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

Il Liberty fiorentino: the Florentine art nouveau

Il Liberty fiorentino: the Florentine art nouveau

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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.

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Gardens of Florence #5: il giardino di Santa Maria Novella, flowers and fruits of Florentine tradition

Gardens of Florence #5: il giardino di Santa Maria Novella, flowers and fruits of Florentine tradition

PHOTOS & ENGLISH / SPANISH VERSIONS BELOW

The garden of the prestigious perfume brand Santa Maria Novella is located in Firenze-Castello, close to the Medician villa of La Petraia. In this 161,458 ft² paradise still operates the ancient tradition of harvesting the hortus conclusus, just as the Dominican friars used to do in the monastery as of thirteenth century. In the garden and orchard of Santa Maria Novella grow all extracts and essences needed for the elaboration of the perfumes and other products of the legendary brand. The aroma of plants, trees and shrubs; the butterflies and lizards; the Tuscan sun; the Duomo of Florence in the distance … A perfect anti-stress frame prone to relaxation in a pure natural state. (Un)fortunately, it is not open to the public, so better ask for an appointment. (visiteofficina@smnovella.com).
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The impact of the coronavirus on Florence, the plague of the 21st century

The impact of the coronavirus on Florence, the plague of the 21st century

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In the last few weeks, all the news (economy, politics, sports, society, art, entertainment) from every single medium have been infected with the coronavirus. And the worst: they have turned Italy into a plagued country, which should not be visited and from which one cannot leave. Italian citizens are now considered the absolute culprits of the spread of the virus in Europe.…

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For handball coach Shahram Nari, ‘coronavirus quarantine is different’ in Florence

For handball coach Shahram Nari, ‘coronavirus quarantine is different’ in Florence

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‏The streets, gyms and stadiums are empty, but in Italy, you can still hear the sounds of fun and teamwork this time is coming from handball’s amazing team ‘La Torre’, in Florence. Earlier last week the country’s government imposed unprecedented restrictions on its 60 million residents to slow the spread of coronavirus. Quarantined in their own homes and balconies, many are using social media to connect with the outside world, but for Coach Nari quarantine is Different.

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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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Palazzo Medici Riccardi of Florence: Renaissance paradigmatic construction

Palazzo Medici Riccardi of Florence: Renaissance paradigmatic construction

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It is hard to say how many times a day I pass by and around the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi in Florence — I live a few steps away from this Renaissance building, by the way, one of the most beautiful and splendorous of Florence. Besides the proximity, it took long until finally, I decided to visit it. Sometimes closeness and everydayness make us ignore the cultural gems of a city, simply because they are there and one thinks there is plenty of time to enjoy them in the future.…

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Carnival of Viareggio, magic and fantasy on the Tuscan coast

Carnival of Viareggio, magic and fantasy on the Tuscan coast

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—Have you ever been to Viareggio carnival? Is it worth it?
—It’s a little decadent … It makes me sad.»
—Interesting, you just convinced me, I’ll go!

Although not as popular as the Venetian, the Carnival of Viareggio is one of the most important and acclaimed in Italy. I am from Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, where the carnival is the most outstanding festivity. It is the first big celebration of the year. It involves a massive exhibition of colour, enthusiasm, and frenzy, and that is why, probably, it drives me to discover other facets and versions of the same event. It is said that “diversity is equal to cultural richness.”

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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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Shoe master Roberto Ugolini and his traditional atelier in Santo Spirito

Shoe master Roberto Ugolini and his traditional atelier in Santo Spirito

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Roberto Ugolini is one of the most prestigious shoemakers in Florence. His workshop is located right at street level, in Via dei Michelozzi 17, in front of the basilica of Santo Spirito, in Oltrarno, as if in old times, when medieval guilds were so present in cities. The business opened twenty-two years ago just like a repair shop, but he soon began to make shoes too, always in Italian and English leather tanned in Italy. It takes thirty hours of work to create a pair of handmade shoes; thus there´s a waiting list over six months to acquire any. Above and below, photos show one of the craftsmen, probably the sexiest shoemaker in the old continent.

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Brands made in Florence #4: Gianfranco Lotti

Brands made in Florence #4: Gianfranco Lotti

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Manufacturing bags, belts, wallets and accessories in leather since 1968 as a real brand, Gianfranco Lotti is deeply anchored in this Florentine heritage, keeping the memory to create modernity that lasts in the future. Gianfranco Lotti has been artfully crafting bags since the age of 14 (1957) perpetuating the art of crafting leather as he learned from his masters. The keylock is the symbol featured on Gianfranco Lotti’s bags and products and is a signature of all the collections. It casts back to an ancient emblem of the Medici family in Florence. The keylock materializes the immaterial link between the ancient art of craft, the respect of the heritage and the openness to the future.…

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