A MAGICAL CITY TO VISIT AND ENJOY FOR A HOLIDAY OF A LIFE TIME

Unless your name is Gulliver and you have time to spare, visiting new and exotic  locations can waste a lot of time finding your way around.
With the average holiday taking up to two weeks, by the time you have sorted out the places to go and sights to see, it is usually time to come home, so a momentary thought about this situation has brought me a solution and new interest in travelling.
The 'Eureka' moment came on a hot and sultry afternoon in Rome when it almost hurt to walk on the hot pavements.
Struggling with the weight of the excellent Rough Guide to Italy, the worthy publication is suggested as a must for the regular traveller or student trying to see as many sights and eke out a small grant.
In my early days of travelling it was just the ticket, but as the number of summers mounted and the size of the Guide grew with my waist measurements, my taste for adventure slowed up and the need to enjoy favourite sights in a more leisurely way took precedence.
That is probably the longest introduction I have written to say simply, I have found a way to relax on my holiday.
It has always been an ambition to share my wonder of the places I visited, and telling stories is how I make my living, so I offer my 48-page A4 full colour glossy 'Travelogue' of how to enjoy the astounding beauty and ambience of Tuscany's  Florence .
Cutting and pasting the finest sights, sounds and places to see in the time warp that  still is the Renaissance capital of Italy, I have just published an essay in words and pictures titled, 'All Sides of Florence', a personal guide to extracting maximum enjoyment from your precious holiday fortnight.
The glossy pages guide the reader to the best places to visit where history and tradition can be shared with the cuisine, be it a full six course dinner or pizza shared amid the rich aroma of coffee brewing.
Having been thoroughly infused with these joys, the Travelogue guides the reader to other sights close by for another experience.
All well within the time scale before returning home with many tales to tell of a holiday enjoyed.
The first order of copies are now available from me by contacting this website: www.barrykirksmedia.com  and later from Amazon and Ebay. The cost will be initially £12 including postage.

To purchase a copy through the secure PayPal system, click on the 'Buy Now' button below for two easy options:
Either through your PayPal account by typing  your password in the box below my Email address or clicking on the second payment menu for your debit or credit card details. That is all you have to do.  
The Travelogue is not just a guide, more like a close friend who has seen and experienced the best parts and shares the joy with the reader. It cuts the corners to discovery to all that is best in this beautiful City.


Copies of  'ALL SIDES OF FLORENCE' are available from my website: www.barrykirksmedia.com/features/florence
EMAIL: [email protected]
or write to:
Barry Kirk
27 Aveley Road
Romford, RM1 4AB
tel: 01708 725979
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Payment can be made by cheque or PAYPAL by contacting the above or clicking on the button below.


Things and Places to see before you go home 

Suffice to say you will need more than a couple of days to fully appreciate Florence. A simple look from the opposite bank of the Arno from Piazzale Michelangelo unleashes the whole magnificent panorama of the city, with the Cathedral of Santa Maria Del Fiore wearing its magnificent Dome by Brunelleschi dominating the skyline.
If you need some exercise, a mere climb of 463 steps within the double lining of the Dome will give a magnificent view from the top and possibly the services of a resuscitation team for good measure so make sure you carry your E111 EU Health card. Either way, be sure to pack a strong anti deodorant.
The Cathedral and Giotto's Belltower are among the largest religious structures in the World with an intricately decorated exterior of marble from the legendary open mine of Carrara. Over the centuries this view has become the symbol of Florence.
If you think the outside is sumptuous, then wait until you get inside where the unbelievable art drips form the wall.
The Last Judgement started by Vasari in 1572 adorns the dome and guaranteed to give you neck-ache for hours.
Covering a vast area of 4600 square metres, it carries a style embodied by Michelangelo's masterpiece of the Last Supper on the wall of the Sistine Chapel in Rome.
Another dignity crumbling climb of 414 steps up the Belltower observation platform makes the dome appear within touching distance, but don't try it.
Close by and looking from the front is an octagonal Threepenny piece, the Baptistery of San Giovanni Battista dedicated to John the Baptist which has been described as a monument of incomparable beauty, and I won't argue with that.
The wall structure dates back to the 4th century and was allied to the church of Santa Reparta now sitting under the Cathedral and only came to light during the excavations of the 1966 flood. On specific days entry to the area and crypt containing the tomb of Filippo Brunelleschi can be seen, this time by descending steps.
Again admire the exterior but be prepared for a gob smacking interior. It was Michelangelo who said the eastern door was a 'gate to paradise'. Designed by Lorenzo Ghiberti, the ten panel gilded bronze cast of the Old Testament is a double door it was not advised to slam.
Florence has a wonderful square format and if you head south for the River Arno from the Duomo, you will pass most of the sights worth seeing.
One in particular is the ancient Ponte Vecchio spanning the Arno and bearing a resemblance to a primary class model made from old Kellogg's boxes.
Apart from being the only bridge the Nazis did not blow up, it is also the oldest and crammed full of Jewellery shops with a huge price tag for just opening the front door.
In order to stop this piece getting out of hand, I will stop at the magnificent and unbelievable Uffizi Gallery with its priceless treasures.
Ranking amongst the finest Galleries in the world, the Uffizi stands in the Palazzo Vecchio, with the timid exterior not even giving the merest hint to what is inside.
Commissioned by Grandduke Cosimo 1, building began in 1560 being completed by 1580.
It is mind blowing in opulence and treasures where even a slight interest in Art is swamped by the sheer magnitude and scale of the collection. Standing outside in the Palazzo is a copy of Michelangelo's David, the original now stands in the near by Academy of Fine Arts, but this one is on the must doodoo list of the pigeon population.
My personal favourite of the Uffizi is Sandro Botticelli'' The Birth of Venus, apart from being the size of a house, it is difficult to take it all in, even with many return trips. The Gallery contains the finest collection of Botticelli's works with one being a major creep when the artist included several Medici faces in the Adoration of the Magi with Cosimo the Elder and Lorenzo the Magnificent nonchalant observers. The Medici's were his sponsors if you have not already guessed. Though magnificent in his painting skills, I wonder at Botticelli's use of painting titles, The Madonna of the Pomegranate for instance.    

The city of Florence

Shopping & loving

Art at the Uffizi

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Markets and Masks

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