Now, you may be wondering “what does Gaudí have to do with Florence?” Or, you may be wondering “who the heck is Gaudí in the first place?” In either case, I shall explain. Today I am going to give you a peek at my favorite architecture in the world (which I discovered in Barcelona, Spain), through a house right down our very own street.
Since you can Wikipedia or Google him yourself, I’ll give you the short version – Antoni Gaudí was a Spanish/Catalan Architect (and visionary) who lived from 1852 – 1926 (when he was hit by a tram). He is known for his outside-the-box style – Modernisme (which is, according to some sources, the origin of the word “gaudy”). It’s hard to explain, but his buildings usually don’t have edges or corners – they look organic – all curvy and flowing and natural (and, in my opinion, surreal). Both Steve and I fell in love with his work the first time we laid eyes on it (in Barcelona). He has several amazing houses (Casa Batlló, pictured first, looks like some sort of a sea creature both inside and out), as well as the famous Sagrada Familia church (pictured next, with work continuing on it to this day). He also designed an entire “gated community,” but it didn’t go over so well and ended up becoming an amazing park instead of a residential area for rich folks (Park Güell)(second/third row of photos). There really are no words to do justice to how amazing and unique and awe-inspiring his works are – ya just gotta see ‘em for yourself!
Now, you may still be wondering what this has to do with Florence. I’ll tell you. There is a house down the street which looks nothing like any other houses in the neighborhood (or any neighborhood in Italy); it looks, well, curvy and organic and a little surreal. In a nutshell – it looks like the architect channeled Gaudí! Steve and I both thought so the minute we saw it. Now here’s a funny side note – we had dinner guests over one night and they started describing this amazing house they had seen on the walk over – we both immediately blurted out “the Gaudí house”! They weren’t familiar with Gaudí, so we had the pleasure of filling them in and lending them a book about him. (So, that is how we get to Gaudí from Florence). The final row of pictures are of the house down the street – ending with a close-crop of one of the weird little webbed creatures that adorn the top (I’ve since learned the house is called Villino Broggi-Caraceni, built in 1910, not by Gaudí). Enjoy!