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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Russian Orthodox Church of Florence celebrates Orthodox Easter tonight

Russian Orthodox Church of Florence celebrates Orthodox Easter tonight

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Modern buildings stand out in Florence more than anywhere else, since most of the historic centre buildings come from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Built in Russian art nouveau style between 1899 and 1903 and declared Historical Monument, the Russian Orthodox Church was recently restored. Its unusual facade is characterized by its onion domes. This temple is the first Russian religious building erected in the Italian territory, thanks to the efforts of the parish priest Vladimir Levickij, to the donations of Demidoff family, some parishioners, and nothing more and nothing less Emperor Nicholas II.

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«Verrocchio, Master of Leonardo,» retrospective at Palazzo Strozzi

«Verrocchio, Master of Leonardo,» retrospective at Palazzo Strozzi

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The first comprehensive retrospective devoted to Andrea del Verrocchio (1435-1488) will be on display in Florence from March 9 to July 14 at Palazzo Strozzi, with an accompanying presentation at the Museo Nazionale del Bargello. Verrocchio, Master of Leonardo brings together masterpieces by Verrocchio from collections around the world, contextualized by works from his forefathers and peers, as well as by the pupils he worked intensively with, including Leonardo da Vinci, Pietro Perugino, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Sandro Botticelli.

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Cloisters of Florence: the great scape

Cloisters of Florence: the great scape

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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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Pontormo at Palazzo Pitti: from drawing to painting

Pontormo at Palazzo Pitti: from drawing to painting

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The exhibition Incontri miracolosi: Pontormo dal disegno alla pittura (Miraculous Encounters: Pontormo from drawing to painting) presents a series of works of outstanding importance, most of which are here displayed for the first time together. Thirty years after it was last here, the return visit to Florence of the Halberdier (1494- 1557) is the perfect occasion for an exhibition dedicated to Pontormo. This magnificent portrait by Pontormo, acquired by the Getty Museum of Los Angeles in 1989 for the then record-breaking sum of $32.5 million, now finds itself back in its home town of Florence. It’s the centre piece of the exhibition curated by Bruce Edelstein, which is now on show in the Sala delle Nicchie in Palazzo Pitti until 29th July 2018. Displayed along with the Halberdier, there is also the Portrait of a Young Man in a Red Cap, among other master pieces.

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Touched for the very first time in Florence

Touched for the very first time in Florence

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My first stay in Florence was in piazza del Mercato Nuovo at the end of September 2008. I recall how lost I felt then, trying to find the hotel with a map in my hands. I still do not know the name of the streets and alleys, but today I could certainly move around the city with my eyes closed. I remember one particular night when, disappointed by a date, I drank a whole bottle of limoncello (yes, I’m that kind of person) that I acquired in Pisa. The following morning, I was stroke by terrible news: my friend and artist Cocó Ciëlo had been murdered in Madrid. That was the first time I walked to piazzale di Michelangelo. I had a beer or two there and cried while contemplating this majestic town. Where you led me, Florence, that fateful night? All I could feel was irrational disgust, as the city had become a carrier of bad news to me. But we later reconciled. And, as in the most intense and passionate stories in literature, we have lived since many ruptures and reunions.…

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Florence: passion and enthusiasm

Florence: passion and enthusiasm

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All passion springs from enthusiasm. Florence rescued me from neglecting feelings, an attitude that (I do not recall exactly when) came from falling lost in Berlin. Florence meant a safe net to avoid the death of the soul and helped me arise from that terrible fall. In the Tuscan capital a revolution took place inside of me. Indeed, a Renaissance. Thus, I now live here with all naturalness, feeling calm and relaxed. In Florence the days do not seem so endless, there is always something to do, even if it’s just a walk among Renaissance treasures, only to come back home later relieved. To enjoy Florence, one must be Epicurean, aesthete and eclectic. To this city, where the vicissitudes of my destiny have brought me, I will definitely elaborate a whole dictionary of affectionate expressions, because I haven´t yet met any Italian who speaks well, and with true love, about their country.

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Il Cinquecento in Florence at Palazzo Strozzi

Il Cinquecento in Florence at Palazzo Strozzi

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Till January 21, 2018, Palazzo Strozzi is celebrating the art of the 16th century in Florence, an era of outstanding cultural and intellectual talent that was to spawn a heated debate between the «modern manner» and the Counter-Reformation, between the art patronage of the Medici and the Church. Curated by Carlo Falciano and Antonio Natali, the exhibition showcases over seventy works of painting and sculpture, seventeen of which have been restored for the occasion, and hosts pieces by Andrea del Sarto, Michelangelo, Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino, Bronzino, Vasari, Jacopo Zucchi and Giambologna, to name but a few of those involved in the commissions for the Studio of Francesco I de’ Medici in Palazzo Vecchio and the Tribune of the Uffizi.
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Alternatives to the “Stendhal syndrome:” Museum House Vasari or the artist who gave name to the Renaissance

Alternatives to the “Stendhal syndrome:” Museum House Vasari or the artist who gave name to the Renaissance

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Vasari bought this garden house in Arezzo in 1541. In the last century some Tuscan artists turned the place into a small museum dedicated to Mannerism. This site is today an illustrious example of an artist’s house in which Giorgio Vasari, the first art historian of our era, celebrated his thoughts and his art. Its rooms are profusely decorated with frescoes and embellished with Mannerist paintings, revealing the supreme expression of 16th century Italian art. After completing his architectural works, Vasari dedicated himself to the pictorial decoration between 1542 and 1568, thus these rooms praise the artist’s role through biblical, mythological themes and numerous allegories to the astonishment of any visitor. The main rooms are substantially unchanged. The original furniture does not remain.
Casa Vasari – Via XX Settembre 55 – 52100 Arezzo

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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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