ITALY- My love letter to Florence

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ENG: Although it passed few years now from my visit to this magical city, the pictures, smells and sounds of Firenze are still in my head!

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Looking trough the windows of the bus, I enjoyed the scenery full of vineyards, peaceful hill and gorgeous villas of Tuscany, until the moment we stopped! In the moment, I step out of bus and saw the most magical picture in front of me. From the large viewpoint, spreads the magnificent view. Numerous tourists  from all world and the replica of the Michelangelo’s David for centuries enjoy this view.

In Arno river valley, 80 kilometers from Tyrrhenian sea, is located one of the most beautiful European cities, the capital of Tuscany and the heart of Italy. The name of the city  ( Florentia) was given by Julius Caesar.

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The enter of the old historical part of the city is under protection of UNESCO. Walking into this part of Florence felt like entering a museum. On the Piazza del Signoria, around the Neptune’s fountain, there are numerous statues and pieces of art that together make the Loggia dei Lanzi, adjoining the world famous Uffizi  Gallery.  In Uffizi Gallery, you can find some of the best works of art by the artists like Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Francisco Goya, Diego Velazquez, Rembrandt, El Greco…

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The main building in the square is Palazzo Vecchio. Once a home to Florentine rules, today is a city hall. During the history, this building had changed its name many times – Palazzo del Popolo ( People’s Palace), Palazzo dei Priori ( Prior’s Palace), Palazzo Ducale ( Duke’s Palace). Today’s name, Palazzo Vecchio was given after the Medici family moved to their new palace , Palazzo Pitti, by the river Arno.

Between the old walls of the palaces and the museums, modern cafes and stores, found their place here. The modern touch doesn’t  spoil the impression you have when you first enter this city. This mixture of old and new is just an evidence that the history and tradition can live together with modern lifestyle.

While I was walking around the city, listening to beautiful and poetic  Italian language, I haven’t notice  that I’m in front of Florentine cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore or simply, Duomo. The name “ Duomo” cames from latin expression “ Duomos Dei” which means “ the house of God”. Duomo is fifth largest cathedral in Europe, with length  of 153 meters. The construction began in 1296, but considering that building of the dome was so complex and hard to build, the cathedral was finally finished 173 years later, in 1436.

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The bridge you’ve seen on every postcard from Florence and the most photographed place in the city is definitely, Ponte Vecchio.  “The old bridge” was build in 1345, on the narrowest  point of Arno river. If you’ve ever been on this bridge, you had the opportunity to visit numerous shops here. It is considered that these shops were here since the bridge was constructed. The reason why so many shops are located  here is that they were on the river, on “no man’s land”, so the owners didn’t have to pay the taxes. Today, here you can find shops owned by jewelers, art dealers and souvenir sellers.

There is the legend that the economical expression “bankruptcy” was born here. The legend says that, when the owner of the shop couldn’t pay his debts, the table where he was selling his goods- “ banco” was destroyed, broken ( “rotto”) by the soldiers. This act was named “bancorotto” ( the broken table). This way, the owner would lose his working table, so he couldn’t make or sell anything and earn any money.

Remember the movie “ Under the Tuscan sun“ ? Since I first saw this movie, I started dreaming about this province and Florence. I imagined it sunny, warm, friendly, peaceful with amazing tastes and aromas. “ I eat a hot grape from the market, and the violet sweetness breaks open in my mouth. It even smells purple.“ That Diane Lane’s famous line from the movie was on my mind when I was driving through Tuscany. It really smelled purple. When I visited this glorious city, I realized I’m living my dream and that Tuscany is all I was dreaming about.

TRAVEL TIP: As souvenir from this city, take a bottle of finest Tuscan wine, Chianti. You’ll have some great moments drinking this amazing wine with your friends and family while you’re telling them your  impressions of Florence.

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SRB: Iako je prošlo nekoliko godina od kako sam šetala ulicama ovog čarobnog grada i dalje su u mojoj glavi slike, zvuci i mirisi  ” italijanske Atine”.

Kroz prozor autobusa uživala sam u vinogradima, brežuljcima i vilama Toskane, sve dok jednog trenutka nismo zastali na trenutak. Čim sam izašla iz autobusa bilo mi je sve jasno. Sa velikog vidikovca, iznad grada pružao se veličanstven pogled u kome pored mnogobrojnih turista svakodnevno uživa jedna u nizu replika čuvenog Mikelanđenovog Davida.

Na obali reke Arno, na oko 80 km od Tirenskog mora, smešten je jedan od najlepših evropskih gradova, prestonica italjanske pokrajine Toskane. Ime gradu ( Florentia) dao je rimski imperator Julije Cezar.

Ulazak u stari deo grada, koji je pod zaštitom UNESCO-a, činio se kao ulazak u muzej. Na trgu Pjaca del Sinjorija ( ital. Piazza del Signoria) oko Neptunove fontane nizala su se sve sama umetnička dela. Još jedna replika Davida bila je samo jedna u nizu brojnih statua koje čine Lođu dei Lanci ( ital. Loggia dei Lanzi) na koju se nadovezuje palata Uffici. U galeriji Uffici možete videti neka od najvažnijih umetničkih dela sveta i radove umetnika kao što su Botičeli, da Vinči, Rafaelo, Mikelanđelo, Karavađo, Francisko Goja, Velaskez, Rembrant, El Greko…

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Glavna zgrada na trgu je Palazzo Vecchio ili stara palata. NEkada je bila dom Florentinskih vladara a danas je to gradska većnica. Tokom istorije, ova građevina menjala je svoja imena nekoliko puta- Palazza del Popolo ( Narodna palata), Palazzo dei Priori ( Igumanova palata), Palazzo Ducale ( palata vojvodstva). Današnje ime nosi od kada se porodica Mediči preselila u svoju novu palatu, Palazzo Pitti, na obali rele Arno.

Iako su se između zidina starih i znamenitih građevina ovog grada uvukle radnje poznatih modnih brendova i brojni restorani i kafići  to nimalo ne kvari utisak koji stičete pri prvom ulasku u grad. Šta više, one su samo dokaz kako se savremeno stanovništvo stopilo sa ambijentom i svoje potrebe prilagodilo gradu tako da ga ni na koji način ne ugrožava i ne  izaziva  njegovo uništenje.

Dok sam šetala gradom, slušajući predivan i poetičan italijanski jezik, nisam primetila da se nalazim ispred Florentinske katedrale, Santa Maria del Fiore, ili jednstavno Duomo. Ime Duomo, predstavlja latinski izraz “Duomos Dei” što znači ” Božja kuća”. Duomo je najveća katedrala u Evropi, duga 153 metra. Izgradnja ove katedrale započela je 1296., ali imajući u vidu da je izgradnja same kupole bila toliko komplikovana, katedrala je završena tek 1436. godine, nakon 173 godine gradnje.

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Most koji viđate na razglednicama iz Firence i najslikanije mesto u gradu je Ponte Vecchio. “Stari most” je izgrađen 1345. godine na najužem delu reke Arno. Ukoliko ste nekada bili na ovom mostu, mogli ste da posetite neke od brojnih radnji na samom mostu. Smatra se da ove radnje postoje na mostu od samog nastanka mosta. Razlog zašto ima toliko ranji na mostu je veoma jednostavan. Radnje su izgrađene na ničijoj zemlji, pa tako vlasnici nisu morali da plaćaju porez državi. Današnje radnje na mostu su uglavnom zlatare i antikvarnice.

Postoji legenda da je reč i ekonomski izraz “bankrot” nastao baš na ovom mostu. Legenda kaže da kada bi vlasnici radnji prestali da plaćaju svoje obaveze i dugove , sto na kome su radili i stvarali svoje proizvode bio bi polomljen ( “banco rotto”) od strane vojnika. Ovaj čin nazvan je “bancorotto”. Ovim bi vlasnik izgubio svoj radni sto i više nije mogao da proizvodi ili prodaje svoje proizvode.

Sećate li se filma ” Pod suncem Toskane”?  Kada sam prvi put odgledala ovaj film, počela sam da sanjam o ovoj italijanskoj pokrajiini i Firenci. Zamišljala sam je sunčanom, toplom, prijateljskom, mirnom oblašću, predivnih mirisa i ukusa. ”  I eat a hot grape from the market, and the violet sweetness breaks open in my mouth. It even smells purple.“ Ova čuvena rečenica koju je Dajan Lejn izgovorila u filmu bila je mi je neprestano u glavi dok sam se vozila Toskanom. Zaista je mirisalo ljubičasto! Kada sam posetila ovaj grad shvatila sam da je on sve o čemu  sam sanjala. Shvatila sam da živim svoj san.

Za sam kraj imam za vas jedan savet: Ne zaboravite da kupile flašu najboljeg toskanskog vina, Kjantija i uz čašu istog sa svojim prijateljima podelite sve utiske koje nosite iz Firence.

Boun viaggio cari amici! 

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