Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
A 16th-century man from Florence, Bernardo Buontalenti, an architect and painter with a passion for cooking, is believed to have invented ice cream, which was then exported all over Europe with the famous “crema fiorentina” and “gelato Buontalenti”. So it is no wonder that Florence hosted the 1st Anuual Firenze Gelato Festival! The festival was complete with a history of gelato exhibit in the Piazza Santissima Annunziata, activities, demonstrations and, of course, ample opportunity to sample gelato! Some of my favorites were the mela verde (green apple) from the Freddie Follie shop and the caffe krunk (coffee crunch) from I Gelati Del Bondi, whose owner has been making gelato in his shop for 30 years.
1. Aam and Eve are Expelled from Eden
2. Cain Murders his Brother, Abel
3. The Drunkenness of Noah and his Sacrifice
4. Abraham and the Sacrifice of Isaac
5. Esau and Jacob
6. Joseph Sold into Slavery
7. Moses Received the Ten Commandments
8. The Fall of Jericho
9. The Battle with the Philistines
10. Solomon and the Queen of Sheba
The fortress-like Palazzo Vecchio rises up in the Piazza della Signoria. The palazzo originally served as the city council, later became the Medici family home, and is today still used as the town hall. The piazza's statues (some are copies) mark the city's major historical events. The Rape of the Sabine Women by Giambologna were carved from a single block of flawed marble. The Fontana di Nettuno is the Roman god surrounded by water nymphs and commemorates Tuscan naval victories.
The Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) is aptly named as it is not only Florence's oldest wholly-stone bridge, but also its' most famous. Once occupied by butchers, the tenants are now jewelers and art dealers. Padlocks are locked all along the Ponte Vecchio. It is popularly connected to idea of love and lovers: by locking the padlock and throwing the key into the river, the lovers became eternally bonded. But be careful! There is a 50€ penalty for those caught locking something to the fence.
After all the climbing on the hillside, hit up the Firenze Gelato Festival for another round of tasting!
To view all my pictures of Florence, visit http://public.fotki.com/Davis2001r6/italy-2011/florence-italy/
Monday, May 24, 2010
An ancient Roman legend explains, rather romantically, how the poppy adopted the name 'Corn' Poppy. According to myth, the poppy was created by the Roman God of sleep, Somnus, in a period when Ceres, the Roman Goddess of grain, was having trouble sleeping after the loss of her daughter, Proserpina; therefore she clearly lacked the energy to make the corn grow. Somnus, realizing the gravity of the situation, allegedly quickly brewed a concoction from the poppy and offered it to Ceres and, so legend has it... "Ceres was soon sleeping like a baby again!" She soon felt rested and relaxed in no time! Ceres suddenly found the energy and turned her attention once again to the corn fields which miraculously began to grow well. The poppy's appearance along field margins has stood as a strong symbol to the Italian ever since and its presence ensures abundant harvests in the fields.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Citta Alta is surrounded by 17th century cyclopic defensive walls, fortified by the Venetian Republic. Piazza Vecchia is the heart and jewel of Citta Alta and contains the city's most interesting architecture. The 12th century Torre del Comune, which still chimes 100 times nightly at 10pm in memory of the past age, when the town gates were closed at night for security reasons, offers stunning views over the city and beyond with a climb up its stairs. Palazzo Nuovo, also known as the Biblioteca Angelo Mai, was designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi in the early 17th century but was not completed until 1928. Palazzo della Ragione has the lion of St. Mark on its facade, testifying to the long period of Venetian dominance. It also connects Piazza Vecchia with the Piazza del Duomo by its 12th century portico.
To view all my pictures of Bergamo, visit http://public.fotki.com/Davis2001r6/italy-2011/bergamo/