I’ve been to Florence about 6 times. The first time in Spring 1975. Trenta otto anni fa! La ultima volta… due settimani fa. The city continues to amaze me. I never cover it all and Florence is walkable end to end. I go there to stuff myself full of art, architecture, sculpture (Il Bargello! La Academia!) and papardelle e sugo di chingiale… e vino rosso.
I’m going to post a cornucopia of incredible sights, starting with Casa Buonaroti. I knew the Medici’s had ensconced the 19 year old Michaelangelo in a Palazzo in Firenze in the late 15th century. I didn’t realize we would find beautiful frescoes of his life painted by other masters in the following two centuries after his death in the early 16th century, taking with him the end of the Renaissance and the beginning of the Mannerist period. Portraits of him with his donor, Pope Julius II, the Medici’s, allegorical figures and peers of the day, cover the ceilings and walls.
Michaelangelo had a passionate, long relationship with Julius II (they crossed the line into a physical one) and who commissioned masterpieces for his own tomb and the Sistine Chapel frescoes of such lasting beauty that some reside in our pop culture to this day (… along with Donatello, the Vitruvian Man by Da Vinci and Venus on a half shell by Botticelli… all of which can be seen in Florence). What a magnificent period of achievement in figurative, ecclesiastic art. I’m obsessed with Michaelangelo and his fellow genius’ that all spent formative years in Florence. Just a hop and a skip from the Romanesque Chiesa di Santa Croce, you can by a ticket for both the Casa and the church. More to follow on Santa Croce and Dante. Whoa.