Gardens of Florence #12: Serre Torrigiani

Gardens of Florence #12: Serre Torrigiani

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

It is a real privilege to visit the Torrigiani garden and greenhouse (serre) in Florence. Linked to the Serre Torrigiani greenhouse, Vieri Torrigiani Malaspina has always devotedly taken care of the garden. You can see this is his real passion when he talks about its charms to visitors. «I was born in this garden, and I have spent here and in the countryside all my entire life. I graduated as Agrarian Engineering in Florence, and in the seventies, I expanded the existing small plant nursery to exploit it as a company, besides taking care of the garden for my family and me,» comments Vieri. At the same time, I think to myself, “What a marvellous thing to have grown up here.” Torrigiani is one of the oldest aristocratic families of Florence. The first fashion show linked to the Pitti fashion events took place in this location.

Continue Reading
“I renaioli” of Florence: sailing the Arno on a traditional boat

“I renaioli” of Florence: sailing the Arno on a traditional boat

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

The association I Renaioli was founded in 1995 to keep alive the tradition of old boats used to sail the Arno River. Additionally, the goals are to recover, conserve and maintain the Arno vessels along with the promotion of navigation using traditional boats in the Arno; encourage the expansion of the pole rowing and last but not least, the protection and conservation of the fluvial ecosystem as historical and environmental heritage.…

Continue Reading
Gardens of Florence #6: giardino dell´Iris

Gardens of Florence #6: giardino dell´Iris

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

Each year Florence is ready to witness the flowering of the iris in the giardino dell´Iris. It is located in piazzale Michelangelo and was founded in 1954 with the aim of organizing an annual international contest to reward the best varieties of iris. Florence is considered the natural home of the iris because of the bond that this flower always had with the history of the city. The emblem of Florence is a red iris in a white field, and not a lily, as is mistakenly believed. The site offers panoramic views of the city thanks to a surface of approximately two and a half hectares on the hill of an olive grove. It is divided by paths and stone paths, flowerbeds and stairs. Here one can see the variants of the iris: intermediate and dwarf bearded, Japanese, Sibiric, Louisiana … In addition to guided tours in Italian and English, watercolor painting courses are also offered.
Monday through Friday from 10a.m. to 1p.m. and from 3p.m. to 7:30p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from 10a.m. to 7:30p.m. Last admission, half an hour before closing time. Free entrance…

Continue Reading
Gardens of Florence #9: giardino di Boboli, the paradigm of a 16th century Italian garden

Gardens of Florence #9: giardino di Boboli, the paradigm of a 16th century Italian garden

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

The Boboli Gardens date back to 1418 when Luca Pitti bought its land in Oltrarno intending to build the magnificent Pitti Palace, later owned by the Medici family. The Medici commissioned the landscaping to Niccolò Tribolo, the famous architect responsible for the gardens of their villas of Castello and La Petraia. However, after the premature death of Tribolo, it was Bartolomeo Ammannati who finished the job. The Boboli is the paradigm of the 16th-century Italian garden, as well as one of the most significant historical parks in Florence. Around the principal axes are placed avenues, hedges, terraces full of statues and fountains. The first operas of history were also represented in its open-air amphitheatre.
More info

Continue Reading
Gardens of Florence #14: Giardino Villa La Pietra

Gardens of Florence #14: Giardino Villa La Pietra

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

Villa La Pietra is currently the headquarters of New York University (NYU) in Italy. Its garden is by far my favourite private garden in Florence and it is one of the most renowned in Italy. Built by the Acton Family between 1908 and the beginning of the Second World War, its design is very much inspired by the real Renaissance gardens of Florence, though it also contains elements of the many gardening trends and styles popular since then.…

Continue Reading
Il Liberty fiorentino: the Florentine art nouveau

Il Liberty fiorentino: the Florentine art nouveau

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

Florence is not only synonymous with the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Its streets hide other equally valuable treasures that no one expects to find, as samples of the Liberty style, the Florentine art nouveau of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is quite a decorative style in wrought iron, with floral and animal motifs, linear and curved forms. The Liberty patterns found opposition, hostility and criticism in Florence, as it was believed that these buildings broke the architectural uniformity of the city.

Continue Reading
Florence Ice Village, ice skating at Fortezza da Basso

Florence Ice Village, ice skating at Fortezza da Basso

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

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.…

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

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

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

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.

Continue Reading
Christmas in Florence, between dreamers and depressed people

Christmas in Florence, between dreamers and depressed people

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

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 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 too.

Continue Reading
Vertical beauty: towers of Florence

Vertical beauty: towers of Florence

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

The ‘skyscrapers’ of the Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, high constructions became a form of power for the aristocracy. The feudal nobles and their vanity competed among themselves building ‘skyscrapers’ to demonstrate their authority and wealth – as if they were contemporary multinationals companies. Although the Tuscan Manhattan of the Middle Ages is undoubtedly San Gimignano, Florence is not far behind. This city of modest dimensions has currently 70 fortress-houses which could have had a defensive purpose apart from taking advantage of the housing space once the internal wars ceased.…

Continue Reading