Abida Allouh’s Florence

Abida Allouh’s Florence

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Florence is an eternal dream

Florence is an eternal dream, the most beautiful city in the world. Since I remember, I have been fascinated by antiquity, history, and the Medici dynasty. So I decided to visit Florence, the city where Paco Neumann lives. He is one of my best friends. I met Paco in the mid-nineties when he lived and studied journalism and photography in Madrid. I have always been attracted to art, so I explored several museums and many Renaissance churches during my vacation in Florence. Needless to say that the entire city is a vast open-air museum.…

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Uffizi Square of Florence: the sculptures of the Great Tuscans

Uffizi Square of Florence: the sculptures of the Great Tuscans

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The particular design of the Galleria degli Uffizi shapes sort of a square, around which the lodge runs. In the 28 niches that border it, Cosimo I de’ Medici wanted to place sculptures of distinguished Florentines in the field of literature, the military and the government. However, it was not until the nineteenth century, when the Grand Duchy of Tuscany was under the rule of the Lorraines, that the publisher Vincenzo Batelli finally resumed the creation of these statues. Among those illustrious Tuscan characters are Cosimo the Elder and Lorenzo the Magnificent, great representatives of the Medici family; also masters of art, such as Giotto, Donatello, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo; great names of literature, such as Dante, Petrarca, Boccaccio and Machiavelli; and men of science or adventure like Galileo Galilei and Amerigo Vespucci. Overall, the place is a perfect panorama, especially ideal for a romantic walk at midnight, alone or not.

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Magical Florence by day & night (photo series)

Magical Florence by day & night (photo series)

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Writing about a fascination incites to living it twice. Florence (and all Italy) transmits a special magnetism to me, either at night or in the daylight. Indeed, I feel the more you visit a site, the more your identity will be linked to it. Choosing a place is never incidental, but caused by a wish, a certain object of desire. I have felt in love with Florence just as I could have with a person, thus looking to make the affair last, and staying here forever. Is it a whim? Certainly, one that´s rooted deep inside of me.

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History of art according to Florence or the Renaissance chapter at high school

History of art according to Florence or the Renaissance chapter at high school

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History of art was, without a doubt, my favourite subject at high school. By then, Italy was for me a distant and unknown country, it seemed so far as in another planet, and I did not even know what Tuscany meant or where in the map Florence was. At the age of 17, everything seemed so phantasmagorical and unreal … How rare, the unpredictable ways to which life sometimes leads. Especially, to those who try to escape from routine. I then loved the art history classes taught by María Luisa, always conducted in the dark. During those hours, I felt invisible and safe (at that time, my face was plagued by acne). We contemplated slides explained with genuine devotion by the teacher, and took notes of things that I thought I would never see on site. María Luisa inoculated me with the love for art and subtly with a passion for Florentine wonders. Today, 24 years later, I do not even remember her surname.

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Sala della Niobe, a passage not to miss at Uffizi Gallery

Sala della Niobe, a passage not to miss at Uffizi Gallery

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Room 42 or Sala della Niobe is my favourite area at the Uffizi. An spectacular frame created in 1781, during the Neoclassical period, to house the ancient sculptures of the Villa Medici in Rome. The pieces represent the Greek myth of Niobe, the daughter of Tantalus and wife of Amphion, who witnessed the murdering of her seven children in the hands of Apolo and Artemisa as an act of revenge to their mother, whom Niobe had previously mocked. The ones at the hall are Roman copies of Hellenistic originals, moved to Florence after their discovery in 1583. The walls at Niobe also display some canvases; two signed by Rubens, in baroque style. The decoration of this notable room was by Peter Leopold of Lorraine.

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