In this article we suggest you five unusual and unknown places to discover in Florence worth visiting if you are in the city.
Surely if you have been to Florence you may have taken a nice walk on the Ponte Vecchio, enjoyed the beautiful panorama in Piazza Michelangelo or visited Santa Maria Maggiore and Palazzo Pitti, without forgetting to stop by the famous Duomo.
We hope that soon we will be able to travel like we used to, in the meantime we want to suggest you some spots in Florence you might not know.
In this article, we talk about 5 unknown and unusual places in Florence that are definitely worth a visit. Add them to your list!
- The Baby Fountain
- Perseus with the Head of Medusa
- The Historic Houses of Settignano
- San Martino della Scala
- The Ancient Roman Amphitheater
The Baby Fountain
Also known as the fountain of the “Puttini“, it is located in the garden of Piazza Vasari, built in 1942 at the behest of the mayor of the time, Giorgio La Pira and was restored pretty recently, in 2008, at a cost of €15,000 which gave it new splendor.
This fountain represents four children crawling one on top of the other on a turtle’s shell. The idea of such construction came from Moschi. He saw his niece crawling around the house together with the turtle they had. An unusual construction but worth seeing.
Mi ha ricordato questa:— l_aforista (@aforista_l) October 8, 2020
[Firenze, Piazza Vasari, Fontana dei Puttini] pic.twitter.com/mJVlQiQJKo
Perseus With the Head of Medusa
Among the 5 unusual and unknown places in Florence, in Piazza della Signoria, in the Loggia dei Lanzi, you cannot miss the statue of Perseus who, after defeating Medusa, shows off her severed head.
The statue dates back to around 1400, the author of the work is Benvenuto Cellini who built the work entirely in bronze. In the other hand Perseus shows his saber while resting his bare feet on the body of the Gorgon.
At his feet he also has wings and sandals while on his head he wears his decorated helmet. The body is half-naked while streams of blood run down his neck after fighting with Medusa, who instead has her eyes half closed.
The peculiarity of the statue is that if you look at it from behind you can see the hidden face of Cellini, this is because it is also a self-portrait.
The Historic Houses of Settignano
In the eastern part of Florence lies Settignano where you can find many beautiful historic villas. It is thought that Michelangelo lived his first years of life in one of these villas.
The most famous and beautiful are the Porziuncola residence where Eleonora Duse lived, the Capponcina where the famous italian poet D’annunzio moved to get closer to his girlfriend (the priviously mentioned Mrs Duse) and finally the Villa Gamberaia.
The latter inspired many artists for its beauty, it has the shape of a parallelepiped, with a classic shape of Tuscan buildings and a large terrace as per tradition.
Inside you can find spaces used for agricultural work, also a Tuscan tradition. A large corridor overlooks the external courtyard creating a continuity of spaces. It is really worth taking a long walk on the Settignano hills to admire these residences.
San Martino della Scala
This building is actually a church that is located in the juvenile penitentiary of Florence. It is one of the most hidden and unusual places given its location, no one would expect to find such a building there.
The Penitentiary institute took the place of the former convent of the nuns of San Martino in Mugnone in 1873, while the latter had already replaced the hospital of La Scala.
This splendid church dates back to 1313 and together with the hospital housed poor and abandoned children. It stands with a porch and some columns not entirely visible where abandoned children were left. In this church the artist Sandro Botticelli painted the Annunciation, which was then transferred to the Uffizi in Florence.
The Ancient Roman Amphitheatre
Florence is famous for having perpendicular-shaped streets, while an unusual structure is that of the Roman amphitheatre built in the 2nd century A.D. and which could accommodate about 20,000 people.
More precisely, it is located between via Torta, via del “Parlascio” and via Bentaccordi up to Piazza Peruzzi with the classic circular shape of the amphitheaters.
This construction is also a symbol of the maximum expansion of the Florentine city, with an elliptical shape, while some of its spaces were closed by the medieval houses erected on some of its arches.
In reality it was not excavated and built on purpose but was discovered by chance in 1887.
P.S. If you liked this article, we recommend that you read the one about UNESCO heritage sites in Tuscany.