Illustrious tombs of Florence, celebrating death on All Saints’ Day

Illustrious tombs of Florence, celebrating death on All Saints’ Day

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Leonardo da Vinci said: “Just as a well-used day produces a sweet dream, a well-used life produces a sweet death.” Death and life are two sides of the same coin. We fear death as children fear the darkness. But in fact, one should fear life more than death. What happens after death has been the great “incognitum” of humanity since its foundation. Death makes us reflect on life’s value.…

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Le Murate, Florence cultural meeting point

Le Murate, Florence cultural meeting point

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

The first and only time I was in Le Murate was in March 2015. It was a first date and I fell in love with him. The relationship prospered, although soon after it became complicated and exploded. A thousand pieces of my heart flew through his room. I picked up a few and I took them with me, in case they were needed for the future … Today I return to Le Murate to reconcile with my past in this city. Because one really starts to belong to a city when the memories of a certain ‘past’ happened on that particular place … Le Murate also has its own past. This Florence former prison has been converted into a local cultural meeting point. In addition to modern apartments, Le Murate now hosts a bookstore, an art gallery, a wine bar, and a café: Le Murate Caffè Letterario. Literati, intellectuals, and local cultural scene players meet in this bar-restaurant-café. In addition, they organize lectures, debates, art exhibitions or live music. In summer, the open-air patio leads the night, and even films are screened here.

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Brands made in Florence #3: Angela Caputi Giuggiù, unique and inimitable jewellery

Brands made in Florence #3: Angela Caputi Giuggiù, unique and inimitable jewellery

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Angela Caputi started her costume jewellery business in Florence in the 1970s taking classic Hollywood cinema as inspiration. For almost half a century and although she has achieved international recognition, Caputi has managed to stay faithful to her original craft principles, continuing to use resins made in Italy, and setting up the pieces in her Santo Spirito shop-workshop. Caputi has stores in Milan and Paris, and nowadays she is immersed in the launch of her new shop in Rome.

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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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The heart is a lonely hunter also in Florence

The heart is a lonely hunter also in Florence

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

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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Florence, in the city of David

Florence, in the city of David

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The soul of David spreads throughout Florence as a ubiquitous and sheltering presence. All the cities have their symbol: the Statue of Liberty, the musicians of Bremen, the Berlin bear, the Eiffel Tower, the cock of Barcelos, the Christ of Corcovado, the Big Ben … The flower of the lily shares with the David the leadership of popularity in the city of the Renaissance.…

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Berlin vs. Florence: comparisons game

Berlin vs. Florence: comparisons game

PHOTOS, SPANISH & ITALIAN VERSION BELOW

As I arrived in Berlin, I remember being fascinated by its wide sidewalks, streets and avenues. I sense the opposite in Florence, where a car hardly fits in its streets and maximum two people can meet on the sidewalks. In Berlin, I might just longed for distance. Now I search for proximity. Closeness. They say that Berlin is a cosmopolitan city, but in Florence I hear everyday languages that I could never identify. Florence windows are not double-glazed. Not so isolated like those in Berlin. I get up sometimes at night to check that mine are not open …The city enters my room as if I really lived in the street. And I do not care, because I know all of these little bits, together, are called life.

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‘Flight mode’ in Florence: sex dating apps, endless queues at Uffizi, panino at Antico Vinaio and some tacky souvenirs

‘Flight mode’ in Florence: sex dating apps, endless queues at Uffizi, panino at Antico Vinaio and some tacky souvenirs

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There is always someone at any time of the day pulling a suitcase in Florence. I do not know what they carry inside, but what is rarely missing is a sex dating app in their ‘digital luggage.’ Transit, data roaming, digital nomads and ‘aeroplane mode’ on. Between heaven and hell. It is the social philosopher Zygmunt Bauman‘s immediacy and the disconcerting desire of wanting to live it all. Liquid loves, gaseous encounters and sparkling lives. The profiles named ‘Visiting’ multiply in the flirting apps. Sex express and the odd souvenir, which commonly becomes a shag with a local. Fuck’n’go!

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Palazzo Guadagni, aperitif deluxe in Florence

Palazzo Guadagni, aperitif deluxe in Florence

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Rooftop views are unparalleled in Florence, proof of it is the rooftop garden bar at the Hotel Palazzo Guadagni. This ancient palace in the Oltrarno area has a privileged view from the loggia, which turns the palazzo’s terrace garden bar into a marvellous setting for having a red wine or a cocktail in Florence. It is a novel space neither overly exploited nor well known in Florence yet, thus you can take an aperitif as a local and without the need of a previous reservation. The views, the atmosphere and the service are simply unique and it is the perfect spot to amaze dates and visitors.…

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The gates of Florence

The gates of Florence

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

The gates of Florence were part of the city´s old defensive border. Sadly, the wall by the northern side of the Arno River was demolished in the 19th century so to pave the way for the main ring road. However, part of the wall located in Oltrarno, at the south side of the Arno, and other gates remain today: Porta San Gallo, Porta San Niccolò, Porta alla Croce, Porta San Frediano, Porta San Giorgio, Porta San Miniato and Porta al Prato. A stroll on a sunny afternoon from Porta San Giorgio to Porta San Miniato — with the ancient wall on one side and the terrific landscape of the Tuscan countryside on the other — is a must; feels like natural Prozac for the senses. …

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