Florence in the soul
Here's our third photo report on the city during Coronavirus. Seen by Lorenzo Cotrozzi
From my window the tenacity of imagination makes one imagine extraordinary scenarios. The slow and indifferent flow of the Arno under its silent bridges. Piazza del Duomo with the three jewels set against the absolute void.
Santa Croce with its Dante amazed by such silence. And the Santa Maria Novella station, today no one hurries for the train. Not voices of children coming out of school, not young people leaving for aperitif time, not slow old people walking or sitting in the gardens bursting with life, and cars rushing by leaving behind that constant and friendly rustling. With eyes closed the images overlap, the streets and alleys intertwine and follow each other madly, the monuments speak. The reality today is an empty, suddenly deserted Florence, a sad new world full of strength.
It is our Florence. Lorenzo Cotrozzi with his lens has stopped it like this. Giving us the opportunity that some shots are indelibly imprinted in our minds to remind us tomorrow and forever the strange beauty of a painful event. They are black and white photos and a thousand shades of gray given by the tamed light, a courageous choice that deprives us of the natural element of color with which our eyes are accustomed to live. Yet they magically convey intense emotions.
Piazza del Duomo, with the Baptistery perhaps the oldest monument in the city, a tourist destination in the world as never seen before. Only the obligatory silence clashes with the imperiousness of the historical monuments, emblem of Florentine religiosity.
The station of Santa Maria Novella a project by the young Giovanni Michelucci dated 1933 (it was an act of courage to place a modern building in the heart of the historic centre of Florence and in front of the splendid basilica of Santa Maria Novella), empty and motionless under an illusory sky.
Piazza Santa Croce, (cover photo) one of the most touristy places, today out of reality. As if the architect Arnolfo di Cambio was now working on it and contemplating from afar to understand what goes well and what doesn't. But in this case the proportions are divinely perfect. One of the lions at the base of the Monument to Dante Alighieri in Largo Bargellini.
Part of the courtyard of the Uffizi seen from Palazzo Vecchio, commonly full of tourists lining up for the museum. Until a few years ago it hosted the Flower Festival, thus becoming a flower garden, since last year it is the stalls of Apriti Cinema, a fascinating summer film arena.
Piazza della Signoria seen from the loggia of the Uffizi. Deserted as in a typical postcard of the fifties. The fountain of Neptune by Bartolomeo Ammannati, an elegant, low, elongated fountain with the Biancone in white Carrara marble in the centre, which indifferently looks and spurts columns of water towards the sky.
"At last the inhabitants for memory, since it was placed in a field of flowers, I denno the beautiful name onde s'ingloria". (Fazio degli Uberti in his Dittamondo)"