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At tipping point

Travel | January 2016

View over Florence

David Fraser Jenkins is still beguiled by Florence, but reckons supertourism is destroying its heart

The capital city of Tuscany preserves its past history so compulsively that its centre and the whole prospect of it from the hills to north and south, especially south, hardly changes. Of all the cities that I have visited often over a long period, it is the only one in which I can see barely any difference. When I gaze over the terrace in front of San Miniato, or from the Fortezza, or pause at that fading neoclassical bar just above the Piazzale, the city looks just as it does in a largish painting by Corot in the Louvre from the 1830s, with added buildings of course, but much the same.