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

Winter flâneurism, wandering the streets of Florence at Christmas time

Winter flâneurism, wandering the streets of Florence at Christmas time

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

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.…

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
Santa Croce Weihnachtsmarkt, the international Christmas market of Florence

Santa Croce Weihnachtsmarkt, the international Christmas market of Florence

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

The biggest and most significant Florence Christmas market is German instead of Italian; maybe because the snow and the myth of Santa Klaus coming from the North, the Florentines adopted this tradition in a very organic way. But why is not there an Italian Christmas market in Florence? This market reflects mostly the North European character, with handcrafted and gastronomic products coming mostly from Germany but also from France, Poland, The Netherlands and the Czech Republic.…

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 on a daily basis, too.

Continue Reading
Fra Angelico’s frescoes: the treasure of the San Marco Museum

Fra Angelico’s frescoes: the treasure of the San Marco Museum

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

This museum occupies an extensive area of the Dominican monastery of San Marco and still retains its original atmosphere. Founded in 1436 and designed by the architect Michelozzo, the monastery played an important role in the religious and cultural life of Florence. The fame of the museum is mainly due to the paintings of Beato Angelico (Blessed angelic one), one of the most representative painters of the Renaissance who embellished with its frescoes various rooms of the building, most remarkably the cells of the monks. A wonder to view also here:
Practical info

Continue Reading
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.

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

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.…

Continue Reading
Anchored to Florence

Anchored to Florence

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

It is the time of fear. Fear of what was, fear of what will be, fear of loneliness, and fear of the crowd. Fear of dying and fear of living. Fear to love, fear to be abandoned, fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of suffering, fear of ending up hating this city. It is commonly said that fear paralyses, although sometimes it helps one to escape and start from scratch. At a time when fear prevented me from resuming my life in another city, without purposing it, Florence became my shelter. Since then, I live anchored to a suitcase, to drama, and to Florence too. Roaming is my way of life.…

Continue Reading
Casa Guidi, poet Elizabeth Barrett´s home in Florence

Casa Guidi, poet Elizabeth Barrett´s home in Florence

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

Visiting a house-museum always embraces a closer emotional approach to the artist who lived there than just simply observe the works displayed in the neutral and dehumanized rooms of a museum. Casa Guidi was the Florentine residence of poets Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning for the most part of their married life. Located in the heart of Florence, the apartment has elegant main chambers with an 18th century decoration style and essentially maintains the same furniture that in the Brownings´ age. They resided here for fourteen years, between 1847 and 1861, and these interiors served as inspiration for some of their greatest poems, like Casa Guidi Windows (Elizabeth Barrett, 1851), inspired by her struggle for freedom.…

Continue Reading
7 best and most distinguished libraries in Florence

7 best and most distinguished libraries in Florence

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

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).…

Continue Reading
Tomás Saraceno presents ‘Aria’ at Palazzo Strozzi

Tomás Saraceno presents ‘Aria’ at Palazzo Strozzi

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

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. …

Continue Reading