About Art and Design in Florence
A lifetime would not suffice to learn everything about Florence’s art. It’s of no surprise that the Stendhal Syndrome, by which a person can experience dizziness, hallucinations or other feelings related to being overwhelmed by too much beauty in art, is also known as the Florence Syndrome. Every single building is rich in detail (try to find the sketched profile on the Palazzo Vecchio facade) and color (observe the facades of the buildings along the Arno river, where the poet Ugo Foscolo found inspiration for To Florence), symmetry (check out the arches that lead from the Ponte Vecchio to the Uffizi) and purposeful asymmetry (the slightly uncentered tower on the Palazzo Vecchio). And within each of these gems are a myriad of charming courtyards, graceful sculptures, paintings and frescoes by some of the greatest artists of all time: Donatello, Michelangelo, Giotto, Botticelli, Fra Angelico, Ghiberti, Masaccio and the list goes on.
Here are some novels based in Florence:
and some books with stories that take place in Florence:
Although much of the local economy is fueled by tourism, Florentines resent the crowds. Be sensitive and respectful of them. Drinking from bottles of wine on the street or being loud is looked down upon, perhaps as much as wearing socks with sandals (although make sure you wear comfortable shoes since this is a walking city). If you want to use flash when photographing a painting, make sure you ask for permission--it can often cause damage. Bargaining works at outdoor markets but seldomly in stores although Florentines are known to give discounts to customers they appreciate. A courteous chat can help.
Politics & Economy
The economic crisis has hit Florence badly. According to Unioncamere, the association of the nation's chambers of commerce, around 1,000 businesses closed each day in 2012. Not to mention the unemployment rate. The recession is slightly alleviated by tourism but the overall economic reality is dire.
Authors: Dante, Orianna Fallaci, Tiziano Terzani, Carlo Collodi, Machiavelli
Artists: Boccaccio, Brunelleschi, Cimabue, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Donatello, Della Robbia
Fashion Designers: Pucci, Gucci, Ferragamo, Cavalli, Scervino
Calcio Storico (costumed football)
Pitti Uomo (Menswear trade show)
Firenze-Cortili e Giardini Interni (Courtyards and Private Gardens open to the public)
Festival dei Popoli (Film Festival)
Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Music Festival)
Museums: Uffizi, Palazzo Strozzi, Vasari Corridor, Accademia Gallery, the Pitti Palace, Museum of Zoology and Natural History, Ferragamo Shoe Museum and others. Churches: the Duomo, Santa Maria Novella, Santo Spirito, Santa Croce and so many more.
Holidays & Festivals
Florence Dance Festival
Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Festival dei Popoli
Festival della Rificolona
Festa di Santa Reparata
Carro Matto in Piazza Signoria
Scoppio del Carro
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