The story of an artisan Florist  in Florence

Anno/Year 2023
222 pagine/pages
illustrato/illustrated
15x21 cm.
ISBN 9788833841588
18.00





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Altre pubblicazioni di Emilio Gabbrielli
Polenta e Goanna
Racconti di fine secolo
Polenta and Goanna
La storia di un Fioraio artigiano di Firenze

Emilio Gabbrielli

The story of an artisan Florist in Florence

At the end of the day, Florence has always been a small city in a physical sense. The Viali di Circonvallazione that replaced the Renaissance walls enclose the city centre within a circle three kilometres in diameter. Over time the different generations, even of a humble Florentine family like the Gabbriellis, must perforce have interacted continually with the city’s major events and upheavals and its great personalities.

With his family’s centuries of experience as gardeners at Villa Papiano behind him, Emilio Gabbrielli opened an artisan florist shop in the centre of Florence in 1902 and moved there to live, followed by one of his brothers, Giovanni, who went to work as a sculptor in the Opificio delle Pietre Dure. Straight away Emilio began growing plants and flowers for the shop in the centre of town, and found himself treading the same soil in the garden in Piazza San Marco where – at a time when one of Emilio’s ancestors was probably already working as a gardener at Villa Papiniano, then owned by the sculptor Baccio Bandinelli – Lorenzo the Magnificent had sent Michelangelo to study at Bertoldo’s sculpture school.

Emilio’s wife Chiarina spent her childhood taking goats to pasture in the harsh terrain of the Appenines from morning to night; later, she found herself caught up in an international scandal involving Princess Marie-Louise of Habsburg-Lorraine, wife of the last king of Saxony. The later generations of Gabbriellis worked in the service of the Misses Barlow, upper-class Englishwomen who followed Queen Victoria on one of her stays in Florence and decided to remain there. Meanwhile Chiarina’s sister’s husband and his brothers became Florence’s most important theatrical entrepreneurs, and presented popular stage shows in the local vernacular.

The florist shop, by now well established, survived Emilio’s premature death and finally came down to his son Maurizio. After making it through the war thanks to the generosity of a small group of Greek soldiers, Maurizio looked beyond the walls of the city and married Valeria, the barista daughter of farmhands from Modena countryside, the Bassa Modenese. It was Valeria, working in the shop with Maurizio right to the end, who researched the Gabbrielli family tree. The story of the florist shop ended with her, in 2008.
 

 






Emilio Gabbrielli è nato a Firenze nel 1948. Si è laureato in Ingegneria Chimica presso l’Università degli Studi di Bologna e ottenuto una specializzazione post-laurea presso la stessa Università. Il suo temperamento irrequieto e la sua naturale curiosità lo hanno portato in giro per il mondo: ha vissuto in Perù, Australia, Inghilterra, Brasile e Svezia, e ha lavorato per lunghi periodi in diversi altri paesi. Ora divide il suo tempo tra Sydney e Firenze. In parallelo con la sua formazione scientifica e carriera professionale nel settore dell’acqua, Gabbrielli ha sempre perseguito i suoi interessi creativi, come pittore e come scrittore di prose, poesie e opere teatrali.
Il suo romanzo storico Polenta e Goanna è stato selezionato per il Premio Arcangela Todaro-Faranda per un manoscritto pronto per la pubblicazione (Bologna, 1998), e pubblicato da Pontecorboli nel 2000. La prima edizione della traduzione inglese di Barbara McGilvray, Polenta and Goanna, è stata pubblicata a Milano da Sentieri Italiani della Cultura (IPOC) nel 2008 e una nuova edizione è stata pubblicata da Pontecorboli nel 2021.
Ha vinto premi in Australia per i suoi racconti e per la sua opera in un atto, Yvonne. Una raccolta dei suoi racconti è stata pubblicata da Pontecorboli nel 2016 con il titolo Racconti di fine secolo.

Emilio Gabbrielli was born in Florence in 1948. He graduated in Chemical Engineering at the University of Bologna, where he also completed his Postgraduate Certificate in Systems Engineering and Computer Modelling (1973). His restless temperament and natural curiosity led him to travel the world: he has lived in Peru, Australia, England, Brazil and Sweden and worked for long periods in several other countries. He now divides his time between Sydney and Florence. Alongside his scientific studies and a professional career in the water sector, he has always pursued his creative interests as a painter and a writer of prose, poetry and plays.

His historical novel Polenta e Goanna was shortlisted for the Arcangela Todaro-Faranda Prize for a manuscript ready for publication (Bologna, 1998), and was published by Pontecorboli (Florence) in 2000. The initial English translation by Barbara McGilvray, Polenta and Goanna, was published in Milan by IPOC (Italian Paths of Culture) in 2008, and a new edition by Pontecorboli in 2021.

Gabbrielli has won prizes in Australia for his short stories and his one-act play, Yvonne. A collection of his stories was published by Pontecorboli in 2016 under the title Racconti di fine secolo.