Tomb of the antipope John XXIII

Il Battistero riserva la sorpresa di accogliere la tomba di un papa, o forse no, onore raramente riservato a una chiesa che non sia San Pietro. Si trova a destra dell’abside, racchiusa tra due grandi colonne e concepita in ben tre diversi livelli con sculture e bassorilievi di Donatello e di Michelozzo. La sorpresa è anche più grande quando si apprende che il papa ivi sepolto è Giovanni XXIII, ovvero Baldassarre Cossa, eletto al Concilio di Pisa del 1410, che aveva contribuito a organizzare e soprattutto a finanziare, e morto nel 1419 a Firenze, città di cui era alleato.

The ancient strongbox in a normal shop

Napapijri, a sportswear shop in Via Porta Rossa 2 red, on the corner of Via Calimaruzza, contains a largely unknown treasure: a magnificent strongbox fitted within the dividing wall. According to experts, this masterpiece of craftsmanship dates from the 15th or 16th century - only in a city like Florence could such an antique crop up in such an unlikely place. In effect, the strongbox is a combination of marvels: within the stone wall a small niche was hollowed, within which was set a small nail-studded wooden door.

Meridian in front of Florence Galileo’s Museum Combination of tradition and modernity

The superb meridian that adorns the forecourt of the History of Science Museum was unveiled in 2008 and celebrates the combination of tradition (of which the museum is the custodian) and modernity. The signs of the zodiac in glass are laid out in the ground along a calibrated copper standard that runs for fifteen meters from the Arno parapet (where the summer solstice is marked) to the museum entrance (where the winter solstice is marked).

The Dante’s comedy And its plaques on buildings throughout the city

In the streets of Florence you’ll find a total of thirty-four plaques with quotations from the La Divina Commedia: nine from Inferno, five from Purgatorio and no less than twenty from Paradiso. Given their number and unity of form, these plaques form a sort of unfolding poetic mural that is unique in the world. Although they are now considered to be an integral part of the “Stones of Florence”, they actually date from a project initiated in 1900. You could undertake a sort of treasure hunt to identify the various locations. But for those who can’t be bothered to search for all thirty- four, here is a list of some locations and quotations. Inferno VIII, 61 - 63 (Filippo Argenti): Via del Corso, location of the home of the Adimari, parents of Filippo Argenti;
 X, 58 - 63 (Guido Cavalcanti): Via Calzaiuoli, location of the home of the Cavalcanti;
 X, 91 - 93 (Farinata):

The Frilli Gallery A temple to the perfect copy

Housed in the six vaulted spaces of what used to be a stable for horse-drawn carriages, the Frilli Gallery provides a remarkable overview of the history of Florentine sculpture. The whole gallery, created with a refined clientele in mind, consists of copies of greater and lesser masterpieces. But these are not mass-produced copies, they are the product of a long tradition of craft skills applied to such fine materials as bronze and marble.

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