The current situation of pandemic for coronavirus has sparked in many people the thought of something siimilar happening during the plague of 1348.
Of course the basic idea is that of visiting Florence during the epidemic. The plague of 1348 if not well described, was at least taken as an excuse for one of the masterpieces of Italian literature.
This is the Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio, D.O.C Tuscan writer, from the beautiful Medieval town of Certaldo.
But let’s see what these analogies consist of and their contribution to visiting Florence during the epidemic…
Remaining the virological data, it can be said that in Boccaccio’s time the plague was much more lethal. In fact, it killed a third of inhabitants of Europe about 20 million people.
But let’s go further and instead try to analyze the framework of Boccaccio’s masterpiece.
To escape the plague, 7 young noblewomen and 3 wealthy young men florentines, flee to a country villa. This villa is located in the hills near Florence not far from the center. Many speculate that it is to be located around Fiesole. For 10 days during a slightly longer period of isolation, they decide to tell 1 story each.
Let’s enthralling you to visit Florence during the epidemic. I would say that the main affinity lies in how to spend time in quarantine. Today we have infinite possibilities, from gymnastics at home, to television, to reading, to music. However personally I am more impressed with the potential options of the internet.
One of these is precisely that of making museums visits albeit virtually they may be. Of all the offers which are up for grabs, since we are in Florence, I would first of all propose a virtual visit to the Uffizi gallery in Florence. Entering the site one is immediately intrigued by the possibility to visit the hall of dynasties and the halls of the Venetian masters of the Renaissance.
In 1634 there was the wedding between Ferdinando II de ‘Medici and Vittoria della Rovere. This noble wedding brought the immense collection of works of art of the Duchy of Urbino to Florence. As a consequence the collection of Venetian paintings of the sixteenth century at the Uffizi Galleries arguably the most important in the world. The rooms dedicated to it were restored and inaugurated in 2019.
In the room of the dynasties, my favorite paintings-portraits are 3. Lorenzo il Magnifico by Vasari, Cosimo The Elder by Pontormo and above all the portrait of Eleonora from Toledo with her son Giovanni by Bronzino. I have always been struck by the latter picture for the perfection of the whole. The sweetness of Eleonora and the beauty of the robe made of very rare silk, pearls and brocades and sewn so perfectly that today it would be impossible to reproduce.
The figures of Eleonora and the child are drawn with a great accuracy and sharpness of contours. This characteristic was typical of Florentine artists who preferred drawing over the play of colors. The care in painting the details can be seen in the noblewoman’s dress and jewels. Even the faces are depicted with great clarity. Bronzino was a great portraitist and made the best use of the techniques developed in those years.
Continuing visiting Florence during the epidemic in hypervision mode we come to the following rooms:
1 – Room of the Dynasties (already quoted above)
2 – Room of Giorgione
3 – Little Venetian Chapel
4 – Anteroom of the Decima
5 – Titian’s little room.
6 – Room of the Venus from Urbino by Titian
7 – Room of the Venetian Naturalism.
8 – Tintoretto’s room
9 – Veronese’s room
10 – Veronese’s little room
It is probably a museum in the museum which alone is worth the cost of the ticket.
An extraordinary operation made possible also by large donations made by private individuals.
A window on the Arno has also been opened, with a breathtaking view of the river and surrounding hills.
Waiting to go there in person it is worth doing the proposed tour. So you can really say you are visiting Florence during the epidemic…