Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, is a must-see for art enthusiasts. Well, culture and politics, fashion and economy are areas this UNESCO World Heritage site has influences over but, it is well known for the numerous palaces, museums, sculptures and paintings by Donatello, Giambologna, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Botticelli, Filippo Lippi and Fra Angelico among many others.
One does not need to enter a museum to view the famous works of art. Aside from the street art florence is known for, there are a lot of free art displays. The Loggia dei Lanzi, for example, is an open building at the Piazza della Signoria which holds a number of sculptures, for one – the bronze statue of Perseus by Benvenuto Cellini. The Loggia is adjacent to the Uffizi Gallery, one of the more famous museums boasting an art collection of the Renaissance artists themselves. The courtyard alone is a feast for artists’ eyes, each of the wings have niches holding a statue of Italian artists including Leonardo da Vinci and Dante Alighieri. The courtyard opens to the Arno River dramatically, like it was designed by Giorgio Vasari to be both artistic and nostalgic.
And it is not only in these buildings and museums that art can be enjoyed. The streets of Florence thrive with freethinkers, probably rebel artists but all in a different level than the usual ones we are used to. Every hour of the day, you’ll find them bringing their medium and skills on the streets for gawkers to enjoy. And it’s not on the walls but literally, on the streets. Staying true to the Renaissance, the artists depict religious themes, royalty and such on their works.
Here are two of the artists we met one night. Their masterpieces might be displayed just for an hour or two (or the duration from when the painter started up until he finished) that’s why we were glad to have captured these for the sake of posterity.