I Found Galileo by Taking the Stairs

Ciao a Tutti,

Following on the heels of last week's post "Exiting Palazzo Patrizia," I wanted to take you a little further up. Remember that huge flight of stairs to the left at the end of the video? These famous stairs, Le Rampe Delle Coste, are not only an excellent form of exercise (meaning more pasta, pizza and gelato - yay!) but afford you a unique view of the Arno River and Palazzo Vecchio. 

When I reached the top I turned to take it all in. It was remarkable. Once I caught my breath, (it's approximately 25 huge stone steps) I was about to descend but was drawn to continue up the hill on Costa di San Giorgio. As I was snapping photos and admiring the view, I accidentally stumbled upon the home of Galileo!

It is very unassuming and sits in quiet reverence on this escalating road. If not for the small plaque and the photo, I would have never known that this was one of the places that Galileo called home in Firenze. He purchased it in various phases from 1629 to 1634. 

Galileo Galilei was born on February 15, 1564 and lived until January 8, 1642. He was an Italian astronomer, engineer, mathematician, physicist and philosopher, and he played a major role in the scientific revolution during the Renaissance. If you'd like to learn more about Galileo, the history of science, astronomy, medicine, chemistry and just about everything under the sun (pun intended) you are in luck! The Museo Galileo, is located on the other side of the Arno, in Palazzo Castellani, and it houses a world-renowned scientific collection. Click on the link above for additional information about the Museo Galileo, how to plan your visit, and if you're not in Firenze you can take a virtual tour. 

It is always interesting to me how we find hidden jewels when we're not necessarily looking for them. Taking a set of stairs that looked inviting, and then following my intuition to continue up the hill, turned out to be an amazing discovery. 

Wishing you exciting new discoveries, a Buon Weekend & Big Love, PatriciaG

As always, I'd love to hear from you on this or any of my previous blogs. If you feel inspired, please write me in the Comments section of the blog. And I invite you to visit my Etsy Shop where most of my photos are available for sale in Photo Note Cards and Frame-able prints. Grazie! Ciao! 

And this was my reward on the way back down. 

And this was my reward on the way back down. 

Exiting Palazzo Patrizia

Hi All/Ciao a Tutti,

I was having some fun with a short video I took while exiting my palazzo via the stairs, all 122 (!) of them, and the thought occurred to me to share it in this week's blog.

Some quick info about my place, it's called Palazzo Tempi and you may have seen it before, since the palazzo tends to be in the background of photos of the Ponte Vecchio. Also, it's directly across the Arno (in the Oltrarno) from the famed Uffizzi Gallery. My apartment sits at the top in what is actually an attic apartment, however I like to refer to it as the Penthouse at Palazzo Patrizia - PPP. (wink) 

Palazzo Tempi, ahem, Patrizia has been around since the 16th century and has been owned by some notable and influential people, including members of the famed Medici family. The splendid stone facade with its "bugnato" (stone in relief) is considered a classic example of late Medieval Florentine architecture, and is preserved as an historical monument.  

But I digress.....here's a peak into my typical departure from the palazzo, which is actually not typical at all, but an event each time I leave. Hope you enjoy! Buon Weekend & Big Love, PatriciaG

La Piazza

By definition, la piazza is basically the town square. However, there is nothing basic about it. The piazza is the life force of a town. It is its centerpiece, its rhythm....il ritmo. The beauty of the piazza is something that could be set to music, and in fact, when I’m sitting in la piazza, watching both locals and stranieri (tourists) go by, I often find the right tune on my ipod to compliment the moment. There is almost always a pleasant surprise waiting for you in la piazza. See what I stumbled upon in Piazza del Carmine, Firenze in the video below. 

But first, I decided to ask a few dear friends, both Italian & American, to share their feelings about the piazza, so that you wouldn’t have to just take my word for it. Their sentiments capture the beauty of the piazza and I am incredibly grateful to them for taking the time to write. Grazie mille! 

Here’s what they had to say: 

Vincenzo Esposito talks about one of my favorite piazzas in Firenze:

Piazza della Signoria oggi....La piazza e' il luogo di incontro, di spaccio, di divertimento, dove si puo'giocare a calcio da piccoli, dove si ascoltano i concerti da grandi. Dove i ricordi rimangono per sempre e ogni volta che le attraversiamo ritroviamo un po' di noi stessi! Buon Anno!

Piazza della Signoria....Today the square is the place to meet, shop, have fun, where you can play soccer as a child, where you can listen to great concerts as an adult. It is where memories live forever, and every time we cross the square we rediscover a little piece of ourselves! Happy New Year!

Photo credit: Enzo Esposito: Piazza della Signoria, Firenze

Photo credit: Enzo Esposito: Piazza della Signoria, Firenze

Cassandra Santoro from Travel Italian Style 

Italians are always talking about la dolce vita & la dolce farniente lifestyle but where does it all come from anyway? This was always my question when I first started to travel Italy over 10 years ago. Then suddenly when I took my first step into the local piazza the answer came to me rather quickly.

The piazza is the town’s pride, the gathering spot, the market location, the place to enjoy a passiaggata or gelato during your free time—this is the heart of any Italian city! This is the place where they gather together to celebrate the pride they have for their village and culture.

All the secrets can be found in this main square and you too can be a part of it, even just by enjoying a few moments in a local cafe where you can sit and watch it all come to life. Italians just do it best and they do it even better in the piazza. 

Photo credit: Cassandra Santoro - Festival in the Village of San Vito dei Normanni in Puglia

Photo credit: Cassandra Santoro - Festival in the Village of San Vito dei Normanni in Puglia

Nicholas Coleman from Grove and Vine

Most small Italian villages have a piazza, which is the centerpiece of the community.  Antique fairs, art shows, annual celebrations and the finest cups of espresso are enjoyed with friends basking under the warm afternoon glow.  My personal favorite is the Piazza Grande in the ancient Etruscan town of Arezzo.

Stock photo: Piazza Grande, Arezzo

Stock photo: Piazza Grande, Arezzo

Chiara Bacco from Padua, Italia

The piazza is the perfect place to enjoy a gelato or prendiamo un caffe (have a coffee). In the morning there is usually a market where you can shop for fruits and vegetables that are locally grown. 

What I love to do most in the piazza is to meet up with my friends for an aperitivo. It is the highlight of the day, where we come together to catch up, have a cocktail or a Spritz, and decide where the rest of the evening will take us. 

My favorite is Piazza dei Signori in my hometown of Padua, Italy.

Stock photo: Piazza dei Signori, Padua

Stock photo: Piazza dei Signori, Padua

As promised above, here's a slice of one of my favorite piazza moments in Firenze.

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Merry Christmas, Buon Natale from PatriciaG Loves Italy!

If you know me, you know that my two loves are New York City and Firenze. 

I wanted to share some Christmas pics from both places. I’ve got NYC covered. 

I have Firenze pics too, but they're from my trip last year. I wanted to see some sparkly decorations from this year, so I asked my friend and fellow photographer, Claudio Arcuri, to help me out. He took a twirl around the city and sent me these lovely pics. I especially love the bells! Grazie C!

New York...Firenze...wherever you are, I wish you a beautiful celebration filled with love, laughter, great food, and the glow of Christmas Magic. Big Love, PatriciaG

Firenze photo credit: Claudio Arcuri. I am a big fan of Claudio's body of work. His photographs are intense and visually stunning. I invite you to view some more here: Claudio Arcuri