Add Florence to its suburbs and you’ll tote up about 600,000 mostly Italian people the others being Albanian, Romanian, German, Chinese, and North African. They live at the epicenter of Renaissance art history. You can’t toss a rock in this city for fear of smashing some important sculpture or defacing a significant 15th or 16th century building. Florence emanates what the Western World calls elegance. As a partner with Milan, the city is home to legendary fashion creators. And its shops are branded with names like Ferragamo, Prada, Cavalli, and Chanel. Just to the north and north-west the textile industries continue to roll out some of the world’s finest fabrics.
Florence, or Firenze as it is called by Italians, is such a huge warehouse of art works by the historic masters that a firestorm or another catastrophic flood of the River Arno (which bisects the city) could wreak havoc upon the world’s greatest Renaissance treasures.
Artistically, Florence is overwhelming. For art it is our attic, our basement, and our garage. With only a week to spend, it quickly became apparent that we could do little more than take in the facades, visit some shops and look at the very highlights. But even then, I came away feeling as if I had merely seen, rather than come to know of any this astonishingly large - little place.
Mano-A-ManoOn Saturday, October 6th, world renowned fine art photographer Andreas Manessinger
drove down from his perch in Vienna to dine with me, and to accept my challenge to a single morning of photography the following sunrise starting at the façade and campanile of Santa Maria del Fiore, the city’s most imposing structure, popularly called The Duomo!
Sometime between 6:30 and 7 am on October 7th we met and decided to start at the campanile and work our way through the medieval winding streets toward the uncanny Ponte Vecchio some five blocks to the east. Andreas has already posted one image from that beautiful morning (there was a spectacular moon followed by a breathtaking golden sunrise), as have I. You will find Andreas’ image and a description on his blogsite posted as “Photo 359 – the Magic Cloud” On or about October 9th (which, BTW includes an image of me at work – showing Andreas’ very good taste, heh, heh, heh). But we have yet to see the depth of that shoot. He has not shared his with me, nor vice-versa. In fact, I have not looked at it, and will open the cards this week as I begin to sort through my Firenze images. Now the question is, how to best show our results in one place?