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After several days of stunning spring weather – blue skies, sunshine, a crisp wind – it is raining again in the north of England. Who knew?! Things have been a little slow recently; several events have made just getting through the day’s work tasks seem like unmanageable feats. Needless to say, the blog has been terribly neglected. So, to try to gear myself back up to writing more regularly and in an attempt to remind myself that, despite the miserable grey that confronts me now, warmer weather and brighter days are ahead, I’m posting some pictures from my trip to Florence last May.


The Duomo

This was only the second time I’d visited Italy; the first time was to attend a conference in Padua in 2011. Despite the delayed flight out of Manchester, which meant we missed our flight from Brussels and had a five-hour layover, we had a wonderful couple of days in the city to celebrate D’s birthday. He’s very good at humouring my desire to visit church after church.

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Ceiling of the Duomo


Details of the Duomo ceiling


Details of the Duomo ceiling


Details of the Duomo ceiling



Some details from the Piazza della Signoria:

Rape of the Sabine Women by Giambologna (1583)

Rape of the Sabine Women by Giambologna (1583)


Copy of Michelangelo’s David with the entrance to the Palazzo Vecchio in the background


Copy of Michelangelo’s David


Michelangelo’s original statue (now in the Galleria dell’ Accademia) stood in the Piazza until 1873.

Perseus by Cellini (1554)

Perseus by Cellini (1554)










Some Renaissance graffiti on the walls of the Campanile

Some Renaissance graffiti on the walls of the Campanile


IMG_1239We loved being increasingly fascinated by the architecture, the painting, and the history of the cities we visit, and trying to find quiet places to explore; as you might be saying to yourself, this is not easy in Florence. But, on the Sunday we headed out to Fiesole, about 8km northeast of Florence. It provides some wonderful views of Florence itself, and affords a great place to eat gelato!


View of the Duomo and Campanile from Fiesole


And what birthday would be complete without some cake!943378_10200853787722475_1120455257_n