Florence’s Colours

One of the things that strikes me while visiting a city is its colour palette.
Indeed, a place’s range of colours is always related to the stones and materials that local people could find on site for building houses and the ‘royal’ castle.

What are Florence’s colours?


Area of Santo Spirito in Florence, Italy. Photo by Saiko (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Sailko), CC License

Area of Santo Spirito in Florence, Italy. Photo by Saiko (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Sailko), CC License

I don’t know the reason, but all buildings, houses and country houses here are painted yellow and its varieties, which include salmon. That’s not Italy, it’s only in Firenze. While the red roofs thing it’s kind of common in Italy. While one could imagine that the choice of red is related to the typical clay used to make cotto I don’t have any explanation about the yellow, yet.


These colours are consequence of a local stone used to build fortified buildings and houses of noble families.
This because the most powerful Florentine families used to fight other rival families to get the right of ruling the city (yes, law of the jungle), but this is another story.
So this kind of buildings are made of Pietraforte stone, which contains iron and gives the city its typical brown/red shades.
You can see it, for example, on the facade of Palazzo Pitti and Forte Belvedere, in two different variations.


These colours are created by the use of the Pietra Serena, which is also known as the Stone of Renaissance. Look: I’ve found a yellow-blue combo, it’s inside the Cathedral 🙂
I am preparing a post just for this special and very delicate stone, used by architects such as Brunelleschi, stay tuned!
Now I am thinking about my hometown and its colours… I’m undecided…


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