walking tour: Florence, Rome, Milan, Venice, Naples

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Giuliano de Medici, and Florentine Jousting

Giuliano, brother of Lorenzo the Magnificent, has always been described as handsome, tall and austere. This last name was given to him because, when he walked, he had his chin raised and his gaze downwards. At first glance he could be considered haughty and confident in his beauty. ‘Bel Julo’, as he was renamed by the Florentines, was not at all austere, he was very kind and joking with everyone and aware of being handsome, the most handsome of the Casa Medici.

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Statues in Signoria square with simbols

The sculptor’s mature work invites the viewer to walk around the statue in order to appreciate all the details, a new concept compared to the classic way of seeing the statue from the front. After the expulsion of the Medici family in 1494, the Florentine government decided to place this work in front of Palazzo Vecchio, but why all this? It was the image of a power that in a certain way tended to limit the true republican independence of Florence, therefore Giuditta represents the Florentine Republic which cuts off the head of Holofernes who embodies tyranny, a true model or “manifesto” which speaks of the political reality of the city.

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The singular bell of Santa Maria del Fiore

not everyone knows that outside the Cathedral of Florence there were two small bells, one still visible. One was placed near the Porta dei Canonici on the southern side of the Duomo, a flowery Gothic style of the late ‘400 work by Lorenzo di Giovanni D’Ambrogio and Piero di Giovanni Tedesco. This bell was called “last” as the sound had to solicit the canons, whose accommodations are located in the square of the chapter to enter the chorus for the various liturgies.

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Legend of Fountain in Florence

Piazza Signoria, in front of the Fountain of Neptune, allegory of the Florentine power on the seas (it was to remember the grip of Pisa and the foundation of the order of the Knights of Santo Stefano). The Grand Duke Cosimo I decided as well as embellishing the square, to build a Fontana, given that there was nothing in the area (we must remember as well as for the water approval, the water also served for personal cleaning what not so much in vogue at the time, just think of the various diseases due to dirt in general).

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Borgognona a strange street in Santa Croce

The story of via Borgognona, in the beating heart of Florence, is wrapped in an aura of mystery and transgression. Once known as Via de ‘shameful,” Vergognosa ” the road was the nerve center of the night, a crossroads of destinies and secrets that only the moon knew. It was the era in which the street was bordered with modest houses, illuminated by oil lamps that threw a trembling light on the figures that moved in the shadows.