A View of Florence

A group was gathering at noon for a tour of the Piazza della Signoria in Florence.  The guide was a no-nonsense Italian woman.  We were given precise instructions not to make any noise and to listen to her.  And then we were off.  Soon our group was receiving an in-depth analysis of one of the more famous sculptures prominently featured there.  Still, I didn’t feel inclined to take lots of pictures when I could buy a glossy postcard instead.

Looking around, I noticed buildings where actual people lived.  Then I saw the shutters on the windows.  In my experience, window shutters are typically for ornamentation.  But here in Florence, some of the shutters were open, which was not unusual.  What struck me was that other shutters were closed!  And they appeared to have hinges so that only the lower part of the shutters could be raised, while the top part stayed shut.  I began to speculate what this could mean.  Was the building air-conditioned?  Probably not.  So did placing the shutters in this position keep the room cooler?  Intrigued by these unanswered questions, I considered asking the guide, but I thought she would find this impertinent and off the topic.  In spite of this, I found myself turning toward these buildings and taking pictures of the shutters.  A person standing next to me asked me what I was doing.  I pointed to the shutters.  Then other people in the group started looking at them.  Soon the guide realized that people weren’t paying attention to her.  And what could be more interesting than her comments?

When the tour was over, I walked to the busy Ponte Vecchio where I found a spot to look out over the river.  And I might have done some shopping there, too.  But those shutters were still on my mind.

During this trip to Italy I visited other cities and saw beautiful sights.  But now I have to add to my list of must-see attractions in Italy:  The Colosseum in Rome, the canals of Venice, and the shutters of Florence.  When you have the chance to visit Florence, be sure to study them yourself.

12 thoughts on “A View of Florence

  1. I have to admit that I didn’t take much notice of the shutters in Florence although we did have them on our hotel room window in both Florence and Rome. We sometimes closed the shutters but left the windows open to allow air to flow into the room while still maintaining a level of privacy and sometimes just to block out the bright light.


  2. Your photos are beautiful. And I love the shutter story! I didn’t notice them. But even after a full week in Florence….I just have not had enough of that gorgeous city. I want to go back! I laughed over the fact that you didn’t pay attention to the guide in the Piazza della Signoria! There IS so much to see in that courtyard! *especially shutters!


  3. I lived here. The most beautiful city I ever seen. When I arrived I was instantly facinated by the shutters ahah. They’re very convenient during the summer but it makes the flat be in the dark 24/7 :P


      • I don’t know if all of the shutters are the same but in my house (something you can’t see from the outside), we had the shutters we can see on the picture, and on top of that, other shutters in the inside of the windows, so it’s like a double protection with the glasses inbetween. For the inside shutters you need to close your windows thought, but it’s a good protection against the heat.

        Happy New Year.


        • It sounds like the shutters are very functional and efficient. So they are not only interesting to look at from the outside, they are effective in keeping a house cooler during the summer. Thank you so much for explaining this!


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