Category Archives: Florence

Clet wuz here

You may recall some of the street signs that had been re-worked by Clet, an artist in Florence. See, for example, this: street-art

I was in Florence a couple of days ago and soon saw a new offering from him. It reminded me of sunny days in Queensland, Australia!

Although not by Clet, I liked this cheeky little red head.



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Museo Marino Marini, Florence

If you have visited the Guggenheim Museum in Venice, you may have encountered this statue L’Angelo della Città (The Angel of the City), a work of Marino Marini. I have heard the rider’s appendage is removable, in case the museum is expecting visitors who might be shocked by this enthusiastic display!

Photo courtesy of Guggenheim Museum

Photo courtesy of Guggenheim Museum

In one of my stumble-upon encounters, I found a whole museum centered on the works of this artist (and other contemporary artists). This is the Marino Marini Museum, located on San Pancrazio Square, Florence.

These venerable lions guard the entrance to the museum.

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There were a few ancient frescoes visible, here and there.

And a dimly lit underground tunnel that takes visitors to another section of the museum.


The morning sun cast interesting shadows onto the walls.


The museum is housed in the San Pancrazio church, which has been deconsecrated, with the exception of the Rucellai Chapel which contains this small funerary sepulchre.



Here are just a few of the works on display.

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But wait! There’s more. When you visit this museum, the ticket will give you free entry to the Marino Marini Museum in Pistoia. How’s that for a bargain? And, don’t you just love the artist’s name?


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What time is it, Mr Wolf? *

This sundial was situated a neck aching height above a thoroughfare in Florence. It made me wonder when it was put there, and why they chose a rather obscure site. Never mind, we’ll probably never get answers to those questions.

blog sundial

For some reason, the children’s game of the title came to my mind as I looked at this photo. I wonder if they still play this unsophisticated game in any parts of the world?

* For those of you who had an underprivileged childhood, you can recreate this game at your next dinner party: chasing_games  Have fun.



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Il Porcellino

In the Mercato Nuovo, Florence, you’ll see hordes of people standing around this fountain made in the form of a  bronze boar, patting his snout and putting coins in his mouth. They’re hoping that the flowing water will make the coin drop through the grating at his feet, which will ensure good luck for them.

The original statue was cast in the 1630s, and is now kept in the Bardini Museum. This replica was put in place in 2008. There are oodles of copies to be seen all around the world. Maybe your home town has one, let us know.



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Now, that’s what I call a garden!

The Boboli Gardens in Florence, once the private domain of the Medici family, sprawl for acres behind the Pitti Palace. They’re a splendid place to wander, away from the noise and crush of the streets of the city. Set aside a few hours to do justice to the garden, wear comfortable shoes and take some water.

For those who want to find out more, here is one of many sites that describe this oasis in the city: boboli-gardens

I was interested in the many varied sculptures scattered throughout the grounds. Here are just two of them, from quite different time frames.







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Once I was a fish market

This beautifully restored structure in Florence once held a fish market.




 Just beside it, to the right, you can see the ramshackle remains of the Ciompi markets, a paradise for those looking for just the right piece of vintage or antique furnishing for their home.


Photos sourced from

Photos sourced from

Take it from me, I gave a little squee of happiness to see this porticoed place free of the scaffolding and screening that was there a year ago.


Jane, if you’re reading this, here are some family crests, just for you.

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The Ciompi flea market has now been relocated to an area near the Sant’ Ambrogio markets. It just doesn’t seem the same somehow, with all of the rather sterile, uniform white tents. Oh, progress.




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Last day surprises

I literally ran into a friend from Venice (well, Mogliano now), as we came around corners near Santa Maria Novella in Florence. What  a lovely surprise to see you, David, and meet your new bike!


I don’t know this wrestler, but we  do know that Clet has been at work again.


On my way to find a place to eat dinner, I stumbled across a museum I’d never seen before. I’ll be there tomorrow when it opens.


And, from the little balcony outside my hotel room, if I stand on tiptoe whilst craning to the left, look what I can see. (No, I don’t mean the forest of TV antennae.)


Brunelleschi’s triumph (Florence)


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Just look at what this artist has produced as he stood on the sidewalk at the edge of the River Arno. Talent? Just a little bit.


The next time you hear from me, I’ll be in the Northern hemisphere, wearing a red coat. 


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Originals, or facsimiles?

You stood in line for a long, long time with the aim of gazing at the wonder that is David, sculpted by Michelangelo.  Having achieved this goal,  you leave the Gallery dell’Accademia, and turn to your right, just to see what is a little further down this street. You may notice a doorway like this, tucked inside a colonnaded building. It is part of the University of Florence.


One of the schools housed here is that of the Academy of the Arts of Drawing.


Another is the Academy of Fine Arts and Artistic High School.


And, finally, the Faculty of Architecture.


What really attracted my attention were these terracotta semi-circles above the doors. Are they really della Robbia*, or facsimiles?




Does anyone happen to know if they are originals?

(*) della Robbia: when you are thinking of glazed terracotta, this surname can refer to Luca, who developed the technique, his nephew Andrea or great-nephew Giovanni. 

Here is an example of a work by Andrea della Robbia, which you can see on the façade of the Ospedale degli Innocenti, Piazza SS Annunziata in Florence.



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Street walking …

What is more fun on a sunny day than to come across a street performer who soon has the crowd laughing, and eager to join in his madcap activities?



This young lass apparently couldn’t believe what she saw the clown doing.


Gettin’ down and dirty (literally) to capture this moment.


Selfie with equine friend.


And, the fashion statement du jour!



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