“The Myth of Florence”, a roundtable organized by ASAUI (Association of Scholars at American Universities in Italy), will take place Wednesday 24th November 2010, 6 PM, at Chiesa di San Jacopo in Campo Corbolini (Lorenzo de’ Medici Institute, Via Faenza 43). Anthropologists, Sociologists, Art Historians and Architects will portray some peculiar urban, social and cultural features of nowadays Florence – and its legacy with the past. This is the abstract of my intervention “Contemporary collective representations of Florence”.
Renaissance is “the” myth of Florence, shared by people all over the world. The aesthetic appreciation of art is perhaps the main facet guiding people’s expectations in their encounter with our cultural reality. Some other social, political and philosophical aspects of Renaissance, and their relation to the present, are overshadowed. In this speech I will try to point out some possible modern myths guiding both tourists and foreigners in their decision to visit or to live in Florence (for a while or forever). Is it possible to detect some shared, collective representations of contemporary Florence? If that is the case, how are these myths “working” in the midst of the city’s everyday life? Do they differ from some other usual “made in Italy” images? Finally: can we imagine a set of typical (or archetypical) biographical motives leading foreigners to Florence and thus depict some distinctive identity traits?