Just across the street we could see the rather exquisite building, The Loggia del Bigallo said to have been built in 1358 where abandoned children were displayed for the period of three days in which they could be claimed back by their parents. Should that not be the case they would be then sent to foster homes.
As we made our way along via Dell' Oriuolo we came across an open yard with flowered capitals typical of the Florentine Gothic arquitecture, which we later identified as being the Oblate Library, a former convent built at the entrance of the 14th century, where the secular order used to assist women.
Further along via Petraplana we unexpectedly found ourselves on a rather interesting square, Piazza dei Ciompi, named after the wool carders of Florence, where a graceful 16th century construction, the Loggia del Pesce occupied its north end. The Piazza is also said to be known as the "mercantino" (flea-market) because of the number of small stalls selling antiques, old books and other oddities.
We soon reached Piazza Cesare Beccaria with an imposing old city gate, Porta Alla Croce occupying its central part.
Having finally reached the hotel we were supposed to be lodged at we realised that for some sort of mistake our booking (which we had printed) hadn't been taken into account by the Hotel, which led the head receptionist to make quite a few phonecalls to try to have us booked somewhere else without having to pay any extra. After a few futile attempts we were finally lodged at a small cosy hotel located in the same street, Hotel Bologna, with the possibility of having breakfast in the Hotel we had been previously booked at, Hotel Jane.
Soon after having dropped our back packs we headed towards the city centre, so as to try to make the most of the time left. We took a different via and as we slowly progressed I managed to take some photos of what I considered to be interesting details, such as street signs, plaques and even exquisite buildings.
We stopped at a small bistro close to the Piazza Sant Ambrogio to have a sandwish and a cold drink. A small church bearing the name of the Piazza caught our attention. We soon realised it was a 10th century church which used to pertain to the Benedictine order and one of the oldest churches in Florence. Many of its former notable paintings and frescoes are said to be kept at the Uffizi Gallery.
We then walked around what we believe to have been the former Jewish quarter heading towards the Templo Israelitico, a noteworthy green copper covered synagogue built by Marco Treves in 1874-82, which we didn't risk visiting it as it would soon close.
(To be continued)