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Florence appears from Fiesole as in a dream

new year thermal inversion in Florence

Florence appears from Fiesole as in a dream

new year thermal inversion in Florence

New Year's Eve gave the Florentines a very unusual surprise. A dense thermal inversion kept Florence under a thick blanket of fog all day long. The view from Fiesole was one of the most memorable.
Technically, and in very simple terms, thermal inversion occurs when the ground temperature is lower than the one in the altitude. In the absence of wind, those splendid lakes of low clouds are formed, a well known scenery to those who love hiking on mountains and to those who are familiar with the Crete Senesi rolling hills landscape. But in Florence it is a rare phenomenon. And especially with that long time persistence, from morning to evening.

I arrived in Fiesole at about noon. The temperature was about twenty degrees, just like in April. The first to emerge was the Torre del Gallo on the hill of Arcetri; then Brunelleschi's dome appears, even more majestic and solemn in its misty solitude, and gradually the other towers and bell towers appears too, with the famous Uffizi crane as well.
As the sun approached the horizon, the fog became tinged with gold and purple reflections in the low winter backlight. Finally the sunset cames, the moment when earth and sky joined in a warm New Year's embrace to the city of the Lily.
Happy 2022, Florence. Let's hope so.

h 12.15
the Arno valley seen from Fiesole is a lake of fog. Only the Chianti hills can be seen in the distance.

h 12.28
the first to emerge is the Gallo tower of Arcetri, and just below the Piazzale Michelangelo appears from the fog, along with the bell tower of San Miniato church...

h 12.43
here at last is Brunelleschi's cupola emerging like a vision in splendid solitude; all the rest of the city is still hidden by fog.

h 12.55
now also emerging from the fog the Palazzo Vecchio and the bell towers of Bargello and Badia Fiorentina. On the hill behind also reveals the Forte Belvedere.

h 12.59
in a wider shot a few moments later the church of Santa Croce is also out of fog. On the left  just above is the hill of Arcetri with the Gallo tower. In the background are the Chianti hills and Pratomagno mountain range.

h 13.16
a viewer of the unusual show, having just arrived on the Fiesole hill, frames the scene with her smartphone...

h 13.22
the cypress trees of San Domenico also begin to appear in the foreground, together with the city just behind.

h 13.31
blades of light are created between dark cypress trees outlines; in the valley, the suburb of Le Cure and the Mugnone stream are the visual prologue to the old town.

h 13.33
a closer image of the cypress trees and villas of San Domenico + Camerata with the blades of light created by the fading fog. Lunch break, time for a sandwich....

h 15.20
in the afternoon, the fog is replaced by a very dense haze embracing the city; the low winter backlight paint this scene with an intense poetry.

h 15.29
the mist is covering the city in a turquoise embrace; in the background the colors of the hilly landscape are going to introduce the golden hour.

h 15.35
two lovers are happy to be together in this unusual winter golden hour in fiesole, while in the background the city is painting with gold.

h 15.41
a painter from an American art school is painting Florence en plein air while protecting himself from the light with his blue umbrella.

h 15.50
some landscape painters from an American art school stand up like dark silhouettes while the city in the distance is wrapped up in a dense haze quite similar to the morning fog.

h 15.53
the sun is now closer to the winter horizon and it's shot in this low key image where Brunelleschi's dome emerges as a silhouette from the fog painted by the low backlight.

h 16.01
the city is hanging, timeless, and without the usual connections of space. Only some towers emerge vaguely from the fog.

h 16.07
the city and hills are shrouded in a magical winter golden hour. The fog barely hints at the monuments and the rhythmic of the ridges to the the horizon.

h 16.26
the sun is near the horizon and providentially shielded by veils that allow its blades of light to filter through, while the sky is preciously mottled with high, faint clouds...

h 16.30
...And let the sunset be, at last. Earth and sky unite in a warm New Year's embrace to the city of Red Lily.

h 16.44
the sun has just set over Florence, and the fog is tinged with the color of the sky, as the horizon blazes. Next sun will be just another day and another year too. Best wishes to all!