Florin Website © Julia Bolton Holloway, 1997/2005


aaEnglish Cemetery, Piazzale Donatello, is green oval top right

Elizabeth Barrett Browning twice describes the silver arrow of the Arno River shooting through the city of Florence. In Casa Guidi Windows I.52-59

    I can but muse in hope upon this shore
      Of golden Arno as it shoots away
    Straight through the heart of Florence, 'neath the four
      Bent bridges, seeming to strain off like bows,
    And tremble, while the arrowy undertide
      Shoots on and cleaves the marble as it goes,
    And strikes up palace-walls on either side,
      And froths the cornice out in glittering rows,
    With doors and windows quaintly multiplied,
       And terrace-sweeps, and gazers upon all,
    By whom if flower or kerchief were thrown out
      From any lattice there, the same would fall
    Into the river underneath no doubt,
      It runs so close and fast, 'twixt wall and wall.
    How beautiful.

And in Aurora Leigh VII.534-537:

   The city lay along the ample vale,
    Cathedral, tower and palace, piazza and street,
    The river trailing like a silver cord
    Through all, and curling loosely, both before
    And after, over the whole stretch of land
    Sown whitely up and down its opposite slopes
    With farms and villas.

1* Duomo/Cathedral +; 2* Campanile di Giotto/ Giotto's Bell Tower; 3* Battistero/ Baptistry +; 4 Casa di Dante/ Dante's House; 5 Colonna dell'Abbondanza/ Column of Plenty in Piazza della Repubblica; 6 Badia/ Abbey Church +; 7* Bargello; 8* Palazzo Vecchio/ People's Palace; 9 Loggia dei Lanzi o dell'Orcagna; 10* Galleria degli Uffizi/ Uffizi Gallery; 11* Ponte Vecchio/ Old Bridge; 12* Orsanmichele +; 13 Poste e Telegrafi/ Post Office; 14 Palazzo Strozzi/ Strozzi Palace; 16 Palazzo Ferroni Spini; 17* Chiesa di Santa Maria Novella +; 18 Stazione Centrale/ Santa Maria Novella Station; 20* Chiesa di San Lorenzo e Capella Medicea/ Basilica of San Lorenzo +, Medici Tombs/ Laurentian Library (this last is in the cloister and upstairs, entered on the left from the church); 21*Palazzo Medici Riccardi with Benozzo Gozzoli Chapel; 22* Cenacolo di S. Apollonia (a free museum with magnificent fresco of Last Supper) +; 23* Accademia di Belle Arti; 24* Chiesa e Museo di San Marco/ Church and Museum of San Marco +; 25* Chiesa della Santissima Annunziata and Ospedale degli Innocenti +; 26* Chiesa di Santa Croce +; 27 Biblioteca Nazionale; 28 Giardino di Boboli; 29 Palazzo Pitti; 30 Chiesa di Santo Spirito +; 31 Chiesa del Carmine +; 32* Museo di Storia delle Scienza; 34 Teatro Communale; 35 Fortezza da Basso; 37 Piazzale Michelangelo; 38 Forte di Belvedere; 39 Sinagoga; 41* Chiesa di Ognissanti +

                                                                                                English Cemetery
                                                                                                   Piazzale Donatello

Before the Risorgimento, Florence's walls and city gates, built first by Arnolfo di Cambio, then by Michelangelo, had enclosed her. This map shows Florence as it was in the earlier nineteenth century, from Augustus Hare's Florence:

                                                                                 Protestant Cemetery
                                                                                 Before 1877

And now, Vasari's painting of Renaissance Florence as we go back through time:

Michelini painted this of exiled Dante teaching the Commedia to Renaissance Florence outside of whose walls he stands with his great Book. The painting is displayed within the Duomo, showing the Duomo self-referentially, and also the Badia and the Palazzo Vecchio. The city gate would have been like that of the now demolished Porta a' Pinti by the Protestant Cemetery.

Wedding chests in the Renaissance were painted with such scenes as this, of the Banners of the Procession of San Giovanni, showing the Baptistry.


And here, in the 1342 Bigallo painting of the Madonna of Misericordia, with all Florence under her cloak, the Baptistry and the Badia both faced by Arnolfo di Cambio in black and white marble, with Orsanmichele and Arnolfo di Cambio's Palazzo Vecchio, then the 'Palazzo del Popolo', until the Medici became Princes of Florence's former proud Republic.

For more images of the Bigallo Madonna delle Misericordia see http://www.florin.ms/bigallo.html

In the Middle Ages, Lorenzetti showed Florence in this painting as Saint Umiltà approaches it from Faenza. He painted it circa 1316. Here we see the Baptistery's previous roof, with the colour scheme of white marble, red terracotta, as was the Duomo's to be, and beyond it the Badia and the Bargello. It seems that the Badia's steeple was forever falling, forever being rebuilt.


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Contact Julia Bolton Holloway

Latest Book:

Beata Umilta: Sguardo sulla Santa Umiltà: Contemplating on Holy Humility. In Italian and English. Julia Bolton Holloway. Trans. Fabrizio Vanni. Florence: Editoriale gli Arcipressi, 2004. Colour Plates of Pietro Lorenzetti's Altarpiece Panels. Pp. 32. Purchase from Julia Bolton Holloway. 10 euro/$10.


Julian of Norwich, Showing of Love, translation in paperback (ISBN: 0-8146-5169-0), xxxiv+ 133 pp, three colour printing, 2003. Order, in America, The Liturgical Press, St John's Abbey, $19.95; in England, etc., Darton, Longman and Todd, available at bookshops, £9.95.

To see inside this book, where God's words are in red, Julian's in black, her editor's in grey, click here.

Julian of Norwich, Showing of Love , definitive edition and translation, Firenze: SISMEL, 2001, available from SISMEL or from Julia Bolton Holloway.

To see an example of a page inside with parallel text in Middle English and Modern English, variants and explanatory notes,click here.


To order Julian of Norwich, Showing of Love: Extant Texts and Translation, ed. Sister Anna Maria Reynolds, C.P. and Julia Bolton Holloway (ISBN  88-8450-095-8), 848 pages, 18 full colour plates of the manuscripts, from University of Florence, SISMEL Edizioni del Galluzzo, 2001, 191 euro, e-mail
order@sismel.itaor Julia Bolton Holloway

Julian of Norwich, Showing of Love, Westminster Text, translated into Modern English, set in William Morris typefont, hand bound with marbled paper end papers within vellum covers, in limited, signed edition. A similar version available in Italian translation. Can be accompanied by CD of a reading of the text. To order, click here.

To view sample copies, actual size, click here.


Saint Bride and Her Book: Birgitta of Sweden's Revelations. Translated from Latin and Middle English with Introduction, Notes and Interpretative Essay . Library of Medieval Women. Series Editor, Jane Chance. Boydell and Brewer , 2000. Revised, republished, third edition. xvi + 151 pp. ISBN 0-85991-589-1

Two books on Dante Alighieri:

The Pilgrim and the Book: A Study of Dante, Langland and Chaucer (ISBN0-8204-2090-5); illustrated, indexed, third edition, available from Julia Bolton Holloway. $25, 25 euro.

Twice-Told Tales: Brunetto Latino and Dante Alighieri (ISBN 0-8204-1954-0), illustrated, indexed, available from Julia Bolton Holloway. $25, 25 euro.


Julian Library CD, 1996/2003, available for general readers, contemplatives, scholars, and libraries for off-line reading, computer browsing (includes Umilta Website);

Julian Library Portfolio, booklets of essays in a hand-bound portfolio, either in Florentine printed paper, or our marbled paper, as shown below;

The City and the Book I, II, III, Florence, International Congresses, Proceedings, CD;

English Cemetery, Florence, CD;


Latest CD:

Florence in Sepia




Concentrating on Florence, this CD contains e-books, such as Augustus J.C. Hare's Florence, Susan and Joanna Horner's Walks in Florence, an album of nineteenth-century photographs of Italy purchased by the Mother Foundress of the Community of the Holy Family, illustrative materials on Elizabeth Barrett Browning, etc. It is a useful guide for scholars of medieval, Renaissance and Victorian Florence and for tourists to modern Florence.

© Julia Bolton Holloway , Biblioteca e Bottega Fioretta Mazzei, 2004.

To order rocking cradles, hand-wrought-iron lilied-cross shelf joins, marbled paper, etc., from Julia Bolton Holloway, illustrated and described in How to Build Cradles and Libraries, and handmade colourful rosaries from Nairobi, Africa, illustrated and described in Portfolio.

Biblioteca e Bottega Fioretta Mazzei Marbled Papers

Donations for above CDs and Portfolios benefit the Biblioteca e Bottega Fioretta Mazzei (of which you become a member through the gift to the library of a book), and the historic "English Cemetery ", Piazzale Donatello 38, I-50132 Florence, Italy

Updated Epiphany 2005

Anglo-Italian Website