• Blog,  Europe,  Italy,  Travelogue

    The Rialto Bridge

    It is the oldest bridge that spans the Grand Canal of Venice. And no trip to this city is complete without walking on the majestic ‘Ponte di Rialto’ or Rialto Bridge. A view of Venice. It has been immortalized by artists like Canaletto. And for all you Shakespeare buffs, it even finds a mention in The Merchant of Venice, when Shylock asks, “What news on the Rialto?” It is the oldest bridge that spans the Grand Canal of Venice. While the bridge we see now had been around since 1591, the original pontoon bridge came up as early as 1173. Since then, it suffered damage in a fire and collapsed…

  • Blog,  Europe,  Italy,  Travelogue

    The Bridge of Sighs

    Popular myth suggests it was the last view of Venice that convicts would see before they were led to their dungeons. The Bridge of Sighs is the only covered limestone bridge in Venice. However much one may wish for it to be true, in some weird sort of way, it isn’t. It is actually from the pen of Lord Bryon, who, perhaps high on Laudanum, let his imagination run wild while writing ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’ and decided to interpret the Italian ‘Ponte dei sospiri’ to suit his purpose. And thus the quote, “I stood in Venice on the Bridge of Sighs, a palace, and prison on each hand.” Thankfully, the…

  • Palazzo Vecchio
    Blog,  Europe,  Italy,  Travelogue

    Exploring Piazza Della Signoria

    If there is one image that best sums up Florence, it would probably be the most beautiful ‘L’ shaped square – The Piazza Della Signoria. Modern art that pales in comparison (Photo credit: Neel Mitra) Surrounded by some of the most buildings in the city, it feels like an outdoor museum, in no part thanks to its famous sculptures strategically placed throughout the square. Any wonder it’s always full of visitors, trying to outdo each other as they smile while clicking photographs for posterity.  Statue of David at Piazza della Signoria (Photo credit: Neel Mitra) It is these sculptures and buildings that have come to symbolise the city’s renaissance past…

  • Street view of Florence
    Blog,  Europe,  Italy,  Travelogue

    The myth of Perseus and Medusa

    Any visit to Italy must include the beautiful city of Florence. And once in the city, everyone naturally gravitates to the centre of town – the historic Piazza della Signoria. Brimming with artwork, this is a treasure trove for art enthusiasts. The clock tower at Palazzo Vecchio (Photo credit: Neel Mitra) Centuries ago, Florence was the centre of a renaissance sweeping through the Roman empire. Talented artists went out of their way to outdo the other with some of the paintings and sculptures that, centuries later, still leave visitors awestruck. Some of these greats, including Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Alberti, Donatello and Ghiberti, went about not just transforming the city with their…

  • L’importuno di Michelangelo
    Blog,  Europe,  Italy,  Travelogue

    Michelangelo the vandal

    Michelangelo’s genius left us some of history’s greatest paintings and sculptures scattered all over Italy. Could he have also indulged in a bit of vandalism on the side?  View of David at Piazza della Signoria (Photo credit: Neel Mitra) Travel to Italy is on the bucket list of pretty much any human with a passport. I consider myself lucky to have visited it twice. The first time was a rushed but eye-opening experience with Contiki.  The clock tower at Palazzo Vecchio (Photo credit: Neel Mitra) The second trip was a lot more researched and relaxed with ample time to explore beyond the best of Italy and Florence. Throng of tourists…