Sunday, October 24, 2010

Italy On A Shoestring

This is the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence...

Some people (including two in our travel group) were energized enough to take the climb to the top of the Duomo. Since the climb is over 700 steps, up spiral staircases, through narrow passages and stairwells, I chose to pass. I found it just as beautiful from the ground.

This is the Loggia del Mercato Nuovo. It was built around the middle of the 16th century in the heart of Florence. It was initially intended for the sale of silk and luxury good and then for the famious straw hats. It's also known as Mercato del Porcellino or Mercato del Cinghiale.

These names were coined because of the bronze statue of a wild boar (Cinghiale), which is the focal point of the market. The Fontana del Porcellino (Fountain of the Piglet) boar was cast by Pietro Tacca in the 17th century after an antique original, which can be found in the Uffizi Gallery.

Legend has it that if you rub the well-polished Cinghiale's snout, it will ensure a return trip to Florence. When we were there, we met a beautiful young girl who was there with her Aunt. She told us that she rubbed the snout last time she was there, just six months before, and therefore her return trip convinced her it worked! Based on that, Ed and I rubbed away!

Pizza looked more beautiful than it does at home. We didn't eat at this joint, but there were several others that we couldn't pass by. Pizza there is goooood.

Here's another random side street in the city...

When we got near the area of the Ponte Vecchio, we saw some street performers...

And some of the shimmering gold...

Took a picture of the view from the bridge...

And on the way back to meet the group, we came across this pretty little store...

I didn't buy any gold, but I did buy a few things at the market and really the best part of walking around, for me, is the people watching. It's the best bang for your buck.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
What The ELLE???
Weird And Random
California Burning With Need
Walking Into Another World
Fall Into Winter


Gil said...

Everything looks soooo beautiful!!!

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Hmm, I rubbed that boar when I was there years ago and I haven't been back yet ... but I guess since I'm still alive there's still a chance to remedy that! LOL