The Ramp System

Emanuela Paglia

Constructed between 1872 and 1876, the Ramp system is a part of the complex urban connections that Giuseppe Poggi created in his renowned project for enlarging Florence when it was Italy’s capital.

In this lower square, a ramp with a rustic ashlar facade abuts the base of the gate with water spilling into basins on either side and rises to the first level accompanied by Quercus ilex. Here the great wall has four buttresses and a central grotto whose walls are covered with calcareous concretions and from which water cascades resonantly opposite a trapezoidal pool with a single spurt of water in its middle. 

On the level above, a second massive wall has five grottos with calcareous concretions, irregular rock surfaces and fossil sponges both inside and on its facade of “alveolar” rusticated ashlar pillars surmounted by rounded arches. Above the arches is a series of corbels supporting a cornice marking the base of the following level and reachable by the stairways next the grottos or by the roadway. 

Once again, water drops resoundingly in various ways into the pool at the base of the pillars while a quiet pool lies on the panoramic terrace in front of it. And there is yet a third level graced by water! Retaining walls with generous volutes accentuated by ribbons of white and black river pebbles enclose three pools on different levels that receive water from a shell at the summit. 

Numerous seats from which to admire the city are sculpted into the structure in various places.
The restoration which ended in the summer of 2019 has enhanced the wealth of elements gathered into the organic equilibrium that constitutes the system of Le Rampe.

Timetable and address

Viale Giuseppe Poggi, Florence

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