Author Gravater

Paco Neumann

Paco Neumann is a journalist, photographer, proofreader, flâneur and perpetual amateur currently living in between Florence, Berlin and Tenerife. He´s been a regular contributor to fashion, art, trend and lifestyle magazines and worked for news, advertising and communication agencies

Oltrarno artisan walk — Experience the local, the authentic and the hidden Florence with Maria B.

Oltrarno artisan walk — Experience the local, the authentic and the hidden Florence with Maria B.

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Maria B. — half Italian, half Swedish — is a graphic designer with great sensitivity and passion for any form of aesthetics and beauty. “Florentine Experience Shopping” was created by Maria in 2015 to spread her love for authentic and incomparable Florentine craftsmanship. She spent months hunting handicraft workshops interacting with the artisans and designers, where she gained knowledge of what is behind a genuine artisan piece. Her private and customized «Oltrarno Artisan Walk» — among other exciting and recommendable tours she also organizes — offers a unique visit to some arresting and extraordinary working spaces. There one can observe closely artisans creating the most delightful and outstanding handmade products, for instance: leather bags and shoes, gold and silversmiths, Florentine mosaic, wood art, and much more.…

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Brands made in Florence #4: Gianfranco Lotti

Brands made in Florence #4: Gianfranco Lotti

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Manufacturing bags, belts, wallets and accessories in leather since 1968 as a real brand, Gianfranco Lotti is deeply anchored in this Florentine heritage, keeping the memory to create modernity that lasts in the future. Gianfranco Lotti has been artfully crafting bags since the age of 14 (1957) perpetuating the art of crafting leather as he learned from his masters. The keylock is the symbol featured on Gianfranco Lotti’s bags and products and is a signature of all the collections. It casts back to an ancient emblem of the Medici family in Florence. The keylock materializes the immaterial link between the ancient art of craft, the respect of the heritage and the openness to the future.…

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Palazzo Medici-Riccardi presents Picasso portrayed by Edward Quinn

Palazzo Medici-Riccardi presents Picasso portrayed by Edward Quinn

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Until March 1, the exhibition ‘Picasso. The other half of the sky. Photographs by Edward Quinn’ at Palazzo Medici-Riccardi in Florence proposes an approach to discover the Spanish artist and his relationship with the female world through the photos of one of the most notable photographers of the twentieth century: Edward Quinn. The show is the result of the unusual friendship that linked Picasso with Edward Quinn. Quinn became one of the few photographers who were allowed to photograph him at work, and he was embraced in his private life too. Consisting of eighty photos, the exhibition shows the intimate and private Picasso.…

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History of art according to Florence or the Renaissance chapter at high school

History of art according to Florence or the Renaissance chapter at high school

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History of art was, without a doubt, my favourite subject at high school. By then, Italy was for me a distant and unknown country, it seemed so far as on another planet, and I did not even know what Tuscany meant or where in the map Florence was. At the age of 17, everything seemed so phantasmagorical and unreal … How unusual, the unpredictable ways to which life sometimes leads. Especially to those who try to escape from routine. I then loved the art history classes taught by María Luisa, always conducted in the dark. During those hours, I felt invisible and safe (at that time, my face was plagued by acne). We contemplated slides showing the art treasures explained with genuine devotion by the teacher and took notes of things that I thought I would never see on site. María Luisa inoculated me with the love for art and subtly with a passion for Florentine wonders. Today, 24 years later, I do not even remember her surname.

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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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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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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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Florence Ice Village, ice skating at Fortezza da Basso

Florence Ice Village, ice skating at Fortezza da Basso

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One of the experiences indisputably linked to Christmas is ice-skating. The Florence Ice Village is not the New York Rockefeller Center, but it has its charm. I have never skated over ice, and I do not think I am going to do it on this occasion, but I love to go there and observe the eager faces of people, filled with curiosity and happiness. I love to guess who are the scared ones, the clumsy ones, the agile ones, the vanity ones, and even those who show their expertise — they take it as seriously as if they were in a world championship. All in all, this mixture is just great.…

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Winter flâneurism, wandering the streets of Florence at Christmas time

Winter flâneurism, wandering the streets of Florence at Christmas time

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The magic (or the curse) of Christmas has also reached Florence. In daylight, things change their appearance, so I have always been more attracted to night lights. At night, Florence now exhibits its Christmas wrapping, with the discreet aristocratic allure that characterizes the city so much. Seduced and abandoned, that’s how I feel. But the streets of Florence console me and heal my battered self-esteem so that I can reach the end of the year with some dignity.…

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F-LIGHT, Firenze Light Festival 2019, colourful light games in Florence

F-LIGHT, Firenze Light Festival 2019, colourful light games in Florence

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Florence has a unique ability to surprise. Until January 6, 2020, the capital of Tuscany hosts the F-light, the yearly festival of lights that animates the Florentine Christmas illuminating more than fifteen monuments and places across the city through light projections, video mapping, artistic installations or complex colourful light games. “Moon Flight” is the motto of the festival and this year pays homage to the 50th anniversary of the arrival of man on the moon. Ponte Vecchio works as a central axis of the festival. Palazzo Vecchio, Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Piazza Santa Maria Novella, Basilica di San Lorenzo, Novecento Museum, Piazza Santo Spirito, gates and towers of the city are also the scenarios of this event that also includes cultural and educative encounters.

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