Michelangelo, Fiorentine and Renaissance Art
For Michelangelo was a Florentine, and many of the major episodes of his life took place in the very buildings and squares. Nearly half of the statues made by Michelangelo now stand in Florence: at the Academia, in the Medici Chapel, in the Casa Buonarroti (Michelangelo’s family name being Buonarroti), in the Duomo, and in the Bargello. A painting of his hangs in the Uffizi Galleries. When you have read the fascinating background of these masterpieces, which is related to the turbulent times of Renaissance Florence, you’ll receive an unparalelled thrill from seeing them before your very eyes.
Anyone going up to the Piazzale Michelangelo should also see the lovely Romanesque church, San Miniato al Monte; it and the seven Michelangelo statues in the San Lorenzo Chapels were the high points of an an entire trip.
We found nearly every shop was also a small factory, particularly in San Croce Square, where we spent the day watching mosaics, leather, silver and ceramics craftsmen at work. This cost nothing: you are shown the working processes in the hope you’ll later buy something in the retail display room-just as in Murano.
Don’t miss the view of Florence from the top of the Cathedral of Santa Karia del Fiore. Climb to the cupola on top of tpe Duomo. It’s 436 steps up, but the view is well worth it.