In response to Amy’s prompt for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #51, I’ve selected photos which highlight Florence, a unique Italian city. But why is it unique?
Its Living History
In Florence, the past informs and still dominates the present. To prove this, I’ll give you three examples.
- Saltless Bread: Modern-day visitors are surprised that traditional Florentine bread has no salt. Why? Two popular theories rely on events dating from the Middle Ages. One camp blames Florence’s warring neighbors from Pisa who blockaded the ports and stopped the shipments of salt to Florence hundreds of years ago. Another camp says it was a revolt against a salt tax also dating from the Middle Ages. Regardless of the reason, Florentines still keep their tradition of making saltless bread.
- The Calcio Storico: In the summer, Florence hosts the calcio storico–an ancient game from the Middle Ages–a precursor to our modern-day soccer and rugby. The warring Florentine teams play calcio with a brutal intensity and no protective gear. Players are free to use any means to score, including fistfights. The only rule is that players fight one-on-one only.
- Renaissance Splendor: Finally, Florence still remains the epicenter of the Renaissance-where the artistic luminaries such as: Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, and Michelangelo, created some of their finest work in this city. It’s a visual feast for art lovers.
In Florence, classical buildings sit against medieval buildings. It’s that contrast we like.~Richard Rogers
In this photo you can see how the Baptistery and the Duomo, which date back to the 1300’s, still dominate the modern skyline in Florence ,where every-day life coexists with Renaissance splendor.
Its Poet Laureate
Three things remain with us from paradise: stars, flowers and children.~Dante Alighieri
Finally, there’s Dante, the poet laureate of Florence, who wrote his legendary Divine Comedy in the 1300’s. However, his allegory of political intrigue and journey through hell, purgatory, and paradise still resonate with us today. This famous “son” of Florence is honored in the Piazza Santa Croce.
A special thanks to Amy for this week’s photo inspiration and a chance to share my love of Florence. Stop by her The World is A Book blog to see her challenge post. Next week, it’s Tina’s turn to host the challenge, so be sure to visit her Travels and Trifles blog.
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As always, Amy, Tina, Ann-Christine, and I are delighted that you’re joining us! Wishing you a wonderful, inspiring week!