They might look like giant flowerpots, but their purpose is far more practical.
After a meeting of Florence’s city committee for public safety on August 22, 2017 in the wake of the Barcelona attack, anti-ramming measures have been installed along via Martelli, the main street leading into piazza Duomo.
The first two installations were moved from piazza del Carmine and placed as a chicane between the bollards that prevent access to the road and the Baptistery. A trial run involved a rubbish truck attempting to steer its way between the flowerpots, following by the successful placement of two further installations along via Martelli.
City councillor for urban safety Federico Gianassi commented on the move, “These are initial measures to cover the city in the immediate. In the next few days our technicians will make the flowerbeds look more attractive. I’d like to emphasize that this is a provisional measure; over the next few weeks we will work on high-end designs to make this system more stylish…”
Indeed, these planters have already repainted and are about to be re-potted with new greenery.
In addition to the planters, chains—known as chiodi fiorentini—are being added at via Cerretani/piazza dell'Olio, via Ricasoli/piazza San Marco; and in piazza Santa Croce. Until now these chains could be removed or opened on occasion; from this point on all vehicles will be prohibited from entering these spaces, including ambulances and the police.
Planters are also being installed in piazza San Lorenzo and via Calzaiuoli, and plans are underway to introduce anti-ramming architecture in via de Pecori/via Roma, via dell'Oriuolo/via del Proconsolo and via Tornabuoni/Palazzo Strozzi.
Article updated on August 25, 2017, 09:20