Blog: Loving Your Day

Top Things to do in Florence Italy

TOP THINGS TO DO IN FLORENCE By Girl in Florence

The most famous monuments besides the Duomo include the:

  • Campanile di Giotto (82-meter bell tower next to the Duomo and yes you can and should climb it)
  • Galleria dell’Accademia (where the real David is located).
  • Galleria degli Uffizi & the Vasari Corridor
  • Palazzo Pitti & the Boboli Gardens
  • Palazzo Vecchio (a visit to the tower is a must – think panoramic views of the city)
  • Ponte Vecchio
  • Brancacci Chapel, Piazza del Carmine (famous fresco by Masaccio)
  • Horne House Museum
  • Forte Belvedere (LOVE THIS ONE!)
  • Santa Maria Novella church
  • Santa Croce church
  • San Marco church (one of my favorites).

#2 The Campanile, bell tower, is in Piazza del Duomo. The first story was designed by Giotto and it is commonly called Giotto’s Campanile. Buy a ticket and climb the 414 stairs for great views of the Cathedral and its dome and the city of Florence and surrounding hillside.

#3 The Galleria degli Uffizi holds the world’s most important collection of Renaissance art it’s a good idea to buy tickets ahead to avoid long ticket lines. The Uffizi holds thousands of paintings from medieval to modern times and many antique sculptures, illuminations, and tapestries. Artists whose works you’ll see include Michelangelo, Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Perugino, and Raphael.

#4 Across from the Ponte Vecchio is the Giardino di Boboli, a huge park on a hillside in the middle of Florence behind the Pitti Palace. Here you’ll find beautiful gardens and fountains and a great view of Florence from the Forte Belvedere. Open daily at 8:15 with seasonal closing times.

#5 The Pitti Palace, Florence’s largest palazzo, was once the seat of the Medici family. The palace today is home to the Palatine Gallery, with more than 500 paintings, most from the Renaissance. Many might look familiar from a past art history course or a History Channel documentary on the Renaissance; the collection includes works by Titian, Perugino, Raphael, Correggio, and Rubens. Some of the rooms were frescoed by the famous Baroque artist Pietro da Cortona. The Palazzo Pitti also has several lesser-known collections, including museums devoted to silver, porcelain, modern art, and fashion.

#6 Florence has some of the finest shopping in Europe. In Florence you’ll find leather goods, paper goods, and jewellry as well as nice souvenirs and art productions. Florence has a number of open air markets selling food, clothing, and antiques. The most famous is around Piazza San Lorenzo where you’ll find leather goods, too. Another good place is Mercato Nuovo (Porcellino) on Via Porta Rossa. Mercato Centrale is a great place for food shopping or just looking.

Porcellino Market – think ‘wild boar’ in piazza Mercato Nuovo, Loggia del Porcellino. Open daily. Here you can get your 5 euros sarves, bags, purses, keychains and take a selfie with the most popular boar in town, don’t forget to rub his nose for good luck!
San Lorenzo Market around Piazza San Lorenzo (has recently been moved), but you can find it still off of via nazionale and the mercato centrale (plus behind). Here you will find a larger selection of tourist goods, not all made-in-italy but definitely fun to walk through. Open Daily.
The city’s flea market has now been moved to Largo Pietro Annigoni, and takes place every day but Sunday (except for the last Sunday which makes for a huge extension of the regular market). A fun place that I love to walk through and search for vintage sunglasses, old city keys, maps, record players that I cannot afford and you get my drift.
Antique Market at the Cascine park, not far from the Santa Maria Novella Train Station. This market is held on the third saturday and sunday of the month and is the mother of antique markets in Florence. You can find some real gems here.
Santo Spirito Market, Piazza Santo Spirito, every second Sunday of the month. I love this market because it’s in the oltrarno and I have often found cool stuff here to boot.
#7 Piazzale Michelangelo: This piazza boasts some of the best city views anywhere; it’s where you’ll need to go to get that perfect postcard picture of Florence. It sits atop a hill above the Oltrarno neighborhood, on the opposite side of the river from the Duomo. Built in 1869, this piazza is dedicated to Michelangelo and features replicas of some of his famous sculptures – including a large bronze David standing in the center of the square.
**We will drive you here on Day 1 of our trip** Once there in the same spot is Giardino Rose & San Miniato.
Giardino delle Rose (Rose Garden) houses a collection of roses, lemons, and other plants, as well as a Japanese garden. It contains about 400 varieties of roses for a total of about 1,200 plants.The garden was created in 1865 by Giuseppe Poggi, who also designed the piazzale, on behalf of the City of Florence in anticipation of moving the capital of Italy from Turin. It covers about one hectare of land which offers a panoramic view of the city, sandwiched between viale Poggi, via di San Salvatore and via dei Bastioni.

#8 San Miniato standing atop one of the highest points in the city of Florence is one of the finest Romanesque structures in Tuscany and one of the most scenic churches in Italy. There is an adjoining Olivetti monastery to the basilica where the monks sell herbal teas and special honey elixirs. The mosaics and frescoes inside the church are incredible.
Church complex

The Cemetery from the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte by Hans von Bartels. Adjacent to the church is the cloister, planned as early as 1426 and built from 1443 to mid-1450s. It was designed by Bernardo and Antonio Rosselino. The whole complex is surrounded by defensive walls, originally built hastily by Michelangelo during the siege and in 1553 expanded into a true fortress (fortezza) by Cosimo I de’ Medici. The walls now enclose a beautiful large cemetery, the Porte Sante, laid out in 1854.

#9 San Marco Museum 
One of my favorite churches in Florence, every-time I visit I am surprised it is so empty. This former Dominican convent is home to a plethora of important art, and architecturally is quite fascinating as well.

#10 Boboli Gardens
Looking for a bit of green during your Florence stay? At 11 acres, the Boboli Gardens make up one of the biggest public parks in central Florence. Laid out originally in the 16th century, the Boboli Gardens—which are attached to the Palazzo Pitti—are formal gardens, with a twist: They have outdoor sculptures including ancient Roman statues and, most famously, striking Mannerist works, including a grotto that was carved to look as if it was dripping with stalactites and houses copies of important Renaissance and Baroque works.

Answers to Who am I and Why am I Here

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ARE YOU WONDERING HOW THE ALCHEMY OF YOGA WORKS?

It transforms us on three levels: Physical Alchemy, Spiritual Alchemy, and Mental Alchemy. Ancient Alchemists, like their Yogi counterparts, saw all of creation as composed of Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Space. Through their meditations and explorations of these five elements, they created healing and transformative potions that unlocked many of the mysteries of the universe and therein contributed to the evolution of humankind. For us as Alchemist Yogis, our laboratory is our mat and the ingredients are our bodies, poses, breath, and thoughts. Mixing it all together changes your life. You are transformed into a Peace Leader, leading a Happiness Revolution and changing the world!

Why I Choose Saint Catherine of Siena

My heart felt deep resonance in Siena from the first visit. I felt connected to something I already knew. It is truly one of my all time favorite places in #Tuscany. Only later would I piece it together as to perhaps why I felt this.

I remember in CCD for confirmation I was asked to pick a name Saint, so I choose Saint Catherine who was born in #Siena, Italy on March 25, 1347. She was the 25th child born to her mother. Catherine herself was a twin, but her sister did not survive infancy. Her mother was 40 when she was born.

She wasn’t a nun, she instead served the poor and sick and lived in the world. She is best known for serving tirelessly to petition for #peace during a politically unstable time. She is also credited with composing over 400 letters, her Dialogue, which is her definitive work, and her prayers. These works are so influential that St. Catherine would later be declared a Doctor of the Church. She is one of the most influential saints in the Church.
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I love this feeling of exploring new places, but also of returning to places I love so much like Siena. It is a coming home.
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#explore #travel #adventure #travelchick #wanderlust #wonderlust#alchemytours #yogaretreat #italy
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See more photos in my albums www.silviamordini.com

Saraswati goddess of Learning

I’m a week back from #Bali where while there this time I had numerous teachers and seers ask me about my dedication to #Saraswati. In many conversations I was encouraged to invoke her as learning is the root of all dharma. And so I bought a #mala where I’ve only meditated to her.

And what I ask myself is “what did I learn that I can apply right now.”

The literal meaning of the name Saraswati is the one who gives the essential knowledge (Sara) of our own Self (Sva). The goddess Saraswati is also considered the Goddess of #Learning, or of education, intelligence, and the arts. As she is the consort of Brahma, who is considered the source of all knowledge, Saraswati is knowledge itself. Thus, many students or even scholars may worship her for her blessings.
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She is often depicted sitting on a #lotus, which symbolizes that she is founded in the experience of the Absolute Truth. Thus, she not only has the knowledge but also the experience of the Highest Reality. She holds in her four hands a vina instrument, a mala (prayer beads) in the right hand, and a pustaka (book) in the left, which represents the knowledge of all sciences.
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Holding the book in one hand also indicates that this knowledge alone can bring us to the Truth. The vina shows the beauty of learning the fine arts. Playing her vina, she tunes the mind and intellect with her knowledge, and thus the seeker can be in harmony with the universe. The prayer beads represent all spiritual sciences, like meditation and japa (chanting holy names), and, being held in the right hand, that it is more important than the secular knowledge contained in the book in her left hand. Her four arms represent her unrestricted power in the four directions. She also represents creativity, or the combination of power and intelligence, the basis of creativity.
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Her name literally means the one who flows, which can be applied to thoughts, words, or the flow of a river.
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She is also occasionally shown with five faces and eight hands, representing her additional powers. Other objects that she may hold include the pasha (noose), ankusha (goad), chakra (disc), padma (lotus), trishula (trident), and shankha (conch). Sometimes she is also seen riding on a swan, the carrier of her spouse, Brahma. At other times she is seen riding on a peacock or sitting with one nearby. The peacock represents the worldly beauty, which can distract the spiritual aspirant. The swan signifies the acquisition of wisdom and knowledge because of its ability to separate milk from water when eating, and thus acquire only the milk.
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Saraswati is also the shakti or power and consort of Brahma, the secondary creator of the universe. Thus, she is also considered a #motheroftheuniverse. In this way, she is also connected with fertility.

Peace Mantra

The dream that won’t let me fall back asleep in this lifetime is to #teachpeace

So today try a reciting a peace #mantra like

“Om Mani Padme Hum”

Or

Shanti shanti shanti

Peace peace peace

 

Repeat 108 times or for 10-15 minutes

According to Harvard medical school, Of the many different meditation techniques being taught today, mantra meditation is one of the most highly effective in terms of increasing happiness, well being and health. And of the highly effective meditation techniques, mantra meditation is by far the easiest to learn and practice.

You learn to meditate by meditating. The silence and stillness you experience in meditation and the increased happiness and diminished stress you experience outside meditation are so attractive and welcomed that you naturally teach yourself how to go deeper into that silence and stillness each time you meditate.

To meditate you sit comfortably and quietly with your eyes closed and effortlessly and silently inside repeat a word or a short phrase called a mantra. Your mantra can be any word, sound, prayer or short phrase you like that is in your native language.

Continue repeating your mantra in that same simple, effortless way for 10-30 minutes. That repetition may not be a clear pronunciation of your mantra but instead may be just a faint idea of it.  As you continue thinking your mantra, thoughts and distractions will come, and that’s fine; having thoughts during meditation is natural. When thoughts and distractions do come just gently return to thinking your mantra in the same simple, effortless way as thoughts come. Choose the amount of time you meditate based on what suits you.

It’s important to not strain to make the mantra come, but rather to relax into effortlessness and let the mantra come in the same simple, effortless way as thoughts come. If you strain to make the mantra come that can create stress that tires you.

Avoid looking for experiences or signs of progress or failure with your meditation because that hinders meditation. Just be confident that after some time you will start to notice the benefits of meditating during your day. You may be happier, feeling more at ease and calmer, and getting along better with others. You may start noticing these benefits soon, or it may take up to six months of meditating regularly before you start to notice these benefits. So just get in the habit of meditating regularly and then stick with it. And be patient with yourself – if you stop meditating for a day or two, just go back and start meditating again.

Lens @pranadelmar #baja #mexico #travelchick #wanderlust #wonderlust @alchemytours

Passion for Life By Silvia Mordini

Did you wake up today loving your life?

Don’t you want to wake-up filled with energy and enthusiasm?
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Are you doing things because you love to do them or because you feel like you should do them? What percentage of the time would you say you live like that? Well, if you are spending more of your time doing stuff because you feel like you have to instead of wanting to, then you’ve discovered a simple formula for misery.
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Take the first step to get clear on what “sparks JOY” by asking yourself “what are you passionate about?” What stokes enthusiasm so much so that you can feel it in your body, whether it’s a smile on your face or sitting up a little taller in your seat. This helps you define the purpose of your passion.
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Second step is write it down.
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Now you may ask, why write it if we can just think about it? Because science tells us that by writing out your goals on a piece of paper you send a red flag to your subconscious mind that these thoughts are more important than the other 59,999 ones you’ll have today! It gives the other thoughts directions and where your energy goes it grows.
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This also helps you to filter out what is unimportant so you can focus first on what’s most important. You will enjoy life more fully if you stop focusing on the minor stuff and figure out what you want to major in life. The key thing to keep in mind is that you can have fun while you’re progressing along your path. You can reclaim the joy of waking up each day excited about your life!
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So ask yourself right now: “Where are you going, what path are you on; Are you excited about the direction? If I could choose to make any adventure which one would you do next?”
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Have you always dreamed of doing yoga on the beach in Bali? Or maybe you’ve dreamed of living under the Tuscan sun in Italy or to challenge yourself climbing the beautiful red rocks of Moab or surfing in Costa Rica? Then today journal about what lights up your life with passion. Plan your life’s next big adventure and make it happen. Stop holding back from what you really want to experience!
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And from this passion for life you will be transformed or as Pantanjali says in the Yoga Sutras, “When you are inspired by some great purpose all of your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world!” Be the cause of your own future happiness! Start planning the next wonderful adventure doing what you love!
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Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia Mordini.
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More inspiration at www.silviamordini.com

Your Travel Dream

We all have a Travel Dream we’ve replayed in our sleep over and over. To be honest, we’ve sat in our offices or have been at home preparing dinner and day dreamed the same thing. The question is, Are you ready to buy a ticket and make your dream come true? Why wait even a day longer?
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Join me on my signature #Italy #yogaretreats!
June 10-17, 2017 Heart & Soul #Amalfi vacation
June 25-July 2, 2017 #Tuscany vacation
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*$300 OFF Double or $350 OFF Single with deposit by MAY 30*
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#travel #dream #discover #adventure #lovetotravel #italy #summer2017#passionpassport #femmetravel #travelchick #travelgram

September Bali Yoga Teacher Training with Alchemy of Yoga School

#AlchemyofYoga Teacher Training is wholeheartedly dedicated to the art of self-study through SELF-exploration. This training will transform your doubts and ignite your passion for life. Happiness becomes your natural alchemy. LIMIT 13 TRAINEES.
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SELF INVESTMENT September 3-24, 2017 at Kubu Bali Baik Villa, Ubud.
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Awake Dreaming I’ll Meet You There

“You know that place between sleep and awake, that place where you still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you. That’s where I’ll be waiting.”
–J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
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The blue sky and perfect fluffy white clouds are a beautiful dream in your heart. The colors are so vibrant, whether they are the golden yellow rice ready to harvest or the bright green of the new rice, you feel like it’s all a lucid dream. Maybe you’re awake and maybe you’re still asleep.
This is where you’ll find me waiting in Bali.
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Sep 3-24, 2017 #AlchemyofYoga RYT200 Teacher Training
April 1-29, 2018 RYT200 Teacher Training & 4/23 #yogaretreat
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www.silviamordini.com
Lens #bali #passionpassport #indonesia #asia #travel #humblerice
Kubu Bali Baik Villa, Ubud.

Why I Return to Italy

I return to Italy year after year to:
1. Reconnect to simplicity. Eating simple meals, & for entertainment watching the sunset & moon rise.
2. Remind myself of what’s important.
3. Relearn my priorities.  
4. Release to the earth my fear and worries.
5. Replenish my spirit by washing away any hurts that have hung on.
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Join me:
June 10-17, 2017 Heart & Soul #Amalfi yoga retreat
June 25-July 2, 2017 #Tuscany #yogaretreat 
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*$300 OFF Double or $350 OFF Single with deposit by MAY 30*
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DETAILS HERE:
https://alchemytours.com/amalfi-yoga-retreat/
OR
https://alchemytours.com/tuscany-vino-and-vinyasa-yoga-ret…/
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#travel #adventure #lovetravel #italy #italia #wanderlust #italian_trips#passionpassport