Florence: Michelangelo at the Uffizi

Although he considered himself first and foremost a sculptor, Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) was also an accomplished painter. Pope Julius II (1503-1513) commissioned him to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, a project Michelangelo worked on between 1508 and 1512. The great artist later returned to this chapel…

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Florence: Giotto at the Uffizi

I will not hide the fact that I consider Giotto di Bondone (ca. 1266-1337) one of the greatest painters of all time. Giotto broke with Byzantine formalism and rigidness and started painting people as people again, with natural forms, intricate details and brilliant colours. His year of birth is uncertain,…

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Florence: Santa Croce

The Santa Croce is the principal church of the Franciscans in Florence. It is one of the largest Franciscan churches in the world, perhaps even the largest. The basilica can be found on the Piazza Santa Croce, which is the location of the annual Calcio storico or historical football in…

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Florence: The Duomo

No matter how many times I have seen it, Florence’s cathedral continues to impress me, and for many reasons. The Duomo is simply huge, with a length of some 153 metres and a nave width of 38 metres (90 metres at the crossing). It can accommodate at least 20.000 people.…

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Florence: Palazzo Medici Riccardi

In April of this year, I saw the “art movie” Florence and the Uffizi Gallery at the cinema. It featured the actor Simon Merrells as Lorenzo “Il Magnifico” de’ Medici and discussed the highlights of Florentine Renaissance art. The movie dedicated quite a few minutes to the Palazzo Medici Riccardi,…

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Florence: Santa Trinita

The Vallumbrosan Order is a branch of the Benedictines that was founded in the eleventh century by Saint John Gualbert (died 1073). The first church of the Vallumbrosans in Florence was built in either 1077 or 1092 (different dates are mentioned in different sources). At that time it was outside…

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Florence: Ognissanti

The best time to visit the Ognissanti church in Florence is on a Monday, Tuesday or Saturday morning. The church is open to the public on other days of the week as well, but only on the days mentioned are visitors allowed to visit the beautiful cloister next door (Chiostro…

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