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Florentine Legends: “The Reversed Balcony”

Florentine Legends: “The Reversed Balcony”

Florence is a city full of history where it’s easy to be charmed by surrounds and you do not notice some little corners, minor ones that make you rediscover the city and the character of Florentine people.

One of these is little corners in Florence, perhaps surrounded by a legend, is in Borgo Ognissanti at number 12, where is located the reversed balcony. Admiring it is a real pleasure especially if you think about the legend that surrounds it, not because it was object of peculiar tales but because it reflects very well the city and its inhabitants character, reflection where I see myself too.

The reversed balcony that is located on the first floor, was built by assembling counter wise the classical elements of a regular balcony: the supporting corbels, its volutes and the balustrades where capitals are in place of the base.

The building dates back to the 16th century, and it seems to have been built in such a curious way as a request of the stable’s builder, due to some spites with the Duke Alessandro de’ Medici.

Looks like, that at the moment of the project proposal, this was rejected by the Duke, cause the balcony was too prominent (for some law of the age). After the first reject the builder presented the project a second time modifying a few things but leaving the balcony almost unchanged, of course the Duke Alessandro denied it again. At a third instance, trying to be salacious, the Duke wrote on his response: “yes on the contrary”. The builder, applying the answer to the letter, ordered to his architect to build the balcony upside-down. Perhaps the Duke Alessandro would have liked to punish the irreverent constructor, but as a Florentine … I think he appreciated and approved his presence of mind.