Thursday, April 13, 2017

Visiting Pisa and Plaza of Miracles

Cricket and me in Pisa
Today I decided to set out to explore more of Pisa I walked to the river Arno and saw an interesting church in the distance and decided to walk over to it. The church was Santa Maria della Spina and it was a very small church  which was built around 1230 and enlarged in 1325 it built was near the new bridge that collapsed in the 15th century but was never rebuilt.  The church is considered one of the most outstanding Gothic facades in Europe.

Santa Maria della Spina

After that I walked along bridge in Pisa and came across the botanical gardens Orto e Museo Botanico di Pisa. I received free admission since I was a senior and that was a good thing there were very few flowers, and it was very poorly kept I was disappointed. I headed back to lean I was sunny, and I got a  ticket to  go visit the  cathedral Duomo di Pisa Assumption of the Virgin Mary located in the Piazza del Miracoli (Plaza of the Miracles) I sat and rested awhile as I waited to go inside. 

 The first stone of the Cathedral was  laid in 1093 the main architect was Buscheto who is buried inside. A fire in 1595 destroyed most of the medieval art but some of the best Renaissance artists were hired to restore. The style is Pisan Romanesque.  The outer facing is decorated in alternating black and white shades in stripes with an Arab influence. It also was built with many reused materials from Roman monuments. A restoration project was started in 2015 and will be completed in time for he 950th anniversary of the concentration Sept 18th 2018. Galileo is believed to have formulated his theory about the movement of a pendulum by watching the swinging of the incense lamp (not the present one) hanging from the ceiling in the nave.

The Pisa Baptistery of St John 

The Duomo and the Lean

top of the Lean

Tomb of San Ranieri

I had seen a cute little restaurant (Bar San Domenico) and decided to have a meal there and choose a table outside with a view of the Lean I ordered spaghetti with white cream sauce and bacon, with a glass of wine followed by coffee. I was pretty exhausted so I headed back to my hotel and had a nap and then went back out and had a 2 flavor chocolate * of course and just looked around the shopping area.

Bar San Domenico

dinner with Cricket
Chiesa di Santa Caterina d' Alessandria

top of the Dome

Madonna with Child Altar 


Mosaic of Christ in Majesty

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Lucca beautiful Tuscan city

St Michael the Archangel

A trip to Lucca was on my list and I decided to visit for a day. I hopped a train and it was a pretty short trip to Lucca, which name means illuminated glade; is located on the Serchio river and is surrounded by ancient walls that date back to 17th century and beautiful cobblestone streets. I would have liked to walk some of the ancient Wall but with my knees did not even try. It was a short walk from the train station to the walled city of Lucca. 

I was awestruck by the beautiful church San Michele in Foro. The church dating from the 12th century is a Romanesque church with its magnificent marble facade which is considered to be one of he finest examples of Pisan  Romanesque style. On the top of the church was a statue of St Michael the Archangel I went inside and walked around admiring the art work, and for some reason one of the men depicted on the ceiling reminded me of George Carlin and I named him St George. 

San Michele in Faro

Madonna and Child
St Michael in Foro by Andrea della Robbia

"george carlin angel"

Yours truly St Michael Church

St Martin Cathedral

St Martin and the beggar

San Giusto church 

Altar San Giusto church 

I next came across the Basilica of San Frediano, Frediano was an Irish bishop of Lucca early 6th century and he had a church built on the spot which was dedicated to St Vincent who was a martyr from Zaragoza Spain. Frediano was buried in the church and it was renamed SS Frediano and Vicenzio. The amazing huge mosaic of Christ with two angels is by Berlinghiero Berlingheri

The cathedral San Martino was beautiful it had Romanesque facade it was rebuilt in the 13th century. As I went inside the famous 13th century carving of St Martin and a beggar caught my eye and the tomb of of Illaria del Caretto 15th century with the beautiful dog in marble.

Basilica of San Frediano

Chiesa e Bassistero di San Diovsnnie e Santa

St Martin Cathedral

the Holy Face

entrance to the walled city of Lucca