One of the most beautiful cities in Italy, Florence, it’s usual to make its tourists fall in love with the fascinating Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the renowned Uffizi Gallery, the treasures of the Renaissance, the romantic Ponte Vecchio and all its immense charm that amazes you by going around the city. However, what struck the most important tourist guide in the world, was a charming neighborhood beyond the Arno: San Frediano.
It’s right here, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, from the coming and going of tourists, from the chaos of the city center and away from the sumptuous luxury windows, where this charming district of the city of Florence hides. And it’s this charming and collected neighborhood to be honored by Lonely Planet as the coolest neighborhood in the world.
Here you can breathe the most ancient air of the city, the one that still preserves the soul and the essence of the “old Florence“, somehow left uncontaminated in this gem of the district called “diladdarno”. But not only: the hipster atmosphere, the locals, the narrow streets and small sidewalks, the hidden squares that reveal themselves to the path, but above all the shops of artisans and antique dealers, that dot the district, have made it an authentic city symbol.
These are exactly all the elements that have allowed him to conquer the first place in the ranking, giving his back to the quarters of Seoul, Lisbon and even Dubai and New York.
It’s surprising to discover the number of artistic treasures enclosed in this neighborhood bomboniere. We start from Basilica of Santa Maria del Carmine which dominates the homonymous square, famous for hosting the fresco cycle of the Brancacci Chapel, decorated by Masaccio and Masolino; to continue with the Church of Holy Spirit, the great Brunelleschi’s work, you can observe the inside sacristy the crucifix made by a young Michelangelo is kept; finally, you can arrive to the Church of San Frediano in Cestello, one of the most important churches in the district, which has a neoclassical plant with three monumental naves and a Latin cross plan. The church is rich in works of art, such as the painting of the ‘600 Madonna in Glory and Saints by Francesco Curradi, and a magnificent pipe organ, whose peculiarity is a sumptuous Baroque-style chest richly decorated with carvings and gilding, built in 1768 by Antonio and Filippo Tronci.
Furthermore, the neighborhood is full of squares that enclose the history of the city. An example is Piazza del Tiratoio, which otakes its name to the wool processing factory that once was located right there. The area of Oltrarno, in fact, since the end of the seventeenth century, by the will of Grand Duke Cosimo III Dè Medici, was characterized by a large presence of factories that worked wool. The draw was a rather characteristic building, because it was a stone building with a gallery, on which the wool was put to dry. The structure that can be admired today, unfortunately, is no longer the original one because of a fire that destroyed it.
A neighborhood, therefore, full of fascinating surprises and cute corners to be discovered. It is seriously worth entering a pleasant walk across the Arno to discover the most intimate and unspoiled side of the city.