FORAY IN FLORENCE – 27-29.04.2018
Foray in Florence took place on the 27th, 28th and 29th of April 2018 with a programme of activities presented in collaboration with the University of Florence - Landscape Design Lab. The theme of the event was a reimagining of the Grand Tour, looking to the past to inspire solutions to contemporary and future challenges in Florence and beyond.
THE GRAND TOUR
The Grand Tour was at its height in the 18thcentury when artists, architects, writers and intellectuals undertook travels throughout Europe to experience the cities that were the home to classical intellectual thought, discourse and art; to experience the glories of the past, returning to their homelands full of ideas and energy.
In the 15th century Florence was at the centre of the cultural renaissance pioneering a programme of the arts as a means of moving on from the intellectually inferior period of the dark ages, as described by Petrarch. Classical antiquity was rediscovered, and humanism was placed at the centre of a new world pursuits from literature to architecture and the creation of great gardens.
At the end of the 18th century the world ‘Renaissance’ had not been yet coined, nevertheless the recognition of Florence’s role in fostering the early revival of the arts started to grow. The Grand Tourists were less familiar with Florence than they were of the much recorded Baroque features of Rome and Naples. Upon arrival in Florence, there was often a sense of amazement in part imbued by the comparative simplicity of the city plan and architectural manifestation described at the time as and inherent ‘beauty and neatness’. The proportion and quality of its medieval street pattern, juxtaposed with the monumental scale of the civic palaces and churches, studded with street sculptures and precious artworks, set in the broader context fertile agricultural land, orchards and gardens, is what the travellers mostly admired then and still fascinates the visitor today.
For three days a group comprising, interested individuals, students, landscape architects, architects, historians, environmentalists, artists, where carefully guided by a choreography of university professors and experts in various fields, like modern Grand Tourists covered circa 30 kilometres discovering the landscapes of Florence.