Shaping Florence

Medici Villa Ballroom

Students admire painting of Medici history within the Medici Villa Ballroom.

One of the greatest things about Florence, besides the artwork of course, is the history. Part of this history can be seen in the building structures alone. Layer upon layer was added over time, giving the town an uneven but interesting narrative. I even learned when first coming here that there was an old coliseum two blocks away from my apartment. It’s now been converted into a group of buildings and apartments, but it has maintained its original structure so that even the street wraps around it. I just find it very interesting how history shapes the present, literally.

The Medici family had a huge impact on shaping history, especially in Florence. I’ve walked by one of their many homes almost every day. The castle like wall stretches up four stories high and has these iron hooks that are embedded into the wall. You could tell how intimidating it must have been back during the Renaissance.

Venus Fountain Statue

Venus fountain statue located in the garden of the Medici Villa.

I also had the opportunity to go visit one of the Medici Villas a couple weeks ago which was located on the edge of Florence and overlooked the city. These Villas were a sort of retreat home for the Medici family. They were beautiful country like mansions that had gardens surrounding them which were filled with statues and fountains. The homes themselves were decorated with impressive art that often referred back to the family and its success. It was as if the history came alive while we walked through the rooms. It allowed us to see a fraction of what it may have been like to live there. I enjoyed the experience immensely and it was very intriguing imagining the family live within these impressive estates.

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