When the family took a short break in Florence a couple of weeks ago we were all struck by the amount of wrought ironwork attached to walls and covering ground floor windows. Much of this ironwork dates back to renaissance times but the tradition of using metal in attractive and interesting ways continues today.
In medieval and renaissance times Florence was a turbulent place, with civil unrest, invasion and religious upheaval all being regular hazards. Measures to keep unwanted intruders out of your property were essential.
During the renaissance, streets and buildings were lit by burning torches inserted into brackets on walls. Different designs of bracket can be seen throughout the old city.