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Visibly Extinct Yet Present 14/05/2011

Posted by florencecapital in Uncategorized.
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c. 1825

Most of the houses, I believe, in  this quarter of the world as well as others, have  changed masters; but perhaps there is no coumtry  where the old families are more visibly extinct. This is owing to the comparative smallness of the metropolis to the decrease of the ancient commerce, and to its cheapness as a place of  residence. The stranger’s book-recollections are  kept alive at every step. The palaces of the  Medici, Rucellai, &c. look as if they were built yesterday. The six balls, the arms of the Medici, meet him at all comers; and as he walks along  streets famous in Italian history and tales, he is  now shown a Corsini on horseback, now the  house of a Michael Angelo, (a lineal descendant  of the family), now a Capponi comig along, who  is said to inherit the independent spirit of his old  patriot ancestors. The first night I slept in Florence I was kept awake by guitars. When I got  into lodgings, the first thing I saw, on. looking out  of window, was an inscription on the house opposite, purporting that it was the ‘Hospital of the  Abbey of Vallambrosa’: visiting the annual,  exhibition of pictures, I see a piece from the pencil of a young lady of the name of Vespacci [Vespucci – buried at San Miniato?],  a descendant of the Vespacci who gave his name  to America: And walking out into the country,  Fiesole and Boccaccio burst upon me from the  hills. Even the unfinished state in which many  of the public edifices remain the cathedral included, and the exquisite vestibule of the Laurentian Library, adds to the present aspect of  past times. Michael Angelo seems but to have  gone home to his dinner. Michael Angelo’s own  house is still remaining; and there is a white  stone let into the footing of the long stone bench  that runs along the wall of the Piazza del Duomo; which they say marks out the spot where  Dante used to sit of an evening. Add to all this,  the River Amo, and the Statue that enchants the world,  and ‘this is worshipful society’.

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