Florence – Enrico Rainero
Author: Enrico Rainero, idea and photographer
Publisher Studio Enrico Rainero
Texts by: sir Harold Acton, historian and author; maestro Pietro Annigoni, painter; prof Umberto Baldini, director Istituto Centrale di Restauro; arch Marco Dezzi Bardeschi, architect and city planner; marquise Emilio Pucci, fashion designer and politician; Giorgio Saviane, author and writer; sen Giovanni Spadolini, historian and Senator of the Italian Republic
English translation: Carolyn Demcy, Em Turner Chitty
Year of publication 1984
– Published in four languages editions: English, Italian, German, French
Published in occasion of: Florence, European Capital of the Culture 1986
Another book about Florence!
But how is it possible to photograph again this eternal and universal city today?
More importantly, how can one “read” Florence, before beginning to understand her?
And which Florence?
The Florence of monuments, palaces, churches?
The Florence of art galleries and famous sons?
The Florence of history?
The Florence of craftsmanship and folklore?
The Florence of modern life, of industries, of tourism, of shops?
The Florence of spaces painted with limpid and changing light, continually creating new vistas and shapes in her buildings?
“Firenze fa buca” that is, “Florence is a vortex”, one say in undiluted Florentine. Among the beautiful and the sublime, the ugly and the monstrous, all of which are present in this vortex, how can one choose the things which will make a book and not an encyclopedia about this city?
There was a storm of doubts which clamored about me before I set out to shoot the first photographs; then, little by little, the whole started taking shape. Every subject became clearer, uniting itself to others, even contradictory ones; everything began to come to life under the same shadows of celebrated Florentine monuments.
And so, in order to show Florence as an infinite kaleidoscope of changing faces, I decided to bring together written testimonies: witnesses to her present, written by some of the most important people who have lived or who were born in Florence, who have breathed and walked in this city.
Thus, beginning from the historical-geographical origins of Florence, with the Etruscans and the river, I arrived at those well-known surrounding hills: I walked the city’s streets and piazzas, watched her daily life, and with a sense of irony recorded both her pratfalls and her moments of glory: in this way I have told her story.