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Florence: Carved out of stone and dreams

Updated: May 11, 2021

“Everything about Florence seems to be colored with a mild violet, like diluted wine.”

- Henry James

During the Renaissance art, design, poetry, architecture and philosophy rapidly coalesced into new forms of cultural expression; a three-dimensional dialogue encapsulated in the city of Florence.

Florence: Carved out of stone and dreams

"The pursuit of fashioning and elevating culture, inspired generations of innovators who changed the world forever."

During the Renaissance art, design, poetry, architecture, and philosophy rapidly coalesced into new forms of cultural expression; a three-dimensional dialogue encapsulated in the city of Florence. The competition was pervasive, leading to creations designed to inspire and impress rivals, patrons, and the public. The pursuit of fashioning and elevating culture inspired generations of innovators who changed the world forever.

Renaissance and ambition.

The infectious ambition of the Renaissance pushed thinkers and artists to go beyond what was possible. To combine disciplines, discover new inventions, to seek truth in science and the arts. Masters worked on lifelong pursuits, learning skills and crafts over years of study, with each new work, eclipsing past accomplishments. The pursuit of knowledge created transcending levels of achievement. Mentorships with master teachers were intensive relationships, from childhood at times, where skills and craft were passed on and learned through countless hours of practice. The sheer time and effort over one's lifespan allowed deep investigations and groundbreaking advancements..

The cultural investigation is evident in macro and micro considerations of the city of Florence, from the facades you walk past to the cobblestone streets thousands of visitors and locals tread upon each year. The devil is in the detail of the golden door of the Baptistery, Michelangelo’s iconic sculpture of David, the cascading steps of the Laurentian Library, each room painted by Fra Angelico at the San Marco monastery, and of course the Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore.

Florence is the total work, a city, with layers upon layers of design and art, proof of the belief in something which you cannot see, which has not been made, which is only fabricated in your mind, with your own hands, or by your entire community. The investigation into the unknown, to the narrative and folklore surrounding it, may be best exhibited through stories of these great makers.

Layers upon layers of design and art.

Florence is the final masterpiece; a city with layer upon layer of design and art. It is proof of the belief in something which you cannot see in the physical, which has not been made yet, existing only in the mind, until it is born of your own hands. This investigation into the unknown and the folklore surrounding it, is inextricably linked to the entrancing mythology of the greatest makers in history, their names now legendary:

Galileo Galilei

Filippo Brunelleschi

Leonardo da Vinci


Pleasure and meaning of Florence today.

The Florence of today - full of tourists, high design, and towering cones of gelato; it is exquisitely interactive and playful. An aesthetic tour of regalia, layered with meaning, pleasurable in every way.

Florence is at ease with itself, effortless in its stacking of past and present, dancing a thin line between truth and fiction. Stepping back in time, we uncover dramatic and ruthless competition, where blood was spilled, families feuded and people risked everything to continue creating. The Florence of today was built with the funding of patrons, the ego and prowess of genius, and the literal blood, sweat, and tears of rivalry. Each street, passageway, and entrance was a political territory. The picturesque panorama we know today was full of drama, crime, and conflict. Secret passageways across the river, transported Medici families to safety unless they were caught and killed unexpectedly exiting through a church nave. Feuding families broke down the walls of their rivals to destroy entire families and remain powerful. Much of this past exists today, its value richer than gold when you think of the Ponte Vecchio, the Golden Bridge. The Nazis, while destroying much of Florence, London, and other cities with bombing raids, could not bring themselves to demolish this famous crossing.

The drama of the past.

Visiting Florence today, the drama of the past is alive in your experience, as you traverse the grounds of both patron and master artist. We see our curated journeys to Italy as pilgrimages, contemporary Grand Tours, for a meaningful and mindful inquiry into the past and into our own consciousness.

Sitting with a spritz, as the sun sets over the Duomo, gives the chance to feel the ripples through the time of Leonardo working tirelessly in his studio, drawing, creating, painting, and writing, led by non-stop curiosity and unstoppable imagination or to visualize Michaelangelo as a child virtuosi, working tirelessly to perfect drawing at life scale. The imprint of these thinkers is all over the city, in large and small ways.

To visit Florence is to relive this history and to ignite it with your imagination. Join us on an aesthetic tour and live in the reality of creative genius.

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