Bridge of love – Florence

 

Florence Bridge preparation

Bridge of Love in preparation

A mix of luxury and love has created the new Bridge of Love installation over the Arno River in Florence. Designed by Florentine  Claudio Nardi Architectssymbolizing the desire to give hope to people living in severe hardship. The work stands as an element of public awareness on the refugee crisis and is part of the program of events of World Refugee Day 2016.’Un Donation scheme

 

Promoted by  Luisa Via Roma fashion designer to coincide with the Pitti Uomo fashion week it has easily enticed International VIP’s and jetsetters to participate in a rather expensive Gala evening at €1000 donation per head for an Invite, followed by an  encouragement to contribute on a regular basis to the United Nations Refugee Scheme.Bridge of Love evening

 

 

‘Beauty that is ethereal but yet tangible, emotional and habitable, both to one’s body and one’s sight. White clouds lying down on the water surface, traversed by mist and profume, by the light from the very sunrise till sunset, by breeze and by sound’.(Claudio Nardi Architects)

 

Just stunning the way Italians can make tent-like constructions on plastic rafters sound so amazingly stylish and elegant!?

Bridge of Love

 

Bridge of love Design

Project design:credit Claudio Nardi Architects

The opulent Gala evening of dining and ‘Underwater love’ entertainment will leave these white clouds then open to the public for the exhibition on the ‘interpretation of water as a symbol of destruction and renewal, hope and solidarity”.

The Bridge seen during the day appears less ethereal and romantic but as the sun sets it takes on a rather heavenly appearance afloat in the midst of a glittering Arno. And while the Gala evening oozed wealth and frivolity, some of that was gleaned off to help Refugees, so in the end it has been worthwhile. Besides local Florentines always protest fiercely when the Council rents out their public monuments – ie. Ponte Vecchio,  Ponte Santa Trinita, Uffizi, Boboli Gardens for such events,  so creating a new Bridge was a better alternative.Bridge in Evening

Florence San Niccolò towerIt’s in a favourite area of mine, near Clet’s studio and just below the Piazzale Michelango at the  San Niccolò tower. One bridge down from the Ponte Vecchio.Florence Arno river

 

And while the Arno River may appear innocuous today it certainly raged out of control on the 4th November 1966, engulfing Florence. So the Bridge of Love exhibition also incorporates the memories of the flood 50 years ago.

Florence water level 1966

 


 

 

 

 

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Seville – Flamenco, Tapas, Bullfighting and exotic architecture

Seville - Presidency of Andalusia Who could go past an invite to Seville – Spain, even if only for a few days…and to surprise a lifelong friend by my visit! My head was filled with the click of castanets, pulsating clapping and the swish of a matadors cape to the cries of Olé Olé! In my bag the ‘Ten best things to see in Seville’ to read on the plane as it had been a rather last minute decision. And what a magnificent place it was! Grandiose and gracious, spacious yet still intriguing, colourful and intoxicating.

The sound of church bells, carts and horses crossing the piazza and chatter of locals brought us down to the Cathedral  square in time to catch the beginnings of one of the most important festivals in Seville – El Rocio pilgrimage

Gypsy style wagons and oxen decorated with flowers and bells circled the piazza, while handsome horse riders stood in readiness to lead off as women flaunted copious frills and garish flowers in their sleeked hair. And this was only Day 1!

Seville CathedralJust to see the glorious Cathedral is awe inspiring for its size as it is the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world. A legend says that when the plans were drawn up, church elders stated: ‘Let us build a church so beautiful and so magnificent that those who see it finished will think we are mad.’ A true reminder of Seville’s, power and wealth after the Reconquista – the fall of Islam.

A climb up the 39 ramps to the top of the Giralda bell towers was well worth it…..just breathtaking!

Seville bullring entrance

Tempted as I was to see a bullfight I didn’t go but strolled past the oldest bullring in Spain, which dates back to 1758 with 14,000 arena seats.Matador statue

 

 

 

 

 

Friends had organized tickets to a much more emotional performance of  traditional flamenco instead.

 

A wander through the exotic Alcazar Royal Palace felt like a flashback on my Iran experience. Centuries of Moorish decorations in a complex of Palaces with delicate arches and courtyards set in exquisite gardens.Alcazar Maiden's courtyardSeville Royal Palace

 

 

 

 

Plaza EspanaSeville is an easy city to stroll around, everything so close at hand which makes it hard to get lost. We head to the lovely gardens near the University and into the spectacular Plaza de Espana – Impressive buildings created for a world Fair in 1929 that almost left the country bankrupt and which today provides a fabulous fun park to navigate on the moat or laze about and soak up the sun.Seville Plaza EspanaPlaza Espana decorations

 

 

 

 

Seville Metropol Parasol

Metropole Parasol

 

 

 

Yet Seville is not only historical architecture, the futuristic Metropol Parasol in the midst of the old city, is a stark contrast to one of our favourite Tapas bars nearby.

 

Seville Tapas bar

Tapas bar

Seville street corner

 

 

 

 

 

Tea and Spice shop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And as we wander the Old Jewish quarter of Barrio Santa Cruz by spice shops and artisan boutiques some kids push past in a rush to get to their ‘fiesta’.

Seville local children

 

Future flamenco dancers for sure!

 

 

 

 

 

Golden tower

 

 

A wander along the river past the Golden tower in search of a good spot to enjoy a sangria and the sunset on our last day in this great city Seville – Spain.

 

 

Seville at dusk


 

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