16 Aug 2011
If you are into Middle Ages and Renaissance art and architecture Florence, Italy has to be your number one choice.
Its entire historic center is a UNESCO Word Heritage Site. You could just walk from one plaza to the next and spend a year learning about the period without walking into a museum. The outside of the buildings has so many stories.
If you crave Madonna and Child paintings, this is the place. Even if you don’t crave them they are interesting if a guide tells you what you are looking at.
Sometimes we think of art as just two-dimensional paintings. The sculptures here will disabuse you of that notion.
Be careful about accepting everything a guide tells you as gospel. For example ours said the 6-pointed star on the Santa Croce Church (above) is not a Jewish Star of David. Wrong. Of course it is. I Googled the church and found that the façade was designed by a Jewish architect who wanted to be buried inside with other famous people such as Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli. Because he was Jewish they refused, but compromised and buried him under the porch.
A short hike later we found and visited their beautiful synagogue.