Via Tornabuoni is considered the commercial centre of Florence, it has been recently become pedestrian area, so that we may appreciate every single corners of the road. Nowadays as we know, it is the best known for containing names in Italian fashion, Pucci, Gucci, Prada, Armani, Cavalli, Max Mara, Tod’s and others. It’s the main road used for a sort of international entertainment played by many visitors, the” window shopping ” and also is used as a showcase city for the annual event Town Wine .
The present Via Tornabuoni, formerly called Via Larga of Carpenters and then in the second section of the Via Belli Sporti (windows) . After the construction of the building Tornabuoni in the fourteenth century it took the family name as a palace.
The role of the street, is prefigured in the development of the city since the twelth century being first occupied by the bed of the river Mugnone, then transformed during the anlargement of the walls of the river which was moved to Via dei Fossl.
Already in the thirteenth century the street was considered an important route primarily residential in character, accompanied by many prestigious buildings such as dwellings-Spini Ferroni (perhaps Lapo of German), Minerbetti, Cambi del Nero, and the Tower Gianfigliazzi. The road also acted to consolidate two locations of religious importance Holy Trinity Church to the south and to the north San Gaetano Church .
During the 15th century the handsome Renaissance palaces of Antinori built by Baccio d’Agnolo, Tornabuoni built by Michelozzo and Strozzi, designed by Benedetto da Majano built by the Cronaca were added to the road.
Over the years the road consolidated its prestigious role becoming the way to the Grand Duke’s coaches who wanted to reach the residence of the Palazzo Vecchio from Pitti Palace, often accompanied by parades, games and tournaments of the famous Medici Grand Dukes, such as “ball games”, ” the tournament ring. ” Often, the Grand Duke stopped the carriage near the column of Justice to attend these performances (these are the prints of the seventeenth century).
In XVI the road was joined by other prestigious buildings: Bartolini-Salimbeni (by Baccio d’Agnolo), de-Larderel Giacomini (Giovanni Antonio Dosio) with the restouration of Buondelmonti (by Baccio d’Agnolo). In 1630 they completed the baroque facade of the church of San Gaetano, by Matthew Nigetti, and Gherardo Silvani created another example of the baroque facade of the Palazzo Strozzi Poet (so called because of a literary property).
In the Napoleonic era and late nineteenth century some buildings suffered heavy damage and changed which changed their features. L’Arco dei pizzicotti, Pinches of the Arch was demolished, the turn on the lungarno palace Palazzo Spini Ferroni.
In 1939, Hitler took the famous parade from the station to Palazzo Pitti, across the street all decked out with the old grandure. Representing the nineteenth time that the Via Tornabuoni became the scene of local activities that emphasized the commercial purpose and functions of the various historical moments, from Caffè Doney, opened in 1827, the Hotel Londres et Us (corner of Via della Vigna Nuova), where famous musicians like Rossini, Verdi, Donizetti. Spini Ferroni Palace stayed in 1846, also becoming the seat of the Municipality of Florence until 1870, and today is the “temple”, so to speak, to Ferragamo. On the corner of Via Porta Rossa was the shop of frames and wood carvings, Moscardi, symbol of continuity with the ancient family of the workshop of Ghirlandaio, who worked to build the silver garlands, before becoming, in the fifteenth century, established painters. In 1843 was inaugurated the perfumery and pharmacy, English Henry Roberts (now much reduced) and immediately in front of the library were open Seeber (now moved to Via Cerretani) and next to the deli Procacci, which introduced the habit of meeting to taste the truffle sandwiches.
Despite these changes , Via Tornabuoni, still retains the charm of living in Florence, without losing quality and grandure, still able to attract audiences from abroad and from Italy.
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