The tolling of the bells: the heartbeat of Florence

The tolling of the bells: the heartbeat of Florence

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

Not everything in Florence is a matter of renaissance «facade». The city could be experienced by sight, but also by taste, its smells, trough touching as well as through hearing. I hate traffic noise, but I love the rumour of the crowd and the Florentine bells. In my different stays, it has been impossible for me to avoid the ones of Santa Croce, of the Duomo, neither of San Lorenzo´s. The bells produce an energetic and penetrating sound but always embody some relaxing and peaceful vibe, spiritual purposes aside. I like to think that the sound of the bells equals the heartbeat of the city. One that has lived for so many centuries but remains alive, flourishing and young at heart. Indeed, I feel offended when a visitor complains about this particular sound. That certainly unveils my true love for this city.

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María Muñoz´s Florence

María Muñoz´s Florence

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

Trapped time in Florence

I have returned to Florence after almost thirty years. Although I had no corporeal memories of my presence in the different places, I did have visual memories, probably because Florence is one of the most photographed cities on the planet, and is part of the collective memory of many, at least in the West. My studies in art history and the monographs I did about Leonardo, Florentine himself, and Michelangelo, whose artistic life began in the Florence of the Medici, might have help to keep that memory. Apart from the spatial and visual experience, the latter of unquestionable beauty, which, according to Stendhal, even hurts; there is another characteristic that in my opinion, is explicitly Florentine. And I do not mean the public sculptures, nor the symmetrical facades of the churches and palaces, nor the marbles of different tonalities, neither the perspectives of their perfectly cobbled streets.

I’m referring to the ‘trapped time’.

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Cloisters of Florence: the great scape

Cloisters of Florence: the great scape

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

Florence does not stand as a vulgar Renaissance theme park, but rather as an infinite source of beauty and art, an open-air museum in which emotions grow by every minute. As I walk through the cloisters of Santa Maria Novella, San Lorenzo, San Marcos, Santa Croce or Santo Spirito, peace and solitude seem very tangible to me. However, what most hypnotizes me is rather more radical. In these religious courtyards, with their gallery portrayed on all four sides, it is easy to feel as if you had left this world, not minding at all how to return, while you are busy imagining your next sins and who will be part of them.…

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Museo degli Innocenti: one of the earliest examples of Renaissance architecture

Museo degli Innocenti: one of the earliest examples of Renaissance architecture

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The Ospedale degli Innocenti was a children’s orphanage designed by Filippo Brunelleschi in 1419. Following a long period of renewal, the new Museum degli Innocenti has finally opened to the public in June 2016. It verses on the theme of welcoming and caring for children, telling the visitor about the essence of the institution during six centuries, through historic documents as well as its artistic heritage. The lower level narrates the history and evolution of the Institute of the Innocents through the biographies and personal memories of the «Nocentini» (the children hosted here); the ground floor focuses on the architectural approach, describing also the evolution of the old hospital. Finally, but most importantly, the second floor houses a gallery with Renaissance treasures by Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Bartolomeo di Giovanni, Piero di Cosimo, Neri di Bicci, Luca della Robbia and Andrea and Giovanni del Biondo. The terrace-café of the Quattrocento open to the public crowns the building.
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