Florence as Text
“City Frozen in Time” by Madeline Pestana of FIU
Florence, a city frozen in time whose streets remember the fathers of art and philosophy, embraces its original urban planning. From city streets to architectural designs, history is embedded in modern day Florence. The roads, only large enough for small cars, was once flooded with chariots. Despite technological advances, the roads remain in their original state. In certain areas, automobiles are prohibited, encouraging pedestrians to walk safely throughout the city. The Orsanmichele, once a granary and now the Church of the Guilds of Florence, has since been modified, however the external designs and the sculptures embedded on the walls have been kept in place as they were original intended to. By doing so, we are able to go back in time as Michelangelo and examine the sculptures, while admiring the innovative techniques of that time. Hundreds of years later, these sculptures are just as magnificent in their original post. Along the Arno River, several buildings survived the destruction of war. Instead of demolishing the damaged buildings, Florentines chose to embrace the remains, turning them into facades as the interiors were rebuilt. The preservation of these facades represent their efforts in preserving and appreciating the past. In front of the Palazzo Vecchio, a replica of The David stands in place of the original from the 1500s. Although the original no longer stands in that particular spot, urban planners ensured that a version remained posted in that spot to as an emblem of Florentine history. This city, as it is frozen in time, allows its guests to walk the streets and envision themselves alongside the early Florentines.