Pianta della Catena, detail
Museo Firenze Com’era
A birds-eye view of Florence, if you have been to Florence, is not such an uncommon thing. There are plenty of places from which to survey the orange Tuscan roofs; Piazzale Michelangelo up in the hills, not to mention the cupola and bell tower of the impressive Duomo. It is interesting then to look at the city from the sky historically, as one is immediately overwhelmed by the fact that the view is not drastically different. The infrastructure probably varies and the city has spread with its population, but the amount of dominant buildings in Florence that date from the fourteenth and fifteenth-century is astonishing. The church turrets that climb here still watch over the city; the large palaces that line the main squares and streets are those of the notorious Florentine families. What our modern view now lacks is this snaking city wall, the buildings are not so neatly separated from the rolling Tuscan hills, dotted, as they are here, with their distinctive trees. What is evident from this picture is the city, like the hills, has been breathing in its valley for centuries; it is no wonder that it hides such cultural and historical treasures among its walls.