National Geographic : 1967 Jul
National Geographic, July, 1967 Indeed, the loosed Arno was churning 16,000 vehicles in a terrible brew as it raced through the heart of Florence, along Via de Castellani and Via de Leoni-where real lions were once kept as symbols of the city and around the Bargello. THE BARGELLO is to sculpture what the Uffizi is to painting. Since 1865 the 700-year-old building (foldout, page 11) has housed one of earth's finest collections of sculpture-including noted works by Michel angelo and Donatello. Michelangelo's statues disappeared under 13 feet of oily water; terra cottas by Niccolo Tribolo and Vincenzo Danti toppled and fell; a bronze by Pierino da Vinci whirled away and was broken. The waters rolled on toward the Piazza del Duomo. Witnesses there recall with awe a square sloshing with a few inches of water one minute and a stupendous whirl pool the next. Here stand the three structures that most often identify Florence: the octagonal Baptis tery, the great cathedral dedicated to St. Mary of the Flower, and Giotto's graceful bell tower (pages 1, 6-7, and foldout, page 11). Brunel leschi's soaring dome, once the largest in all Slimy quagmire surrounds a statue of Dante in the spacious square of the Church of Santa Croce. Impounded by She risked her life to save Galileo's telescope. Dr. Maria Luisa Righini Bonelli, Director of the Institute and Museum of the History of Science, braved rapidly mounting waters to rescue the treasure, carried here with an Arabian celestial globe of the 11th century and a Galileo telescope lens framed in ivory.