We love Florence….
“A city-size shrine to the Renaissance, Florence offers frescoes, sculptures, churches, palaces, and other monuments from the richest cultural flowering the world has known.” – National Geographic
“This is the fairest picture on our planet, the most enchanting to look upon, the most satisfying to the eye and the spirit. To see the sun sink down, drowned on his pink and purple and golden floods, and overwhelm Florence with tides of color that make all the sharp lines dim and faint and turn the solid city to a city of dreams, is a sight to stir the coldest nature, and make a sympathetic one drunk with ecstasy.”
Mark Twain Mark Twain’s Autobiography 1892
“You may have the universe if I may have Italy.” – Giuseppe Verdi
“Among the four old bridges that span the river, the Ponte Vecchio, that bridge which is covered with the shops of Jewellers and Goldsmiths, is a most enchanting feature in the scene. The space of one house, in the centre, being left open, the view beyond, is shown as in a frame; and that precious glimpse of sky, and water, and rich buildings, shining so quietly among the huddled roofs and gables on the bridge, is exquisite“.
Charles Dickens, Pictures from Italy 1846
“And when I thought of Florence, it was like a miracle city embalmed and like a corolla, because it was called the city of lilies and its cathedral, St. Mary of the Flowers.”
Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way 1913
Under the shadow of a stately Pile,
The dome of Florence, pensive and alone,
Nor giving heed to aught that passed the while,
I stood, and gazed upon a marble stone,
The laurelled Dante’s favourite seat. A throne,
William Wordsworth, Memorials of a Tour in Italy 1837
“Everything about Florence seems to be coloured with a mild violet, like diluted wine.”
Henry James, Letter 1869
“More than any other piazza in Italy, the Piazza della Signoria evokes the antique world, not only in the colossal deified statues, the David, the Neptune…, the hideous Hercules and Cacus, but in the sober Loggia dei Lanzi, with its three lovely full arches and its series statuary groups in bronze and marble. Some are antique Greek and Roman; some are Renaissance; some belong to the Mannerist epoch; one to the nineteenth century. Yet there is no disharmony among them.”
Mary McCarthy, The Stones of Florence 1959
“Even a magnificent city such as Florence becomes more intriguing if there is a demon at work in the alleys.”
Chris Bohjalian, The Light in the Ruins 2013
“Stand on a bridge over the Arno river several times in a day and the light, mood and view changes every time. Firenze is magnetic, romantic and busy. Its urban fabric has hardly changed since the Renaissance, its narrow streets evoke a thousand tales, and its food and wine are so wonderful the tag ‘Fiorentina’ has become an international label of quality assurance.” – Lonely Planet
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