A New Life for Pzz. Ciompi & Indipendenza

Historic piazzas in Florence are being remodeled, changing the cityscape in a positive way.

On Friday, September 7, the Piazza dei Ciompi was inaugurated after months of restoration. Formerly a bustling hub for antique vendors selling an array of furniture and vintage household items, the piazza was closed for renovations after asbestos was discovered in the roofs above the market stalls (which were subsequently demolished and the vendors moved to Piazza Ghiberti). While the historic Loggia del Pesce remains a prominent feature of the piazza, its surroundings have been rejuvenated with newly planted trees, lush vegetation and park benches.

Beginning on Saturday, September 15 and continuing October 20, November 17 and December 15, the piazza will host a “Book and Flower Fair,” in which independent bookshops, florists and volunteers will contribute to a lively program on theme of literature while also spotlighting  flower arrangements. The event, which includes readings and activities for children, will be free to attendees and take place from 10 am – 7 pm.

The Piazza Indipendenza will follow suit with a €700,000 redevelopment planned by environmental agency Alessia Bettini. The first phase of the project will involve renovating the pavement of the two semi-squares that comprise the piazza, as well as the addition of a play area for kids. The environmental administration’s plan includes updated irrigation, lighting, greenery and more. Special ground markings will furthermore be added to accommodate visually impaired pedestrians.

Further plans for the piazza’s modernization will include redesigned sidewalk access for disabled persons, LED street lights and ground spotlights to illuminate pedestrian paths, and wifi access throughout the park. City gardeners will prune old oak trees and plant a new linden tree and will monitor each and every one of the 177 plants in the square.

To read more in Italian, visit Florence’s La Repubblica news site.  (leigh van ryn)