Renzi’s Florence and 2010
Florence has a new Mayor, Matteo Renzi since mid of 2009.
I do not know if it is because he is young (absolutely new for Italian politics) and full of desire of things to do or because he thinks that being a Florentine is one of the luckiest things in the world, but the result is that for the first time in years I have the impression that Florence is no longer only the cradle of the Renaissance, but it is finally a place where you live in the present and think about the future.
It is no coincidence that Matteo Renzi was declared the most popular and loved Italian Mayor with 66.8% of satisfaction among his citizens. Monocle, the international magazine on affairs, business, culture and design appointed Renzi for the list of the top 20 international “heroes of 2010″ for his “talent and ability to solve problems.” According to the magazine he is the new Italian politician stating that Italy would need “a few more Renzis, please”
Approaching the end of the year I wanted to make a balance of the past 12 months.
1. Becoming International.
Renzi has been in the U.S. to talk about the celebrations that are to be held on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the death of the Florentine Amerigo Vespucci, who gave his name to America.
Since February there have been many exhibitions and installations of modern art in historical locations to point out that the old and new can coexist. Surely the most important were the neon sign on the façade of the Uffizi saying: “All art has been contemporary” and the skull by Damien Hirst at Palazzo Vecchio.
The major exhibitions this year were devoted to Caravaggio and Bronzino (both still in progress). This last one is nothing less than spectacular. Not only because it is the first exhibition on Bronzino but also because it makes you feel the grandeur of the Medici court of those years.
The exhibition on Caravaggeschi was on the other hand rather a disappointment to me and a little a rip-off. Mainly because the paintings are divided into three museums, forcing you to pay 3 tickets, and also because there are the usual paintings to be normally seen in the city. It seemed that they were simply changed in location. According to me something not to be repeated.
3. Works that end.
Since February the tramway (la tramvia) that connects the city center and Scandicci is working!!!! After years and years of construction it is AMAZING that something was finally finished!
Florence on April 30th had its “White Night” with more than 150,000 people. It was so successful that Florence received Italy’s Best Event Award.
Success also for the Ice Cream Festival and for the opening of theMuseum of Galileo (after 2 years of restoration).
Anyhow, the event of the year has probably been Florens 2010, the biennial of culture and landscape. Not only meetings and debates, but the Cathedral square transformed into a green lawn and the “walk” of Michelangelo’s David.
It is not at all bad especially for a city that had been asleep for decades!
Last I want also to mention that the U.S. magazine Travel + Leisure in November 2010 ranked Florence as n. 3 most beloved world destination and n. 1 if considering Europe only.
Tripadvisor’s travelers report Florence as no 1 world ranking destinations in 2010!
Let’s hope all the best for 2011. HAPPY NEW YEAR!