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This is a guide to Venice, for a visit lasting two, three or more days.There are extensive descriptions and photos of the attractions and to the Lagoon Islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello.It is ideal for use on your smart phone, it contains active links to the web sites of trains and museums, so you can with a click from the guide check the latest schedule and even buy the tickets.It has also listing of many reviews for the best recommended restaurants. There are active links to the review pages, you can use them if you have an active Internet connection, but, if you don’t, you have the basic information ready: the name, address and telephone number are included in the guide together with the review.
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Florence In Two Days
Copyright Enrico Massetti 2014
Published by Enrico Massetti at Smashwords
All Rights Reserved
Florence is the cultural capital of Europe since 1400, when the Europe's towns were rural and crude, while Florence practiced the art of civilized living. Today Florence is geographically small, but culturally rich, with more artistic masterpieces per square mile than any other place on earth.
Florence is located in Northern Italy, conveniently reachable from Rome, Venice and Milan.
Map of Florence
The center of Florence is small and compact, and can very easily be covered on foot.
These are the few things you have to do before to make this visit possible:Make Accademia reservations for mid-morningof the second day, you can do it online at http://www.uffizi.com/accademia-gallery-florence.asp. The Accademia is a must-see, although it shouldn't take more than an hour of your precious time. Michaelangelo's David is worth the admission and you can take as little as 30 seconds of looking or 30 minutes of studying the sculpture. The other pieces in the museum are nice, particularly the other Michaelangelo sculptures.Make you hotel reservationsMake your train and/or air reservationUnfortunately to visit the Galleria degli Uffizi you would need to spend a lot of time waiting in line, even if you make an advance reservation you still would have to wait for hours. It has therefore not been included in this itinerary.
The old town can be appreciated in its entirety from the surrounding hills, especially from Forte Belvedere, from the Piazzale Michelangelo with the Romanesque Basilica of San Miniato al Monte, which offers one of the most beautiful views of the Arno valley.
From this point go up the monumental staircase of San Salvatore to San Miniato, with its facade of inlaid polychrome marble; this is more than decoration, it is color serving to express the architecture; the serene beauty of this façade is a foreshadowing of the Renaissance.
Frescoes by Spinello Aretino
In the interior this quiet expression of beauty in marble is continued. In the nave the Chapel of the Crucifix by Michelozzo, in the north aisle, the fine tomb by Manetti for a Portuguese Cardinal. In the Sacristy there are frescoes by Spinello Aretino, a pleasing minor master of the late 14th century.
The crypt is the oldest part of the church (XI century), is surmounted by the main altar that is supposed to contain the bones of San Miniato (although there is evidence that these had already been brought to Metz before the church was built).
We start our visit of the monuments of the old town with the most ancient building in Florence: the Baptistery.
It is of the 11th century and has the same clean and linear architectural lines as San Miniato.
Venetian mosaic on the dome
The interior is an elegant octagon with a glittering Venetian mosaic on the dome.
On either side of the altar stand the impressive Mary Magdalene and the Papal Tomb by Donatello.
The Gate of Paradise
The bronze doors are of different periods; that facing the Cathedral, which Michelangelo called The Gate of Paradise, is the masterpiece of Lorenzo Ghiberti (1378-1455).
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