“If you know where to look, Florence is paradise”
This is the key sentence of the new Ron Howard movie based on Dan Brown bets seller ‘Inferno’. In the movie Tom Hanks, who plays Robert Langdon, retraces the places and symbols of Dante’s medieval and renaissance Florence.
The book opens with the image of the florentine bell tower and page after page pictures and tells about places and monuments around Florence.
The incredible adventure of the Professor begins at Porta Romana, one of the monumental doors that used to give the access to the city and proceeds through the city walls that were designed by Arnolfo di Cambio at the beginning of the 14th century. Here the protagonist, in order to escape from the police controls, hides in the Art Institute, a building that was specifically wanted by the king of Italy when Florence was the capital (1865-1871) and that used to comprehend the royal stables. Today in this building you can find, together with the art school, a rich Gipsoteca where more than 3000 chalk statues are kept. Climbing over the ancient walls the Professor continues his run through the Boboli Garden, where he admires the small lakes, the fountains and the sculptures surrounded by the green of nature. He also admires the Buontalenti Cave, a cave divided in three rooms and decorated with obelisks that look like stalactites in which is placed a copy of Michelangelo’s sculpture “I Prigioni”.
From the Boboli garden the Professor finds the access to Palazzo Pitti, once residence of the Medici and Lorena families that is today the location of many museums. From here he moves to the Corridoio Vasariano, the secret passage that was wanted by Cosimo dè Medici to move between his house Palazzo Pitti and Palazzo Vecchio fast and without any risks. This hallway was built in only 5 months and it extends, also through some already existing private residences, for one kilometer and passes on top of Ponte Vecchio, reaching the Uffizi and Palazzo Vecchio.
Once in Palazzo Vecchio the professor and his adventure companion Sienna visit the Salone dei 500, a room with a magnificent rooftop where wonderful pieces of art are set. They also visit the Studiolo of Francesco I and the magnificent Sala delle Mappe.
Abandoning the Palazzo towards a small door in Via della Ninna they reach Piazza della Signoria and then go through a labyrinth made by small Florentine streets. Here they get to the House of Dante and on the church where Beatrice Portinari, his muse, was buried. They later reach Piazza del Duomo and the Battistero. Here, on the east door sculpted by Lorenzo Ghiberti and defined by Michelangelo the ‘paradise door’ the two heroes find the ‘paradise’ they’ve been looking for for the whole book. The Battistero is characterized by one single octagonal map and its inside is covered with gold mosaics that represent Paradise and Hell. Here the florentine journey of our two adventurers ends.
Indeed in the baptismal font the Professor will make a big discover that will bring him to Venezia.