Tuesday, July 1, 2008

FLORENCE - Hotel Santa Maria Novella, Uffizi, Accademia Gallery

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Section of the dome of Florence Cathedral

City of Florence: panoramic viewFlorence will be my first stop in Italy on my way to study Architecture at the University in Ferrara (see my post here). I have always wanted to visit this city. FLORENCE, capital of the region of Tuscany, has a population of around half a million inhabitants. Florence is called the capital of arts; according to statistics produced by UNESCO, 60% of the world's most important works of art are located in Italy and approximately half of these are in Florence.
This is the birthplace of Dante and Michelangelo. Wow do I have allot to see in this city. First things first. Where to stay. Well I wanted to stay at JK Place, but unfortunately it was all booked (pretty popular place in spite of the very expensive room rates ). JK Place recommended the Hotel Santa Maria Novella, which is right next door. I checked it out on line and I liked what I saw!


It is centrally located, situated two steps from Florence’s central train station, (which is good because I will be traveling by train to Ferrara to start my studies) and it is in one of the most exclusive areas of Florence in the presence of so much beauty and History. It faces the piazza of the Santa Maria Novella Cathedral and dates back to the Nineteenth Century. All the better and I have booked a room with a "view" of this.

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I love the polished chrome door plaque. You never get a second chance to make a first impression and I'm impressed.

A beautiful marble statue graces the entry foyer.

This is a view of the classically decorated dining room where a buffet breakfast is served, or to enjoy an aperitif, nightcap or a light snack later on. It has views of the Santa Maria Novella Basilica across the square.

I love the "Grisaille" wallpaper and the enormous vase of yellow roses.
"Grisaille" (noun) A style of monochromatic painting in shades of gray, used especially for the representation of relief sculpture.



Regal in Royal Purple & silk bed canopy and draperies that frame a view to the Historic Piazza and Basilica of Santa Maria Novella. I even have a flat screen TV. But don't think I will be watching it.12

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Beautifully detailed bathroom all clad in sumptuous Carrera Marble. Just what I would expect in Italy.

Florence Hotel view-from-terrace

A glance of admiration from my room towards the sumptuous church of Santa Maria Novella

This is just a partial list of what is close to my Hotel:

Santa Maria Novella Church – 50 metres
Duomo (Cathedral) – 200 metres
Congress Hall – 200 metres
Exhibition centre – 200 metres
Ponte Vecchio – 1 kilometre (0.5 miles)
Uffizi – 1 kilometre (0.5 miles)
Academy of Fine Arts – 1 kilometre (0.5 miles)
Palazzo Vecchio – 1 kilometre (0.5 miles)
Pitti Palace – 1.5 kilometres (1 mile)
Boboli Gardens – 1.5 kilometres (1 mile)


Two of my "must- do" visits are: Uffizi & Academy of Fine Arts or Accademia Gallery. Both offer private guided tours which I have booked on-line.

The Uffizi is the most famous museum in Florence and houses works by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Titian and Rubens.


Botticelli Birth of Venus, 1484

The Accademia Gallery in Florence houses Michelangelo's most famous work - the statue of David
The David Tribune

the Venus and Cupid by Jacopo Pontormo.

Boboli Gardens (Giardino di Boboli)Pitti Palace & Boboli Gardens

Together with Pitti Palace, in 1550 the Medici bought the Boboli gardens behind the building. The name of Boboli is thought to come from the prior owner.

Nicolò Pericoli, was called in to transform the area into one of the most spectacular Renaissance gardens. Pericoli worked at what he called his "green architecture" masterpiece until he died.

Interesting note: Boboli became a model for all European Royal gardens, including those in the Palace of Versailles.

Florence Skyline

Florence skyline