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Florence Piazza della Libertà – Le Cure – Campo di Marte

 

It was back in 1865 when Florence, then capital of Italy, changed its profile: the walls were demolished, and the ring roads took their place. In front of the historic Porta San Gallo the architect Giuseppe Poggi designed the oval of Piazza della Libertà and all around it, buildings and arcades in nineteenth-century style. A little further south, in Piazza Donatello, a small, elevated island became the cemetery of the English. The area is characterized by tree-lined avenues and imposing Art Nouveau buildings that makes it extremely elegant and well-designed.

 

Next to this area, is the quarter of Le Cure whose residential development came about because of the renovations made or Florence as Capitol City. In ancient times, the neighborhood was located outside the city walls and, along the creek the crosses it, the Mugnone, the “cure” of the linens was performed, consisting in washing and bleaching them. Later, the area became the site of several artisanal activities that had a relevant financial value for the city.

Before Italy’s reunification, the section now called “Campo di Marte” was an extra-urban marshy field, crossed by various creeks, the Affrico, the Fosso San Gervasio, the Fontallerta brook, the Fosso delle Forbici, mostly used for agricultural and artisanal activities. In the 19th Century the area underwent deep changes, like the building of the railroad and of the train station along with the planning by the architect Luigi de Cambray Digny of an area where the Tuscan army trained and where there were military parades. The name of this neighborhood comes from this 19th Century “intended use.”

With the demolition of the city walls and the urban replanning by Giuseppe Poggi, this area also viewed an increase in the population and saw the beginning of artisanal activities. During the first decades of the 20th Century, Campo di Marte underwent a change and became a sports center, with the construction of several sport venues including the Football Stadium Artemio Franchi designed by Pier Luigi Nervi in 1929.

These districts are at the foothills of Fiesole and Settignano, places of peace and infinite beauty, an inspiration for artists like Telemaco Signorini, Silvestro Lega and Odoardo Borrani and that housed convents, farmhouses and churches until the urban reorganization performed by Poggi.

The elegance of these areas is enriched by the presence of imaginative artisans and their creations: skillfully carved frames, precious leather objects, high-end natural cosmetic products, unique design objects, restoration of ancient precious texts, manuscripts and incunabula, creative bijoux inspired by fairy tales, high end millinery.

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