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Monuments

ART + CULTURE

ART + CULTURE

Le Murate

Withinwalking distance or a short bus ride from the historic centre and covering theentire block between via Ghibellina and via dell’Agnolo, just before vialeGiovine Italia, Le Murate is one of ...

ART + CULTURE

The facade of Santa Croce

Sometimes our trains of thought can take us in unexpected directions. Recently, I was contemplating what I would do at Christmas, now only a few weeks away. From there, with my gift list already made out in my head, I began thinking about the traditional symbols surrounding the birth of

ART + CULTURE

The statue of the Battle of Mentana

A man in dishevelled military dress and gaiters, his outstretched right arm pointing his revolver, ready to fire at the enemy as he struggles, with his left arm, to support the fallen comrade in arms who, with his dying breaths, is clinging to the company's tattered flag-the statue

ART + CULTURE

The column of San Zanobi

Known to all in town simply as the ‘Duomo,' the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, with its neo-gothic façade in white, green and red marble, Brunelleschi's amazing dome and Giotto's imposing bell tower, is probably the first place visitors to Florence go. Just

ART + CULTURE

The Olive Tree of Peace

No sound like it had been heard in Florence since World War II. An hour after midnight on May 27, 1993, a massive explosion echoed throughout the city. A white Fiat Fiorino van, stolen from via della Scala the evening before and taken to Isolotto where it was loaded with

ART + CULTURE

The statue of Giovanni dalle Bande Nere

No other outdoor monument in the historic centre of Florence represents it neighbourhood as much as the statue of Ludovico di Giovanni de' Medici, known as Giovanni dalle Bande Nere, situated in piazza San Lorenzo. Grand Duke Cosimo I de' Medici commissioned the statue in honour of his father, the

ART + CULTURE

Fosco Maraini

When ethnologist, mountain climber, travel writer, poet and photographer Fosco Maraini died on June 8, 2004, at 92, the Gabinetto Vieusseux in Florence acquired his unique collection of over 8,000 volumes and 42,000 photographs centred on Asia, and especially Tibet and Japan. It was therefore fitting that, on

ART + CULTURE

The statue of Manfredo Fanti

Sunday lunch seemed as good a time as any to test one of my pet theories: people will pass by monuments or statues for years without ever really looking at them or knowing anything about them. Of the 12 of us sitting around the table, 9 were Italians (5 of

ART + CULTURE

The statue of Girolamo Savonarola

The brooding statue of Girolamo Savonarola, the fire and brimstone monk burned at the stake for heresy in front of Palazzo Vecchio on May 23, 1498, stands in the piazza named after him not far from piazza Libert?. Looking at it, it is easy to see why American author and

ART + CULTURE

The statue of Goldoni

Debonnaire and elegantly dressed in knee breeches, coat and flowing cape, a tricorner hat in one hand and a book in the other, the bare-headed but smartly wigged statue of playwright, Carlo Goldoni looks down on Ponte alla Carraia and over the Arno from the piazza named after him.

ART + CULTURE

The column of abundance

Possibly no other monument in Florence is more widely used than the Column of Abundance in Piazza della Repubblica. Tired tourists and weary locals often sit on the steps surrounding the base of the monolith, where they can rest and watch the ebb and the flow of people passing by,

ART + CULTURE

The Demidoff statue

Grieving the sudden death in Florence in 1828 of their father, Count Nicholas Demidoff, Tsar Alexander I's ambassador to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, brothers Paul and Anatole Demidoff commissioned Lorenzo Bartolini to sculpt a memorial to him. It was to be placed in the grounds of the sumptuous

ART + CULTURE

The white giant

After waiting 10 years for it to be completed, Florentines were very unimpressed when, in 1575, they first saw the statue of Neptune towering over his fountain in piazza della Signoria right in front of Palazzo Vecchio. Disappointed because he seemed so static and inexpressive, they disparagingly called him Il

ART + CULTURE

The Lady Justice column

Lady Justice stands proudly in the middle of piazza Santa Trinita, on top of the tallest ancient Roman column in Florence. The 11.17 meter high oriental granite column weighing about 50 tons originally came from the natatio, the monumental swimming pool of the Baths of Caracalla in Rome.  

ART + CULTURE

The statue of Bettino Ricasoli

Distant relatives, the two men stand today, cast in bronze, looking at each other across one of Florence's most patriotic piazzas. Renamed Piazza dell'Indipendenza after it became the site of the bloodless uprising in April 1859 that led to the banishment of Grand Duke Leopold II from Tuscany,

ART + CULTURE

The Dante statue

On November 4, 1966, as the flood waters lapped about the base of his statue, almost reaching his slippered toes, the poet, writer and politician Dante Alighieri, considered the father of the Italian language, looked gloomily down from its pedestal in the middle of Piazza Santa Croce, where he then

ART + CULTURE

The Porcellino

All year round he sits there, resting on his haunches, patiently putting up with thousands, if not tens of thousands, of tourists rubbing his now very shiny snout and dropping coins at his feet in the hope, according to legend, that they will one day return to Florence.    

ART + CULTURE

A bridge to India

Unique in Europe for the dimensions of its structure, the most recent bridge to cross the Arno river in Florence was opened in 1978. It links the suburbs of Peretola to the north of the river to Isolotto to the south. Constructed on two levels, one for motor vehicles and

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