Signs: Fiesole, Florence, Italy

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Fiesole, Florence, Italy. September 2014.

I really hope they’re not serious.


Street Art Snaps: Florence, Italy – Part One

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Florence, Italy. August 2014.

First part of a whole truckload of photos of street art that I have unintendedly amassed over the last few months. One thing I love about Florence is how they don’t try to cover up the street art; instead they allow–even encourage–it to become part of the personality of the city.

One of the most ubiquitous sets of art I’ve seen around the city is by the artist I  only recently found out is called Enter/Exit. Simple but evocative–and I have a whole lot more photos of these in succeeding months. Is there such a thing as hoarding street art via photos?





Churches: Baptistry of St. John – Florence, Italy

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Baptistry of St. John. Florence, Italy. October 2014.

The smallest structure of the big three that occupy Piazza del Duomo (The Baptistry, The Duomo, and Giotto’s Belltower), this beautifully symmetrical and geometric building is definitely not to be overlooked. I think most people stay outside to admire the signature green-white-pink tile work as well as the famous “gates of paradise” by Lorenzo Ghiberti, but the interior of the baptistery is literally a gold mine.


This 10-euro ticket will get you access to The Baptistry of St. John, the cupola of the duomo (Santa Maria del Fiore), as well as Giotto’s Campanile. The Duomo itself is free and requires no ticket. While I think ten euro is a pretty fair price for a 24-hour-valid access to these sights, I also think it’s a lot to cover in such a short amount of time. The cupola and the belltower require serious climbing (more than 400 steps apiece), so a bit of spacing and allotted water breaks might be good ideas there. It is also possible to space it out across 2 days, if you want to only conquer 1 climb a day. Since the ticket is good for 24 hours, you can climb one at midday on day one, and before midday on day two, or whatnot. The views are more than worth it–but more on that on a different post.


Gold. Mine.

Florence Life Lessons After Four Months

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It’s the halfway point in my school year, and I can’t quite believe I’ve been here for nearly four months already. I still feel like a bit of a noob, like I haven’t gone to all the piazzas and museums and places that I’d been planning on going, or at least I thought I would have checked off a lot more places off my list than I have done at this point.


Living here really makes me realize the difference between the pace of a tourist and the pace of day-to-day. I’m used to having jam-packed itineraries and being always on-the-go, because time is so limited and you’re always trying to get the most bang for your buck, especially in a country as expensive to be in as Europe is. But when you’re living here, that go-go-go pace is not really something you can sustain daily. With all my workload from school, the mountain of scholarship requirements I have to submit every month or two, and just all the errands that I need to do regularly, like cleaning the apartment or going grocery shopping or whatnot, there really isn’t as much time or energy for side-trips as I thought I would have.


Architecture in: Prato, Italy

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Prato, Firenze, Italy. September 2014.

Went to Prato on a school field trip to the Museo del Tessuto (textile museum), snapping photos along the way. Prato is a sub-commune of Florence, and is a less dense, quieter neighbor just 20 minutes away by train.




Monumental: Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence, Italy

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Florence, Italy. October 2014.

The Loggia dei Lanzi is the open area right outside Palazzo Vecchio where several sculptures are on display, and where you can always see people just hanging out. I came here as part of a sort of field trip for school, and there were so many interesting tidbits about it. Like for example, the two lions that flank the entrance are 1400 years apart in age. The top photo is the “newer” replica, while this lion below is the original, from the first century, making it nearly two thousand years old.



Rape of the Sabine by Giambologna