All information comes from the Eyewitness Guide to Florence and Tuscany, compliments of Mrs. Bing, and from Rick Steves’ Italy Guide:

Borgo degli Albizi: Random house and archway by a bus stop I was waiting at…

Via dei Possi: Interesting Roman-esque arch with a tear-drop keystone

  • Palazzo Rucellai

Palazzo Rucellai: 1446-57; Commisioned by Giovanni Rucellai who gained wealth from a rare red dye called oricello; Alberti: textbook illustration of the major Classical orders- Doric, Ionic, Corinthian; now known as Archivio Alinari, holding the archives of the photographs of the Alinari brothers who set up shop in the building 1852

  • Santa Maria Novella

Santa Maria Novella: Volutes added by Alberti in 1458-70 to hide the roofs over the side chapels what are volutes; also contains crucifixes inside by Giotto and Brunelleschi; façade has everything from Romanesque to Gothic to Renaissance to Baroque

  • Spedale degli Innocenti

  • Spedale degli Innocenti

Spedale degli Innocenti: Brunelleschi 1419-26; classical arches showing the revival of the Roman architecture; Europe’s first orphanage in 1444, now home to UNICEF, della Robbia added the terracotta roundels from the suggestions of Brunelleschi to display the orphans within the house

Random notes: It is very interesting to me that these buildings, after centuries of various events, are still standing in the shape they are in. Yes, the undergo restoration work, but still. Will our buildings receive that much care and attention from future generations as we have to these, such as the La Torre Pendente. If the Sears Tower started to sink due to rising water levels in Lake Michigan in a few hundred years, will the future care to save the building as tool to understand what we lived like? What gives a building the importance to stand for centuries on end? In regards to R. King’s balloon analogy, it seems that it is a good one for understanding the pressures put on a dome. If the balloon has a weight on the top, the sides flare out until the balloon pops. When a dome has no additional support, the stress from the weight goes outward. (Is this very different from Tuesday’s class with the chalk and compression experience?) To end this random section, I am still in awe of the Tower. It has been around on unstable ground, acting as a display of human imperfection. While it may taunt Pisans because there were unable to fix it, it just goes to show that we cannot design the perfect building, nor should we try. We can do all the work we want on the Tower right now but the fact of the matter is that it will always have the banana-curved shape due to the “corrections.” Had the Tower fallen before or had it been built on level-ground, would we still recognize it today for whatever reason?

  • San Gimignano

  • San Gimignano

San Gimignano: These are just a couple of pictures from 2 of the many Medieval towers still standing in San Gimignano which is a beautiful city for just walking around.

  • Volterra

On a random construction note: Going to the Italian ferramata was interesting, yet very simple still. We bought wood. Now we get to cut it and have fun building the frame for the 3 speed ox hoist.

  • Bob's machine:
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