As the waves of summer tourists begin to roll in, the few authorized spaces for street art in Florence become highly competitive. Works of art that can take up to 48 hours to finish have, at most, 24 hours to enjoy the light of day before they are washed away and the next artist has a turn at painting their own masterpiece. It’s the ultimate ephemeral art of the city. If you don’t grab a photo (and leave some change!) right then and there, it will likely be gone the next day.
The two smooth patches of pavement near the Mercato Nuovo (in front of Zara) are the most popular and highly coveted exhibition spaces in the city. They get a huge amount of foot traffic and, hence, the highest turnover of artworks. Because there are two spaces near each other, artists often work in pairs to paint two images that somehow relate. For example, opposite this image of the face of Botticelli’s Venus is Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa; two stunning examples of Italian beauty that couldn’t be more different. I wonder what will be there tomorrow.
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