The book Secret Florence (Niccolo Rinaldi)  has been useful in exploring this city, and also in explaining some of the things I’ve seen.

For example, I’ve passed this fine statue of Ferdinando I in the Piazza Santisimma Annunziata quite a number of times. It wasn’t until I was flipping through Secret Florence that I became aware of what was on the pedestal.


It’s a swarm of bees around the central queen bee. This apparently is meant to symbolise “the State as a community, as a place of industry and disciplined organisation, … the supremacy of the queen bee (a symbol of the authority of the Grand Duke Ferdinando)” But, hey, we knew all that, right?


You can test your powers of concentration by counting the number of bees, without pointing to them, or touching them. Parents here  are said to reward their children if they can do this. I’m not about to bribe you, though.


The book says there are 91 bees, but you have to determine whether or not this includes the queen bee. Have fun!



Filed under Florence

33 responses to “Bees

  1. I note that it’s the queen (female) bee giving power to the Grand Duke (male).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Super interesting. However, after counting bees I am now cross eyed. This will make it difficult to blog as well as read your fab blog. Oh dear. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Sweetie, I have double vision and depth of field perception problems. I’ll pass, but not before I admit something else: That is a very hypnotic! Have you noticed?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. To be a bee or not to be a bee?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Fascinating but I won’t be drawn into counting. I’ll let a child do it for me. I love trivia like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I haven’t spotted this yet. I love that book. I will look for the bees on my next visit.


  7. It’s 9:05 am here and I’ve had coffee and tried counting without pointing and my eyes started to cross so it’s not going to happen.
    I’m recommending that book to my friend who will be visiting in August.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. One…..two….. what’s next ? 😉 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Right, so I just came home from picking up my daughter from a party and it is 01:05 and you want me to count bees. Not a chance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t say I blame you! Count sheep instead, suchled.

      Graziano and his dog have not been at their spot for a few days now. The day after I took the photos, he mentioned that he had to go to the doctor, so I hope he’s OK.


  10. I’ll take Rinaldi’s word for it!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Dammit! You got me at it. It does


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