by Luciano Artusi - Vincenzo Giannetti
The Hillside of San Domenico
This walk follows roads that recall Giovanni Boccaccio, for
he used several places in this area as settings for his stories.
We walk along Via della Piazzola, whose simple quality lends it a quiet and aristocratic air, with its walls, open spaces, cypress trees and changing light and shade often creating a wonderfully suggestive atmosphere. We can read joyous as well as romantic names above the tightly closed entrances: Villa Aurora, Collina Ridente, Villa Il Garofano - once apparently Dante's house in the country - followed, further along the road, by Villa Tondo and Villa dell'Ombrellino, which gets its name from its characteristic little wrought iron terrace.
On reaching San Domenico, we enter Via Boccaccio which curves in wide bends and goes past some houses of great prestige, like Villa Schifanoia and Villa Palmieri.
After a splendid view of Villa Salviati, surrounded by thick woods, we return towards the city, walking alongside the historic and slowly flowing river of the Mugnone which reminds us of Giovanni Boccaccio's story about gullable Calandrino's search along its banks for the "bloodstone", whose miraculous qualities also included making whoever wore it on their person completely invisible.
Taken from "Walks around the hills of Florence" by L.Artusi e V. Giannetti. © SEMPER EDITRICE FIRENZE - Translated by Susan Glasspool