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Romantic Florence

In this itinerary you find some places referred to passionate love stories of the past.
Visit them remembering the lives of those who lived them in Florence

Florence’s most famous love story of the past is that between Francesco I dei Medici and Bianca Cappello. bianca_cappelloShe was the daughter of Bartolommeo Cappello, a member of one of the noblest Venetian families, and Pellegrina Morosini. In 1563, she fell in love with the Florentine Pietro Bonaventuri and eloped with him to Florence, where they were married on the 12th of December of that same year.
In Florence she won the admiration of many, and the Grand Duke himself fell in love with her.

The hill of Bellosguardo saw the love of Ugo Foscolo and Quirina Mocenni Magiotti. In Villa Torricella, destroyed in the early 1900’s, and once located in front of today’s Villa dell’Ombrellino, the poet composed the verses of the poem “Le Grazie” (1813) dedicating them to his loved one.

Quirina was unhappily married to a weak, mentally-ill man, and yet was the only woman who continued to love Foscolo over the years, to whom he could always turn even when in exile in Switzerland and England, and who could bear his “turbulent nature”.

The funereal monument of Ugo Foscolo is in the Church of Santa Croce.
elizabeth_robert_browningRobert and Elisabeth Barrett Browning, the famous couple of English poets, moved to Florence to elude Elizabeth’s oppressive father: their passionate love kept them happily united for fifteen years.
They lived at Casa Guidi, in Piazza di San Felice, that became, in that period, the spiritual “Mecca “ of the Anglo-American community in Florence. Only after Elizabeth’s death (1861), did Robert return to England together with their son.
Elisabeth Barrett Browning was buried in the English Cemetery in Piazza Donatello.

To have her always near, the Grand Duke appointed Bonaventuri Keeper of his Wardrobe, and thus kept the beautiful Bianca at the royal palace.
When Francesco married Bianca Cappello, less than two months after the death of the Grand Duchess Johanna of Austria, the entire family came to disapprove of Bianca.

The Palazzo del Mondragone, located in Via dei Banchi, at the corner with via del Giglio, is the place where Francesco de’ Medici and Bianca Cappello met during a reception, and fell in love at first sight.
The Palazzo di Bianca Cappello in Via Maggio, 26, with its sgraffito-decorated façade, was renovated by the architect Bernardo Buontalenti.

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