Tag: monuments

ART + CULTURE

The Caccini Garden

The Caccini Garden, off borgo Pinti, was one of the most beautiful and exotic gardens in Florence at the end of the 16th century.

ART + CULTURE

The Bank of Italy in Florence

The Bank of Italy in Florence is an imposing Neo Renaissance-style building along via dell'Oriuolo that dates to between 1865 and 1869.

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Sant’Ambrogio Market

After ten troubled years, the magnificent—although at the time controversial—cast iron and glass construction of the Vittorio Emanuele II gallery, which linked the city’s cathedral to the Scala theatre in ...

ART + CULTURE

Florence’s statue of Vittorio Emanuele II

Most major Italian cities and many smaller ones boast statues to Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of the newly united Italy who reigned between 1861 and 1878. The most ...

ART + CULTURE

The Chapel of the Cardinal of Portugal

The basilica of San Miniato al Monte recently celebrated its 1,000th birthday. Dominating the view from one of the highest and most scenic spots overlooking Florence, it is a jewel ...

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Porta San Frediano

Seven gates remain as reminders of the third circular wall built between 1284 and 1333 that once surrounded and defended the city of Florence: the Porta al Prato, Porta San ...

ART + CULTURE

The statue of Ubaldino Peruzzi

Two statues stand facing each other across piazza Indipendenza. One depicts Ubaldino Peruzzi de’ Medici, the first mayor of Florence and a minister in the newly proclaimed united Italy, and ...

ART + CULTURE

Piazzale Michelangelo

Every year, thousands of people from all over the world visit piazzale Michelangelo to take photographs of the spectacular view it gives of the bridges over the Arno river and ...

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The Leopolda Station

On September 15, 1861, the king of the newly unified Italy Vittorio Emanuele II inaugurated the first Italian National Exhibition of Agricultural and Industrial Products and Fine Arts in Florence ...

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Santa Maria Nuova

A hospital is usually the last place you want to go to unless absolutely necessary. But in Florence, it’s different. In the middle of town there is a hospital that ...

ART + CULTURE

The piazza Santa Croce fountain

For several months between the end of 2016 and early 2017, the fountain on the outer edge of piazza Santa Croce bordering via dei Benci, opposite Palazzo Cocchi-Serristori, was hidden ...

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The triumphal arch of the Lorraine

If there is an incongruous monument anywhere in Florence, it is the grandiose and cloyingly ornate neoclassic arch that stands not quite in the middle of piazza della Libertà. Based ...

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Santo Stefano al Ponte

According to John Mason Neale’s Christmas hymn of 1853, when the good King Wenceslas rushed out with his servant to assist a poor man gathering fuel in the freezing winter weather, it was on the Feast of Stephen. In many continental European countries, including Italy, this holy figure

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The church of San Pier Maggiore

There are few places in the world where you can drive, ride your bike or walk through what was once the sixteenth-century portal of a grand basilica, but you can in Florence. Coming on foot from the city centre, on nearing the end of borgo degli Albizi, you arrive

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The Torrigiani tower

Tucked away in the heart of Florence, in the area once known as the Campuccio, running from via del Campuccio and piazza Tasso to via dei Serragli, is a wall that incorporates the remnants of the fortifications built by Cosimo I in 1544 to defend Florence against attack from Siena.

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The statue of Cosimo Ridolfi

As cars, buses and motorbikes hurtle by in via San Agostino, a white marble monument seems defenceless as it stands precariously on the southern tip of Florence’s piazza Santo Spirito. Deep in thought, with one hand under his chin and the other resting on a book perched on

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The Croce al Trebbio column

In a square not far from the church of Santa Maria Novella, at the junction of via del Moro, via delle Belle Donne and via del Trebbio, stands the Croce al Trebbio column, one of two columns in the city that commemorate the triumphs of a Dominican friar, Peter of

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A tale of two obelisks

Chariot racing conjures up images, at least for me, of ancient Rome and, in particular, of Ben Hur, the Oscar-winning film in which the hero, played by Charlton Heston, drove his chariot and team of four white horses full pelt around the Circus Maximus. So it was quite a

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Queen Victoria’s fountain

On August 10, 2013, the local press photographed Florence’s mayor, Matteo Renzi, sitting on a bulldozer in the Cascine park, ready to help demolish the burned-out shell of the former nightclub Meccanò. In doing so, he declared that it was the city’s intention to

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Loggia del Pesce

Joyous celebrations were held in Florence for several weeks before and after the wedding on December 18, 1565 of the legitimate heir of Grand Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici, Francesco de’ Medici to Johanna of Austria, daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I and Anna of Bohemia and

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Le Murate

Within walking distance or a short bus ride from the historic centre and covering the entire block between via Ghibellina and via dell'Agnolo, just before viale Giovine Italia, Le Murate is one of Florence's major architectural success stories of the past 20 years. Based on plans made in

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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

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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

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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

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