|"Galleria," 5x5in., oil on masonite|
The word "galleria" in Italian has a much wider use than the equivalent "gallery" in English. It still means a place where you hang art but it's also a specific architectural feature of a church, the part of an ear, the part of a boat, and most curiously the generic word for "tunnel."
According to the Italian dictionary Treccani, the word probably comes from the medieval Latin "galilaea," meaning the portico or main entrance way of a church.
If you visit Florence, definitely do check out the Uffizi, Bargello, and other official museums, but for something closer to the street head to the pedestrian underpass in Le Cure. It's free and its collection of graffiti, poetry, posters, and collage is constantly changing up and staying fresh. It sometimes has music, you can cycle or skateboard through it, and it has its own live-in security, Salvatore, "the angel of the underpass." At one end, on the outside, you have a daily market, so you can stock up on cheese and fruits. And don't forget Cavini, one of the best and cheapest gelaterie in Florence.
Sure, it may flood every now again, but what in Florence hasn't experienced a bit of flooding, even the Uffizi?
For photos of the Le Cure sottopassaggio, check out the shots on Google.
For this mini painting and others, check out www.ivanostocco.com.