Street art in Florence in the shape of hand painted portraits and caricatures with Ponte Vecchio in the background have become a cherished holiday souvenir for thousands of visiting families.
Travel writing is mostly about the great sights of any city, but sometimes what you remember most is something quite different.
My first visit to Florence took place about 15 years’ ago, and I still recall the celebrated attractions, yet another lasting impression was made by street artists outside the Uffizi. I hadn’t come across professional painters who made a living sitting in the streets and drawing the likeness or caricature of odd people before, and their enterprise, skills, tempo, technique, flattery and tricks seemed fascinating.
Later I’ve seen loads of portraits and caricatures of children with Ponte Vecchio, Colosseum, gondolas, the Eiffel Tower or the tower of London in the background. They decorate the walls of private homes side by side with Warhole and Van Gogh reproductions. The productions of street artists has apparently become a cherished souvenir. I almost regret I didn’t buy a sketched memento, but settled for a wooden Pinocchio instead.
Other notes on Florence