16 March 2009

A Peek at One of My Favorite Piazzas

You will find a lovely carousel tucked away in the back corner of the Piazza. But, you can miss it if you don't look closely.

The carousel horses are decorated with brightly colored paint and mirror details mimicking jewels; and, feather plumes atop their heads.

If you enlarge this picture you will see the lovely painted scenes that ring the top of the carousel along with the sweetest cherubs. My new blog header is the scene painted of Florence and the Ponte Vecchio.

If you continue on through the archway you find an assortment of designer boutiques and little restaurants. Evenings in the Piazza were my favorite past time while in Florence; sipping a cup of hot chocolate, nibbling on a sweet treat and watching people. It is relaxing after a day of adventures in the countryside.
The Piazza della Repubblica became the center of Florence during the years 1865-1871 when Florence was the capital of the newly unified country of Italy. It was the site of the Forum, the main square of the Roman City of Florentia, and in medieval times it was the city's principal food market.

The Piazza is lined by some of Florence's oldest and best known caffe's:

Giubbe Rosse (1897)
Gilli (1910)
Caffe' Donnini (1893)
Concerto Paskowski (1846)

Cafe' Gilli is the most notable of the quartette. It's interior is done in Belle Epoque style. I will share pictures of Gilli's wonderful pastries and sweets in another post. Gilli's is famous for its hot chocolate that comes in five flavors: almond, coffee, orange, gianduia (which is 50% hazel nut paste and sweet chocolate) and cocoa.

The plaque above the arch which is at the rear of the Piazza says: "The ancient heart of the city brought to new life after centuries of squalor ".

29 comments:

Deck The HALLS of HOME with JOY! said...

Hi!
Love your blog! How close are you to Richmond, Virginia? I will put you on my blog! "You inspire me"!

Denise said...

What a wonderful post. I loved your photographs and explanations with each photo. An amazing vacation. Did I tell you my son is going on his honeymoon to Italy? To Rome and Sorrento in June. Is this anywhere near those places I wonder?

The Good Life in Virginia said...

hi joy
i am 166 miles from richmond. thanks for stopping by.

hi denise:)
i was in rome and know it inside and out...let me know if you need any info...more than happy to help.
thanks for stopping in.

erin

Daryl said...

Oh I love seeing Florence again ... I was there in what seems like a lifetime ago .. and only got to spend one day ... we took the train from Rome and stupid us we didnt know the museums were closed on Tuesday or is it Weds. whichever it was .. thats when we went ...

Carver said...

This was a fascinating post and I love your photographs.

magiceye said...

superb post!

Today's Blah... said...

I've never had a ride on a carousel even as a kid, I'd like to try though...very interesting.

antigoni said...

Excellent photos. I love carousel.

Michele said...

Oh wow!! What a delightful little carousel!!! Those pretty horses look so nicely adorned! I have never been on one ever before, it would be fun to go on one.
What a fun post... it was nice to drop by!
Take care!

Mountain Retreat Photos

Mojo said...

Love these shots, especially the night shot. Great lighting!

Debra said...

Loved taking a little tour with you. Seeing Florence once again. Have also been to the Cafe' Gilli~ and I would happily spend the entire day just watching people and sketching. Looking forward to your future posts. I was so hoping you could make it to Lucca! Next trip.

ShabbyInTheCity said...

I love your new blog banner :)

I can imagine the sounds as you sat and people watched over there.
Did you ride the carousel???

Lew said...

Beautiful shots of an interesting old city!

CountryDew said...

Great photos! Thanks so much for sharing your trip.

bettyl said...

Excellent find! thanks for the wonderful carousel shots!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oooooohhh! Real horse hair tails, too! How magical! I could have ridden that all day...and night, too. Such an enchanting locale in your nightime photo.

I can imagine why it is one of your favorite places to visit. Mmmm....pastries and scrumptious gourmet hot chocolates. So decadent! :)
I;m happy that you had such a wonderful visit.

I'm glad you're back, though.

~Lisa

ShabbyInTheCity said...

I've turned my blog off...please don't think I've blocked you, okay? I may return soon :)

Beth at Aunties said...

I truly enjoy coming to your blog. I took this test of where I should live and two of my third top places was Va. I always wanted to live in Ssan Diego... It wasn't even close. I do not know why we are still in UTAH ...other than my hubby's job:)
The next best thing is visitng twice a year!
One of our sons who lives in Richmond VA also spent 2 years living in Italy. Mostly in the Rome area. He adored it. I love all your pictures which tug at my heart strings... what a charming carousel!!!

Gill - That British Woman said...

what stunning photos.........

Gill in Canada

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Your new blog header is stunning!

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

earthtoholly.com said...

Had to come over and see your other Italy photos...excellent! I love the carousel horses and it looks as though you had a great time!

Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

I love your header too. And I love carousels. I grew up with them when I lived in Keansburg, New Jersey, by the "boardwalk."

I am amazed that you took a trip to Italy by yourself! Wow, I think I'm a tough chick coming from the city, but I wouldn't be that brave! Good for you!

www.GreenerPastures--ACityGirlGoesCountry.blogspot.com

Lantaw said...

I love those classic looking carousels!

MedaM said...

I like this little tour and explanations that go with beautiful photos. I especially like the night shot. Those pretty horses bring back memories to my beautiful childhood…
Beautiful post, indeed!

colleen said...

There is something magical about a carousel. I grew up in an amusement park beach town. The tore down the park but the carousel still remains. When we were kids a rumor spread that if you put you finger in one of the horses mouths a snake would come out.

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Hi Erin,
I have been meaning to stop by but there's so much to do, and so little time-as the saying goes! I remember Florence MOSTLY for the sad memory that it was CLOSED the day we went there! Literally closed! I think it must have been a Sunday, and our bus tour stopped there only to find nothing opened; there was a small newspaper/snack stand, but we couldn't go into any of the shops. We did see the Piazza, of course...although I have to admit, I don't remember the carousel. It may have been there...we were just focused on other things. I'think' I remember one of Michaelangelo's works and even something about a small jail cell where 'Paul was imprisoned for a period of time'? Does that sound familiar? Of course much of that sort of thing revolved around Rome (& we were there, too). It was in 1987 so my memory fails me! Too bad I didn't have a decent camera then. If I could go again w/my current technological wonders it'd be fantastic! I'm sure you captured so much on your digital camera and even the shots that aren't 'perfect' you probably want to hold on to!!! Happy Spring!

Daryl said...

Ah the memories .. such wonderful photos ... you seem to have had a great time

I wish I could have got the Wellies, they didnt have them in my size, I had to settle for the peep toes! ;-)

Barb said...

The carousel is wonderful - so ornate. Did it play music? The Cafe Gilli sounds pretty fab, too. Your photos and commentary are a joy.

disa said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.