A tempting summer space . . .
image: Tables en fer peintes
my haiku notebooklike a paper cupcollecting minnows
summer breakfast:the woman from the place of Irish cowspours heavy cream on peaches
There are two likely candidates for the Donati house in which the opera Gianni Schicchi actually took place, namely two medieval towers, still in use today. The more likely location is at 35r via Matteo Palmieri (just off Piazza San Pieri Maggiore) and around the corner from via degli Albizi. This property, which today houses a travel agency, is known as the "Torre dei Donati e degli Albizi," the Albizi family being inhabitants after the Donatis [Dante’s inlaws, and mentioned in his Purgatorio]. About one kilometer to the west, at the corner of via dei Ricci and via Corso (so called because the Romans used to race horses there) is another tower known now as "Torre dei Donate e dei Ricci" which is the other possible site of the opera (today a leather shop occupies the ground floor).
Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571), who is mistakenly said to have restored the statue, says in his 1558 Vita: “Having in these days been found some old things in the county of Arezzo, among which there was a Chimaera, which is that bronze lion which is seen in the rooms near the great hall of the palace (and together with said Chimaera there had been found also a great number of smaller statuettes, also in bronze, which were all covered of earth, or of rust, and of each one of them there were missing either the head, or the hands, or the feet), the Duke took great pleasure in cleaning them by himself, with some goldsmith's tools.”
*The Arno River flood of November 4, 1966 killed dozens of people and damaged or destroyed millions of masterpieces of art and rare books in Florence. It is considered the worst flood in the city's history since 1557. With the combined effort of Italian citizens and foreign donors and committees, or angeli del fango ("Mud Angels"), many of these fine works have been restored. New methods in conservation were devised and restoration laboratories established. However, even decades later, much work remains to be done.Two excellent novels, The Sixteen Pleasures by Robert Hellenga, and The Lost Madonna by Kelly Jones, tell about the young foreigners who came to Florence to help save the river-damaged art.