Florence Free Tour

Cosimo I de ‘Medici commissioned the work, which was completed in 1559 and is located in Piazza della Signoria near the site where Girolamo Savonarola was hanged and burned on the stake in 1498. There was a heated debate about who should have carved the renowned marble, with the Duchess Eleonora of Toledo imposing her protector Baccio Bandinelli and Cosimo contrasting Benvenuto Cellini.

In the end, the Duchess prevailed, but Bandinelli’s untimely death reignited the bitter feud. It was then agreed to have a competition, in which Giambologna and Vincenzo Danti both competed. Despite Cosimo’s preference for Cellini, it appears that he fell unwell, so the Duchess opted to commit the task to another of his favorites, the artist Bartolomeo Ammanati.

Benvenuto Cellini is believed to have reacted on the noble’s decision as follows: “Wretch marble, if with the Bandinelli you had happened badly, with the Ammannati you had happened one hundred times worse”. Cellini accused Ammannati of destroying the beautiful marble, and his phrase is being passed down in Florence today. The monument represents Neptune, the Roman god of the rivers and seas, flanked by satirists, tritons, Giambologna’s bronze Nereids, and four horses.

The legendary topic is a figurative and beautiful picture of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany’s recent maritime power. The exceedingly precious marble of Carrara, known all over the world for its whiteness, was employed as a material; as a result, the Florentines quickly nicknamed the statue “the” Biancone.”

Amanati’s work has been damaged numerous times throughout history: in the 16th century, it was used for washing, and the first vandalism occurred in 1580. One of the Giambologna’s satirus was stolen in 1830, and the traces were irreversibly lost; it was later replaced with a duplicate, and it was even injured by the Bourbons’ bombing of the city in 1848. Safely known are the vandalism that the statue has undergone even in more recent times: in 2005 a vandal even came to detach a hand in an attempt to climb the work, while it still happens that some drunk tourists decide to take an unscheduled bath in the Beautiful fountain. Punctually ignoring a plaque on Palazzo Vecchio, dated in 1720, which severely prohibits “making dirtyness of any kind, washing in it in pane, clothes or other nor throw wood or other dirt”.

The city of Florence restored this statue 4 years ago to celebrate the five hundreds years born of Cosimo de Medici, statue that one of the symbol of Cosimo and Florence. the renovation cost was one million end half of euro and every thing was given in donation from Ferragamo family. From 1987 that the famous fountain of Biancone didn’t work , now every day is possible to see all the plays that its make with water, specially during the night with game made wit modern light.

If you have interest on discover the town of Florence pleas contact us. we are organizing a wonderful tour a Free Walking tour of Florence that start from Santa Maria Novella, meeting point it’s in front of Minerva Hotel, this tour is totally free tips based.