City Treasures Articles

The City Treasures articles show the monuments, piazzas, and museums in Florence as they are experienced by expats and locals.

Via della Ninna

by Andrea Ponsi published on

One of the characteristics of Florence's urban pattern is the recurring presence of an accidental geometry based on acute angles, deriving from the irregular street network. This singularity becomes evident while one is looking upward at the intersection of streets. The strong corners of the gutters and the corresponding voids of the streets meet at their diagonal axis. This “wedge” effect is also evident at ground level in those radial crossings where five or six streets come together, or in the angled edges of almost every piazza. This irregularity enters the interiors of houses and palaces, and repeats itself throughout. And the wedge-shape space of many rooms reverberates through the constant memory of the city's form.

Ponte Vecchio

by Melinda Gallo published on

The first time I came to Florence for a visit I made the rounds of the monuments. I mostly remember seeing the Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio, and crowds of people everywhere. My initial impression of the Ponte Vecchio was that it was small, dirty, and congested. I was only in town for one day, and looking back I wish that I would've had time to contemplate the ponte (bridge) from the other ponti on either side of it. Instead I walked across it and back, peering into the brightly lit vetrine (shop windows) with gold jewelry on display.

Piazza di Santa Croce

by Melinda Gallo published on

Piazza di Santa Croce is undoubtedly the most visited and photographed piazza in Florence. On any given day, hundreds of tourists pass through the austere piazza where Dante stands guard. Visitors stop to tour the impressive basilica (church) where some of the great Florentines are buried, and then continue on to other important destinations like the Duomo and the Uffizi. One of the greatest features about the piazza is that something always seems to be taking place: if it's not a mercato (market) where one can buy handmade gifts or local produce, it's an annual sporting event like the calcio storico (Florentine historical soccer). Quite a few other festive affairs occur here throughout the year that make the piazza one of the most exciting in Florence.

Contributors

Melinda Gallo
Writer
Melinda Gallo

Lisa McGarry
Writer/Artist
Lisa McGarry

Andrea Ponsi
Architect, Writer, Artist
Andrea Ponsi

Cheryl Tucker
Writer
Cheryl Tucker

Sophia Khan
Designer/Educator
Sophia Khan

Sponsors

Living in Florence -- Melinda Gallo
An American moves to Florence, Italy and this is what happens...
Living in Florence -- Melinda Gallo

ffth