Two weeks ago, Tristan and I went to Florence in Italy for a few days and this is Part 2 of my article of the "Inferno" Movie Locations in this amazing city. Last week you could read about the first part of our journey following Langdon's footsteps. (Haven't read Part 1 yet? You can find it here!) Last week I told you about the Porta Romana and the Boboli Gardens and now I will resume my story about the "Inferno" movie locations.
After Langdon wakes up in a hospital in Florence, he meets Sienna Brooks and finds out he is being chased down by multiple people. When he finds a Faraday pointer containing Botticelli’s "Map of Hell" from Dante's "Inferno". Langdon finds out that they have to make their way to the Palazzo Vecchio. They get into the car and get on their way. At the Porta Romana, they have to get out of the car and resume their way by foot. Because they are being chased by the WHO and an assassin they sneak over the wall of the Boboli Gardens to get to Palazzo Pitti (where there is an entrance to the Vasari passageway, that will lead them to the Palazzo Vecchio) ....
Grotto del Buontalenti
The "Grotto del Buontalenti" is also known as the "Grotto Grande" (The Big Grotto). It is situated in the Boboli Gardens in Florence, Italy. It was commissioned by Francesco I de'Medici and built by Bernardo Buontalenti between 1583 and 1593. In 16th century Tuscany, grottoes were an essential part of the gardens, that enriched the palazzos and villas. De'Medici commissioned Buontalenti to build it in order to complete the Vasari project and right next to the grotto you can find one of the exits/entrances to the famous Vasari passageway. This is where Langdon and Brooks enter the passageway to get to the Palazzo Vecchio. In the movie you see them run past the grotto to get to the door (I haven't got a picture from the door). Fun Fact: In the corners of the cave, you can find copies of Michelangelo's "Prigioni" ("Prisoners").
The Vasari Corridor is an elevated enclosed passageway, that connects the Palazzo Vecchio with the Palazzo Pitti. It crosses the river Arno at the Ponte Vecchio (picture above). The Vasari Corridor was commissioned by Cosimo I de' Medici and built to the design of Giorgio Vasari in 1565. Most of the corridor is closed to public and it can only be visited by groups through a reservation. That is a pity, because I would have loved to walk through this special structure. The corridor starts at the Palazzo Vecchio and runs over the Uffizzi to the river Arno. Via the Ponte Vecchio the corridor snakes his way over rows of houses towards the Palazzo Pitti. The reason behind the corridor was Cosimo's desire to move freely between his residence (Vecchio) and the government palace (Pitti). He was very insecure in public, especially because he replaced the Republic of Florence.
Fun Fact: The meat market on the Ponte Vecchio was removed, because of its smell reaching the corridor. It was replaced by the goldsmith shops that we still find here today (see pictures below).
Via the Vasari corridor Langdon and Brooks make their way to the Palazzo Vecchio, where they have to get to the majestic "Hall of the Five Hundred" ("Salone dei Cinquecento") in search of more clues and eventually make their way to Dante's Death Mask. Unfortunately, Tristan and I had a limited tie in Florence and we did not have the time to visit this magnificent building. Well that gives me another reason to make my way back to Florence one day. There is the possibility to take a "Places of Inferno" Tour through the Palazzo Vecchio and you can book this here. Doing this you can visit all the places and secret passageways featured in "Inferno". The Palazzo Vecchio has been the most important governmental building in Florence for centuries and today it serves as the Town Hall of Florence, as well as one of the most important museums in Florence. In front of the Palazzo there is a replica of Michelangelo's "David". This replica is standing on the exact place, where the original stood (from 1504-1873) until it was moved to the "Galleria dell'Academia"(You can find a picture of the original in the first part of the article). This replica of David is flanked by Bandinelli's "Hercules and Cacus". These are among the of the many great statues on the "Piazza della Signoria".
Piazza della Signoria
This is the square in front of the "Palazzo Vecchio" (which is also known as the "Palazzo Signoria"). On one side of the square you can find the "Loggia della Signoria" (also known as the "Loggia dei Lanzi"). It's an open construction, with big arches, that houses some great statues. One of them is the magnificent bronze "Perseus" by Cellinin (pictured above), but there is a lot more to see. On the square you can also find an amazing "Fountain of Neptune" (which was unfortunately under reconstruction and surrounded by fences). In the movie Langdon and Brooks cross the Piazza on their way to the Baptistery on the "Piazza del Duomo".
Piazza del Duomo and the Baptistery
When I set my first step on the "Piazza del Duomo", I was in complete awe. I mean the whole thing is just gigantic and unbelieveably beautiful. The "Duomo" dominates the view of Florence and when you are in front of it you can see why so many people make their way to Florence every day to see it with their own eyes. In the movie this is Langdon's last stop in Florence. They make their way to the "Baptistery" ("Battistero di San Giovanni" which is situated in front of the Duomo. In this "Baptistery" Langdon and Brooks find their last clues in Florence and make their way to Venice. The Baptistery was finished in 1128 and has an octogonal shape. Inside you can find some amazing golden mosaics that represent the various levels of Paradise and Hell. Langdon and Brooks enter through the famous golden doors, that Michelangelo himself named the "Doors to Paradise".
This ends our journey in Langdon's footsteps for the Florence part. Michelangelo once said: "If you know where to look, Florence is paradise" and it sure is. I loved it!