What time is it, Mr Wolf? *

This sundial was situated a neck aching height above a thoroughfare in Florence. It made me wonder when it was put there, and why they chose a rather obscure site. Never mind, we’ll probably never get answers to those questions.

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For some reason, the children’s game of the title came to my mind as I looked at this photo. I wonder if they still play this unsophisticated game in any parts of the world?

* For those of you who had an underprivileged childhood, you can recreate this game at your next dinner party: chasing_games  Have fun.

 

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Il Porcellino

In the Mercato Nuovo, Florence, you’ll see hordes of people standing around this fountain made in the form of a  bronze boar, patting his snout and putting coins in his mouth. They’re hoping that the flowing water will make the coin drop through the grating at his feet, which will ensure good luck for them.

The original statue was cast in the 1630s, and is now kept in the Bardini Museum. This replica was put in place in 2008. There are oodles of copies to be seen all around the world. Maybe your home town has one, let us know.

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Life’s like that

“I was folding my bike and I broke a fingernail.”

 

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Now, that’s what I call a garden!

The Boboli Gardens in Florence, once the private domain of the Medici family, sprawl for acres behind the Pitti Palace. They’re a splendid place to wander, away from the noise and crush of the streets of the city. Set aside a few hours to do justice to the garden, wear comfortable shoes and take some water.

For those who want to find out more, here is one of many sites that describe this oasis in the city: boboli-gardens

I was interested in the many varied sculptures scattered throughout the grounds. Here are just two of them, from quite different time frames.

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On the way to work

A chilly day for gondoliers. And, their clients!

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Not your ordinary hospital

To begin with, how many hospitals present such a gorgeous façade to the public?

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Well, that’s how it’s done in Venice. The Ospedale Civile di Venezia may not be the place we would choose to visit while in Venice, but it holds some surprises in its meandering interior.

For example, I found this mosaic flooring at the top of a staircase.

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If you remember to look up, you’ll see this depiction of the Pieta.

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Administrative offices are found on this floor of the building. There are no boring battleship grey walls to be found here. Instead, the employees get to admire statues, such as these.

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When you return to the ground floor, you might encounter one of the many (fat) cats that call that area home. Aside from keeping the rodent population down, I think they might get their fair share of handouts from the staff.

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The cats can gaze at statues such as this when they’ve had their fill of mouse hunting and loafing in the sun each day.

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Chubby little cherubs (I’ve just been told that they’re really ‘putti’)

Several of the shops in the central area of Lucca have rather appealing little cherubs adorning their facades. I wondered if a smooth talking cherub salesman had gone through the city at some stage, leaving with a lighter sample case and a heavier purse.

They each have their own personality, someone put time and effort into their design and production. Those who know about such things might be able to tell us what they’re made from. Is it glazed terracotta?

My favourite is the little fellow wearing what seems to be a loin cloth that doesn’t quite do its job.

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