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Guided tours in Florence

26

mar
2013

In Guided tours in Florence

In Florence following Boccaccio’s footmarks

On 26, mar 2013 | | In Guided tours in Florence

Decameron3

This year we celebrate the 7th centenary from the birth of Giovanni Boccaccio, a Florentine novelist who is considered one the founders of the Italian language.

Giovanni was born in 1313 probably in Florence and, after a life spent travelling to and from Florence and Naples, he died in Certaldo (district of Florence) on the 21st of December 1375.

Why not, then, walking through the streets of Florence at the discovery of the places he used to attend?

I recommend to start visiting the two quarters where Boccaccio spent his childhood: the area near San Pier Maggiore, at the end of Borgo Albizi, where you can still breath an ancient atmosphere, and that close to San Felice in Piazza, with the amazing Medieval church, restored by Michelozzo and made so precious thanks to the painted cross. On the way to San Felice, stop in Santa Croce quarter, visit the Bardi Chapel frescoed by Giotto to enjoy the view of the marvellous paintings and to realize how rich that family was. For this bankers’  family Boccaccio’s father  worked and the novelist himself was employed into one of their banks in Naples.

Coming back from the Oltrarno the hidden Santo Stefano al Ponte church is worthy visiting: it’s  characterised by a Romanesque style   façade and by the presence of Buontalenti’s steps for the Santa Trinita church. Right in the Santo Stefano al Ponte church Boccaccio publically read seventeen chapters from the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri .

The most natural ending of the walk will be the Strozzi of Mantua chapel in the Santa Maria Novella church, from where the ten characters of the Decameron  left to go to the countryside in order to avoid the terrible Black Death dating 1348.

For those wishing to completely close the circle, I recommend to organize a trip to Certaldo Alto (50 km away from Florence), where they will find the palace in which Boccaccio died and the Santi Iacopo e Filippo church in which he was buried.

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