Lungarno in winter
Text Carlo Mazzoni
An exhibition on the journey of a shoemaker, who returned from America to Italy, tells an Italian story called Salvatore Ferragamo. From Piazza Santa Trinità via Tornabuoni runs calm, like a branch of the Arno in light stone. A dinner with few people at the Antinori winery, before it moves to the other side of the building on Via Tornabuoni: at night it is a quiet walk.
The house of Massimo Listri behind the district of San Frediano seems to be a story of a novel never written – Listri walks arm in arm with his lifelong friend, confabulating on antiques to be recovered in a villa in Versilia. The Torrigiani garden. An architect and a publisher – Cesare’s apartment houses small objects, hard stones and Chinese plates, a lot of books and some pieces by Gabriella Crespi. Massimo Giornetti designs new trajectories, between Florence and Hong Kong.
In Prato you go by taxi – or with a car to go – the Textile Museum tells the story of the industry that represents the second voice of the Italian GDP – the difference between the fibers, as these are twisted and on which lap – hemp, cotton, merino wool, angora – artificial and synthetic ones. The value of the Textile Museum has an epic point of our land – while the exhibition on costumes for the movie about Marie Antoinette shot by Sofia Coppola remains only a vague pretext.
At the centre of that, like a pivot of a scale that keeps everything in order and in orbit, a hotel along the Arno overlooks the Ponte Vecchio – the Portrait of Florence. It turns to the east, in the morning the sun enters from a wide open window on the third floor room. Michele Bonan’s design summarises the Florentine taste – the capacity for synthesis, between a genius loci as strong as it is nowhere else in the world, and a breath that Florence has always known how to breathe from China to Argentina. The pale white light with golden inserts, well trimmed. The silver grays – you cannot say either for twilight or for the reflection of the river’s water. In the corridors, the photographs of Listri reappear as refrains of a semi-pop melody.
The Portrait is part of the Lungarno Collection, couture of hotels wanted by the Ferragamo family for the next stages of a journey begun with a return. The next opening is not distant, at all – it will be in Milan, in the heart of the quadrilateral: the Archiepiscopal Seminary covers a larger square footage of the Palazzo Reale, more than the Duomo. For now, everything is hidden from view between Corso Venezia, via Sant’Andrea and via Bagutta. Few can understand the revolution that will flow from Florence to Milan, lungarno.
Images courtesy of the hotel