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David Lown
Art historian, writer and guide
Art historian, writer and guide
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Marking the Spot
Statue of Justice Since the  Via Tornabuoni was 'pedestrianised', the base of the  Colonna della Giustizia  (Column of Justice) has become a popular place for people to sit and watch the world go by.  The column, which stands in Piazza Santa Trinita , was p...

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A Gallery of the Great and Good
Michelangelo by Emilio Santarelli. I have long been interested in the twenty-eight marble statues, which grace the niches of the Loggiato degli Uffizi . Although the loggiato was built in the 16th century, the statues weren't added until the middle of the 1...

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'A Vulgar Little Village'
Via della Scala/Piazza Santa Maria Novella. The American writer Henry James (1843-1916) first visited Florence in October 1869. It was a city to which he would return again and again. In January 1874 he pitched up with his brother William. The two had just ...

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'Angels of the Mud'
The Stele dell' Amicizia.  On November 4th, 1966, Florence suffered its worst ever flood.  The thousands of (mainly) students, who flocked to the city from all over the world to offer their assistance were nicknamed  angeli del fango (angels of the mud). Th...

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The Man Who Created Piazzale Michelangiolo
Plaque to Giuseppe Poggi, Piazzale Michelaniolo. At the back of Piazzale Michelangiolo stands a building that is all too easily overlooked by the hundreds of people who are busy enjoying the spectacular views over Florence. The piazzale was created by the F...

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The Fountain of the Little Putti
The Fontana dei Puttini by Mario Moschi. One of the quirkiest fountains in Florence can be found in the  Piazza Vasari , which lies a short walk north of the 'English' Cemetery.  The Fontana dei Puttini (1952) is made up of a column of four small children a...

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Pestering Michelangelo
L'importuno di Michelangelo, Palazzo Vecchio. Carved into a small block of stone, to the right of the entrance to the Palazzo Vecchio , is a profile of a male head. It is known locally as L'importuno   di Michelangelo.   Importuno   is Italian for pest or n...

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A Monument to a Maharajah
The monument to Rajaram Chuttraputti, the Maharajah of Kohlapur. What on earth is a monument to an Indian Maharajah doing in the Parco delle Cascine ? On November 29th, 1870, Rajaram Chuttraputti, the Maharajah of Kohlapur, arrived in Florence. The Maharaja...

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Feeling the Cold
Plaque to Percy Bysshe Shelley. Anyone who has visited Florence during the winter months will know just how the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley felt when he wrote, ' Tuscany is delightful eight months of the year. But nothing reconciles me to…such infernal cold a...

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Lest We Sleep
The motto 'Per Non Dormire', Palazzo Bartolini-Salimbeni.  The Bartolini-Salimbeni must have been very proud of their family motto (Per Non Dormire/lest we sleep), for it can be seen all over the palazzo they had built on the east side of Piazza di Santa Tr...
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