I like this photo for the reflection of the sky.
This is the mercato of San Lorenzo, and we were on our way to visit the church of San Lorenzo, the Medicean chapels and the Laurentian Library. The chapels and the Library were closed on my previous visits. As we walked through, the man with his arms akimbo posed, so we cheered and waved. He will never know he is on my blog.
Pietra dura work is one of my minor passions, and I have two small pictures and a pendant. Very modest works, they are, but I love them. This photo is of a shop window selling pietra dura. On the Oltrarno, where our hotel is, there are several shops and workshops, where I always linger. There is also a museum, Opificio delle Pietre Dure, and lots of it on display in the Pitti Palace and the Uffizi. It is incredibly detailed work, making pictures of scenery, birds, flowers, using semi-precious stones.
This is the facade of the church of Santo Spirito, designed by Brunelleschi, but not completed by him. Like San Lorenzo, the interior is serene and beautiful. A Baroque baldacchino was put in place many years later. Some think it spoils the church, but I say the church is pretty hard to spoil, and I rather like it.
A view of Florence from the Pitti Palace. I managed to get approval from the attendant to take a photo from the little balcony. In this part of the Pitti Palace visitors kept having to lean forward so as to read the name of the painter and the title of the work. This leaning kept setting off the alarms, but fortunately the attendants were quite sympathetic and understanding. We explained that we were getting on a bit and our eyesight was not what it was. They nodded understandingly.
Back in Rome, which is where I meant to resume. These two photos are of the church of St Ivo della Sapienzia, a Borromini church, notable for its spiral belfry, and (according to the guide book) for its astonishing complexity, and an ingenious combination of concave and convex surfaces. Borromini and Bernini worked together, but then fell out, and were rivals. But the two of them made Rome what it is today. Borromini was a complicated and difficult man, and in his later years suffered from feverish melancholia. This eventually led him to fall on his sword, but he did not die immediately and suffered horribly.