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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7 best and most distinguished libraries in Florence

7 best and most distinguished libraries in Florence

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Following the steps of German photographer Candida Höfer, who exceptionally portrayed the soul of libraries in solitude, same images in Florence reveal the splendour of the Marucelliana Library, born in the middle of the XVIII century after donation by the abbot Francesco Marucelli; the Biblioteca dell’Accademia della Crusca, placed within the Medici villa of Castello, as the largest library of linguistics and history of the Italian language; the Medicea Laurenziana Library designed by Michelangelo (holds its infamous Mannerist staircase) in the cloister of the basilica of San Lorenzo; the National Library of Florence, which also offers a free guided tour in Italian and English on Saturdays at 11:30 a.m.; the Biblioteca Riccardiana, stablished in 1600 and managed today by the Accademia della Crusca, it has also been described as «a unique example of what a patrician library in an aristocratic place (at Palazzo Medici-Riccardi) looked like;» the Biblioteca Moreniana (at Palazzo Medici-Riccardi as well), founded in the 18th century and composed of the collections of Domenico Moreni, and specialized in material on the history of Florence and Tuscany; and the modern library in the Novoli campus of the University of Florence (UniFi).…

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Tomás Saraceno presents ‘Aria’ at Palazzo Strozzi

Tomás Saraceno presents ‘Aria’ at Palazzo Strozzi

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A visionary artist whose multidisciplinary practice encompasses art, social and life sciences, Tomás Saraceno creates immersive works and participatory experiences that suggest a new way of living in our world by forging connections with such non-human phenomena as spiders, dust particles and plants, which become players in his work and metaphors of the universe. …

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Domes of Florence (not only Brunelleschi’s)

Domes of Florence (not only Brunelleschi’s)

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Filippo Brunelleschi marked a milestone in the history of architecture with the construction of the cupola that crowns the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, a prototype of Renaissance architecture — and key to the development of modern architecture — which also marks the beginning of this celebrated cultural movement in Italy, of which Florence continues to be an undeniable ambassador, in all fields of art, more than five centuries later. Moreover, the capital of Tuscany also treasures other domes worth of mention, such as the Medicean Chapels, the Basilica of San Lorenzo or the imposing synagogue of Florence, among many more of smaller size.

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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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Cappella Brancacci, the Sistine Chapel of Florence

Cappella Brancacci, the Sistine Chapel of Florence

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Beyond the streets crowded by the omnipresent tourists looking for Florentine gems from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, there are less exploited corners of great historical and artistic richness as the Brancacci Chapel, also known as the «Sistine Chapel of the first Renaissance». The paintings on the walls are among the most popular and influential frescoes at the time. They are distributed in two horizontal levels along the chapel, which is part of the Carmine church and convent, founded in Florence in the mid-thirteenth century by a group of Carmelite monks from Pisa. Located in Piazza del Carmine (Florence-Oltrarno), the Cappella Brancacci is one of the oldest monumental buildings in Florence. The frescoes illustrating the life of Saint Peter are masterpieces by Masaccio and Masolino, painted between 1425 and 1427, just in the early years of the Florentine Renaissance. Later on, Filippino Lippi was called to complete Masaccio’s chapel decoration, which had been left unfinished due to Masaccio’s death in 1428.

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Uffizi Square of Florence: the sculptures of the Great Tuscans

Uffizi Square of Florence: the sculptures of the Great Tuscans

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The particular design of the Galleria degli Uffizi shapes sort of a square, around which the lodge runs. In the 28 niches that border it, Cosimo I de’ Medici wanted to place sculptures of distinguished Florentines in the field of literature, the military and the government. However, it was not until the nineteenth century, when the Grand Duchy of Tuscany was under the rule of the Lorraines, that the publisher Vincenzo Batelli finally resumed the creation of these statues.

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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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Mimosa blosson on the International Women’s Day in Italy: la Festa della Donna

Mimosa blosson on the International Women’s Day in Italy: la Festa della Donna

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The 8th of March is the International Women’s Day or, as it’s more commonly called in Italy, la Festa della Donna, where the importance of women is celebrated by the giving and receiving of mimosa blossom.

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Uncommon Museums of Florence # 3: Stibbert Museum

Uncommon Museums of Florence # 3: Stibbert Museum

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Frederick Stibbert was born in Florence in 1838. He was an eccentric antique collector, of most weapons and armours. If he had lived today, any doctor would have diagnosed him Diogenes syndrome. In spite of this, being of good lineage, albeit not being aristocratic, Stibbert prepared some rooms of his house to keep his collection, which would be ended up transforming the house in a real museum. After his death, the collection and the site were donated to the city of Florence, as Maria de’ Medici shortly did before the dynasty became extinct.…

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