All aboard! Tram from Florence to San Casciano, 1891

A proposito di tranvia, 1891 inaugurazione della tratta Firenze -San Casciano. La tranvia fu principalmente voluta da Emanuele Orazio Fenzi, banchiere ed esponente di una famiglia con interessi ne campo ferroviario, e da Sidney Sonnino, uomo politico rappresentante in parlamento nel collegio del Chiant.



A picture of the 1891 inauguration of the Florence-San Casciano tram-way. The tram was built primarily thanks to Emanuele Orazio Fenzi,   banker and from a family with railway interests, and Sidney Sonnino, representative in parliament in the Chianti college.

The 1890s in Florence


Panorama da San Miniato, quanto gli alberi erano ancora bassi e si poteva osservare meglio il panorama.  View of Florence from San Miniato, when the trees were still low and you could better see the panorama.




Giardini della Fortezza. Famiglia in posa per una foto ricordo. Anno 1910. Gardens of the Fortezza di Basso, a family posing for a picture in 1910.




Lo struscio sul Ponte Vecchio. Strolling on the Ponte Vecchio.


Borgo Ognissanti, negozio Sale e Tabacchi del 1910.

Church of San Salvador, Florence’s 1st Christian Cathedral, and Santa Reparata

In the 1st C. AD, Christian converts began to invade Florentia. The Christians were persecuted—thrown to lions in the amphitheater—on and off throughout the third century A.D. But by 313 a bishop was living safely in Florence; it’s likely that the first Christian cathedral was built around this time too.

The Church of San Salvador was the name of the edifice, and its location was quite near if not directly under what is now the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in the Piazza del Duomo.


Sandwiched between the first cathedral and the last was Santa Reparata, a church named for a twelve-year-old female martyr. The young saint was said to have appeared in the middle of a 5th-century battle between a host of Vandals and Goths and the citizens of Fiesole.

Santa Reparata suddenly arrived on the spot with a bloodred banner and a lily in her hand. Miraculously, following close behind her was the Roman general Stilicho with a fresh legion of troops. The barbarians fought a losing battle, and the Florentines built a new cathedral in remembrance of the girl’s military assistance.


You can read more about the church of Santa Reparata, which would rebuilt as il Duomo later on here:

Holler, Anne. Florencewalks: Four Intimate Walking Tours of Florence’s Most Historic and Enchanting Neighborhoods (Kindle Locations 57-65). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

Piazza Beccaria, Firenze, and the former Alhambra Theater

Here’s an aerial photo of Florence’s Piazza Beccaria, taken sometime between 1945 and 1980.

The photo can be dated because on the left we see the home of the G.I.L. (Gioventù Italiana Littorioand, on the other side of the avenue, the Alhambra theater.  Both structures were demolished in order to build the Archivio di Stati, constructed in 1980.



The Gioventù Italiana del Littorio (Italian Youth of the Lictor) was the consolidated youth movement of the National Fascist Party of Italy, established in 1937 to supervise and influence the minds of the young. The GIL was in particular established to counteract the influence of the Catholic church. You can read more about the organization and the building in Florence here:ù_Italiana_del_Littorio.


The Teatro Alhambra was built in 1889 and demolished in 1961. Here are a couple of vintage photos of the theater:



Il famoso teatro, al suo posto ora c’è il palazzo del giornale La Nazione.



And here’s a program from the Alhambra:


ALHAMBRA. Programma. Lunedì 2 giugno 1890.

More on Alhambra theater here:

Looking for a light-hearted movie set in drop-dead beautiful Italy?

That was exactly my goal recently, longing to go back, even just for a couple of hours, to a simpler time when better men were President of the USA and the world seemed full of possibilities.

That’s a lot to ask of a film, but I found one when I stumbled upon It Started in Naples. Starring Clark Gable and Sophia Loren, and set in gorgeous southern Italy, what could be better?


Gable is perfect for his role in the movie and Loren is, well, Loren.  Thanks to the advancement of women that has happened in the past 60 years, the silly woman Loren plays is a thing of the past.  I must admit I cringed a few times with the actions and words required for her part.





I am able to overlook those weaknesses for the chance to travel, vicariously, to Naples and environs.  The child actor steals the show, as does the scenery.