Archive for the Florence Category

Florence, Two!

Posted in Architect/Architecture, Digital Image, Florence, Italy with tags , , on December 6, 2011 by melabeemiller

Our next adventure was a tour of the Vasari Corridor.  I’ve always wanted to visit the corridor which begins at the Palazzo Vecchio, winds through the Uffizzi Gallery, along the Ponte Vecchio and ends at the Palazzo Pitti across the Arno River.   The passageway was the idea of Grand Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici in 1564 and was motivated by the Grand Duke’s desire to move freely between his residence and the government palace without interacting with the people.  He commissioned Giorgio Vasari, the Italian painter, historian and architect, to create a design.

On the guided tour, we were told the corridor’s history and were cautioned by a Uffizi Gallery guard not to take any photos in or of the corridor.  She accompanied us every step of the way and only allowed photos taken out the windows.  Along the winding corridor, we saw an extensive collection of self-portrait paintings.

The Grand Duke appropriated private property for his corridor and built across the facade of the Church of Santa Felicita.  A corridor window looks into the church and the Duke and his family could attend mass and not be seen by the public.  Sorry, no photos through this particular window. It was fascinating to see familiar locations from a completely different vantage point.

What hidden treasures have you discovered in Florence?

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Florence, Italy!

Posted in Digital Image, Florence, Italy, Melabee M Miller, Summer, Travel with tags , , , on October 27, 2011 by melabeemiller

I’ve visited Florence numerous times and I wondered if I would tire of it and take the first train to, well….somewhere.  But no, there are always new things to do and familiar places to see again.

During my visit to Florence this summer, the first tour was to see the newly restored frescoes which depict The Legend of the True Cross on the walls and ceiling of the High Altar of the Church of Santa Croce. Scaffolding was in place while the finishing touches were made to the frescoes and this allowed visitors to tour the art. Without a special request or additional cost, an English speaking tour guide was there to translate just for us. Grazie!

We climbed the 110 scaffolding steps to the top. It was so exciting to literally be face-to-face with the life size figures in these incredible frescoes painted by Agnolo Gaddi – son of Taddeo Gaddi.  Italian restoration only allows the frescoes to be cleaned.  If paint or gold leaf is missing, it remains in that condition. Because of this, we saw some of the lines of the original drawing on the wall.  Amazing! No photos were allowed in this area, so we took out our journals and drew.

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To see even more photos of Florence, be sure to preview my book at

Italy……It was different this time

Posted in Artist/Writer, Daylight, Digital Image, Florence, Highways, Italy, Melabee, Melabee M Miller, Roads, Sharon Pitts, Summer, Sunlight, Travel, Trees with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2011 by melabeemiller

When I took a photography workshop in Italy years ago, it seemed familiar to me because I was photographing. Well, as familiar as photographing wheat at dawn in Tuscany can be.

I recently spent one week in Chianti attending a watercolor journaling workshop.  This time felt different.  I was learning new techniques and creating in new mediums. This process helped me to see my surroundings in new ways. I sat on benches and steps, leaned on walls and spent time looking, drawing and painting. I was recording it on paper right in front of me, but I couldn’t resist the urge to photograph. I’m not ready to share my drawings and paintings – yet.  In future posts, you will see where I’ve been and what I’ve seen.

The workshop was taught by Sharon Pitts , an accomplished watercolor artist who teaches at the Yard School of Art at the Montclair Art Museum in New Jersey.  It was facilitated by Il Chiostro at The Tuscan Renaissance Center in Borgo San Fedele in the heart of Chianti.  The location and countryside were stunning and my fellow workshop artists were such a pleasure to work with. I’m grateful to have had such an inspiring experience.

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Have A Sparkling Holiday!

Posted in Christmas, Colors, Duomo, Florence, Italy, Florence, Holiday, Italy, Travel, Uncategorized, Winter on December 15, 2010 by melabeemiller

Many thanks to Michele for inspiring this slide show.

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