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Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza della Signorla and the Loggia dei Lanz'
It will be impossible for you at first glance to take your eyes off that massive palace and its bold and soaring tower, which is one of the most conspicuous landmarks in Florence, being almost the first thing you see in approaching the city and the last thing, except the dome of the Cathedral, when, on your departure, you watch the city fade away in the distance.
Rape of Polyxena in the Loggia dei Lanzi
Florence may be said to have a double heart, the Piazza della Signoria, which contains the Palazzo Vecchio and the Loggia dei Lanzi, being its political, and the Cathedral group its religious heart. We shall look at the latter group from the northwest.
The Duomo
The Duomo was begun in 1294 on the site occupied by the earlier church of Santa Reparata, who was one of the chief patron saints of old Florence.
Michelangelo's "David" in the Academy
No creation of Michelangelo's chisel ever won such praise from his contemporaries as did this statue, and for many years the Florentines would reckon special events as happening so long after the completion of the David.
The tomb of Michelangelo
This is the last resting place of one who, all things considered, was the greatest man of his time ; a man who lived a life of many and checkered days, and who achieved in various directions more mightily and worthily than any of his fellows.
The Wrestlers, Venus de Medici, and Knife Grinder-three masterpieces in the Tribuna
This celebrated room, the Tribuna, was built originally by the Grand Duke Ferdinand I to contain a collection of precious stones, but now it is devoted to the magnificent and unparalleled masterpieces of art which were selected from this mass of almost countless treasures by a competent committee of artists about one hundred years ago.
Venus de Medici
The two most celebrated galleries in Florence are the Uffizi and the Pitti, and these are connected by a covered passageway, so that on a rainy day one may spend the entire time in these galleries and pass from one to the other without exposing himself to the inclemency of the weather.
The Vecchio Bridge and the River Arno
This covered passage is one of the architectural curiosities of Florence. It runs over and under the roofs of other structures, one of which is that of a church.
Glimpse in the Pitti Palace Gallery
The room we are looking upon is the third from the entrance and is called the Sala di Marte, and the gem of all the art treasure it possesses is that painting to the left of the doorway, Raphael's Madonna della Sedia (or Seggiola).
A well-curb by Michelangelo, Certosa Monastery
This monastery was founded in 1341 by Niccolo Acciajoli, a citizen of Florence, who moved to Naples and amassed a large fortune by trading. Other members of his family entered the monastery with him, and several of his descendants became cardinals.
Campanile, Doge's Palace and Prison
As you gaze upon this splendid city, rising so beautifully out of the sea, you will certainly agree that we have kept the best wine until now, for the surprise of the traveler who beholds Venice for the first time.
The Lion of Venice
Passing through this stately doorway into the glories of Venice our eyes are dazzled and our enthusiasm is aroused by the sight of the famous Cathedral. The map shows our two positions and their relation to each other.
San Marco
It does not seem possible for the mind of man to conceive anything more gloriously beautiful than the sight here presented to us. The flock of pigeons near us is a striking and unique feature of the grand Piazza.
The interior of St. Mark's
The sight before us is a revelation of almost celestial glory. This vaulted structure, rising up on all sides, glows with gold and purple and is penciled in sunlight, which streams down from the overarching domes ; and the broad bands of changeful light, gleaming from precious marbles and falling upon the mosaic floor beneath our feet, make it a rival of the famous pavement of the Baths of Caracalla.
Bridge of Sighs, between a palace and a prison
This famous bridge is called by the Italians the Ponte dei Sospiri, and is a covered double passageway between the Ducal Palace on our left and the Criminal Prison on our right.
A view from the Campanile
Nothing could be finer than this group of islands in the midst of this wide expanse of water; and no better place could be found in which to call to mind the early history of Venice than our present position.
The Grand Canal
The Grand Canal is intersected in all directions by one hundred and forty-six small canals and is crossed by three large bridges, two of which are iron, the third, the famous Rialto, being of stone.
The Rialto, on the Grand Canal
This Rialto Bridge, as you may see by consulting the map, is situated half way between the Custom House and the railway station, so we are at present near the middle of the canal. Beyond the bridge the canal makes a turn to the left, and along this upper half of the celebrated thoroughfare are some of the most beautiful palaces in the city.
Palazzo Ca d' Oro
This is the most remarkable of all the renowned palaces of the fifteenth century here in Venice.
Convent of St. Mary of the Sea
This solitary church and convent, shut in from the world by the rugged walls of bastioned precipices, is not far from Majori, at the mouth of the Val Tramonti- the valley of the mountains.
Capuchin Hotel-an old convent of the 13th century
From those cloisters we have just pointed out in the hotel, there is obtained one of the most awe-inspiring views to be found anywhere in the world - a scene that cannot be described.
Amalfi, from the cloister of the Capuchin Convent
Amalfi is said to have been founded by emigrants from Melfi, and hence its name. We find mention of this place in the sixth century, when it was under the protection of the Eastern Roman Emperors.
Proud Genoa and her harbor from the west
Howells exclaimed, - Genoa is the most magnificent city I ever saw! - and certainly its prevailing renaissance architecture gives it a proud and stately appearance ; while the broad amphitheater of the mountains encircling its harbor and covered with innumerable marble palaces and churches, presents a vision of splendor to the eye. Petrarch called it the city of kings.
Genoa, from the Rosazza Gardens
Limited as we are in our points of observation, there is yet one place to which every visitor to the city directs his steps and of which a Genoese boasts more than he does of the city's glorious churches or of its innumerable and sumptuous palaces - the Campo Santo, which is situated about a mile beyond that ridge in the direction of those mountains on the right.
The Campo Santo, or Genoa's palace of the dead
A visit to Genoa is not complete without a trip to this lovely cemetery, which is situated at Staglieno. We are now about one and a half miles beyond the city limits, from which this place is easily reached by means of electric cars.
A corridor of the Campo Santo
This truly wonderful view will give you some idea of the seemingly interminable extent of these corridors, and what we see here is but a small part of the whole. Many of these monuments, as you may readily perceive, are of marvellous richness and execution, showing a wonderful power to imprison soul and emotion in cold marble.
Marble blocks from the famous quarries
This is the pleasant and far-famed little town of Carrara, nestling so peacefully amid the grandeur and sublimity of the Apuan Alps. Yet picturesque as is its situation, that is not what gives it world-wide fame.
Marble for all of Italy's master sculptures, Carrara
Does it not appear as though a marble world had been wrecked and the fragments scattered upon these hillsides? It would seem as though those six yoke of oxen should be ranged on the upper side of that heavy truck in order to hold back that immense load.
The famous Leaning Tower and venerable Cathedral
The distinctive feature of Pisa to the world at large does not lie in its historical greatness, nor in its former supremacy in the world of art, nor even in the grandeur and beauty of its cluster of marvelous buildings ; but in the fact that one of them, the marble tower at which you are looking, leans thirteen feet from the perpendicular.
Three architectural gems
In all the world there is not another group of buildings that can at all be compared with this. The possession of any one of these structures would in-sure for a city world-wide fame. And, while they would form a magnificent architectural center for some great city, here, strange to say, all three stand together almost in the open fields, and a city's life and bustle are far away.
The Last Judgment, by Orcagna
Many of the features of this ancient fresco were imitated by Fra Bartolommeo, and especially by Michelangelo in his stupendous painting of the same subject in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican at Rome, notably the posture of the judge whom you see surrounded by an almond-shaped glory with his right hand uplifted and having the Virgin Mary in the position of honor on his right hand.
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