Textiles and prints inspired by Florence

Posted by on Jan 1, 2019 in Discussion | 0 comments

Happy New Year from beautiful,  renewing Florence

We have visited Florence for the New Year. It took one or two days to get adjusted and to really begin to feel at home. Walking in the narrow space between the high buildings feels enclosed and even though it is cold and clear and between Christmas and New Year it is still crowded. So crowded that we could not book for The Uffizi on-line at all until after we had left. We will have to get up early to go and risk the queue. The crowds are good-natured and there is room to breathe; most are Italians and I’m sure relieved to have a bit more of their city back over the New Year. 


Father Bernardo, of the Benedictines, was talking to a sizeable crowd outside San Miniato al Monte today. This is the gem-like church visible from the heart of Florence on the hill opposite Santa Croce. His presentation was advertised as a chance to hear about the  church and was clearly aimed at locals. He spoke for at least an hour (we did not say throughout) – very animated, telling jokes, using extravagant hand gestures. It clearly hit the mark as the crowd stayed engaged – clapping and laughing and responding to the music of his voice. 

We have seen some wonderful places – the Brancacci Chapel dominated by the wonderful frescoes of Masaccio, Masolino and Fr Filippo Lippi.  I had no idea that Masaccio had died aged only 27 years during a trip to Rome. Sadly some of his work was destroyed during renovations in earlier centuries and a tomb obscures some of the frescoes. It is hard to understand how such vibrant, powerful images could ever be ‘out of fashion’ and so disposable. 

There was a Sunday market in the Piazza Santo Spirito a few streets away where you could buy beautifully bound books, bronze animals, door knockers, door stops all forged by the stall holder. Then time for a lovely meal at Osteria Santo Spirito.  They serve ‘reduced portions’ of many of their dishes and that is plenty. 


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