2. Firenze is Florence

Firenze is Florence

Some think it is a woman with flowers in her hair

But NO   it is a city with stones on the streets  (Loy, “Giovanni Franchi”)

Houses along Costa San Giorgio
Florence, #54 (middle, tan) and #52 (yellow) Costa San Giorgio

The second section of “Three Italian Pictures” is named for the hilly Florence street where Loy lived after buying a small 3-story home in 1910 at #54. In 1912, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas would visit her there while staying with Mabel Dodge in her villa in the Aretri area outside of Florence, the Villa Curonia. In 1913, Gordon Craig would move next door for a period. During the Spring of 1915, after several months living at 27 Via dei Bardi, Loy moved back to Costa San Giorgio, staying initially at #52 next door to her home, which had been rented. (#52 now houses a ceramic artist whose family has owned it for two generations and who has a studio and shop there).


This chapter will tour Loy’s biographical and poetic Florence, including images of her residences, homes of friends, gathering spots, sites of artistic activity, landmarks, and sights or details around the city that are suggestive of her Italian poems.  Possible images/sites/sights to discuss:

Loy’s Residences

  • First home: Villino Ombrellino (#11 Piazza Bellosguardo [I think!]) (no photo, but have an early 19th print of a painting/sketch)
  • 54 Costa San Giorgio, subsequent address on letters (many photos of house, street, access portals & stairs, etc., details)
    • 1912, Stein & Toklas visit here while visiting Dodge
    • 1913, Gordon Craig moves next door (#?)
  • 27 Via dei Bardi (Fall 1914; near Papini) (photos of house, street, details)
  • #52 next door to #54 CSG rented in spring 1915 (letters from Loy to CVV carry this address; current residence, studio, and shop of artist/potter Emma Draghi) (Photos of house, Draghi’s shop & studio)

Other Florence locations:

  • Mable Dodge’s Villa Curonia, Aretri area (Via Suor Maria Celeste 13, Aretri) (no photo; walled grounds)
    • Rogue May 2015: CVV’s account of prewar life at Villa Curonia
  • Braggiotis’ villa – Scuola del Canto (where?)
    • July 1912, Loy & Dodge attend weekly sessions with Swami Paraman (Burke 132)
    • weekly concerts; Joella & Giles play with Braggioti children here
  • 1913, Piazza San Marco: Marinetti climbs bell tower to drop 800,000 copies of a speech (Burke 152) (photo)
  • Café Giubbe Rosse, gathering place for Futurists (in the former Piazza Viottorio Emmanuelle, now the Piazza della Repubblica) (photo)
    • Lacerba Jan 15, 1914, p. 30 – Ardergo Soffici’s articles in Lacerba about Giubbe Rosse, includes conversations of Loy & Frances Stevens (Burke 153)
  • Paschkowski’s Café, gathering place for Futurists (in the former Piazza Viottorio Emmanuelle, now the Piazza della Repubblica) (“Giovanni Franchi”) (photo)
  • Teatro Verdi (photos)
    • 12, 1913: Futurist performance & “riot”
    • Loy saw a Futurist serata there
  • Pitti Palace, “Giovanni Franchi” (photo)
  • Ponte Vecchio, “Summer Night in a Florentine Slum” (photo)
  • Duomo, “The Prototype” (photo)
  • Gordon Craig, editor of The Mask & visited by Haweis & Loy
    • Initially resided on the top floor of the old Palazzo Sassetti, which is just behind the Piazza Viottorio Emmanuelle/Piazza dell Repubblica (photo)
    • The Mask, instructs correspondence to be sent to
      the Arena Goldoni (not located)
    • Moved to No. 4 Viuzzo della Gattaia, where he lived for 7 years (no photo)
  • Where did Futurists exhibit in Florence?
    • 1913, Futurist painting exhibit in Florence; reviewed in Lacerba
  • Via Tornabuoni Tea Shop (where?)
  • Christian Science Church she attended in Florence? (where?)
  • Hospital in Florence where she worked in war, 1915? (where?)
  • “Public Garden” (possibly the Boboli? have photos)