'TWAS THE NIGHT... (Florence)


24 December 2010. Christmas Eve.

Florentine lilies and other dangling
objects in Via del Corso.

In Florence, festive decorations are almost never festive.

Piazza dei Ciompi with the loggia from the
former fishmarket (on the left).

And for as long as I can remember, there has been a perverse genius at a desk somewhere in Palazzo Vecchio (Florence's City Hall).

With a unique talent for the improbable and access to a lethal range of special effects.

Dim blue lights strung over only the lower branches
 of trees in Viale Gramsci.

At least in theory, each of these effects represents a deliberate choice.

Unless we can count on Acts of God (like scarce lights or short ladders).

A view over the Ponte Vecchio.

Often, however, a hallowed principle comes into play:

The more important the site,
the odder and sparser the decorations.

And thus the straggle of UFOs hovering over Ponte Vecchio...

The Dome of the Cathedral rises above Orsanmichele.

"But Florence at night is its own best show," as the natives like to say. Especially with the surreal clarity of winter light.

The view over Ponte Santa Trínita and Ponte Vecchio, with
 Piazzale Michelangiolo in the distance (to the right).

But rest assured! The local message of demented cheer is lurking nearby...

Over Ponte Vecchio to Piazzale Michelangiolo.

...whether you look for it - or not!

Piazzale Michelangiolo, Florence's most popular
 scenic look-out, with a towering Christmas Tree flanking a
massive bronze replica of Michelangelo's David.

More Mysteries of Florence?

More Michelangelo's David?

PHOTOGRAPHS: Views of Florence © Lyle Goldberg

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