events section.  The villa section (ville) lists some villas where you can visit the garden by appointment.