This article accompanies the fable
There are surprisingly few good paintings of old Florence but Fabio Borbottoni (1820-1901), produced the best of them. He was an accountant for a railway company and he painted Florence in his spare time as the old city was remodeled around him. His Romantic paintings are really set hundreds of years earlier. When they were published in 1982 in the book Firenze Perduta, Italo Calvino wrote the introduction.
Below is the famous Florentine prison, the Stinche, which was operational from around 1300 to after 1800. There was only one door, which you can see on the side, The Door of Miseries (compare this with Venice's Bridge of Sighs).
Below is a fresco of the 1530 Siege of Florence by Giorgio Vasari, in 1558. The city fell to the imperial and Spanish armies...