Sunday, September 20, 2020

A Day in Florence

 I have a yearly structural inspection job that I do down in a grubby industrial area close to Florence. It takes me about an hour, and then I have the rest of the day to explore Florence.


In past years I have done the obvious stuff like the Cathedral and Baptistry, so this set is about what you can see on the western side of the city. The Covid thing, meant drastically reduced crowds this year, which made photography easier. But I had my temperature measured several times and that smelly hand gel in all the places I entered is a pain. Some of the museums are closed and you cannot wander at will in the larger sites, but must follow a strict one way route.

This was the first time out with my new Nikon Z7 for a days "city exploring". Having just one body is not ideal but less of a hinderance than I expected. The 14-30 got a lot of use, as did the long end of the 24-200 for detail shots. I also took the 16mm F fisheye to experiment with. The 28PC did not get any use. The IBIS in the Z series seems to be good down to 1/15 if you take care.

My first stop was at the peaceful mostly Baroque "Chiesa di San Salvatore in Ognissanti", with its crucifix by Giotto (1315).


The next two places I wanted to see closed at 1.30 so I hurried off to the "Cappelle Medicee". This is a rather daunting place with its tall dark marble walls. You can also feel the statement of power and wealth of this banking family in this place. It is also famous for the sculptures by Michelangelo Buonarroti.

The "Cenacolo di Sant'Apollonia" was a nice surprise. It is free to enter ( entrance fees in Florence are mostly extortionate by Italian standards), and you can see a lovely "Last Supper" by Andrea del Castagno, in complete peace and quiet as this place is not on the "must see tourist bucket lists".

Turning the corner I came across the "Mensa Sant'Apollonia" in the ex cloisters behind the Cenacolo. This is place now a canteen for University students and I had not read some of the Trip Advisor reviews, before innocently venturing into this place. 
I found a more agreeable place to eat lunch nearby in a trattoria that catered for the lecturers of the University, where I ate well for surprisingly little.

Last on the list of places to visit in the centre was Basilica di Santa Maria Novella. This place has a crucifix by Giotto (1288), with a early use of prospective and realism. The highlight of this monument for me was the sumptuous "Il Cappellone degli Spagnoli" with frescoes by Andrea di Bonaiuto (1345).

Here are some pictures.

Chiesa di San Salvatore in Ognissanti. Crucifix by Giotto.

Chiesa di San Salvatore in Ognissanti

Cappelle Medicee

Cappelle Medicee

Cappelle Medicee. Sculpture by. Michelangelo Buonarroti.

Cappelle Medicee. Sculpture by. Michelangelo Buonarroti.


Cappelle Medicee. Sculpture by. Michelangelo Buonarroti.


Cappelle Medicee. Museum

Cenacolo di Sant'Apollonia, Last Supper by Andrea del Castagno

Cenacolo di Sant'Apollonia, Last Supper by Andrea del Castagno

Cenacolo di Sant'Apollonia, Last Supper by Andrea del Castagno
Cenacolo di Sant'Apollonia, Last Supper by Andrea del Castagno


Cenacolo di Sant'Apollonia, Last Supper by Andrea del Castagno

Cenacolo di Sant'Apollonia.

Cenacolo di Sant'Apollonia

The Cenacolo seen from the Mensa Sant'Apollonia. Behind those windows is the room with the fresco I posted above!

Mensa Sant'Apollonia.

Mensa Sant'Apollonia.
Mensa Sant'Apollonia.


Mensa Sant'Apollonia.


Basilica di Santa Maria Novella



Basilica di Santa Maria Novella


Basilica di Santa Maria Novella, crucifix by Giotto.

Basilica di Santa Maria Novella.


Basilica di Santa Maria Novella.


Basilica di Santa Maria Novella, crucifix by Brunelleschi.


 Basilica di Santa Maria Novella

 Basilica di Santa Maria Novella

 Basilica di Santa Maria Novella

 Basilica di Santa Maria Novella

 Basilica di Santa Maria Novella

 Basilica di Santa Maria Novella

 Basilica di Santa Maria Novella

Teatro Romano Fiesole 

Teatro Romano Fiesole 

Teatro Romano Fiesole 

Teatro Romano Fiesole 

Piazza Michelangelo, Florence








Saturday, March 14, 2020

Scenes from a Nightmare


We started the week on Monday in a strange sort of way. We were confined to our Comune, but the shops were open and we could go for our morning coffee and pastry to get the day stated. We still had some sort of normality. The empty streets seemed quite novel.

Reggio Emilia 

Reggio Emilia 
I took a stroll around an almost deserted town on Tuesday and a few brave market stall holders had set up a much-reduced market on market day.  The Lions in the market square had got some face masks, that are impossible to find for us mortals. 

Reggio Emilia 

Reggio Emilia 
Reggio Emilia 

Reggio Emilia 


Things midweek quickly changed as the earlier restrictions on our daily life did not seem to go far enough. 

Reggio Emilia 
Reggio Emilia 
Now only food shops are open and a strange queue forms, with people standing a metre apart outside the supermarket with only five people allowed in at a time. 
Reggio Emilia 

Reggio Emilia 

Reggio Emilia 

Reggio Emilia 
We went to the greengrocer in town and afterwards we wandered around an almost deserted Reggio. 

We were not even sure if we might get fined for being there without good reason as the Police are patrolling heavily. So, my photography was quick, discrete and without much thought. 

Reggio Emilia 
Nothing artistic with these pictures taken with my iPhone and M43. Just a record of a very particular moment that we are living through here. 

The little Lumix LX100 that I pop into my pocket is perfect for this type of photography; recording a very particular time.


The only thing to do to stay safe, is to stay at home as much as you can. I am lucky in that I work from home.


We here in Italy are quite surprised to say the least that the other European nations are being so slow to take the drastic measures that we had to take, just to be able to keep the health service from going into overload.