Christmas in Florence, between dreamers and depressed people

Christmas in Florence, between dreamers and depressed people

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In Florence, a city that adores art as a religion and consumerism as an art, Christmas here, as in any other part of the world, is full of dreamers and depressed people. The majority of them have unattainable and hideous expectations about Christmas. While some strive to manifest an insurmountable aversion to all the commonplaces outlined in these days, for others, there is nothing comparable to the emotion and profound joy that Christmas time brings. For better or for worse, Christmas produces a significant disruption in the spirit of almost everyone. Christmas decorates us and not the other way round. A golden ornament here and some coloured lights there and voilà: we are happy and feel terrific. We complain heavily about Christmas and the feigned happiness of all its acts without noticing that this superficiality and cult for appearance is what we do daily.

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Santa Croce Weihnachtsmarkt, the international Christmas market of Florence

Santa Croce Weihnachtsmarkt, the international Christmas market of Florence

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The biggest and most significant Florence Christmas market is German instead of Italian; maybe because the snow and the myth of Santa Klaus coming from the North, the Florentines adopted this tradition in a very organic way. But why is not there an Italian Christmas market in Florence? This market reflects mostly the North European character, with handcrafted and gastronomic products coming mostly from Germany but also from France, Poland, The Netherlands and the Czech Republic.…

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Lady Liberty’s twin statue travels from Florence to New York

Lady Liberty’s twin statue travels from Florence to New York

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Two stunning women will be confronted in the Hudson Bay of New York. One, monolithic and monumental and dominating the port of the Big Apple since 1886, is the famous symbolic statue Lady Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World, by Frédéric Bartholdi). On the other hand, and thought as a sculpture not as a monument, therefore of smaller dimensions but more significant in ‘aura,’ is her Florentine sister, Libertà della Poesia (The Freedom of Poetry). Less known by the public, but equality captivating, the Italian twin sculpture visits the city of New York on the occasion of the exhibition ‘Sisters in Liberty,’ which will be on display at the Immigration Museum located at the Ellis Island until April 26, 2020.…

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Grande Museo del Duomo in Florence, over 750 artworks covering 7 centuries of history

Grande Museo del Duomo in Florence, over 750 artworks covering 7 centuries of history

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It has taken me five years to discover the Grande Museo del Duomo in Florence. I always thought it was a minor museum, but I was utterly wrong. The way the artworks are displayed in the vast space highlighting its magnificence and the state of conservation of the pieces are truly remarkable. In 1294 the Commune of Florence ordered the construction of a new cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore to replace Santa Reparata. The ‘Fabbriceria della Cattedrale di Firenze’ (Florence Cathedral Works) was founded by the Florentine Republic in 1296 to oversee construction of the cathedral. …

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Abida Allouh’s Florence

Abida Allouh’s Florence

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Florence is an eternal dream

Florence is an eternal dream, the most beautiful city in the world. Since I remember, I have been fascinated by antiquity, history, and the Medici dynasty. So I decided to visit Florence, the city where Paco Neumann lives. He is one of my best friends. I met Paco in the mid-nineties when he lived and studied journalism and photography in Madrid. I have always been attracted to art, so I explored several museums and many Renaissance churches during my vacation in Florence. Needless to say that the entire city is a vast open-air museum.…

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The heart is a lonely hunter also in Florence

The heart is a lonely hunter also in Florence

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Florence is a city that kills through strong emotions, there is no need to be accompanied, it is enough with ourselves and our senses. As Singer — the protagonist of the novel The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers —, when I wander anonymously among the whole crowd during hours through the streets of the city, it always seems that I am the only lonely person. However, it is not adequate to attribute to lonely souls the sorrow of an unhappy life. As I see, Florence is, above all, a destination for couples or groups; few people travel alone. It is the human being’s lifeguard against his own inner isolation.…

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PanicAle, craft cocktails and beers in Florence

PanicAle, craft cocktails and beers in Florence

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Heir of Lo Sverso, at PanicAle (Via Panicale, 7/red) one can drink special cocktails and draft beers, and have tapas. PanicAle is one of the more authentic places among the outdoor premises of the San Lorenzo Market, where it is located in Florence. Its waiters were trained at the Jerry Thomas Academy in Rome, one of the most prestigious schools for bartenders, in which the old style of mixing prevails. The best of PanicAle is its unique seasonal cocktails, created after personal experiences, travels, songs … their flavours resemble the ones from the drinks created during the Ottocento.

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Chini Museum, the artistic heritage of Galileo Chini

Chini Museum, the artistic heritage of Galileo Chini

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Galileo Andrea Maria Chini (Firenze, 1873 – Firenze, 1956) was an Italian decorator, designer, painter, potter, and a prominent member of the Italian Art Nouveau movement or Stile Liberty. His theatrical labour includes sets designs for some Puccini’s operas. Thanks to his work in ceramics, he was awarded at the universal exhibitions in Brussels and St. Petersburg. At Chini Museum visitors can discover a permanent collection dedicated to the works and history of Galileo Chini and his family, as well as temporary exhibitions.…

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Pinocchio, protagonist of contemporary art at Villa Bardini in Florence

Pinocchio, protagonist of contemporary art at Villa Bardini in Florence

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Pinocchio is one of the most reimagined characters in children’s literature and a cultural icon whose story has been adapted into many other artistic forms. The exhibition ENIGMA PINOCCHIO. From Giacometti to LaChapelle is dedicated to Collodi’s Pinocchio: a wooden puppet universally recognized as a symbol of Italy and Tuscany. Pinocchio, whose fictional adventures are among the most famous and reinterpreted stories in the 20th Century is now at the centre of Villa Bardini’s latest exhibit. The show examines the tremendous influence on the art world this beloved character has had over the last one hundred years.…

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The house of Piero Bargellini, a key figure during ‘l’alluvione di Firenze 1966’

The house of Piero Bargellini, a key figure during ‘l’alluvione di Firenze 1966’

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The Arno River severely overflowed on November 4, 1966, provoking what is commonly known as ‘l’alluvione di Firenze.’ The city of Florence and part of Tuscany were inundated by the floods, causing an impact affecting the economic and cultural environment of Florence. Fortunately, as November 4 was a bank holiday, many businesses were closed, and a large part of the population was at home, thus avoiding an even bigger disaster. Nevertheless, 101 people died, 5,000 families lost their homes, and 6,000 businesses had to close. The deluge also destroyed and/or damaged countless works of art, prominent buildings and books. The damages could be repaired thanks to the efforts of Italian citizens, international committees and foreign donors. Piero Bargellini (1897-1980), writer, historian, politician and intellectual, was the mayor of Florence in that awkward moment.

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