Torre di San Niccolo, Florence

See that beautiful Medieval tower with the crenellation?  It’s the Torre di San Niccolo and sometimes, in the summer, it is possible to climb to its very top.  Today was one of those times!

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As I approached the Torre, walking from the center of Florence towards the east on Via San Niccolo, the tall fortification towered above the streets, against a beautiful azure sky filled with cumulus clouds.

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Here’s the tower in all its glory:

 

Walking through the tower, which was one of the major gateways in the walls that once surrounded all of Florence, I noticed the marker showing the height to which the Arno flooded in 1966.

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The Arno rose to the level of the white rectangle on the wall below.  Standing where I was when I shot this photo, I would have been 15 feet under water.

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If this were any time period prior to the mid-19th century, upon approaching Florence from the east, one would encounter this gateway.  It projects strength and some beauty, with a few sculptural details:

 

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Belos is a picture of the tower from the south side.  This is how you enter the tower today.

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Northern (exterior) façade

From Wikipedia we learn:  The tower and its gate were elaborated in the designs of Arnolfo di Cambio for circumferential walls around Florence. These walls were, in the main, destroyed in the 19th century as a project of urban renewal, Risanamiento, in part led by Giuseppe Poggi. This tower was spared, in part because of its panoramic view of the city.
There are 160 steps to the summit.

 

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And, away we go.

 

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The views from the top of the tower are spectacular.  I’ll be posting them soon.

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