The Beauties of Florence

Mapping Francesco Bocchi's 1596 Bellezze di Firenze
Francesco Bocchi’s 1596 Le Bellezze di Firenze is one of the first published “tour guides,” helping early visitors of the Grand Tour to navigate the cultural riches of the Tuscan capital. It contains directions to and descriptions of many of the city’s finest and most well-known works of art, organized into a series of itineraries. This map locates those artworks, many of which have been moved, in their original locations according to Bocchi, and allows us to recreate the experience of a seventeenth-century tourist in Tuscany.

You can tour along with a seventeenth-century visitor to Florence along the four different “walks” Bocchi prescribes, much as you can do in modern Florence using the Hidden Florence app. Click on the various sites to see what Bocchi describes, and how he directed visitors to experience the Beauties of Florence.

The research for this map is drawn from the web project Saunterings in Florence by Jasmine Proteau, completed during her time as a Research Assistant at the Kunst-Historische Institut in Florenz.
This project is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

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