Despite the late-November winds and the chill in the air, if you looked up in the sky at any point yesterday in Florence, you could be forgiven for thinking it was June 24 (feast day of the city's patron San Giovanni, with fireworks an integral part of the celebrations.)

Access points were blocked off and authorities stood guard at every turn in piazzale Michelangelo: a pyrotechnic performance of contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang, titled "City of Flowers in the Sky", required such precautions.

In collaboration with the City of Florence, the explosive show was a prelude to the exhibition Flora Commedia: Cai Guo-Qiang at the Uffizia solo show by the artist opening November 20 and running through February 17, 2019.


For approximately ten minutes, nearly 50 thousand fireworks were shot in the air, with colors and shapes inspired by Botticelli's Primavera, one of the cornerstones of the Uffizi's permanent collection. The title, "City of Flowers in the Sky," took inspiration from Florence's Roman moniker, Florentia, "city of flowers."

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