Florence, the Cradle of the Renaissance

July 21, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Any visit to Europe, and Italy in particular, demands a visit to FLORENCE, or as it is known in Italy, Firenze.  Even if one is not versed in Renaissance history the City is one of the world's most beautiful.  If history, art, literature, architecture, shopping, etc., are even of remote interest then there are few cities the equal of Florence. It is associated with names like de Medici, Savaranola, Dante, Michelangelo, Rossini, Marconi, Ghiberti, Machiavelli, Donatello, Leonardo di Vinci, Botticelli, and others.  There are few cities with a roster of notables like that!  It is home to many of the world's great art galleries including the Uffizi Gallery, del Academia, the Pitti Palace and the Bargello. It is also home to great churches like the Duomo, Santa Maria Maggiore, Basilica de Santa Croce, etc.  It was once a financial center of the world, and is today a great venue for shoppers and food aficionados.  Moreover it is located in Tuscani, one of the world's great wine producing regions.  I consider my visit to Florence one of my more significant experiences.  As I wandered through the church of Santa Croce and saw the tombs of Michelangelo, Marconi, and Rossini, etal, I was both awed and humbled when I considered what western civilization owes to these men.  As I viewed Michelangelo's David and Mary Magdeline, the baptistery doors of Ghiberti, the sculptures of Donatello and other great works of art I was struck by what a privilege that was.  Heretofore I had only read about these treasures; now I was but an arm's length away.

I am posting herewith a number of images created in Florence.  As I reviewed them and re-edited them I relived my visit.  Once again the significance of this visit was driven home and perhaps memory becomes even more vivid than the actual experience.  Certainly the rendering of my images is more vivid than the first time around.  We spent three days in Florence, very little of that in our hotel I might add.  We were out and about, in the galleries, on the street, in the churches (including an early morning climb to the dome of il Duomo), sampling the food and wine, shopping, and of course taking pictures.  

This city really deserves a portfolio all of its own; in my mind it is the equal of any city in the world.  For now it will reside in my Visions of Europe portfolio.  But that portfolio is getting too big.  I will probably need to split it up at some point.  These images were created with a Nikon Coolpix 5700, an early 5mp digital entry to the advanced consumer market.  I took this camera because it was small and easy to carry.  While its specs aren't going to impress anyone today it was sophisticated at the time.  I don't use this camera anymore, and while slow compared to today's cameras impressed me with the quality of images it produced.  Even looking at them now they are pretty good.  The biggest change since 2007, however, is my editing and the vision for where I want to take these images.  My remembrances of Italy were mostly about the color and age expressed by the Italian words "colore" (color) and "vecchio" (age).  I wanted these images to incorporate colore and vecchio and believe I have succeeded on both counts.


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