The Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy

Florence was the cradle of renaissance art for several centuries, so it is no surprise that it hosts one of the most famous museums in the world for renaissance art, the Uffizi Gallery. The Medici family was renowned for their patronage of the arts and commissioned many great works of art from artists such as Leonardo, Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Machiavelli. After the family died out, a deal was made to give all of their art to the city of Florence and the Uffizi Gallery is home to many of those works.

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Rich and Vibrant Colors
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Botticelli’s Birth of Venus
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Roman Bust
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Classic Renaissance Style
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Wonderful Details

One of the most famous paintings in the Uffizi Gallery is the Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli. Painted sometime in the 1480’s, the painting of the goddess Venus coming to shore after her birth. Other important works in the museum include Michelangelo’s The Holy Family, Leonardo da Vinci’s Adoration of the Magi, and Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait as a Young Man. With so many wonderful works of art, you should certainly plan on several hours when visiting the Uffizi Gallery. You should also expect plenty of crowds as it is one of the most visited museums in all of Italy.

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Religious Imagery
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An Interesting Style
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One of the Many Rooms with Famous Statues
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Commissioned Portrait
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Very Dramatic

Although the paintings are certainly the focal point of the Uffizi Gallery, there are plenty of historic sculptures as well. Seemingly every inch of the museum is covered with beautiful works of art and it can be quite overwhelming. As with many other famous museums with so many different works of art to see, a single visit will never truly do it justice, but since we were only in Florence for a week, it would have to do. In addition to the Uffizi Gallery, visiting the Accademia Gallery in Florence to see Michelangelo’s David as well as many other incredible pieces should also be on your agenda.

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Detailed Statue
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Portraits of a Couple
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Medusa
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You Could Spend Hours in the Museum
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Tuscan Perspective

 

Notre-Dame Cathedral – When Churches Were Beautiful

We’re not sure when places of worship went from being the most beautiful buildings in a town or city to being mega-churches that look more like warehouses than churches, but that has become the case in a lot of cities and towns here in the US.  Obviously you don’t need to be surrounded by ornate artwork, stained glass windows, or marble columns to express your faith, but it used to be an expression of the citizens to make sure that the church was more beautiful than any of the homes in town.  Notre-Dame de Paris is one of the most well-known churches in the world and its French gothic style is absolutely stunning.  It is definitely a shining example of how glorious a church can be when the citizens come together to create something that stands the tests of time and is as wonderful today as when it was first built.

Detailed Architecture
Detailed Architecture
Artwork Inside of the Cathedral
Artwork Inside of the Cathedral
Amazing Details
Amazing Details

The intricate sculptures and gargoyles have made Notre-Dame the centerpiece of stories since it was built in the 14th century.  As gorgeous as it is to visit during the day, it is even more stunning at night when it is lit up to reveal all of the details of its architecture.  Taking one of the river tours that takes you around the cathedral is another great way to see Notre-Dame from another angle.  We wish that we would have had more than a couple of days to see Notre-Dame since there is truly so much to see.

Relief on the Wall
Relief on the Wall
Memorial in Church
Memorial in Church
Notre-Dame de Paris
Notre-Dame de Paris

Although there is definitely a lot to see when visiting Paris, we highly recommend that you take the time to really enjoy the Notre-Dame Cathedral.  It is worth more than just stopping by for a couple of quick photos of its ornate façade, there is so much more to see.  It is one of those iconic locations that everyone knows about, but if you take your time when visiting it, you will enjoy all of the little details that make up the entire experience.

Looking Up at the Sculptures
Looking Up at the Sculptures
Observing a Service - We Did Not Use a Flash
Observing a Service – We Did Not Use a Flash