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Sunday, Oct 24, 2021
Outlook.com

Florence Diary

Each wrong turn leads to a new treasure, an unexpected trove of beauty, an unseen lot of sculptures.

Florence Diary
Kashif Masood
Florence Diary
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Largo city

Florence is the antidote to precision and punctuality. It is a joy to lose your way here on the twisting and turning cobblestoned streets. Each wrong turn leads to a new treasure, an unexpected trove of beauty, an unseen lot of sculptures. Or well-stocked bookstores. There is, too, a superb used-books store on Via delle Oche selling only books in English. I found cricketer Marcus Trescothick’s book there! Sixteen million tourists visit Florence (population, 3.5 lakh) annually, and bring with them the contemporary malaise known as visitor vandalism. There is a move, initiated by a des­cendant of the historic house of Medici, to reclaim the city and save it from the excesses of mass tourism. The ‘Save Florence’ campaign is aimed at controlling ‘instant tourism’, where shiploads arrive, stay for a few hours and treat the city with scant respect.

All this is not surprising in a city said to contain about 60 per cent of the world’s art heritage. Yet, for all its dependence on tourism and...

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