Florence’s long history surprises even those who believe they know all its secrets.
In the Gallery of Modern Art in Palazzo Pitti, one of the most visited buildings in the city, you can admire the monumental Staircase designed by Pasquale Poccianti in 1847, which remained closed for more than half a century. Its long and careful restoration, for which contemporary marble was used, returned to the grand Staircase to its full splendour, just as it was at its inauguration in the times of the last Grand Dukes of Tuscany.
The Porcellino Market, known for the bronze statue made by Tacca that shows the famous wild boar on the fountain, is well-loved by all. Under the vast loggia is the straw market, whilst above the vaults, in the cavity of the roof, a vast lounge has been restored, accessible via a spiral staircase enclosed in one of the columns. The lounge, with a breathtaking panoramic view, is not open to the public on a regular basis and can accommodate up to 20 people; it was restored by the Committee of Market Traders and is used for meetings and cultural activities.
The Tower of San Niccolò, in Piazza Poggi, is also unmissable. The door, which remained isolated from the wall it belonged to, was built in 1324 in defence of the Oltrarno district. It is the only tower in Florence that was not “pruned”, that is to say lowered from its original height, thus maintaining a very impressive walkway.
Finally, a touch of modernity: the Rose Garden, open throughout June and in a panoramic localtion below Piazzale Michelangelo. It is home to nine sculptures and two sketches by the recently deceased Belgian artist, Jean Michel Folon.