Bellosguardo a piece of paradise in Florence

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So let’s continue our tour in the beautiful city of Florence. This time I will take you to the “Galeria da Academia de Belas Artes” where I fell in love with Michelangelo and to a little piece of paradise called “Bellosguardo”.   

View of Florence from “Hotel Torre di Bellosguardo”

Bellosguardo

It is Saturday morning and I have decided to walk to this mystical place in the hills just outside of Florence.  Bellosguardo is located in the south-west of Florence on a small hill with a breath-taking view of the historic city centre. It was a beautiful walk, with amazing views all along the way and when I arrived at the top I couldn’t believe my eyes. Wow ! This is the place where I am going to spend some quality time!

View of Florence from “Hotel Torre di Bellosguardo”

I feel so privileged to have the opportunity to be here. This location is absolutely unique, the building and its garden are in one word phenomenal. The story of Bellosguardo is historically very interesting and endlessly fascinating. The tower was built in the 13th century, and initially, it functioned as a refuge and hunting lodge.

In 1583 the Michelozzi’s restored the tower and constructed the impressive renaissance villa that you can admire today. For a while“Torre di Bellosguardo” has also been appropriated by the famous Medici family (see my previous post), who used it as one of their residences outside the walls of Florence.
In 1913 Bellosguardo was bought by Baroness Franchetti, the grandmother of the present owner who restored the villa and created the magnificent park and gardens.

Donkeys 

During my stroll through this estate, I met those 3 lovely creatures. You probably don´t know this, but I am an absolute donkey fan! I adore these animals and I can admire them for hours, which was a good thing because it started to rain so I was stuck with my new friends for quite a while……..

And this handsome chap also lives on the estate

Hotel Torre di Bellosguardo

When you walk around in the “Hotel Torre di Bellosguardo” you see and feel how much love and attention has been paid to its renovation. It feels like going back in time but with today’s comfort. There were moments when I almost felt like a princess in my own tower room. Unfortunately, prince charming on his white horse didn’t show up. Maybe because of the rain or……….. or maybe he likes younger princesses ……😉

So if you are ever in Florence then do not miss the opportunity and try to book a room in this marvellous place. I would like to thank Anna and her staff for this wonderful stay, I will certainly come back.

“Galleria da Academia de Belas Artes”

Here is where it happened. ……..in this gallery. It was as if I was struck by lightning when I saw the “David”. There was no way back, I fell in love with Michelangelo! Of course, I knew some of Michelangelo’s work before I came here, but the “David” unleashed something unstoppable. I know that art history isn’t everyone’s cup of tea so I won’t delve too deep into it. Maybe I just want to share a bit of my enthusiasm with you.

David before the battle with Goliath from Michelangelo

This is without any doubt one of the greatest masterpieces created by mankind. Michelangelo started with this sculpture in the year 1502 when he was only 26 years old and he constantly worked on it until 1504.

We are visiting the Academia with Maurizio, the always enthusiastic art history teacher (see the previous post about Florence). His lively and fascinating way of storytelling takes you right back in time. His first question about the David was, what strikes you about this sculpture? My answer, that maybe his penis was a bit small for such a big man was not the right answer 😊.
The right answer is clearly, that it is a very detailed sculpture, just look at the muscles in his legs, the pulsing veins in his hand and his watchful eyes.

In the Academia you will find more interesting works by Michelangelo, including, “the awaking slave” and “the young slave”. The fame of these statues is above all due to their unfinished state (called non-finito). You see the sculptures in the different stages, and I really like them. It almost seems as if the figures try to liberate themselves from the stone. It is now claimed that Michelangelo deliberately left them incomplete to represent this eternal struggle of the human being to free themselves from their material trappings. Isn’t it amazing that nowadays we are still facing the same problems?

And we close the day with the “Piazzale Michelangelo”. This square was designed in 1869 by Giuseppe Poggi and dedicated to Michelangelo. On this square, you will find a statue made of Michelangelo’s greatest works of art. The Piazzale Michelangelo is located on the other side of the beautiful river Arno and from here you have the best views of Florence.

Arno river Florence

Statue Piazzale Michelangelo

But for me, the view from this square is the most important thing!

View from Piazzale Michelangelo

View from Piazzale Michelangelo

This post has become a bit longer than I had planned, so the next time I owe you the ZaZa recipe! And then I’ll also tell you how Michelangelo brought me to Rome on the very last day before my departure.

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

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6 Comments

  • Ana 29/11/2020 at 1:35 pm Reply

    Thank you Johanna for all your passionate words about your stay in Bellosguardo. It was a pleasure having you as a guest and to share such a live conversation through a glass of prosecco. We hope to welcome you back with open arms very soon. Stay well.

    • johanna 02/12/2020 at 4:52 pm Reply

      Thank you Ana, let´s hope this Covid situation is changing soon so I can come back.
      Speriamo di verderci presto !

  • Dik 30/11/2020 at 9:20 pm Reply

    Fantastisch geschreven en mooie plaatjes weer!!!!

    • johanna 02/12/2020 at 4:53 pm Reply

      Grazie mille ❣ Hopelijk snel weer een keer bijkletsen.

  • Anja 06/12/2020 at 9:10 am Reply

    Volgende keer wil ik mee!!!!!! Mooi geschreven schatje! Heerlijk humor, love it.

    • johanna 29/12/2020 at 12:41 pm Reply

      Hopelijk kan dat heel snel!! XXX

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