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WALKING TOUR

STROLLING OF FLORENCE

                             
                       
 

A beautiful walking tour taken from the famous book "Strolling of Florence" fruit of the searches of the curious Franco Ciarleglio, who patiently, analyzing old texts in the Florentine historical files has taken out 52 stories.

   
             
               
 

Walking through the Florentine center in a narrow area, you can phisically appreciate his job, discovering among the Florence streets small curiosities and important historical references, which have left the sign in the Florentine habits and language and in many cases in the Italian language as well.


This walking tour will give you the chance of getting to know interesting news of important historical relief, but with the lightness of the "novellas", such as you might have heard from our grandparents about the incontestable historical truths, legends, uses and customs in the Renaissance and Medieval Florence.

         
       

You will be accompanied by a Florentine Guide provided with all the necessary licenses and therefore with all the historical knowledge in order to satisfy all your curiosities: instead of a classical walking tour you will be taken through a very pleasant and calm afternoon, without even having to remember any particular historical difficult detail.

 
   
           

Particularly suitable for children too, who will be fascinated with stories of ghosts and ancient riders, legends, tales of daily life that will bring you back, with mind and heart, in full Renaissance, while you will be reliving in front of the small details, sculptures, paintings now mostly forgotten, whose stories the scholar Franco Ciarleglio has told on his book "Strolling of Florence"

 

If you are not going to have a tour with us, you can look for "Strolling of Florence " (Bertelli Publishing) and with that guidebook in your hands, walk through the center locating points of interest, whose legend are narrated there.

   
             

It is difficult to express the emotions that arouse from reading legends and reported stories in this book, and even more difficult to tell the emotions that spread from reliving that stories when you phisically make the tour.

Surely unusual and strange if compared with the classical walking tour in Florence, with the authorization of Mr. Ciarleglio we publish two stories taken from " Strolling of Florence ", so that you can have an idea of the thing you will see and particularly about stories he reveals behind small particular details present in the center of Florence and by now forgotten, those that only in a stupendous walk in the center in Florence, together with our authorized guide or with "Strolling of Florence" in your hands, you will get to know.

             
 

The Bull And the Baker

On on the left hand side of Santa Maria del Fiore, at the top of a supporting column there is a head of a bull stiking out from the frame.
Actually this is really the head of a cow, proudly displayed to honour all those beasts of bourden who have collaborated over the centuries in the works for the Opera del Duomo (building site of the Duomo) by bearing the weight of the haviest loads. However the common folk recognised the head of a bull in the sculpture and there is quite a sacy story behind it .
A legend tell that the bull's head was in fact placed in that exact spot by one of the "master stonemasons" who was working on the building of the new chatedral. This man whas the lover of the baker's wife who had his shop not far from the chatedral.
The baker discovered their love affair and flew into a rage threatening the master stonemasons and repudiating his wife for adultery before the ecclesiastic court. The lovers were fond guilty and forced to stop seeing each other.
As an act of revenge the master stonemason decided to mount the head of a "cuckolded" bull right in front of the poor baker's window for when he would have looked out he would have to face with the memory of his wife's betrayal!

The Window Always Open

Two patrician palaces face into Piazza Santissima Annunziata. The one to the right when looking at the cupola of the Duomo, so that you can see down Via dè Servi, it's now called Budini-Gattai, nowadays known as Palazzo Grifoni, for the family that build and inhabited it for several centuries. The top second floor window has always his shutters closed, but with the lower part opened as allowing anyone inside the room to look down the piazza below.
There is a legend telling that a few centuries ago a very bautiful girl was given in marriage to one of the Grifoni sons. She moved to the palace with her husband with whom she was deeply in love, and he with her.
The happiness of the two newly-weds was not destined to last forever, and several months later the young Grifoni was called off to war togheter with heirs of all the other noble and patrician families of Florence.
One sad day the beautiful wife bid a tearful farewell to her husband, waving to him from the small window as he rode away on his horse, armed to the theet and with his faithful equerry at this side holding on hight the gold standard with the family's red crest.
The lonely wife spent most of her days sewing and embroindering on a bench next to the window from where she glanced out every now and then while awaiting the return of her husband.
The days passed by but there was still no news of him and the tales brought into the city by merchant and piligrim regarding the progress of the war where not reassuring. However she never gave up hope and waited patiently day after day continuing to gaze out of the window.
The days turned in months and months into years, and the wife, no longer young, gradually began to accept her fate, even though she still spent most of the day sitting by the window with her memories of the happy yet brief period passed togheter with the man she loved.
In her old age her favorite past time was that of observing the word below her window with the children playing in the piazza, the merchant selling their wares under the arcades and the peasants arriving in the marketplace with their carts. However, her mind always strayed to the memory of her young armed knigt riding off to war with his standard.
She died right in this room. When her body was carried away and they tried to close the window all hell broke lose. Book started flying across the room, furniture started jumping about , the lamps turned off and on, pictures dropped off the walls and ornaments shifted about! The member of her family were filled with fear. However as soon as the window was opened again, peace returned to the room and ever since then this window has been kept just as it was then, sufficently opened to allow a view of the piazza below.

 

More stories are waiting to be reported. In the 3 hours together with our guide, certainly it won't be possible to tell all 56, but probably you will be spellbound by the simplicity and the fluidity of this book, so that in your returning home it will bring you in the fascinating Medieval and Renaissance Florence every time that you will skim through it, maybe telling one "novella" to your children, or just looking yourself for ancient Florentine uses, customs and legends.

 

 
 
                     

For any information, or for booking a guided walking tour, or in some particular cases to be accompanied by the same historical writer and researcher Franco Ciarleglio, you can directly contact our office.
Here you can buy the books of Franco Ciarleglio:

info@enjoyflorence.com
 

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