While living in Italy, I walk everywhere all of the time. I love living in a place where I never end up in a car. One of the best things about walking so much everyday is what I see en route. It’s not only about being on a mission and arriving to the destination, but what it looks and feels like along the way there and back. The weather, light, crowds, uneven cobblestones, beautiful old architecture and the discovery of new sites and places are all integral to the experience .
Here are some images from two places on my beaten path quite often.
My favorite art store in Florence is called Zecchi which is just south of the Duomo. This legendary treasure trove of a place is on a street called on Via del Studio because for centuries it has also been the home of some major art studios. Over the years, I have gotten to know all the wonderful people that work at Zecchi and I always look forward to our reunion! I teach a Renaissance Painting class at Santa Reparata while in Florence. One of the traditions on the first day of class is to make the trek to Zecchi together to buy pigments for the egg tempera paintings. Here are a few images taken along the walk going past the Duomo and from inside Zecchi.
Zecchi is just beyond Giotto’s tower to the right.
The great wall of pigments as you walk into Zecchi!
Sandro gathering pigments for my egg tempera students.
Sandro’s son, Leonardo, helping with the pigments.
This year I am so happy to live only about three blocks from the legendary Mercato Centrale. To me, there is some sort of primal satisfaction in walking to buy naturally organic produce grown locally and carrying it home. Part of the trick to this is figuring out just how much I can haul, of course, and what has to wait until the next venture. An added pleasure to this excursion is that you go right though the Lorenzo Market to get there. Or, actually, I sometimes I walk behind the market, which is way more open and easier to manuveur. Here are a few images taken along the walk and arriving at my favorite produce stand.
This is the first thing I pass as I walk a few doors down to the intersection where the San Lorenzo Market starts. I love the gesture in this sculpture, especially the figures to the left.
I walk past the the Medici Chapel which is the home of gorgeous Michaelangelo sculptures. Sometimes its hard to stay focused on the fact that I need to get food and I always wonder if I should just go into the chapel instead!
These are the backs of the tents making up the Lorenzo Market. There is an interesting contrast between being inside the market and along the back!
I am always looking for wonderful patina everywhere I walk. This is some great old wood in the back of a stall.
This is my favorite place inside the market to buy produce!
Back to home sweet home!