Florence's East End
Streets around the Amphitheatre
The east end of Florence, which is a rambling district packed with artisans and small manufacturers, was the artists’ quarter in Renaissance times. Still one of the livelier neighbourhoods, with a few lingering artists lodged in the upper storeys, hoping to breathe inspiration from the very stones where Michelangelo walked, it is a good place to observe the workaday Florence behind the glossy façade.
Just west of Piazza Santa Croce is a series of streets – Via Bentaccordi (where a plaque marks Michelangelo’s boyhood home), Via Torta and Piazza dei Peruzzi – which makes an almost complete ellipse. These mark the course of the inner arcade of the Roman amphitheatre, some stones of which can still be seen among the foundations of the palaces.