Florence-born Brunelleschi, a fiery-tempered genius artist, spent his time in Rome studying ancient Roman architecture, and he returned to Florence full of confidence that he could accomplish a task that had defeated other architects, namely to complete the cathedral by erecting the vast dome. In typically Florentine fashion, the city had decided to build the biggest dome in the world without actually knowing how to achieve it.
When I entered the cathedral and climbed the 436 steps to the top, I finally knew how the problem was solved - by building a light inner shell of interlocking brick which serves as the support for the outer roof of the dome. The success of this brilliant idea had led the city to pass an ordinance forbidding the construction of any building taller than the dome out of respect for his achievement; to this day, the massive dome rises supreme above the red roofs of the city, rising almost higher than the surrounding hills.
One of the street artists blowing a kiss to me...
The Ponte Vecchio, built in 1345. It is the only bridge in Florence with houses built on it. Its workshops were used by butchers and tanners until these notorious trades were banned by ducal ordinance in 1593. Today it has been taken over by jewellers, buskers and streams of tourists shopping for trinkets. It was also the only Florentine bridge to be spared by the Germans in World War II.
Street painting (chalk drawing) in Florence
We had our dinner at Fantasia Ristorante
Waiters busy working with pieces of lamb chops
Grilled chicken served with lettuce
Our dinner is complimented by live entertainment. Not bad, huh?