When my husband and I honeymooned in Firenze (Florence) back in 2015, this was one of our stops. In case you don’t know who this is, it’s the statue of David by Michelangelo. We learned all about him and were told that this is usually the main attraction for tourists. Obviously we were no exception but he wasn’t what enthralled us the most.
Everywhere you look in Florence you’ll see signs of the Medici family in some form or fashion. From the buildings, bridges, artwork and even to the actual bones of the family, some buried, some in the Medici Chappelle. They were the richest, influential family of their time!
From the left you have the beautifully painted ceiling, called The Chapel of the Princes. It’s located in the Mausoleum of the Medici Chappelle. It’s shaped like an octagon because at each point there are bronze statues that are supposedly sarcophagi that contain the Grand Dukes. The entire room is made up of different colored marble and semi-precious stones. This is one of many works of architectural art that celebrate the power the Medicis had for several centuries.
Next you have the Ponte Vecchio which has an amazing history! This bridge was built in 1345, commissioned by the Medici family because they wanted easy access from Uffzi to Palazzo Pitti. As we were told, during WWII, instead of blowing up the bridge and blocking access, the Germans were so awed by the bridge that they decided not to destroy it. There was also a huge flood in 1966 that this old bridge withstood. Today you’ll find TONS of jewelry shops on the bridge. But back in the 13th century there were butchers, tanners and fishmongers on the bridge. They would literally throw their animal waste into the river. Even today that river smells and tourists are highly recommended not to go in the water because you may catch some nasty water parasite. In the 1500’s it was decreed that only goldsmiths were allowed on the bridge hence why there’s only jewelry shops now.
The last picture is one of many Medici bones, immortalized forever, in the Medici Chappelle.