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Kids Europe
Statues of Florence
Discover Italy Newsletter


Florence is a bustling city full of art, architecture, and history. When you go to Florence with your family, consider a strategy to avoid sensory overload, for example, seek out just a certain type of art or the art of just one artist or architect or two. Or try "collecting" statues; it is a great quest for the whole family.

I was in Florence in October, my excuse for skipping a month of this newsletter. I visited favorite statues and inspected a number of vacation rentals for my readers. I made some real finds, one of which is featured below.

Sincerely, P L Byrne


Statues of Florence
Pose for the Camera
You will find beautiful sculpture all over Florence, inside and out. A suggestion for enjoying this art- filled city is to have family members pose like each statue you like and take a photo, resulting in a nice theme for your album. The Italy Discovery Journal has a little checklist of famous statues,

The David by Michelangelo is, of course, a top sight. You'll find the original in the Accademia (check times, it's hard to get in) protected from the elements, a copy in Piazza Signoria, and another copy in Piazzale Michelangelo overlooking the city.

Near the David in Piazza della Signoria, look for a beautiful, small statue of Perseus who is holding the head of Medusa (snakes for hair) whom he slew. It warned the enemies of Florence of what would happen to them. It is considered the finest work in the Piazza. What do you think?

Next to the David is the huge statue of Neptune called the white giant. When it was erected, the Florentines didn't like it very much, they called out: "Amanato (the first name of the sculptor), Amanato, look at all the marble you've wasted!"

In the Boboli Gardens, a great place for a romp, look for the amusing statue of a very fat, naked man riding a turtle! The gardens feature statuary among the flowers, shrubs, and trees.

Just outside the Church of Santa Croce is a very serious statue of the most famous poet of Italy, Dante. What do you think the sculptor was trying to convey? There are a lot of neat things to see in Santa Croce church, too. For example, the tombs for Dante (where was he really buried?), Michelangelo, Macchiavelli, and Galileo (who else is in his tomb?).

The Statue of Liberty inside the Santa Croce church is amazingly similar to the one in New York. But wait, there are even more statues of liberty in the world, here is an interesting web page about them. Not too far from Santa Croce is the Bargello museum which is filled with sculpture.

To digress, Piazza Santa Croce is a favorite of mine. Look for the high water marks from the 1966 floods. In June there are traditional soccer games (originally training for soldiers) held right in the Piazza, in medieval costume. If you are interested, I know of some vacation rental apartments that overlook this piazza. They are great year round, but a special treat during the Calcio in Costume games.

Suggestion from a reader: Print out photos of sights such as statues and buildings you will probably see and put them in a notebook with the Italy Discovery Journal. Then, those pictures form a treasure hunt for your children; especially nice for children who aren't yet reading.

  • The Renaissance Art Book - Great Intro for Kids
  • Eyewitness Renaissance (illustrations captivate children)
  • Italy Discover Journal for Free

    Limited time offer

    We will refund you the price of the Italy Discovery Journal up to $6.99 (i.e. the price of the eBook) if you will send us a photo for our website. We offered this in our last newsletter and received some wonderful photos, see them here.

    Why? We like to feature photos of customers with the Italy Discovery Journals in hand and in Italy on our website. there are a number of great photos and ideas from other parents on the Kids Europe Testimonials page.

    Isn't that a pretty fair arrangement? You are probably going to be in Italy and will take photos anyway, so slip the Italy Discovery Journal in and send it to me and we'll send you a refund!

    My son (future lawyer?) reminded me that I have to clarify the rules: Offer expires December 30th 2004. Digital photos, please, sent via email to Goofy, silly, funny photos are all great. Use your imagination. Individual or group photos of kids and families are fine. You need to be able to see that it is, indeed, the Italy Discovery Journal that someone is holding. It should also look like they are in Italy. No guarantee they will all end up on the website, but if they otherwise qualify, I will send you the refund via PayPal. You must include the photos with an emails that says "I give permission for you to use this photo on your website." One refund per family. Well, that is all I can think of, but I reserve the right to refuse submissions that aren't in the spirit of the program.

  • Email your photos
  • See More Customer Photos

    Comfortable & Affordable Apartment in Florence

    Right by the Ponte Vecchio

    I went to Florence last month to inspect new apartments for Excellent Europe, our vacation rental business. I found this comfortable and affordable apartment that sleeps four (two on the sofa bed) that couldn't be in a more convenient location. It is a block from the Ponte Vecchio, the wonderful, medieval bridge that is filled with jewelry and fine art stores.

    The building is entered through the courtyard of a famous ceramic store and because it does not face the street, it is very quiet. Furthermore, it is air conditioned, important for summertime visits. The weekly price is less than 800 Euros, far less than a hotel room for four (if you can find one) plus you have the convenience of a kitchen and space to spread out. More information. These do fill up during peak vacation times, so reserve early. Contact us for availability.

    Looking for something else? Let us help you, we love matching travelers with the perfect rental, email


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