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n.4 autumn-winter 2011/2012

10,00 â‚Ź

a half-yearly magazine on the arts


photo Francesca Anichini

enclosed journalino with map of the city and calendar of exhibitions

exhibitions museums academies foundations villas gardens libraries churches palaces restoration events publications conferences childrenĘźs activities

Poste Italiane s.p.a. - Spedizione in Abbonamento Postale - D.L. 353/2003 (conv. in L. 27/02/2004 n° 46) art. 1, comma 2, DCB Firenze In caso di mancato recapito inviare a Firenze CMP per la restituzione al mittente previo pagamento resi

contents 4• autumn-winter 2011/2012 4

Palazzo Pitti




Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore


The Uffizi


The Uffizi Department of Prints and Drawings




The Accademia


The Bargello


Opificio delle Pietre Dure and the Restoration Laboratories


San Marco Museum




Museo degli Innocenti


Medici Chapels


Santa Croce Monumental Complex


Civic Museums


Palazzo Medici Riccardi


Archaeological Museums


Palazzo Strozzi


In the now


Medici Villas


Piccoli Grandi Musei


Bardini Villa and Garden


Academies and Foundations


House Museums


Natural History and Anthropology Museums


Stibbert Museum


Richard Ginori Museum


Casa Buonarroti


Horne Museum


Galileo Museum


Museum of Mathematics


Fashion Museums and Archives


Alinari National Museum of Photography


Fiesole Museums


Foreigners in Florence




Music in the city


Books about town


In Tuscany


Architecture walks

Notice to readers VisitArt is a half-yearly magazine, the calendar of events is current to the date of going to press. For up-dated information please refer to the websites of the various museums and to our own site

Note from the editor The editorial team welcomes any change or update to upcoming issues, to arrive not later than 45 days before the publication date. or VisitArt c/o Centro Di Lungarno Serristori 35, 50125 Firenze

news for subscribers! online calendar updated daily, with all the city’s art events

find out what’s going on in Florence every week on the new website and sign up for our newsletter to receive monthly a selection of events from VisitArt

in this issue a selection of events month by month

updates on

october from 17 September the major exhibition Money and Beauty is at Palazzo Strozzi (pp. 28-29) and from

23 September Declining Democracy at the Strozzina (p. 31) ♣ 3 October Le stanze dei tesori. Meraviglie dei collezionisti nei musei di Firenze opens at Palazzo Medici Riccardi: the project includes an exhibition at Palazzo Medici Riccardi and events at the Stefano Bardini, Horne, Stibbert, Palazzo Davanzati, Casa Rodolfo Siviero museums and at the Salvatore Romano Foundation and the Bandini Museum at Fiesole (pp. 24 and 36) ♣ from 11 October La bella Italia. Arte e identità delle città capitali at Palazzo Pitti (p. 5) ♣ La grande Maestà duecentesca del Museo Pushkin a Mosca opens on 18 October at the Uffizi (pp. 8-9) ♣ in Fiesole homage to the architect Giovanni Michelucci with two exhibitions that close on 30 October (p. 47) ♣ until next spring Art in restoration makes it possible to visit the restoration the exhibition of the wall paintings in the Cappella Maggiore at Santa Croce (p. 21) Vasari, gli Uffizi e il Duca at the Uffizi closes on 2 November (p. 8) ♣ a last opportunity to see the exhibition Francesco Clemente. I Tarocchi at the Uffizi Department of Prints and Drawings, and in the Sala del Camino at the Uffizi, which closes 6 November (p. 11) ♣ from 3 November Il Genio nel Territorio. Musica Insieme offers a programme of shows throughout the province of Florence (p. 24) ♣ until 6 November Lorenzo Bartolini’s sculptures are on show at the Accademia, Scultore del bello naturale (p. 14) ♣ Futurotextiles. Surprising textiles, design & art on show until 13 November at the a new interactive section Textiles Museum of Prato (p. 45) dedicated to Galileo and the measurement of time opens at the Galileo Museum (p. 44) ♣ Volti rivelati in the series “I mai visti” at the Reali Poste from 13 December (pp. 8-9) ♣ the new theatre of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino is inaugurated on 21 December (p. 56) ♣ until 31 December it is possible to see Manu the funeral mask of Dante Alighieri at the Bargello (p. 15) consilioque. La chirurgia nei manoscritti della Laurenziana at the Biblioteca Laurenziana closes on 5 January (p. 13) ♣ at the Alinari Museum the exhibition Immagini del Novecento. Fotografie di Giuseppe Quatriglio makes way for Duffy “the photographic genius” which opens on 12 January (p. 46) ♣ this is the last month to see the exhibitions Money and Beauty. Bankers, Botticelli and the Bonfire of the Vanities at Palazzo Strozzi and Declining Democracy. Rethinking democracy between utopia and participation at the Strozzina which close on 22 January (pp. 28 and 31) ♣ until 22 January Families at Palazzo Strozzi, a rich programme of activities for families with children aged 3 and over; in the Strozzina every first weekend of the month there are many activities devoted to understanding contemporary art (pp. 52-54) ♣ the exhibition Siviero collezionista this is the last month to appreciate the del sacro opens at the Casa Siviero on 28 January (p. 39) history of the Biblioteca Nazionale told in the exhibition La Biblioteca Magliabechiana diventa Nazionale, closing on 28 February (p. 13) ♣ from 17 February at Villa Romana the winning works of the Premio Villa Romana 2012 are on show (p. 33) ♣ the programme Famiglie al museo organised by the Sezione Didattica del Polo Museale offers many activities for families: on 12 February at the Bargello, on 19 February at Palazzo Davanzati and the Accademia, on 25 February at the Uffizi (p. 53) final opportunity to see La bella Italia. Arte e identità delle città capitali at Palazzo Pitti, which closes on 4 March (p. 5) ♣ Americans in Florence. Sargent and the American Impressionists from 2 March at Palazzo Strozzi (p. 29) ♣ from 8 to 18 March the exhibition at Palazzo Medici Riccardi of the winning works in the competition Arte: singolare femminile (p. 24) ♣ until 12 March the exhibition Ispirazione e Visioni at the Museo Ferragamo (p. 45) ♣ the exhibition Figli d’Italia. Gli Innocenti e la nascita di un progetto nazionale per l’infanzia (1861-1911) at the MUDI closes on 18 March (p. 20) ♣ Andrea Commodi dall’attrazione per Michelangelo all’ansia del nuovo opens on 27 March at the Casa Buonarroti (p. 43).






palazzo pitti

leonora di Toledo, wife of Cosimo I, bought and greatly extended Palazzo Pitti to create a light and airy residence for the large ducal family and surrounded it with superb gardens. The palace was linked by the Vasari Corridor to the Uffizi and Palazzo Vecchio, which remained the official power base and seat of government. In the course of its history the building has been home not only to the grand dukes, but also to Italy’s royal family. Today it houses several impressive collections of paintings, sculptures and artefacts, in perfectly preserved surroundings. This prestigious structure now houses seven museums.


The Palatine Gallery and Royal Apartments

piazza Pitti

The Palatine Gallery was created in the late 18th and early 19th century by the Lorraine family to exhibit masterpieces mainly from the Medici collections, and houses works by Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Rubens, Pietro da Cortona and other Italian and European masters of the Renaissance and the 17th century. The Royal Apartments, formerly the private residence of the sovereigns, are decorated with furnishings, fittings and works of art dating from the 16th to the 19th century and are open to visitors. open: Tuesday to Sunday 8.15-18.50 closed: 1 January, 1 May, 25 December

Gallery of Modern Art

The Gallery shows paintings and sculptures mainly by Italian artists, dating from the late 18th century to the First World War. The works range from the neo-classical period to Romanticism and include a fine collection of the Macchiaioli artists. open: Tuesday to Sunday 8.15-18.50 closed: 1 January, 1 May, 25 December

Carriage Museum

The museum houses fine examples of carriages used by the Lorraine and Savoy courts as well as antique harnesses for horses. The oldest carriage is an 18thcentury rocaille coupĂŠ. open only upon request


photo Francesca Anichini

Silver Museum

The museum is named after the silver that belonged to the collections of the bishops of Salzburg, brought to Florence in 1815 by Ferdinando III of Lorraine. The museum also contains the famous Medici Treasury as well as elegant Chinese and Japanese porcelain, collected by the Medici from the 15th century onwards.

Costume Gallery

The Gallery was founded in 1983 in the Palazzina della Meridiana. Dedicated to the history of fashion from the 18th century to the present day, it houses clothes, accessories and jewels as well as stage costumes. There is also an important collection of papers, including archive documents, sketches and drawings.

Porcelain Museum

Located in the 18th-century Palazzina del Cavaliere, the museum houses the finest European porcelain collected by Pietro Leopoldo and Ferdinando III of Lorraine, alongside porcelain removed from the historic residences in Parma, Piacenza and Sala Baganza. open: every day 8.15-16.30 from November to February, 8.15-17.30 March and October after official summer time sets in, 8.15-18.30 April, May, September and October, 8.15-18.50 from June to August closed: 1st and last Monday of the month, 1 January, 1 May, 25 December

Since June 2011 piazza Pitti has been a pedestrian area

palazzo pitti calendar of exhibitions october 2011-march 2012 Dal fronte con ironia: l’epistolario illustrato di Piero Bernardini

La bella Italia Arte e identità delle città capitali

curated by Rossella Campana Saloncino delle Statue, Gallery of Modern Art 23 September-30 October 2011

curated by Cristina Acidini and Maria Sframeli Palazzo Pitti 11 October 2011-4 March 2012

Last exhibition in the “Italia mia” series with which the Galleria d’Arte Moderna celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy. The exhibition presents for the first time to the public a particular selection of the family letters which Piero Bernardini (1891-1974), future graphic artist, cartoonist and successful painter, wrote and vividly illustrated while he was at the front as a soldier in the First World War, the conclusive stage in the long journey towards the Unification of Italy.

The specific histories of the pre-Unification capital cities – Turin, Milan, Genoa, Bologna, Florence, Venice, Rome, Naples and Palermo – were grafted onto the shared sentiment that Italy was the common homeland, united by language, religion and the legacy of ancient Rome. The aim of the exhibition is to explore the cultural identities of these cities in 1861, showing how their citizens saw themselves and how artists represented them over the centuries. Some 350 works from Italian and foreign museums recount preUnification Italy, with documents and objects that reconstruct their historical profile and the salient aspects of their self-representation.



orsanmichele palazzo pitti

Boboli Gardens

Behind the Pitti Palace lie the magnificent Boboli Gardens, a veritable open-air museum, filled with antique and Renaissance statues, and enhanced with grottoes and grand fountains. The grounds were first laid out at the time of the Medici, creating the formal Italian garden that would become a model for many of the European courts.

a green walk Palazzo Pitti and Villa Bardini are connected via the Boboli Gardens. There is free access for residents. See p. 37

open: every day, 8.15-16.30 from November to February, 8.15-17.30 in March and October after official summer time sets in, 8.15-18.30 in April, May, September and October, 8.15-19.30 from June to August closed: first and last Monday of the month, 1 January, 1 May, 25 December

uilt in the 13th century as a granary and market, in the next century Orsanmichele became a religious place and in the middle of the 14th century was consecrated for Christian worship. From then until the 17th century the building, which served both civil and religious functions, was modified and enriched by the city guilds with the 14 canopied niches of the exterior. Religious services take place regularly, and concerts of classical music are held here, overlooked by the splendid marble tabernacle by Orcagna and the 14th-century Madonna delle Grazie by Bernardo Daddi.


Sculpture Hall

On the first floor of Orsanmichele are the original statues from the tabernacles. Copies now occupy the niches in order to preserve the completeness of the decoration. On the upper floor are other small badly damaged statues that once formed part of the exterior. via dell’Arte della Lana open: Church every day 10-17, Museum Monday 10-17 orsanmichele

The cycle of the seasons in San Michele in Orto When the Comune of Florence decided to build Orsanmichele in 1336, it wanted the building in the middle of the city, in the square of the Orto di San Michele, a place to store the communal wheat and celebrate the cult of the Madonna. The large building, which was intended to lend beauty and ornament to the city, is laden with symbols. Just as wheat is conserved in the granary, Mary holds within her the divine grain, which is the body of Christ in the sacrament of the altar, and offers it as spiritual nourishment for the soul. In these terms the Madonna is often described as the “house” of Christ her son. In the Middle Ages the Virgin and Saint Michael, the name of the place even before the construction of this building, are linked according to Christian doctrine: the Madonna rises to Heaven and her soul is presented to the Lord by the Archangel Michael; and again, in the Last Judgement Michael weighs the souls and Mary intercedes compassionately. These symbolic meanings are found in several parts of the sculptural decoration of the monument. At the corners of the “tower” in pietra forte, where the statues of the evangelists are, the four seasons are sculpted onto the bases of the slender corner columns in the form of plant motifs. They illustrate the products of the Earth and the annual cycle of agriculture, though they are not referrable to the cardinal orientation of the building: they respond rather to Christian orientation, arranged that is according to divine law and not according to natural law. Thus, on the west side, bare branches and budding shoots are the symbols of death and resurrection, and recall the cycles of the Last Judgement that decorated the counter-façade on the west of many churches. On the opposite side, at the corners of the east-facing façade, ears of grain and grapes are eucharistic symbols: the body and the blood of Christ. From the microcosm of the building of Orsanmichele we pass therefore to the macrocosmic order. Antonio Godoli Director of the Orsanmichele Museum

opera di santa maria del fiore

stablished at the end of the 13th century to oversee the construction of Florence’s new cathedral, the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore today administers a group of monuments and buildings of exceptional importance. These structures developed around the cathedral and are now important monuments for all visitors to the city. The buildings consist of several groups, all with a marked identity and specific historic function. The buildings include churches, such as Santa Maria del Fiore and the Baptistery. The latter came under the Fabbriceria del Duomo (Ecclesiastical Board) only in 1777, following the suppression of the Opera di San Giovanni. The remains of another church, deeply rooted in the city’s history, are also part of this group of buildings – the ancient cathedral of Santa Reparata rediscovered beneath the floor of the Duomo. Considerably less known is the little church of San Benedetto, also of medieval origin and also under the authority of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore. The work of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore in conserving and improving its works of art is evident in other structures, in No waiting at the Duomo! particular in the Museum of the Opera del Duomo, established in 1891 to house the The new electronic card numerous masterpieces removed for safe keeping from Santa Maria del Fiore and from Priority Pass allows the visitor to the Baptistery. In addition, the stonemasons’ workshop, where the traditional skills of jump the queue not only Florentine artisans created works of inestimable value in the past, continues to work for the Cathedral but also for the crypt, the Cupola, Giotto’s on their conservation, while the newly renovated Campanile, the Baptistery and Museum of the Opera del Duomo opened in 1987. the Museum. The card does


not include entry fees.

via della Canonica, 1 office hours: Monday to Friday 8-19, Saturday 8-14

The Cupola

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

In 1418, the Opera del Duomo advertised a public contest for the dome of Florence cathedral. Although there were no official winners, Filippo Brunelleschi and Lorenzo Ghiberti were appointed master builders: on 7 August 1420 construction began on the cupola (the largest brick dome ever constructed); from 1425 onward construction continued under Brunelleschi’s direction alone, and was completed up to the base of the lantern on 1 August 1436.

Santa Maria del Fiore, the design of which was planned by Arnolfo di Cambio, is the world’s third largest church (after San Pietro in Rome and Saint Paul’s in London). It is 153 metres long, 90 metres wide at the cross and 90 metres high from the floor to the opening of the lantern. It was dedicated in 1412 to Santa Maria del Fiore, clearly alluding to the lily, a symbol of the city. The considerable diversities of style seen in the present-day cathedral are evidence of the varying tastes that developed over the long period of time from its foundation to its completion. The first stone of the façade was laid on 8 September 1296, and the Cathedral was completed at the end of the 19th century when this façade, begun so many centuries earlier, was at last completed.

open: every day 8.30-19, Saturday 8.30-17.40 closed: Sunday and on major holidays

Baptistery of San Giovanni

open: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10-17; Thursday 10-16.30 (May and October 10-15.30, from July to September 10-17); Saturday 10-16.45; Sunday and major holidays 13.30-16.45 closed: 1 and 6 January, Easter, 25 December

Crypt of Santa Reparata Museum (archaeological site) A major excavation beneath the Cathedral of of the Opera del Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore, carried out between 1965 and 1973, brought to light the remains of the ancient basilica of Santa Reparata, the oldest evidence of early Christianity in Florence. Today, the ancient early Christian basilica of Florence lies just two and a half metres below the present-day cathedral. Restored on several occasions, it was also used for the meetings of the Parliament of the Republic before the construction of Palazzo Vecchio. open: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10-17, Saturday 10-16,45; Thursday 10-16.30 (May and October 10-15.30, from July to September 10-17) closed: on major holidays

Established in 1891, designed by Luigi del Moro, an architect of the Opera, renovated after the 1966 flood, and rearranged in December 1999, the Museum of the Opera del Duomo is one of the most important ecclesiastical museums in Italy. Since the late 19th century, works of art have been removed from their outdoor location at Santa Maria del Fiore, the Baptistery and the Campanile in order to conserve them in the museum. piazza del Duomo, 9 open: Monday to Saturday 9-19.30, Sunday 9-13.45 closed: 1 January, Easter, 8 September, 25 December

With an octagonal plan, entirely faced with white and green marble from Prato, the Baptistery is surmounted by a cupola with eight segments resting on the perimeter walls. These are masked from the outside by the walls which rise above the arches of the second floor and by a roof with a flattened pyramidal form. The Baptistery we see today was built over a smaller and earlier Baptistery dating from the 4th to 5th century. open: every day 12.15-19; 1st Saturday of the month, Sunday and on major holidays 8.30-14 closed: 1 January, Easter, 8 September, 25 December

Giotto’s Campanile

Giotto’s bell tower is one of the four principal components of piazza del Duomo. At a height of 84.70 metres and about 15 metres wide, it is the most eloquent example of 14th-century Florentine Gothic architecture. Faced with white, red and green marble like the Cathedral, the majestic square bell tower, considered the most beautiful in Italy, was begun by Giotto in 1334. open: every day 8.30-19.30, 6 January 8.30-14 closed: 1 January, Easter, 8 September, 25 December


the uffizi


piazzale degli Uffizi open: Tuesday to Sunday 8.15-18.50 closed: 1 January, 1 May, 25 December We advise visitors to make a reservation

photo Francesca Anichini


he Uffizi Gallery was created within a building which Cosimo I de’ Medici commissioned to house the judiciary of the city’s guilds beside his residence in Palazzo Vecchio. His heir, Francesco I, initiated a collection of portraits of famous men, both historic and contemporary, on the top floor during the 1580s and created the first nucleus of today’s museum in the octagonal Tribune, entered from the first corridor. Francesco housed the most precious and fabulous works of art and rarities of nature in the Tribune. The collection of scientific instruments and the Medici armoury were later displayed in neighbouring rooms. In the centuries that followed, the Medici and then the Lorraine continued to add collections of art, and these now constitute one of the most important museums in the world.

“La città degli Uffizi” Shared affection This exhibition in the ‘La città degli Uffizi’ series is being held at Santo Stefano di Sessanio in Abruzzo as a gesture of solidarity towards the delightful little town that had attracted the interest and admiration of even foreign visitors and that a terrible stroke of recent misfortune has reduced to almost silent solitude. The Galleria degli Uffizi – following the 1993 car bomb explosion that could have ruined the institution and which destroyed two absolute masterpieces and damaged many others – found in the Associazione Amici degli Uffizi (created immediately after the explosion, as an expression of unconditional affection) an enormous source of support during the time of its resurrection. That generous and intelligent experience (which still exists and is so useful to the museum) led to the establishment of binding relations with the municipality of Santo Stefano di Sessanio, a Medicean outpost in the land of Abruzzo, stricken – like the Florentine museum – by a devastating and totally unexpected tragedy. Inspired by the spirit of a shared destiny, the Uffizi decided to take to that place of rugged beauty twenty-three works which owed their restoration, or in some cases even their entry into the collections of the Gallery, precisely to the Associazione Amici degli Uffizi. Works that span the period from classical antiquity to the 20th century, passing through the great centuries of the figurative, and especially Florentine, tradition. Works which in 2003 – on the tenth anniversary of the Mafia bombing and celebrating a triumph over that criminal assault – were in large part exhibited at the Uffizi, in the Sala delle Reali Poste, in an exhibition that I had wanted to entitle ‘Inventario d’affetti’, because most of the works in question were new acquisitions and therefore had new inventory numbers; and yet each of those numbers corresponded more to a feeling than to a material work of art. Thus today, on a different occasion – although still in the realm of sentiments – the title has varied slightly and now reads ‘Condivisione d’affetti’. The concept underlying all the other exhibitions of the “La città degli Uffizi” series does not, in this instance, focus on paintings or marbles of the collections that are closely associated with the place where the exhibition is staged. The exhibition of Santo Stefano di Sessanio is not founded on the poetical physicalness of a work, but rather on the abstraction of a deeply-felt sentiment; precisely that sentiment of sharing that dramatic events are capable of triggering among peoples of different and sometimes remotely located areas. Our hope, during the three months of the exhibition, is that the light the Uffizi enjoys worldwide is reflected on Santo Stefano, a white and rocky apparition in the green of the Gran Sasso, a vision not unreminiscent of the imaginary cities of Italo Calvino. May the charm and mystery of the Abruzzo village again enter the hearts of those who love mountain places, at once so harsh and so sweet; places, moreover, touched here by the long breath of an ancient and noble history. Which from far off shall be signalled to visitors by the tower which the earthquake obliterated and which I sincerely hope will stand again, exactly as it did before (as is worthy of an emblem), above the rooftops of the stone houses clinging to the hill. Antonio Natali Director of the Uffizi

calendar of exhibitions october 2011-march 2012 Vasari, gli Uffizi e il Duca curated by Claudia Conforti, Francesca Funis, Antonio Godoli and Francesca de Luca the Uffizi until 2 November 2011 On the fifth centennial of the birth of Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574), the theme of this exhibition is the foundation of the Uffizi (1559-1560), an architectural system on an urban scale, the result of close collaboration between Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici and Vasari, his favourite artist. The exhibition first focuses on the urban layout between Palazzo Vecchio and the Arno before the construction of the Uffizi; it then illustrates the phases of the conception and construction of the complex. The show illustrates the monument’s spatial and figurative peculiarities, and its formal and typological ancestry, along with antique work tools and artefacts walled in the vaults and only recently uncovered. The exhibition also shows the exuberant artistic milieu monopolised by the court and in awe of the genius of Michelangelo. Vasari was kept at a distance until the artist triumphantly entered the service of the Duke (1554). The exhibition illustrates periods of rejection and success through works by the artists who opposed or favoured Vasari.

La grande Maestà duecentesca del Museo Pushkin a Mosca, un capolavoro della pittura fiorentina delle origini curated by Angelo Tartuferi the Uffizi, Room 2 18 October 2011-8 January 2012 A large 13th-century panel showing the Madonna and Child Enthroned and Seventeen Stories from the Life of the Virgin, comes to the Uffizi from the Pushkin Museum in Moscow. Little known and not on show before in Italy , the panel is attributed by some art historians to Coppo di Marcovaldo and his son Salerno, but the debate is still open. Thanks to its loan by the Russian museum visitors can appreciate this masterpiece and compare it with the three Maestà of Cimabue, Duccio and Giotto, of which it represents an earlier example.


the uffizi

The 13th-century the Uffizi, Room 2 Maestà from the 18 October 2011 8 January 2012 Pushkin Museum in Moscow As part of the numerous events and cultural

Uffizi pages edited by Valentina Conticelli with Monica Alderotti


exchanges anticipated by the two governments on the occasion of the “Italia-Russia 2011” programme, in return for the loan of Pallas and the Centaur by Botticelli to the Pushkin Museum of Moscow, the Uffizi is receiving an extremely important 13thcentury Italian painting, never previously exhibited in Italy and practically unknown even among art connoisseurs. This is the large painting measuring 246x138 cm representing the Madonna and Child Enthroned and Seventeen Stories from the Life of the Virgin – one of the most complete iconographical cycles of medieval painting – bought in 1863 on the Roman antique market by the Russian traveller and collector P.I. Sevastianov. The work is on display with three well-known Maestà by Cimabue, Duccio and Giotto, of which the Pushkin painting may represent an illustrious precedent. The panel owes a particular debt towards that pictorial culture of Byzantine inspiration that flourished in vast areas of the Italian peninsula in the 12th and 13th centuries, the so-called “Greek style” which Vasari mentions in his Lives of the Artists. Thus, the public of the Uffizi has the opportunity to admire an absolute masterpiece of Italian painting at the time of its earliest expression and appreciate the lively narrative style of the numerous scenes painted on both sides of the divine central group. It is also an important occasion for scholars of Italian medieval painting, who can at first hand observe a fascinating and even today highly mysterious painting as regards provenance, cultural derivation, iconographical sources, chronological placing and possible attribution to already well-known artists. Some critics have identified the work as the large image of the Madonna surrounded by many painted scenes mentioned in a document from Pistoia dating from 1274-1276, referring to the execution of various panels for the cathedral of the Tuscan city by Coppo di Marcovaldo and his son Salerno. However, the actual connection with the patriarch of ancient Florentine painting, not to mention the precise critical definition of the painting, are still very much at the centre of debates relating to one of the most fascinating and mysterious periods in the history of Italian art, one that is still relatively obscure and as yet to be fully understood. Angelo Tartuferi Director of the Department of Medieval Art at the Uffizi

calendar of exhibitions october 2011-march 2012 L’Italia chiamò from an idea of Carlo Sisi and curated by Giovanna Giusti, Antonio Natali and Carlo Sisi San Pier Scheraggio 12 November 2011-15 January 2012 The exhibition reflects on various themes suggested by the place of the exhibition and by the collections of the Gallery: the celebration of illustrious men, represented by Le ombre dei grandi fiorentini. Sogno di un esule (Turin, Galleria d’Arte Moderna) in relation to the celebratory cycle of the loggiato and to that by Andrea del Castagno; the ‘Concorso Ricasoli’ (1859-1862) with The Battle of Novara (Milan, Museo del Risorgimento) and four large portraits by Vincenzo Gioberti, Carlo Troya, Giuseppe Giusti and Silvio Pellico (Florence, Galleria d’arte moderna di Palazzo Pitti), which evoke together with the back support of the Italian throne (Florence, Galleria del Costume) the style to adapt to the ideals of the homeland; lastly, 20th-century evocations of the Risorgimento, with the great battle paintings of Corrado Cagli and Renato Guttuso (Galleria degli Uffizi), accompanied by a selection of battle scenes taken from celebrated films on the Risorgimento.

“I mai visti”

Volti rivelati curated by Fabrizio Paolucci Reali Poste 13 December 2011-January 2012 The exhibition, another in the now well-established “I mai visti” series, and an absolute treat for visitors, presents the splendid collection of Roman portraits for decades conserved in the deposits of the Uffizi. More than 40 works are displayed in such a way as to be able to retrace the evolution of Roman portraiture from the late republican period to the time of the Tetrarchy. The marbles are also flanked by canvases of the 18th and 19th century, which illustrate the worship of the classical world (and of classical portraiture in particular) in baroque and neoclassical European culture. A significant amount of attention is given to a self-portrait with antique sculptures, currently attributed to Cristoforo Terzi and recently acquired by the Gallery.



the uffizi


Today’s Uffizi celebrates Vasari

the Uffizi until 2 November 2011 The 500 years of Vasari are being celebrated at the Uffizi with the exhibition Vasari, gli Uffizi e il Duca. The focus of the exhibition is the actual building of the Uffizi, with everything that revolved around it in the cultural landscape of that time. Spread out over 15 rooms and organised into just as many thematic sections, the exhibition is being presented in a highly original and intriguing way, with the content and the venue itself merging into one. The result is that it is possible to make direct observations and comparisons, continually cross-check, with the aid of various devices and props along the way, such as the apertures and the strategically positioned visual displays; to the extent that the rooms themselves actually become the exhibited works, absolute architecture, rigorously left bare and uncluttered in its limewashed walls, old tiled floors and pietra serena frames and mouldings. The visitor’s attention is thus continually drawn to the building in which the visit takes place, such as to instil a vivid and direct awareness of the 16th-century rooms and exteriors designed by Giorgio Vasari and by Duke Cosimo. In the words of Claudia Conforti, curator of the exhibition together with Francesca Funis, Francesca de Luca and the current author, the habitual routes followed in most exhibitions, too often designed to be appreciated by experts, have deliberately been shelved: “we wanted to conjure up a story made of many tales, studded with figures, images, likenesses, phrases and words that were capable of conveying something not just to experts but to all those who admire fine architecture and are curious about the stories it has to tell”. The pieces exhibited are “like the tiles of an intricate mosaic, each of them recalling people, events, fatal conspiracies, financial efforts and muscular exertions, ideological urges and sentimental impulses, enthusiasms and ambushes, construction devices and building techniques... tesserae of many colours and contrasting materials that manifest in various forms: goods that are magnificent and sumptuous like tapestries; austere and precious like the ‘cinquecentine’ of Vasari’s Lives; shining and polished like the portraits of Bronzino; tactile and sensual like the small bronzes from classical antiquity; solemn and imposing like the carved doors of the Magistracies and Vasari’s splendid wooden Cyborium from Santa Croce”. The exhibition features projections that virtually reconstruct and illustrate what once was and what now is, and above all scale models that better than any other representation help us to understand this exemplary work in the universal history of architecture.

Vasari Corridor For information on opening times and on how to book an appointment consult the website

Collezione Contini Bonacossi For information on opening times and on how to book an appointment consult the website musei/continibonacossi

new publications • La grande Maestà duecentesca del Museo Pushkin a Mosca, un capolavoro della pittura fiorentina delle origini, exhibition catalogue edited by A. Tartuferi, Firenze, Giunti, 2011 • Bollettino degli Uffizi 2010, edited by F. Chezzi, M. Onali, Firenze, Centro Di, 2011

Antonio Godoli Director of the Department of Architecture at the Uffizi


A room in the exhibition Vasari, gli Uffizi e il Duca Photo Pietro Savorelli

Francesco Clemente I Tarocchi curated by Max Seidel with Marzia Faietti and Antonio Natali GDSU, Sala Edoardo Detti the Uffizi, Sala del Camino until 6 November 2011 Exhibition of 90 original works that springs from the artist’s collaboration with the GDSU and from the active participation of the Galleria degli Uffizi and the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz. For the occasion Francesco Clemente has executed a series of 78 works inspired by the Tarot cards and, renewing the symbolic world that characterises them, has interspersed esoteric allusions, traditional iconographies and entirely personal references. Clemente’s private cosmos is revealed above all in the portraits of people dear to him that appear on some cards, a whole host of different people from the world of art, literature, theatre and cinema, as well as from his own personal life. The cards, made in places for which Clemente has a deep feeling – including Naples, New York, India and New Mexico – constitute a journey through the artist’s private geography. Included within the allegorical representations of the Stars, the Virtues and the Triumphs, are portraits of the protagonists of a cosmopolitan cultural community that link together the old and new continent in a play of glances conducted by the artist, who portrays himself in the guise of the Madman. The works on paper alternate various techniques: ink, pastel, tempera, watercolour and collage. Next to the Tarot cards, in the Sala del Camino, is a series of 12 self-portraits on canvas, representing the artist in the guise of the apostles; created specially for the Uffizi, they continue the criss-cross of spacetime references between the figurativity of past and present. One of these canvases will be donated to the Gallery, enriching its collection of self-portraits by contemporary artists. open: Tuesday to Sunday 8.15-18


Euploos Project for the GDSU Collection The existence of the Prints and Drawings Room of the Uffizi was one of the reasons why Florence was chosen as the seat of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz in 1897. Interest in the study of drawings, shared by both institutions, is at the foundation of the Euploos Project. The project sees the participation of the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa and has among its objectives that of cataloguing and digitalizing the vast patrimony of the GDSU, using the most modern technology. At the same time the project intends to develop scientific research on graphic art, promoting seminars, conferences and periodic meetings of international interest.

the uffizi department of prints and drawings (gabinetto disegni e stampe)


he prestigious collection of drawings and prints of the Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi (GDSU) began with the Medici family collections and in particular with the works assembled by Leopoldo de’ Medici, who became cardinal in 1667. Leopoldo made use of numerous agents to purchase folios by the greatest Renaissance and Mannerist artists. In 1737 following the extinction of the Medici dynasty, the Lorraine enriched the collection, which was added to in the period following the constitution of the Kingdom of Italy thanks to a great many donations. Today, the collection contains over 150,000 works by Tuscan artists, artists of other Italian schools, and Flemish and Dutch, French, Spanish, and German artists.


Opening hours follow those of the Uffizi. Access to the Sala di Studio is reserved to scholars, upon letter of presentation. open: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8.30-13.30, Tuesday and Thursday 8.30-17


Biblioteca Marucelliana

opened to the public: 1752 founder: Francesco Marucelli (1625-1703) collection: the core of the collection, which grew as a result of successive acquisition, consists of about 6,000 volumes; since 1911 the library has been the repository for all books published in Florence and its province via Cavour, 43-47 open: Monday to Friday 8.30-19, Saturday 8.30-13.45

Biblioteca degli Uffizi opened to the public: 1998 in the restored rooms of the ex Biblioteca Magliabechiana origin: the first public library in Florence, founded by Pietro Leopoldo of Lorraine in the mid-18th century collection: 74,000 titles, including 470 manuscripts, 5 incunabula, 192 cinquecentine, 1,445 books from the 17th to the 19th centuries, 1,136 periodicals Loggiato degli Uffizi open: Tuesday 9-17, Wednesday 9-13.30, Friday 9-13

Biblioteca Riccardiana opened to the public: after 1659 origin: the collection of Riccardo Romolo Riccardi made in the 16th century collection: 4,450 manuscripts, 5,529 single leaves, 725 incunabula, 3,865 cinquecentine, 20,000 antique printed books, 40,000 modern printed books, 276 drawings via Ginori, 10 open: Monday, Thursday 8-17.30, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 8-14

Biblioteca Moreniana opened to the public: 1942 origin: 1870, with the collection of Domenico Moreni (1763-1835) collection: c. 2,000 manuscripts, 287 boxes containing letters, documents and booklets, 71 incunabula, 952 cinquecentine, 5,126 early printed books, 5,747 modern books, c. 10,000 printed public notices, 265 play scripts, maps and drawings.

Biblioteca delle Oblate

opened to the public: 2007, following the restoration of the complex origin: the Biblioteca Comunale Centrale (1913) collection: the section on conservation and local history alone consists of over 50,000 documents via dell’Oriuolo, 26 open: Monday 14-19, Tuesday to Saturday 9-24 (times subject to change)

The green heart of the Oblate

Until a few years ago, for Florentines of the older generation, the Oblate were the nursing sisters of the Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova and Careggi. Today however, for all those living in this city – Italians, foreigners, commuters, tourists, students, men and women, old and young – Oblate means the Library: a place to meet with friends, read a book, listen to music or watch a film, get information, study, carry out research, attend a lecture, take part in a debate, navigate the Internet, enjoy the peace and beauty of an old place a stone’s throw from Brunelleschi’s imposing cupola. Built between the late 13th century and the early 14th century, at the same time as the hospital, the convent of the Oblate was for seven centuries the home of the pious women who offered assistance to the ailing and the sick in a regime of semi-seclusion, nuns that at times numbered over a hundred. Within the austere walls of the convent is a beautiful green heart: the 14th-century cloister built on three storeys and dominated by a large magnolia that stretches its branches above the large covered terrace where the nuns hung out to dry the clothes and sheets of the hospital. The shield-shaped capitals bear witness to the age of the building and are among very few similar examples still present in the city. On the square area of grass are three sculptures by Lorenzo Guerrini, which, together with others present at the Oblate, form part of the collection of contemporary art of the Florentine Musei Civici. This little green heart, made fully accessibile to the people of Florence with the opening of the library in May 2007, is a haven of peace: having entered, one forgets the noise and confusion of the busy via Sant’Egidio outside. Inside the convent the nuns had a small vegetable garden, kept a few hens and tended flowers; there was even an apricot tree famed for its delicious fruit. The eldest of the Oblate nuns, the centenarian Suor Filippina, still has memories of those apricot raids. This area which for centuries was witness to the voices and silences of the nuns, the context of religious ceremonies, rituals and processions, is today a welcoming haven, one of the few places in the centre of the city in which one can enter freely and enjoy the beauty, simplicity and history of the city’s monuments. And that’s not all. The Library of the Oblate is a continually evolving project which in the space of a few months will see a further development of its usable areas and facilities, even outdoors: the Children’s Section is moving to one of the rooms which until a short time ago was occupied by the Museo “Firenze com’era” and will have the use of the 15th-century cloister in front of it, a lovely garden with little paths, benches and high trees overlooking via dell’Oriuolo. The green heart of the Oblate will thus double in size. Francesca Gaggini Historic library collections of the Biblioteca delle Oblate

via Ginori, 10 open: Monday, Thursday 8-17.15, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 8-14 palazzo-medici-riccardi/ biblioteca-moreniana



Leggere per non dimenticare October 2011-May 2012 This is the city’s most important literary event, its success reaching beyond the confines of the city and extending to the entire outlying area. Disenchantment is the theme linking the various meetings of the 17th edition in which over 50 of the most important authors on the national scene will be taking part.

Walks in the library The Library periodically organises tours of the building it occupies, the Convent of the Oblate: guided tours that shed light on the history of those who lived in the place and on the many services and facilities that the Library now offers its users.


photo Francesca Anichini

Manu consilioque. La chirurgia nei manoscritti della Laurenziana 3 October 2011-5 January 2012 The Académie Royale de Chirurgie, with its motto ‘Manu consilioque’, was founded in 1731 and led to the establishment of surgery as an academic discipline. The exhibition, through the manuscripts of the Library, recounts the Laurentian development of surgery, from ancient Greece, with Homeric poems and the Corpus Hippocraticum, to the Roman world, with the De Medicina of Celsus and Pliny’s Naturalis Historia, and extending to the activity in the basin of the Mediterranean described in the works of Avicenna and Albucasis translated from the Arabic. On display are the papyrus with a fragment of the De Morbis mulierum of Soranus (4th century), the surgical texts of Niketas, written in Constantinople and purchased for the library of Lorenzo il Magnifico, the Canon medicinae of Avicenna illuminated in Ferrara in the middle of the 15th century, and the French Chirurgia Magna of Lanfranco da Milano. The exhibition is completed by pieces from the Surgery School of Santa Maria Nuova, now part of the University of Florence, and a section dedicated to the physician Antonio Cocchi (1695-1758) who, precisely here in the Laurenziana, worked on the manuscript containing the surgical texts of Niketas and on those of Gregory of Nyssa and Philo of Alexandria.




Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Laurentian Library)

opened to the public: 1571 by order of Grand Duke Cosimo I origin: a collection begun by Cosimo il Vecchio collection: c. 11,000 manuscripts, 2,500 papyri, 150 drawers of single leaves, 43 ostraka, 566 incunabula, 1,681 cinquecentine, 592 periodicals and 126,527 printed books piazza San Lorenzo, 9 open: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8-14, Tuesday, Thursday 8-17.30

Botany in Pliny’s Naturalis Historia and some Laurentian manuscripts Pliny the Elder, one of the greatest scholars of the 1st century AD, was the author of

Naturalis Historia, an encyclopedic work in 37 books dealing with such varied subjects as cosmography, geography, anthropology, the animal and plant worlds, medical botany, medical zoology and mineralogy. The author devotes a large section to the world of botany (Books XII-XXVII), describing plants, flowers, and the medicinal properties and therapeutic uses of plant products, even touching geographically on India, Persia, Syria, Arabia, Ethiopia and other regions of Asia Minor and the eastern Mediterranean. Expounding scientific notions drawn from Greek and Latin sources, learned disquisitions and digressions from both myth and history – not, at times, without a hint of moralism, such as that against drunkenness in the book on Italian and foreign wines – Pliny ranges from exotic trees to Italian “products” like the vine, from wild and dangerous vegetation to the prodigious virtues of cultivated vegetables, with an always implied didactical approach. And all pervaded by an underlying theme: the eulogy and boundless admiration for nature. Superstition, magic rituals, facts sometimes verging on the incredible, characterise the books devoted to medicinal plants (from Book XX). A number of manuscripts revealing the interest of the Medici family in Pliny’s work are housed at the Biblioteca Laurenziana. Two sumptuous volumes, the Plutei 82.1 (Books I-XVI) and 82.2 (Books XVII-XXXVII), dating from the beginning of the 13th century, arrived in Florence in the 15th century from the Dominican convent of Lubeck on the wishes of Cosimo il Vecchio. Two other splendid volumes, Plutei 82.3 and 82.4, were made up for Piero di Cosimo de’ Medici around 1458 in the workshop of the Florentine stationer Vespasiano da Bisticci and decorated by the celebrated illuminators Francesco d’Antonio del Chierico and Ser Ricciardo di Nanni, who worked only on the second volume. Eugenia Antonucci Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana

Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale

open: Monday to Saturday 9.30-13.30 closed: on major holidays

opened to the public: 1861, with the unification of the Magliabechiana and Palatina libraries founders: Antonio Magliabechi (Magliabechiana) and Ferdinando III (Palatina) collection: 6,000,000 printed books, 120,000 periodicals, 4,000 incunabula, 25,000 manuscripts, 29,000 cinquecentine and more than 1,000,000 autographs


L’Italia dei libri

piazza dei Cavalleggeri, 1 open: Monday to Friday 8.15-19, Saturday 8.15-13.30

Palagio di Parte Guelfa Biblioteca Nazionale 4-26 October 2011

La Biblioteca Magliabechiana diventa Nazionale 22 December 2011-28 February 2012 Exhibition documenting the history of the library to celebrate the 150 years of its existence. On 22 December 1861, in fact, the nascent Kingdom of Italy promulgated a decree that established the unification of the Biblioteca Magliabechiana, founded in 1747, with the great Biblioteca Palatina founded by Ferdinando III of Lorraine and enriched by his successor Leopoldo II. The new institution took on the name Biblioteca Nazionale and, thanks to its history and to the importance of its collections of books, was set up as the Biblioteca della Nuova Italia Unita. photo Francesca Anichini


the accademia

n 1873 Michelangelo’s David was transferred to the specially designed tribune from piazza della Signoria. The presence of the David, the Prisoners and St. Matthew indicate that in the 19th century the Gallery was already identifying itself as a Michelangelo museum. Yet the Gallery’s main collection is built upon the 18th-century collections of the Accademia del Disegno and the Accademia di Belle Arti, enriched with works from the suppressed monasteries. The works collected here, in addition to the plaster casts, were used as teaching materials for the students of the Accademia. The holdings comprise mostly paintings by major artists who worked in and around Florence between the mid-13th and the late-16th century. The collection is especially important for its unique paintings on a gold background, the splendid late-Gothic polyptychs and the collection of Russian icons.


Department of Musical Instruments Also displayed in the Accademia are about 50 musical instruments (17th to 19th century) from the private collections of the Medici and the Lorraine, shown against the splendid backdrop of various paintings representing scenes of the musical life of the Medicean court, panoplies and still lifes with musical instruments. Among them are some remarkable instruments, both for their sound (audible on headphones at the terminals giving information on the musical culture of Florence under the grand dukes) as well as their exquisite workmanship. Among the most precious pieces are the ’cello and tenor viol by Stradivarius (1690), the only surviving pieces of the Quintetto mediceo that belonged to Grand Prince Ferdinando de’ Medici. via Ricasoli, 58-60 open: Tuesday to Sunday 8.15-18.50 closed: 1 January, 1 May, 25 December

focus / The “Salone dell’Ottocento” The large room located to the left of the Tribune of Michelangelo’s David, originally the women’s ward of the old Spedale di San Matteo, has since 1985 housed the gipsoteca of the sculptor Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850); the collection of plaster casts – for the most part preparatory models for the conversion of the works into marble – was purchased by the Florentine Galleries in 1889 and set up in the present site, reproducing the way the works had been arranged in Bartolini’s studio in borgo San Frediano in Florence. Beside the studies of female nudes and the models for celebratory monuments, complex in their symbolism and with a lofty moral content, the visitor cannot but be amazed at the number and variety of the over 400 busts lined up along the walls, models for the portraits which wealthy foreign travellers arriving in Florence on the Grand Tour commissioned to the Tuscan sculptor, marvelling at his extraordinary skill in beautifully rendering facial features and psychological expression. The way the works have been arranged allows us to follow clearly the prestigious commissions of Bartolini, a sculptor highly esteemed by Napoleon Bonaparte and in the pay of Russian, Polish, English and Spanish noblemen. The gipsoteca is further enriched by a group of plaster models of the sculptor Luigi Pampaloni (1791-1847), one of Bartolini’s pupils, whose harrowing funerary monuments and evocative sculptural groups reveal the sculptor’s fervent involvement in the spirit of Italian Romanticism. The room is completed by various paintings executed between the end of the 18th century and the Unification of Italy by illustrious pupils of the Accademia di Belle Arti who had distinguished themselves in the annual competitions promoted by the institution. These are for the most part historical paintings, inspired by events from antiquity, the Middle Ages or the Renaissance, which figuratively represent subjects dear to Romanticism laden with moral and didactic content. Noteworthy among them are works by Luigi Mussini, Silvestro Lega and Antonio Puccinelli. Daniela Parenti Vice-director of the Accademia


Lorenzo Bartolini. Scultore del bello naturale until 6 November 2011


The Accademia, photo Massimo Listri. Courtesy FOR Gallery, Florence

First monographic exhibition dedicated to Lorenzo Bartolini, whose work had a crucial role in the development of sculpture in the 19th century. With numerous new additions to the Bartolini catalogue, the development of the artist’s style is illustrated by about 70 works, brought together for the first time in the Gallery’s gipsoteca. For the first time since the 19th century important sculptures like the Napoleon I of the Louvre, the Faith in God of the Museo Poldi Pezzoli and others from Rennes, Saint Petersburg and Geneva, are on view in Florence. The exhibition offers up a vivid portrait of that cultured and refined international class who commissioned the most important sculptures, portraits and decorative objects, and also celebrates Bartolini’s long-standing friendship with Ingres with some canvases by the French artist.


La maschera funebre di Dante Alighieri


until 31 December 2011 To celebrate the 150 years of the Unification of Italy, the Bargello exhibits The funeral mask of Dante Alighieri, the father of Italy’s national language. The mask is on display in the old Chapel, where frescoes attributed to the school of Giotto are conserved, with a portrait of the poet as a young man.


via del Proconsolo, 4 open: Monday to Sunday 8.15-13.50 closed: 1st, 3rd, 5th Sunday, 2nd and 4th Monday of the month, 1 January, 1 May, 25 December

SCULPTURE ART STUDIO IN FLORENCE SINCE 1860 There are few private art galleries in the world that can still bring new emotions to the visitor. But after 151 years the Frilli Gallery in Florence still does. Michelangelo’s Bacchus, a panel of Ghiberti’s Door of Paradise and full size replicas of many other museum masterpieces can be touched and caressed freely by the visitors’ own hands. This is a truly moving experience for lovers of Greek, Roman and Renaissance art. Frilli Gallery has always remained true to its mission: to bring “authentic” replicas of pieces of classic and modern sculpture to contemporary residences, villas, gardens, communal spaces, museums, public parks, and other suitable locations. Nothing has changed: the same quality of marble chosen by Michelangelo for David is carved in the Frilli Studio and the same lost wax process that Cellini mastered in bronze casting is employed in their foundries. Thousands of pieces are shown in the Gallery itself and many more are available on special order from the Frilli catalogue and collection.

via dei Fossi, 26r 50123 Florence 055 210212

the bargello

he Bargello National Museum is found in the former Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, built in 1255 and in 1287 embellished with a verone, the loggia that opens onto the courtyard where the Podestà assembled the representatives of the guilds. In 1502, the palace became the seat of the Consiglio di Giustizia, headed by the Bargello or chief of police, and was then used as a prison. In 1865 the palazzo was transformed into a museum of sculpture and examples of the “minor arts”. Some of the greatest sculptures of the Renaissance have found their home here: masterpieces by Donatello, Verrocchio, Michelangelo, Cellini and Giambologna. Prestigious collections of small bronzes, majolica-ware, wax pieces, enamel work, medals, ivories, seals, and fabrics, from both the Medici collections and private donations, have enriched the museum’s holdings.

opificio delle pietre dure and the restoration laboratories 16

s might be gathered from its unusual name, the origin of the Institute is composite, fruit of an ancient and illustrious tradition and modern, wide-ranging activity. Founded in 1588 for the manufacture of furnishings using semiprecious stones, in the late 19th century the Opificio changed character, shifting toward restoration. Following the catastrophic flood of November 1966 and the establishment of the Ministry for Cultural and Environmental Assets in 1975, the old Medici Opificio and the Restoration Laboratory of the Fine Arts Service were merged to create a single entity. In 2007, the Opificio became an Istituto Centrale and specialised in restoration, applied research and education, subdivided into specific sections including: tapestries, bronzes and antique weapons, paintings on canvas and on panel, wall paintings, works on paper and fibre, stone materials, mosaic and Florentine commesso work, goldsmiths’ and silversmiths’ work, painted wooden sculptures, ceramics and models, and textiles. The adjacent museum mirrors the history of the centuries of activity carried out here, activity that included prestigious creations today preserved in palaces and museums throughout Europe. The collection contains pieces of great evocative power and sophistication, outlining the history of the workshop over three centuries, as well as an important collection of antique marbles and semiprecious stones brought together in order to be used for the commesso fiorentino inlay technique.


The last Donatello The restoration of the bronze pulpit of the Resurrection Noteworthy among the restorations carried out by the Opificio directed by Cristina Acidini is the restoration of the bronze pulpit known as the pulpit “of the Resurrection” in the basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence. The pulpit, the last work attributed to Donatello, is considered in large part to have been executed by the master and cast under his supervision. The scene of the Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence, placed in the side aisle, bears the date 15 June 1465 engraved in the tympanum. The restoration project foresees a thorough diagnostic campaign, carried out by means of mostly non-invasive chemicophysical analyses. The purpose of the technological study, executed at the same time as the cleaning phase, is to understand the casting technique adopted and the ingenious assembly of the whole piece, in such a way as to clarify the issue of the attribution to Donatello and to his assistants. The aim of the restoration is to restore visibility and a complete appreciation of Donatello’s masterpiece, both as a whole and in the individual scenes, some of which are embellished with gilding at present identifiable only with difficulty. The bronze surface appears to be dimmed and encrusted with a thick layer of deposit, old protective materials now degraded and composed of an alteration of the alloy. The cleaning phases, carried out using innovative methods and products with low toxicity in the interests of safety for both workers and visitors, will be conducted in such a way as to eliminate these alterations that impede a suitable conservation of the metal surface. The institutions involved in various ways in the operation are the Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Firenze, the Opera Medicea Laurenziana and the Basilica di San Lorenzo. The restoration, executed in situ, is directed by Maria Donata Mazzoni, director of the ‘Bronzi e Armi Antiche’ section.

Opificio via degli Alfani, 78; Fortezza da Basso, viale Strozzi, 1; Palazzo Vecchio, Sala delle Bandiere

Museum via degli Alfani, 78; open: Monday to Saturday 8.15-14, from June to November (excluding August) Thursday 8.15-19 closed: Sunday and holidays Information: 055 2651357

activities open to the public “effetto restauro” This initiative is designed to show the public some of the most significant works after their restoration or in the course of restoration in the Opificio laboratories. visits to the Restoration Laboratories Guided tours of the Restoration Laboratories in via degli Alfani, the Fortezza da Basso and the workshop for the restoration of the tapestries in Palazzo Vecchio. For information and reservation new publications Initiated in 1986, ‘OPD Restauro’ is an annual publication containing the most significant findings following restoration in all fields. • The second series is now at its 22nd volume (1, 1989-22, 2010) published by Centro Di.

The cloisters of San Marco The first thing visitors entering the Museum of San Marco see, beyond the small vestibule, is the restful vision of the first cloister, that named after Saint Antoninus after the fresco cycle with scenes from the Life of Saint Antoninus. The harmony of the cloister, which generates an immediate impression of peace and spirituality, is produced by the graceful proportions of the building and the interaction of the architectural elements, the sobriety of the materials and the relationship between architectural space and natural space. The care and attention devoted to the natural space, which can be understood as a green area surrounded by buildings, thus becomes fundamental in producing this effect. Today the museum fulfils this commitment with the idea of preserving various characteristics that it considers essential for the enjoyment and appreciation of the place: simplicity, naturalness, liveliness of colour. These elements all contribute to the existence of a certain pleasantness that is easily conducive to poetry, this being expressed in the paintings of Beato Angelico conserved at San Marco, which aim at the joyous celebration of the Creation. The modern layout of the cloister, with grass beds fringed by flowered edges and separated by little gravel paths that surround an enormous cedar standing in the middle, is nonetheless the result of an evolution that we can trace back only to the last century. In some photos dating from the 1930s the grassy areas are much smaller, with flowering shrubs (possibly roses), and the cedar is young, possibly only ten or twenty years old. We cannot, however, use this documentation to reconstruct the original layout of the cloister, nor that of the other two: the large cloister of San Domenico – today also with grass beds and box bushes, though until several decades ago also full of palm trees – and the so-called stone-paved “Chiostro della Spesa”. On the original appearance of the cloister not even the oldest source is of much use, the Summa Historialis, written by Saint Antoninus, the prior of San Marco between 1439 and 1444 who does mention, among the noteworthy features of the convent, the numerous open spaces: “[Cosimo de’ Medici] built the the first and second cloister […] and the vegetable garden next to it. He planted a fine garden with fruit trees, surrounded by high walls”. And again: “After finishing the first and the second cloister, in the pre-existing field next to the vegetable garden, he planted a spacious garden full of fruit trees, surrounded by high walls”. In a drawing of the Codice Rustici (15th century) we see that the vegetable garden was at the back of the building and, therefore, the garden mentioned must also have been situated at the rear. Over the centuries, this area of the convent’s possessions suffered the most radical transformation, particularly during the 19th century. Today nothing survives of the famous vegetable gardens, and of the garden there remains a mere fragment, surrounded by walls, situated immediately beyond the northernmost part of the building complex, near the museum’s present exit, residual evidence, albeit on an extremely reduced scale, of the open space that was so essential to the life of the convent. We should bear in mind, moreover, that the medicinal plants used in the convent’s pharmacy, which overlooked the cloister of San Domenico, certainly came from these gardens; the old books of the pharmacy record, in fact, that even in the 18th century the convent’s apothecary bought “oranges from Catalonia” for the gardens. How did the garden, the vegetable garden and the cloister differ in terms of the plants that grew in them? What was their “botanical” nature? We might reasonably advance some ideas on the basis of the rare iconographical sources. One is the Burial of Saints Cosmas and Damian in the predella of the altarpiece painted by Beato Angelico for the high altar of the church of San Marco between 1438 and 1443. The painting faithfully reproduces the square in front of the church and the convent; behind the high wall enclosing the convent building (still lacking the south wing of the dormitory above), in the open space which a few years later Michelozzo transformed into the present cloister, stand three tall cypress trees that may survive from the previous period of the Silvestrine monks who lived in the convent from the end of the 13th century. The accuracy with which the buildings have been reproduced would lead us to imagine that the representation of the trees was also realistic. If a specific tree species in the cloister remains, however, only a hypothesis, the presence of grass cover appears to be borne out by a view of the cloister in Beato Angelico’s fresco of the Annunciation in Cell 3, which seems to relate to the same building; this would be further confirmed by the recent discovery of a well in the corner of the cloister of Saint Antoninus, indispensable for the maintenance of the lawns. Magnolia Scudieri Director of the San Marco Museum

san marco museum


he museum building, designed in 1436 by Michelozzo, occupies a vast area of the Dominican Convent of San Marco, which played an important role in the cultural and religious life of Florence, especially at the time of Savonarola, prior of San Marco. The museum owes its renown especially to the paintings of Fra’ Angelico, one of the great artists of the Renaissance, who made frescoes in many of the convent’s spaces. Other works by Fra Angelico were assembled here in the 20th century. There is also an important collection of 16thcentury paintings including works by Fra Bartolomeo. The museum has a section devoted to artefacts from buildings of the city centre that were demolished in the 19th century


piazza San Marco, 3 open: Monday to Friday 8.15-13.50, Saturday, Sunday and holidays 8.15-16.50 closed: 1st, 2nd and 5th Sunday, 2nd and 4th Monday of the month, 1 January, 1 May, 25 December

restoration in progress detached frescoes in the Chiostro di Sant’Antonino • Beato Angelico, San Pietro da Verona invita al silenzio, lunette • Giovan Battista Vanni, La Fede and La Speranza, lunette • Beato Angelico, Cristo pellegrino, lunette • Bernardino Poccetti, Sant’Antonino giovinetto prega davanti al Crocifisso di Orsanmichele other works • Beato Angelico, Pala di San Marco, panel painting



The cloister is a space open to the sky, found in abbeys or monasteries: it is usually square or rectangular, surrounded by covered corridors that open on to the central space through a series of arches. The first examples of cloisters are found in buildings used by Benedictine monks, and other orders followed in constructing them, often in different forms and layouts according to need. The term comes from the Latin claustrum, i.e. lock, used to indicate the separation of monks from secular life and later came to signify the courtyard around which other elements of the abbey were built. The modern meaning probably comes from the centrality of the cloister inside the building, not only in an architectural sense, but also and above all because of the great importance this space occupied in monastic life.

Santa Maria Novella cloisters Cloisters decorated between the 14th and 15th centuries, among which the Chiostro Verde with important paintings by Paolo Uccello. Church of Santa Maria Novella piazza Santa Maria Novella (see p. 23)

Cloister of Ognissanti Chiostro grande with Stories from the Life of Saint Francis, frescoes by among others Jacopo Ligozzi and Giovanni da San Giovanni Church and convent of Ognissanti borgo Ognissanti, 42

Cloister of Santa Maria del Carmine Last Supper by Alessandro Allori (1582); Brancacci Chapel with frescoes by Masaccio and Masolino and finished by Filippino Lippi Church and convent of Santa Maria del Carmine piazza del Carmine (see p. 23)

Santo Spirito cloisters Chiostro Grande, built by Bartolomeo Ammannati between 1564 and 1569; Chiostro dei Morti with Stories from the Life of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, Saint John and Saint Thomas (18th century) Church and convent of Santo Spirito piazza Santo Spirito


Illustration by Inklink Firenze and Roberto Innocenti. Š NexusCom S.R.L. for Alessandro Rabatti

Episodes in the Life of John the Baptist and The Virtues painted by Andrea del Sarto (1509-1526) and Franciabigio (1518-1519) via Cavour, 69

San Marco cloisters Chiostro di Sant’Antonino decorated with frescoes illustrating Stories from the Life of Sant’Antonino; Chiostro grande di San Domenico; Chiostro della Spesa piazza San Marco (see p. 17)


Chiostro dello Scalzo

Santissima Annunziata cloisters

Chiostrino dei Voti with lunettes showing the Life of the Virgin, frescoes by Andrea del Sarto, Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino, Franciabigio, Cosimo Rosselli and Alesso Baldovinetti; Chiostro dei Morti Church of Santissima Annunziata piazza Santissima Annunziata

San Lorenzo cloisters Chiostro dei Canonici rebuilt by Antonio Manetti Ciaccheri between 1457 and 1462; on the upper level two 16th-century doors designed by Michelangelo. A late 14th-century second and smaller cloister, is closed to the public

Santa Maria degli Angeli cloister Chiostro della Sagrestia with Stories from the Life of San Romualdo, frescoes largely by Bernardino Poccetti, and marble busts by Giovanni Caccini and Pietro Francavilla

San Lorenzo Complex piazza San Lorenzo, 9 (see p. 13)

via degli Alfani, 39

Oblate cloister 15th-century cloister on three levels with rare shield-shaped capitals and sculptures by Lorenzo Guerrini (second half of the 20th century) Biblioteca delle Oblate via dell’Oriuolo, 26 (see p. 12)

Badia Fiorentina cloister Chiostro degli Aranci, built between 1432 and 1438 to a plan by Bernardo Rossellino, with detached frescoes showing Stories from the Life of Saint Benedict and some related sinopie Badia Fiorentina via del Proconsolo

Santa Croce cloisters First cloister with the Cappella Pazzi designed by Brunelleschi (first half of the 15th century); second cloister, finished in 1453 by Bernardo Rossellino Santa Croce Monumental Complex piazza Santa Croce (see p. 21)


Green spaces in Santa Croce From as early as the 13th century,

State museum since 1869, the history of the Medici Chapels is tied to the history of the basilica of San Lorenzo to which they belong. The museum includes the New Sacristy, designed by Michelangelo, the Chapel of the Princes, a mausoleum in hard stone, the crypt, containing the tombs of the Medici grand dukes and their relatives, and the Lorraine crypt, with the tombs of the Lorraine princes and the funerary monument to Cosimo il Vecchio. The museum also displays items from the Treasury of the basilica of San Lorenzo.


piazza Madonna degli Aldobrandini, 6 open: 8.15-16.50 closed: 2nd and 4th Sunday, 1st, 3rd and 5th Monday of the month, 1 January, 1 May, 25 December

museo degli innocenti •

medici chapels


he history of the Istituto degli Innocenti in Florence began in 1419 with the foundation of the Spedale, or foundling hospital, by the Silk-Makers Guild, thanks to a bequest from Francesco di Marco Datini, a merchant of Prato. The intention was to “begin a new place […] which will nourish children and allow them to grow up”. Culture and beauty have always been an integral part of the social and educational function of the Istituto degli Innocenti. The modernity of the Renaissance architecture and a new concept of child care were closely linked in the structure designed by Brunelleschi. The museum – housing works such as the Adoration of the Magi by Domenico Ghirlandaio, a Virgin and Child by Luca della Robbia, the Virgin and Saints by Piero di Cosimo, and a splendid Virgin and Child by Sandro Botticelli – is located in the gallery, originally designed as the children’s living quarters, above the portico which enhances the façade.


piazza Santissima Annunziata, 12 open: every day 10-19 closed: 1 January, 25 December


Figli d’Italia. Gli Innocenti e la nascita di un progetto nazionale per l’infanzia (1861-1911) in collaboration with Fratelli Alinari. Fondazione per la storia della Fotografia, Museo Martinitt e Stelline in Milan and Santa Maria della Pietà in Venice 3 December 2011-18 March 2012 The exhibition reconstructs the history of the Institute and the development of national policies on childhood in the first 50 years of the unified Italian state. Documents and Brogi photographs of the early 20th century recount the everyday life of children in the institution, the evolution of their intake, care and education – reflecting and at times heralding the scientific and pedagogical innovations of the time – demographical aspects and future life prospects available to the boys and girls in the new nation, and welfare and support for pregnant women. In parallel, the exhibition goes over the salient events leading to a national policy on child care between 1861 and 1911, presenting some institutions that are still active today.

when Franciscan friars settled in the area, the convent of Santa Croce and its lands – consisting of vegetable gardens, orchards and ploughed allotments – occupied a large rectangular area. Over the centuries the convent’s property gradually diminished in size, although the two large cloisters – from the earliest times places of contemplation which were the focal point of the thriving life of the convent – have survived as enclosed gardens. The beginnings of the present arrangement – with lawns, trees and flowering plants – date from the second half of the 19th century, when these areas lost their original function (one as a cemetery, the other as cultivated land) and took on an essentially ornamental character, with the laying out of grassy areas, hedges and trees. The 14th-century Primo Chiostro, or main cloister, flanks the southern door of the basilica, and is surrounded by a covered loggia supported by slender pilasters. Set into the eastern side is the Cappella Pazzi, built to designs by Filippo Brunelleschi in the first half of the 15th century. Part of the lawn is used as a little remembrance park: ten cypress trees, planted here in 1952, carry at the base a memorial tablet commemorating young Florentines who fell during the First World War and received decorations. In the centre is the statue of Dio Padre Benedicente, executed in 1556 by Baccio Bandinelli for the choir of the Duomo, moved here in 1843 and, finally, dedicated to all those who died during the Great War. The cloister is the result of the joining of two adjacent open areas which until 1870 were separated by a building; giving onto them were the church, the chapter house, the refectory, the library and other buildings today either destroyed or completely transformed. This was the “chiostro dei morti”, so called because it was originally used as a cemetery: some old tombstones are still built into the north wall. From the beginning of the 19th century, the old cemetery received new gravestones and tomb monuments of illustrious people, members of wealthy Florentine families and foreigners resident in Florence, while later it also housed commemorative monuments and memorial tablets of men of culture or public eminence buried elsewhere. Throughout the century the cloister was visited by many writers and poets who left evocative descriptions of it. In 1962 almost all the tombstones were removed and set up together in a long gallery on the north side.

area was used for worship and contemplation, and played a far from marginal role in the daily life of the convent. Giving onto the cloister were the dormitory, the old sanatorium with its own chapel, the library, the pharmacy and the small refectory used by the monks in the winter season. The green area was used partly as a vegetable garden and partly as pasture for grazing animals. In the second half of the 19th century all the buildings around the cloister were taken over by the Italian State and later assigned to and occupied by the new Biblioteca Nazionale, built between 1907 and 1931.

Art in restoration until 16 May 2012 Guided visits to the restoration of the wall paintings of the Cappella Maggiore in the main church booking necessary 055 2466105 int.3

santa croce monumental complex

The Secondo Chiostro, with a square plan, is enclosed by a portico built on two levels, supported by columns in pietra serena. According to tradition it was built to designs by Brunelleschi, completed by Bernardo Rossellini in 1453, and paid for by Tommaso Spinelli, member of a family of wealthy Florentine merchants and art patrons. In the middle of the cloister is a well decorated with plants of Iberis semperflorens, surrounded by four square flowerbeds containing various varieties of roses planted in 1991. Despite the undoubted fascination of its secluded position, for the silence that pervades it and for the fact that it is laid out as a garden, originally the

he Franciscan basilica of Santa Croce is a sort of open workshop that in 700 years has seen the most extraordinary religious and civil events and contains an exceptional wealth in works of art. It contains the tombs of many great figures in Italian history, and is thus defined the ‘tempio delle itale glorie’. A visit to the monumental complex includes: the Basilica, the cloisters and the early Renaissance Pazzi Chapel, the hall of 19th-century funerary monuments, the exhibition devoted to the wood engraver Pietro Parigi, the great 20th-century Italian illustrator, the Museo dell’Opera, which includes the Sala del Cenacolo (Refectory), with important works including Cimabue’s Crucifix and Taddeo Gaddi’s frescoes of the Last Supper and the Albero della Vita.


piazza Santa Croce open: Monday to Saturday 9.30-17.30; Sunday, 6 January, 15 August, 1 November, 8 December 13-17.30 closed: 1 January, Easter, 13 June, 4 October, 25 and 26 December


civic museums

he Musei Civici Fiorentini are made up of a varied and comprehensive group of collections. Their function is to preserve and exhibit the rich heritage of Florentine art, encouraging its enjoyment by the general public. Belonging to this cultural patrimony are some of the most important Florentine churches, religious buildings and numerous collections donated by collectors, artists and city institutions.


Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio was built in 1299 as the seat of the standard bearer and ‘priore’ and became a ducal residence in the mid-16th century when Cosimo de’ Medici moved his court there. A tour includes the Michelozzo courtyard, the Salone dei Cinquecento, the Apartments of Leo X and of Eleonora di Toledo, the Sala degli Elementi, the Studiolo of Francesco I. Not to be missed are Verrocchio’s Putto, Donatello’s Judith, Michelangelo’s Genius of Victory and works by Vasari, Ghirlandaio, Salviati and Bronzino. piazza della Signoria open: every day 9-19, Thursday and mid-week holidays 9-14 closed: 25 December At some times of the year there are evening openings, see: palazzovecchio

The Roman Theatre of Florence (Palazzo Vecchio)

The archaeological excavations in the ground below Palazzo Vecchio brought to light the remains of a Roman theatre (1st-2nd century AD). A series of galleries and walkways makes it possible to visit the fascinating vestiges of the ancient monument and the later medieval stratifications. Guided visits by appointment only. The excavations are partially accessible to disabled visitors not in wheelchairs (and accompanied by carers), and are not accessible to children younger than 8 for safety reasons. For information and booking: 055 2768224/2768558

The rooms of Cosimo il Vecchio and Lorenzo il Magnifico

Two rooms now open to the public in the Palazzo Vecchio Museum

The Stefano Bardini Museum and the Salvatore Romano Foundation are participating in the project “Piccoli Grandi Musei” Le stanze dei tesori see p. 36 22

Le Murate, photo Francesca Anichini

On 25 March, on the occasion of the Florentine New Year’s Eve, the mayor of Florence made a gift to the people of the city and to visitors of the Museum of Palazzo Vecchio, making permanently accessible to the public two of the most splendid rooms of the Quartiere di Leone X, which had hitherto been used as ceremonial offices belonging to the city’s supreme organ of government. These are rooms on the first floor of Palazzo Vecchio, built in the middle of the 16th century at the wish of Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici and sumptuously decorated by Giorgio Vasari and his assistants, according to a complex scheme designed by the scholar Cosimo Bartoli celebrating Medicean geneaology in relation to the divinities represented in the rooms of the Quartiere degli Elementi above. Each room of the apartment is devoted to an illustrious member of the Medici family and shows, in the decoration, his most important achievements. In chronological order, the first two rooms are precisely those recently included within the museum itinerary, named after Cosimo il Vecchio (1389-1464) and Lorenzo il Magnifico (1449-1492). The former celebrates the founding father of the main branch of the family, who led the political and economic ascendancy of Florence, laying the foundations of Medici power and earning him the name of Pater Patriae. The paintings commemorate the salient aspects of his fortune, like the exile enforced by his enemies that ended just one year later with his triumphal return to the city, or his role as patron of the arts, a protector of artists and literary men and promoter of important architectural works. The second room celebrates Cosimo’s grandson, Lorenzo de’ Medici: known for his refined taste and for having patronised the greatest literary men and artists of the late 15th century – like Marsilio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola and Agnolo Poliziano, to name but a few of the characters portrayed in the paintings that decorate the room – he is also recorded here for the achievements of his activity as a mediator, a guarantor of peace and equilibrium among the Italian states. Serena Pini Curator of the Palazzo Vecchio Museum

The museum includes the cloisters decorated between the 14th and the 15th century – including the Chiostro Verde with important work by Paolo Uccello – , the Cappellone degli Spagnoli (Spanish Chapel), decorated with frescoes by Andrea di Bonaiuto, the Cappella degli Ubriachi and the Refettorio with the late 16th-century work of Alessandro Allori. piazza Santa Maria Novella open: Friday to Monday 10-16 closed: 1 January, Easter, 1 May, 15 August, 25 December

Cappella Brancacci

The 13th-century church of Santa Maria del Carmine houses the Brancacci Chapel, the masterpiece universally known for the frescoes of the cycle illustrating the Life of Saint Peter by Masaccio and Masolino. Executed in the years 1425-1427, the frescoes remained unfinished and were completed by Filippino Lippi between 1481 and 1482. A visit to the museum also includes the cloister and the Sala del Cenacolo housing the Last Supper by Alessandro Allori. piazza del Carmine, 14 open: Monday and Wednesday to Saturday 10-17; Sunday and mid-week holidays 13-17 closed: 1 January, 7 January, Easter, 1 May, 1 July, 15 August, 25 December

civic museums

Santa Maria Novella Museum

Stefano Bardini Museum

Stefano Bardini (1854-1922) created a museum in the building he bought in 1881 to house his antiques’ business. The recent renovation entirely reflects the character of the collection as it was when Bardini left it to the city of Florence in 1922. Among more than 2,000 paintings, sculptures and objects in the applied arts are Tino da Camaino’s Charity, Donatello’s Madonna dei Cordai, Antonio del Pollaiolo’s Michael Archangel, Guercino’s Atlas and Pietro Tacca’s famous bronze Porcellino. There is also an interesting collection of medallions, bronzes, oriental carpets, 15thcentury marriage chests and the precious armoury.

via dei Renai, 37 open: Friday to Monday 11-17; group booking Tuesday to Thursday closed: 1 January, Easter, 1 May, 15 August, 25 December

focus Making the very most of a work of art: in Florence it can be done

When institutions decide to work together, when the protagonists of the city’s cultural life decide to gamble on an ambitious project, miracles happen... and a work of art is returned to the people, but more than just that, the work is understood by the people. In the early months of 2008 the enormous case containing Bernardo Daddi’s Crucifix was opened again after many years of “deserved rest”. The “velinature” which the restorer had applied to the painted surface to prevent detachments of colour were still there, crying out for a reparatory and indispensable restoration. The duty of a museum curator is to search continually for funds to remedy and repair time-ravaged works that have been entrusted to the museum’s care. However, finding the amount necessary for this particular task was not simple and it was only with the generous enthusiasm of the members of the Lions Club Poggio Imperiale that the restoration was able to get underway, in parallel with an adequate analysis of the work. Its monumental size (476x420 cm) indicates its provenance from one of the main Florentine churches, possibly the Duomo, where it may have functioned as a Crux de medio ecclesiae – mounted, that is, on the screen that separated the nave and aisles into two areas, one reserved for clerics and another for the congregation. The Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze then decided to finance the redecoration of the Salone dei Dipinti, where the Crucifix is set up. On 29 September 2011, in the name of the most profitable collaboration, Florence can finally celebrate the reopening of the great Salone, the finest and most challenging of the whole museum, and the restitution to the world of one of its treasures.

Antonella Nesi Curator of the Stefano Bardini Museum

Salvatore Romano Foundation

The museum in the historic refectory of the monastery of Santo Spirito houses sculptures, architectural fragments and wall paintings, mainly medieval, donated to the city in 1946 by the antiquarian Salvatore Romano. piazza Santo Spirito, 29 open: Saturday to Monday 10-16 closed: 1 January, Easter, 1 May, 15 August, 25 December works on loan from City museums and collections

The former home and studio of Rinaldo Carnielo (1853-1910) and the Collezioni del Novecento, that includes the Alberto Della Ragione Collection, the Fei-Rosai and the Palazzeschi donations, are temporarily closed.

from Palazzo Vecchio • Giorgio Vasari, Ritratto di Cosimo il Vecchio de’ Medici come San Cosma; Ritratto di Cosimo I de’ Medici come San Damiano in: Florence, the Uffizi for the exhibition: Vasari, gli Uffizi e il Duca until 2 November 2011

from the church of Santo Spirito • Filippino Lippi, Pala Nerli in: Rome, Scuderie del Quirinale for the exhibition: Filippino Lippi e Sandro Botticelli nella Firenze del Quattrocento until 15 January 2012

• Giuliano da Maiano and Francione, wood inlaid door from the Sala dei Gigli showing Dante, Petrarca e libri in: Rome, Scuderie del Quirinale for the exhibition: Filippino Lippi e Sandro Botticelli nella Firenze del Quattrocento until 15 January 2012

from the Museo Marino Marini • Marino Marini, Pugile in: Cagliari for the exhibition: Decennale della Collezione Ingrao until 31 December 2011

• Giovan Battista Naldini, Lotta di cavalieri in: Arezzo, Galleria Comunale di Arte Contemporanea for the exhibition: Giorgio Vasari 1511-2011 until 11 December 2011

from the Collezioni del Novecento • Gino Severini, La finestra coi colombi in: Ferrara, Palazzo dei Diamanti for the exhibition: Gli anni folli. La Parigi di Modigliani, Picasso e Dalì. 1918-1933 until 8 January 2012


palazzo medici riccardi


Arte: singolare femminile. Concorso d’arte “Artemisia Gentileschi”

Competition open to young artists (18-40 year-olds), resident in Florence and its province, aimed at promoting female sensitivity in the world of the arts and marking an important step forward in the movement against gender discrimination. The competition draws inspiration from Artemisia Gentileschi, the only woman to “exercise the art of painting” in the turbulent Rome of the 17th century. Entries can be made individually or in groups, with works of painting, sculpture, photography, videos, installations and any other form of figurative expression. The prize is the exhibition of the works at Palazzo Medici Riccardi from the 8th to the 18th of March 2012. Three women will be heading the jury: Cristina Acidini, Superintendent of the Historic, Artistic and Ethno-anthropological Heritage and the Polo Museale of the City of Florence; Giuliana Videtta, Director of the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence; Laura Lombardi, teacher of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at the Brera Academy. The President of the jury is Carla Fracci, Assessore alla Cultura della Provincia di Firenze. Entries no later than 30 November

Palazzo Medici Riccardi is participating in the project “Piccoli Grandi Musei” Le stanze dei tesori see p. 36

Il Genio nel Territorio Musica Insieme The cultural programme of events covering the whole province continues. Among the events are concerts celebrating the work of Liszt. 25 September at 18, Gambassi Terme 30 September at 21, Barberino del Mugello 1 October at 21, Castelfiorentino 8 October at 21, Florence 30 October at 16.30, Borgo San Lorenzo 16 December, afternoon and evening, Florence, Conservatorio Cherubini, “Maratona Liszt” For the programme and updates see

calendar of exhibitions october 2011-march 2012


Le stanze dei tesori. Meraviglie dei collezionisti nei musei di Firenze

Garibaldi fu ferito... Il medico Ferdinando Zannetti (1801-1881): patria, civiltà, scienza

3 October 2011-15 April 2012

10 November 2011-31 January 2012

A splendid exhibition of work from various local and national museums, honouring the period when Florence was chosen for its beauty and the wealth of its artistic patrimony as the ideal home by educated and prosperous Anglo-Saxons. In the 19th and 20th centuries people like Stefano Bardini, Elia Volpi, Salvatore Romano, Charles Loeser, the Actons, Frederick Stibbert, John Temple Leader and Herbert Percy Horne bought and furnished, with eclectic taste, villas and small palazzi, which they later gave to the city along with their art collections. The exhibition presents this extraordinary historical moment through an evaluation of the collections brought together by connoisseurs and antiquarians, collections that gave the city an international aspect and that contributed to the formation of the great European and American museums, not only in the amount of works of art but also in terms of museographical models. The exhibition, organised thanks to the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, forms part of the rich programme Le stanze dei tesori organised by the 7th edition of the project “Piccoli Grandi Musei”.

In the wake of celebrations for the 150 years of Italian unity, a special exhibition recounts the private and professional adventures of Ferdinando Zannetti. A doctor and a patriot, born at Monte San Savino in 1801, Zannetti is best known for extracting a bullet from the foot of Garibaldi, wounded at Aspromonte in 1862, but in the grand panorama of the Italian Risorgimento Zannetti was important for his civilised and professional human values. The exhibition demonstrates this through letters from relatives, friends and patients and brings together, for the first time, documents and curiosities largely from the Rubieri-Zannetti collection in the Biblioteca Moreniana (bought by the Provincia di Firenze in 1961), from the Biblioteca Biomedica at Careggi, the Fondazione Spadolini Nuova Antologia and other public and private collections. The papers gathered together make it possible for the visitor to look into the life of the doctor of the war in Lombardy and his participation in the Armata Toscana up to the second war of independence – when he was head surgeon of the Servizio Sanitario Toscano – and his nomination as a Senator in the new Italy. Also on show are Garibaldi‘s pistol, surgical instruments and field equipment, the painting Il medico Zannetti cura un ferito di Moricci, a note from Garibaldi at Caprera, two sonnets in praise of the operation on Garibaldi’s foot, Fattori’s painting Garibaldi ad Aspromonte (1862) and much else besides.



via Cavour, 3 open: every day 9-19 closed: Wednesday Bookings: 055 2760340

Giorgio de Chirico, Luigi e Nini Bellini, 1932. Mario Bellini Collection, Florence. Work on show at the exhibition Le stanze dei tesori. Meraviglie dei collezionisti nei musei di Firenze.

Omaggio a Franz Liszt nel bicentenario della nascita 1811 - 2011 INGRESSO LIBERO info:

palazzo medici riccardi

alazzo Medici Riccardi, a stone’s throw from the Duomo and ten minutes walk from Santa Maria Novella railway station, is one of the most interesting palaces in the heart of Florence, both in its architecture and decoration, and in the cultural initiatives offered by the provincial administration, based in the palace. Upcoming events and special exhibitions stand alongside the museum that includes Benozzo Gozzoli’s Cappella dei Magi and the frescoes in the Sala Luca Giordano.

archaeological museums

National Archaeological Museum

In 1881 the museum was transferred to the 17th-century Palazzo della Crocetta, built for Cosimo II’s sister, Maria Maddalena de’ Medici. Over time it has acquired masterpieces from the Medici and Lorraine collections and fine examples of art from the Greek, Etruscan and Roman periods, flanked by the important Egyptian Museum collection. Among the large bronzes not to be missed are the Chimera, found near Arezzo in 1553, and the Etruscan Aule Meteli, known as L’Arringatore. The collection of rare figured ceramics is equally prestigious and includes the large black figure François Vase (c. 570 BC). In the area of stone work is a collection of marble sculptures and an important group of rare Etruscan funerary artefacts, with urns from the areas around Chiusi and Volterra and stone and marble sarcofagi, including the famous Amazon sarcophagus (4th century BC). The Egyptian Museum of Florence, second only in Italy to the Turin museum, is also housed here. It is made up of Medici and Lorraine collections and from 1880 was further enriched by Ernesto Schiaparelli, private donors and scientific institutions. Adjacent to the museum is a delightful garden which can be visited on Saturday mornings. piazza Santissima Annunziata, 9/b open: Monday 14-19, Tuesday and Thursday 8.30-19, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 8.30-14 closed: 1 January, 1 May, 15 August, 25 December


The “Paolo Graziosi” Florentine Museum and Institute of Prehistory

The “Paolo Graziosi” Florentine Museum and Institute of Prehistory Created in 1946, the museum brings together, classifies and conserves the prehistoric collections once scattered throughout the city of Florence. The library consists of about 3,000 volumes. via Sant’Egidio, 21 open: Monday 14-17, Tuesday and Thursday 9.30-16.30, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 9.30-12.30 closed: 1 January, Easter and Easter Monday, 1 May, week of the 15 August, 24-26 and 31 December

Parco Archeologico di Carmignano

The new centre of archaeology brings together in a single system the Archaeological Museum at Artimino and the various Etruscan sites of the area. The four main sites in the Archaeological Park are the Artimino necropolis at Prato Rosello, the fortified settlement of Pietramarina, the Tumulus of Montefortini and the Tomba dei Boschetti at Comeana. The Archaeological Museum at Artimino exhibits a collection of finds discovered in the area of Carmignano and arranged according to topographical and chronological criteria in two sections dedicated to the “world of the living” and the “world of the dead”. Archaeological Museum at Artimino piazza San Carlo, Artimino open: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9.30-13, Saturday and Sunday 10-13 and 15-18 closed: Easter, 15 August, 25 December

The eternal fascination of Egypt from 24 September 2011 Two rooms in the Egyptian Museum, dedicated to Ptolemaic, Roman and coptic Egypt, are being reopened after a nine year period of closure.

archaeological museums

Villa Corsini

Villa Corsini, on the western outskirts of Florence in the Castello district, was donated to the Italian State in 1968. The villa was used for storage by the Soprintendenza Archeologica della Toscana and has now been completely restored to display an important group of antique sculptures, including the Arianna dormiente and the recently restored Apollo saettante. The Antiquarium shows the results of research on objects found locally, dating from the Iron Age to the Roman period. via della Petraia, 38 open: Saturday and Sunday 9.30-13 closed: 1 January, 25 and 26 December villacorsini

focus / The Antiquarium

of the National Archaeological Museum at Villa Corsini The stately country house of Villa Corsini, designed at the beginning of the 18th century by Giovan Battista Foggini for the powerful Corsini family, houses an unexpected treasure of antiquity, for visitors entering the splendid building immediately find themselves surrounded by Etruscan sarcophagi, colossal Roman marble statues and decorative capitals which, for almost a century, were conserved in the rooms and garden of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Florence. Moved in the 1980s to Villa Corsini, which for decades had functioned as a deposit for archeological materials and detached frescoes, the ancient sculptures seemed in danger of being forgotten about altogether. Only from the end of the 1990s has a laborious yet constant project of recovery restored full dignity and legibility to the collection of sculptures. The rooms of the villa, which have been restored to their former glory, today house a gallery of classical sculpture which belonged almost entirely to the Medici collections, and which in Florence was virtually unrivalled. Dozens of statues, including a number of outstanding masterpieces, such as the Sleeping Ariadne immortalised by Velรกzquez, portraits of the Hellenistic and Roman age, epigraphs and sarcophagi are displayed along thematic itineraries designed as reconstructions of the sculptural decor of celebrated rooms of the Uffizi, like the Tribune and the Ricetto delle Iscrizioni, which were radically transformed in the 19th century. The restored rooms of the first floor of the villa are not devoted exclusively to classical sculptures. Here, visitors can retrace the history of the outlying area of Florence, the Florentine plain, from the Etruscan to the Roman age, thanks to a selection of exhibits from very recent excavations, many of which are for the first time on view to the public. The Antiquarium of Villa Corsini has therefore earned itself distinction as a natural extension of the National Archaeological Museum; a museum of more accessibile proportions, housed in one of the finest baroque villas in the Florence area, where one can admire the splendour of classical art represented by some of the most famous sculptures of the Medici collections and retrace the rich and complex history of the Florentine plain, a corner of Etruria no less fascinating than the rest of ancient Italy. Fabrizio Paolucci Department of Classical Antiquities at the Uffizi

Photo Dario Del Bufalo


Money and Beauty Bankers, Botticelli and the Bonfire of the Vanities curated by Ludovica Sebregondi and Tim Parks 17 September 2011 22 January 2012

Money and Beauty, economics and art: the celebration of opposites

Supreme artists and masterpieces, trading and usury, a new social mobility accompanied by anxious penitential gestures. In Florentine history it is possible to follow the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, linking Money and Beauty, economy and art, always under the strict surveillance of a Church that condemned every loan with interest, yet willingly accepted the gifts of bankers for the glorification of God. The exhibition illustrates how the flourishing of the modern banking system went hand in hand with the greatest artistic period the western world has known, linking economic and artistic developments with dramatic religious and political changes. The exhibition has a point of departure – November 1252, when the first gold florin was coined at the Florence Mint – and a point of arrival – 17 May 1510, the day of Sandro Botticelli’s death. Two and a half centuries separate the two dates, the most brilliant period in the city’s history, which saw an unprecedented flow of money trigger a period of demographic and economic growth, fuelling a desire for magnificence that was expressed through artistic patronage. Towards the end of the 15th century, under the influence of Savonarola, that patronage shows Florence oscillating between a divine call to sobriety and an unbridled yearning for luxury. Tensions that were manifested in sublime works of art.

palazzo strozzi

Ludovica Sebregondi and Tim Parks Curators of the exhibition

alazzo Strozzi is one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture. It was commissioned by the Florentine merchant Filippo Strozzi and the foundations were laid in 1489 according to a design perhaps by Benedetto da Maiano. The palazzo was finished in 1538. It remained the property of the Strozzi family until 1937. In 2006 the City of Florence, the Province, the Chamber of Commerce and an association of private partners joined forces to create the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi with the task of managing the public spaces of the Palazzo. Palazzo Strozzi hosts two major exhibitions annually, and is open year-round with a permanent exhibition on the history of the palazzo.


piazza Strozzi open: every day 9-20, Thursday 9-23

this is the first exhibition on the birth of the banking system and on speculation; hence it is of particular interest at an international level

1 rediscovered masterpiece: Savonarola Preaching Against Luxury (1881), thought lost during the Second World War, has been found at St. Bonaventure University.

3 themes for a multiple approach: the exhibition describes the roots of the Florentine Renaissance through the relationship between art, power and money, and takes a look at art from a cross-disciplinary perspective involving economists, politicians and diplomats.

8 sections to illustrate the history of the invention of the banking system, the succeeding economic progress, and the birth of modern patronage, by looking at the life, economy and perennial conflict between spiritual and economic values from the Medieval period to the Renaissance: • The Florin, Image of Florence in the World • Everything has its Price • Usury • The Art (and Mystery) of Exchange • International trade: Merchants and Merchandise • The Sumptuary Laws • Bankers and Artists • Crisis 10 restored works: among them, a predella showing a miracle that occurred in 1399 during a procession of the Movimento dei Bianchi, and the Pala della Zecca, a very rich 14th-century panel commissioned by the Florentine magistracy which oversaw the minting of coins. Both have been restored for the exhibition. over 100 masterpieces on show: works by Botticelli, Beato Angelico, Piero del Pollaiolo, the della Robbia, Hans Memling, Lorenzo di Credi, Jan Provoost, Cosimo Rosselli and many others recall the period of greatest artistic splendour of the western world, thanks to loans from prestigious Florentine, Italian and foreign museums including the Vatican Museums, the Correr Museum in Venice, the Poldi Pezzoli in Milan, the National Gallery in London, the Groeningenmuseum in Bruges, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure in New York, the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam and the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg.

palazzo strozzi

the exhibition by numbers

events linked to the exhibition Palazzo Strozzi has developed a number of activities that allow every visitor to test their ‘little grey cells’ and turn their talent into ‘profit’.

The Mystery of Exchange. Graphic novel on iPad The complete set of striking illustrations by Giuseppe Palumbo are available as an iPad app, so that visitors can ‘take’ part of the exhibition home with them.

Young and old at Palazzo Strozzi Lively and stimulating ways in which to discover and explore art through lectures, conversations in the exhibitions, drawing classes, and much more.

Count me in! Merchants’ Mathematics Creative mathematics workshop The merchants and bankers of the Renaissance were always handling money and so they had to be good at maths! “Count me in!” is a creative mathematics workshop created through a collaboration between the Education Department of the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi and OpenLab of the Università di Firenze. For kids aged 7 to 12 (see pp. 52-53).

Thursdays in the Palazzo Every Thursday Palazzo Strozzi stays open late until 23.00, offering opportunities to explore art in all its forms. Hear experts at the CCC Strozzina, make art in the courtyard, have an exhibition-inspired drink at the Caffè Giacosa, and explore the exhibitions with friends. There is a new programme each month.

The Midas Touch. Cooking with Gold During the exhibition, six Florentine chefs each create a special dish using a form of edible gold, and visitors who present their admission tickets at their restaurants receive a discount on their meal. At the same time, diners receive a special chocolate fiorino, which entitles them to a discount on admission to the exhibition.

Follow your Florins. Interactive Game The unique barcode on each admission ticket gives visitors the opportunity to ‘invest’ 1,000 florins, and track the ups and downs of their investment during their visit. Written by curator Tim Parks and illustrated by the graphic novelist Giuseppe Palumbo, this interactive game enables every visitor to experience the perils faced by early modern bankers – and the possible rewards!

Selected restaurants: Gastone, via Matteo Palmieri 26r Four Season-Ristorante Il Palagio, borgo Pinti 99 Io Osteria personale, borgo San Frediano 167r Il santo bevitore, via Santo Spirito 64r Ora d’aria, via dei Georgofili 11/13r Ossi di seppia, via San Niccolò 48

The Palazzo Strozzi Passport As always the exhibition moves outside the walls of Palazzo Strozzi: in the case of Money and Beauty, a Passport lists the places in the province linked to the themes of the exhibition.

Florence at Xmas From 25 December to 6 January Palazzo Strozzi stages events that celebrate gold and perfume. During Pitti Immagine (10-12 January 2012), there is a series of lectures on luxury and fashion which were banned by the strict sumptuary laws of the Florentine Republic during the Renaissance.

families at Palazzo Strozzi activities for families on the occasion of the exhibition see pp. 52-54

upcoming Americans in Florence. Sargent and the American Impressionists curated by Francesca Bardazzi and Carlo Sisi 2 March-15 July 2012 An exhibition on the relationship of the American impressionists with Italy and on the cosmopolitan circle that passed on European culture and refinement to the New World. On exhibition are the works of artists fundamental for the impressionist generation, forerunners such as Sargent, Cassatt and Whistler, and for the first time works of American impressionists who spent time in Italy


in the now

Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina

Created in 2007 as part of the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, the centre houses exhibition projects of contemporary art which explore themes and modes of expression with an interdisciplinary approach through meetings, debates, conferences, workshops and video projections. Strozzina activity is distinguished by a programme expressly centred on the artistic developments of recent years, favouring multimedia projects and relational and interactive forms of art. piazza Strozzi open: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday to Sunday 10-20, Thursday 10-23 closed: Monday The Strozzina ticket is valid for a month; a special ticket gives entry to both exhibitions in the Palazzo

Art weekend activities for families on the occasion of the exhibition see pp. 52-54

edited by Gabriele Ametrano

Fondazione Studio Marangoni


The FSM fosters the art and teaching of contemporary photography with courses, workshops and conferences. Alongside the teaching, the FSM organises exhibitions in Italy and abroad.

Cultural association and art gallery, supports in-depth research and collaboration with international artists. via San Niccolò, 18r

via San Zanobi, 32r and 19r

Fondazione Fabbrica Europa per le Arti Contemporanee The Fabbrica Europa project is a cultural festival that takes place in May in the Stazione Leopolda and other spaces in the city. On the programme are theatrical performances, concerts, dance, workshops and discussion. borgo degli Albizi, 15

Cantieri Goldonetta Performance, residential workshops. The place for research into body language. Also the home of the Accademia sull’arte del gesto, devoted to exploring dance for children. In the summer it organises the Festival Oltrarno Atelier. via Santa Maria, 23-25


Tempo Reale A European reference point for research, production and education in new music technologies. It collaborates with important Tuscan music festivals, offering performances by international artists who have explored the confines of auditory experience. Villa Strozzi via Pisana, 77

EX3 Organises solo shows of Italian and international artists and offers workshops, seminars and events to interact with the different languages of the contemporary. viale Donato Giannotti, 81/83/85 open: Wednesday to Sunday 10?-19, Friday 10?-20

with the contribution of Piroschka Dossi, Gerald Nestler, Christiane Feser and Franziska Nori 23 September 2011-22 January 2012 The exhibition reflects on such themes as the clash between the individual and the community, the growing gap between the man in the street and the political classes, the power and influence of economic lobbies and of the mass media, and the problem of immigration and of the sharing or refusal of civic and political rights, and at the same time new forms of democratic participation. While in western countries the financial crisis of 2008 has fuelled a lack of faith in democratic values, in North Africa or the Middle East there is a new sense of utopian revolutionary politics. The 12 artists in the show all explore the contradictions and paradoxes in society and how we can define the principles of democracy. Among them: Thomas Hirschhorn, a beacon on the international stage in the debate on the relationship between art and politics; Francis Alÿs, whose work entitled When Faith Moves Mountains is now considered a fully-fledged manifesto

in the now

Declining Democracy Rethinking democracy between utopia and participation

of social art and of the debate on the relationship between the individual, the community and utopia; Buuuuuuuuu, an art collective active on the internet, soliciting participatory actions of dissent against authoritarian governments; Thomas Kilpper, famous for his visionary project entitled Lighthouse Lampedusa on the problem of immigration; Michael Bielicky, an artist and a researcher into new media whose work the Garden of Error and Decay is an interactive and frontal attack on the symbols of power; Thomas Feuerstein, whose visionary work encompasses the notions of sculpture, installation and controlled system; Democracia, a group that with Ser y Durar offers a lyrical reflection on the relationship between the individual and collective history; Roger Cremers, who photographs historical reconstructions of well-known battles, a metaphor and ironic comment on the relationship between the citizen and national history.

Buuuuuuuuu, Buuuuuuuuu - How to get your hands dirty in times of authoritarian democracies, 2011 Blog header Courtesy Buuuuuuuuu

Museo Marino Marini Switch Creative Social Network

Musicus Concentus Explores the new scene in electronic music, offering concerts and other musical encounters throughout Tuscany.

Urban creativity, musical experimentation and artistic entertainment. Switch offers meetings with musicians, deejays, urban writers and digital artists in a continual dialogue with the development of the city.

An exhibition space devoted to contemporary art. The collection of the artist Marino Marini’s own works is permanently on show, along with exhibits, and in-depth learning and training activities. It also collaborates with the Fondazione Pitti Immagine Discovery. piazza San Pancrazio open: Monday and Wednesday to Saturday 10-17 closed: Tuesday, Sunday, holidays and August

piazza del Carmine, 19

via Scipio Slapater, 2

Fondazione Pitti Immagine Discovery Fashion, visual arts, cinema, photography, advertising, architecture and music all come together in Florence in the events organised by Pitti Immagine. via Faenza, 111 Stazione Leopolda viale Fratelli Rosselli, 5

Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze A prestigious institution, founded in 1784, today committed to developing the creative potential of its young students with university level courses that stimulate the search for artistic expressions and contemporary forms of art in the wake of the great Florentine artistic tradition. via Ricasoli, 66


in the now

events Pensare spazi contemporanei “Professione”

50 giorni di Cinema Internazionale (50 days of International Cinema)

20 October-9 December 2011 An initiative offering the city festivals, retrospectives, premières, meetings, films in their original language, documentaries and art videos with continuous projections, from morning to night.

12 October 2011 at 18.30 Spazio SUC Murate

Tempo Reale Festival 2011 Erikm in concerto 14 October 2011 at 21.30 Tempo Reale / Musicus Concentus Limonaia di Villa Strozzi

The Piano Hours Series Vol. 4 October-November 2011 Musicus Concentus, Sala Vanni

Glorytellers October-November 2011 Cinema Odeon Musicus Concentus, Sala Vanni

Pensare spazi contemporanei “Dove si annida la critica” 19 October 2011 at 18.30 Ex3

Pensare spazi contemporanei “Crisi” 26 October 2011 at 18.30 Spazio SUC Murate

71º Modaprima. Salone internazionale delle collezioni moda e accessorio 26-28 November 2011 Stazione Leopolda

Pensare spazi contemporanei “Gioco” 9 November 2011 at 18.30 Spazio SUC Murate

Francedanse Boris Charmatz e Médéric Collignon. Improvisation

France Odeon 20-23 October 2011 national premières of selected art-house films by French directors

Schermo dell’Arte 21-24 November 2011 a festival featuring films on the subject of contemporary art

Una Finestra sul Nord 28 and 29 October 2011 two days of Finnish cinema

Florence Queer Festival 25 November-1 December 2011 a journey into the gay world as expressed in cinema, theatre, literature, photography, music and costume

Immagini e suoni dal mondo 30 October and 1 November 2011 a series of ethno-musical documentaries and films Festival di Cinema & Donne 4-9 November 2011 festival of women’s films 52º Festival dei Popoli 12-19 November 2011 festival promoting documentary films

River to River 2-8 December 2011 a festival dedicated to Indian cinema and films about India NICE Città di Firenze 9 December 2011

Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci

In addition to the permanent collection of works, the Centre periodically stages temporary exhibitions, workshops and events. viale della Repubblica, 277, Prato open: Monday and Wednesday to Friday 10-19, 1 January 15-19 closed: 25 and 31 December

exhibitions Athos Ongaro. Abrakadabra curated by Marco Senaldi Museum rooms 9 October-27 November 2011

17 November 2011 at 21 Cango Cantieri Goldonetta

An anthology made up of the large oil paintings with cosmic themes, executed since the time of the pictorial turning-point of 2000, together with the astonishing sculptural works of the two preceding decades – mosaics, bronzes, marbles, woods – and with some little-seen works from the 1970s.

Pensare spazi contemporanei “Crisi”

Superstudio / backstage

23 November 2011 at 18.30 Spazio SUC Murate

Pensare spazi contemporanei “Racconto” 7 December 2011 at 18.30 Spazio SUC Murate

Francedanse Eszster Salomon. Dance for Nothing 11 December 2011 at 21 Cango Cantieri Goldonetta

Pensare spazi contemporanei “Dove si annida la critica” 14 December 2011 at 18.30 Spazio SUC Murate


Cinema Odeon via de’ Sassetti, 1 Information:

curated by Cristiano Toraldo di Francia CID/Arti Visive rooms 9 October 2011-26 February 2012 Published and unpublished documents of the life of Superstudio from 1966 to 1978: photographs, lithographs, original lamps, objects of the Istogrammi series, publications and films of Superstudio documenting an activity that has stretched the boundaries of architecture to incorporate other artistic practices, conceiving the project not only as a work aiming at the resolution of problems but as an instrument of knowledge.

L’Archivio di Mario Mariotti Project space 9 October 2011-30 April 2012 The Centro Pecci presents the Archive of Mario Mariotti, recently acquired and composed of works, documents, photographs and books that represent the original work of the Florentine artist who died prematurely. Mariotti was an artist and cultural animator – traces remain of his provocative actions in Florence – but also a graphic artist and founder of Zona/no profit, the exhibition space managed by artists which for a good part of the 1970s was a place for meeting and artistic expression.


Villa Romana

Villa Romana is a space for the presentation and production of art, its aim being to create a centre in Villa Romana Florence independent of the official via Senese, 68 programmes of artistic training. A German non-profit association, some 25% of the funding for Villa Romana is provided by the German Ministry of Culture, although most of the financing comes from private institutions and sponsors. In addition to hosting the winners of the Premio Villa Romana (assigned each year to four artists resident in Germany: in 2012 these are Yorgos Sapountzis, Nine Budde, Wolfgang Breuer and Sophie Melinda Reinhold), the Villa carries on a rich and varied series of activities: it accommodates international artists for brief stays, with particular emphasis on the Mediterranean area, invites young Italian artists and curators for the realisation of projects, organises workshops and proposes a programme of exhibitions, open to the public, dedicated to contemporary art, but also to music (in the project music@villaromana) and creations that involve an interdisciplinary exchange among artists. Since April, moreover, there has been collaboration with Radio Papesse, which in the rooms of the Villa has created a space for its editorial activity and cultural promotion and discussion.

Villa Romana and artistic research

Villa Romana accommodates some of the most interesting international artistic talents, who often live in Germany and are selected by the jury of the Premio. During their stay here they develop art projects that have something to do with the city of Florence and the Tuscan area. But for other guests too Villa Angelika Stepken is an art critic, curator of numerous international art exhibitions, teacher at the History of Art Institute of the University of Karlsruhe and vice-president of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Deutscher Kunstvereine (ADKV). Following her experience at the Badischer Kunstverein of Karlsruhe, she has since 2006 been director of Villa Romana in Florence. Gabriele Ametrano is a journalist who collaborates on the cultural pages of the ‘Corriere Fiorentino’ (local section of the ‘Corriere della Sera’) and with national magazines (‘Indice dei Libri’, ‘Exibart’, ‘Edison Square’). Since 2008 he has chaired two literary programmes on the Rete Toscana Classica.

Temporary pavilion in wood pallets with PVC cover designed by Avatar Architettura Firenze

in the now

Angelika Stepken in conversation with Gabriele Ametrano

Romana is a place of research and inspiration. Eleni Kamma, for example, invited here in the past months as a guest artist of Greek-Cypriot origin, although not having won the Premio, presented a research-project on the Florentine landscape (exhibition planned for May 2012), while in April we anticipate an in-depth study of the Florentine archives of Ketty La Rocca. At the basis of the relationship with guest artists is the productive process, destined for public enjoyment when the work is finished and discussion during the work’s creation. This is why the Villa is always open and can be visited every day of the week, providing visitors with the opportunity of meeting artists and understanding their relationship with their art. In the context of this scenario, the garden of the Villa (about one and a half hectares), redesigned with the help of the Atelier Le Balto and the architecture students of the University of Florence, Stuttgart, Alghero and Milan, is ready to accommodate site-specific projects. A pavilion made of wooden pallets and with a pvc covering, designed by Avatar Architettura di Firenze, has temporarily been mounted in the grounds to house lectures, presentations and projections.

Villa Romana and Florence

There are many active local collaborations with curators, artists and contemporary Florentine institutions, like the Museo Marino Marini, Base and the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Florence, although it is difficult to give continuity to the numerous projects proposed by others. The weight of Florence’s history limits the confines of its own contemporary artistic activity, while the unstable finances of many cultural institutions sometimes prevent the realisation of long-term projects. Villa Romana, in certain instances, has had difficulty in its relations with the city’s cultural policies, involving unpredictable timing: unfortunately improvisation denies the necessary professionalism that art requires.

calendar of events Concrete & Samples exhibition, Aglaia Konrad and Willem Orebeek / Brussels from 30 September 2011 Project by Rosa Barba and Oswald Wiener exhibition opening 8 October 2011 music@villaromana Motionless concert music by Feldman, Lucier, Bertoncini 15 October 2011 at 21.30

La produzione artistica a Berlino, Beirut, Firenze symposium organised by Mirene Arsanios 10-13 November 2011 Effetto Marey exhibition curated by Alessandro Sarri Works by Emanuele Becheri, Davide Rivalta, Daniela de Lorenzo, Oleg Tcherny, Ruben Bellinkx 18 November20 December 2011

music@villaromana What’s new concert music by Bracci, Djordjevic, Schneller, Gubaidulina played by the Ensemble L’Arsenale 26 November 2011 at 21.30 Premio Villa Romana 2012 exhibition of works by the winning artists 17 February-24 March 2012


medici villas

Villa medicea di Castello

original owner: Lorenzo and Giovanni di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici (from 1477). modified by: Cosimo I de’ Medici. architecture: the villa is one of the oldest Medici family suburban residences, altered, with its garden, in the 16th century, under the supervision of Tribolo, Vasari and Buontalenti. to see: the terraced garden, considered by Vasari to be one of the most magnificent in Europe, is well worth the visit, as are Ammannati’s Fountain of Hercules and Antaeus and the Grotta degli Animali. via di Castello, 47 - Loc. Castello open: from November to February 8.15-16.30, in March 8.15-17.30, in April, May, September, October 8.15-18.30, from June to August 8.15-19.30 closed: 2nd and 3rd Monday of the month, 1 January, 1 May, 25 December villacastello

Villa medicea di Cerreto Guidi

original owner: Cosimo I de’ Medici. architecture: the villa was built in 1556 as a hunting residence and garrison for the area, to a plan attributed to Bernardo Buontalenti. to see: became a museum in 1978 and houses furniture and portraits of members of the Medici family (16th and 17th century); since 2002 it has housed a Historic Museum of Hunting and the Countryside.


via dei Ponti Medicei, 7, Cerreto Guidi open: every day, 8.15-19 closed: 2nd and 3rd Monday of the month, 1 January, 1 May, 25 December cerretoguidi

Parco mediceo di Pratolino Villa Demidoff

Villa medicea della Petraia

original owner: the Brunelleschi family; the Strozzi family. modified by: Cardinal Ferdinando de’ Medici. architecture: the building came into the possession of Ferdinando in the second half of the 16th century and was modified by Giulio Parigi in the 17th century. to see: the interior decoration and 19th-century furnishings and interesting decoration; the ballroom with frescoes by Volterrano (17th century); the formal garden planned by Niccolò Tribolo and the fountain with Giambologna’s Fiorenza, transferred from the Villa di Castello. via della Petraia, 40 - Loc. Castello open: every day, from November to February 8.15-16.30, in March 8.15-17.30, in April, May, September, October 8.15-18.30, from June to August 8.15-19.30 closed: 2nd and 3rd Monday of the month, 1 January, 1 May, 25 December

original owner: the Medici family. modified by: Francesco I de’ Medici (1568); Ferdinando III of Lorraine (1819); Leopoldo II of Lorraine (1837); Paolo Demidoff (1870). Acquired by the Florentine provincial administration in 1981, destined for public use. architecture: the Medici Villa, designed by Bernardo Buontalenti and demolished in 1822, was inside a large park that, with its water games, automatons and fountains, was imitated all over Europe. The existing Villa Demidoff was adapted from the paggeria while the transformation of the garden into an English park was carried out by Joseph Fritsch in the Lorraine period. to see: the park with its centuriesold trees; some of the aspects of the park of the Buontalenti period including the Colossus of the Apennines and the Mugnone grotto (Giambologna), the Cupid grotto (Buontalenti, 1577) the Casino di Montili (Cambray Digny, c. 1820) and the chapel on a hexagonal plan (Buontalenti, 1580). via Fiorentina, 282 - Loc. Pratolino, Comune di Vaglia By car: there is a large unattended car park. By bus: ATAF, SITA and CAP lines, all leaving from the area around Santa Maria Novella railway station. Entrance to the park is free. open: from April to October. In April and October, Sunday and holidays 10-17; in May and September, Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10-18; from June to August, Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10-19. The opening of the park is subject to weather conditions. Groups of residents and visitors can request to see the central area of the park on days when the park is generally closed: 055 409427

Villa medicea di Poggio a Caiano

original owner: Lorenzo il Magnifico. architecture: the villa was built to a plan by Giuliano da Sangallo and reflects the humanist trends in architecture inspired by classical antiquity (1485-1492); the building was completed in the first half of the 16th century under Giovanni, then Pope Leo X. to see: frescoes by Andrea del Sarto, Pontormo, Franciabigio and Alessandro Allori. piazza Medici, 14, Poggio a Caiano open: every day, from November to February 8.15-16.30, in March and October 8.15-17.30 (official summer time 18.30), in April, May, September 8.15-18.30, from June to August 8.15-19.30 closed: 2nd and 3rd Monday of the month, 1 January, 1 May, 25 December musei/poggiocaiano

Still Life Museum

The first Still Life Museum in Italy exhibits, in the room of the Villa medicea di Poggio a Caiano, around two hundred paintings dating from the 16th to the 18th century and belonging to the Medici collections. Reservation required 055 877012 Accompanied visits (not guided), every hour, begin at 9 and continue throughout the day (excluding lunchtime between 13 and 14)

Permanent exhibition Introduction to the museum Rooms 1-2 The Medici as collectors of still life In the time of the Grand Duke Cosimo II Room 3 The beginnings of the still life genre Room 4 The time of Cosimo II Room 5 Don Lorenzo and the Villa della Petraia In the time of the Grand Duke Ferdinando II Room 6 The cardinal brothers Leopoldo and Giovan Carlo Room 7 Vittoria della Rovere and the Villa del Poggio Imperiale Themes in Baroque still life Room 8 Game and kitchens Room 9 Medicean flowers In the time of the Grand Duke Cosimo III Room 10 Cosimo III and the ‘theatre of Nature’ Room 11 Animals in the Villa dell’Ambrogiana Room 12 Medici mania for citrus fruits Room 13 Bartolomeo Bimbi and the country house of Topaia Room 14 The collections of Prince Ferdinando Room 15 The ‘gabinetto di opere in piccolo’ of Poggio a Caiano Room 16 An epilogue on medicean collectionism

A museum unique in the world

medici villas


by Andrea G. De Marchi In the celebrated Medici villa of Poggio a Caiano, a short distance from Florence, well known to the history of art for its architecture and extraordinary Mannerist decoration, for some years now a museum has been operative that is absolutely unique as regards its theme-based orientation and the selection of the material on display. Before its institution there was no place dedicated specifically to still life painting, a genre invariably left in the storerooms, or otherwise systematically trotted out on the occasion of exhibitions organised by the antique-dealing world. The new permanent collection, which also includes live subjects of animals and plants, makes possible reflections and comparisons, and raises questions both on the still life phenomenon in general, as well as on minor questions, mostly to do with attribution and iconography. If in recent decades research in this field has made considerable progress, various questions still remain unanswered. Starting with that regarding the precise origin of the genre, which dates from between the 16th and 17th century and which met with immediate international acclaim. The process of assembling images of this type as an independent art form has been explained in various ways. First, as a natural development of still life details that had for some time been included in historical subjects. Second, with the not very different idea of an evolutionary derivation from plant festoons, which were often used to frame wall decorations. Finally, with the possibility that the phenomenon may have been preceeded by illustrations of a scientific character: an eventuality congruous with a certain tendency in the culture of Florence, which is clearly reflected in this selection that has been made from the collections of the city’s Gallerie Palatine. The picture gallery at Poggio a Caiano also gives us an idea of the distinctive evolutionary development of the still life genre. Starting with its earliest phase, distinguished by relatively simple, familiar subjects, whose most well-known expression is probably the Basket of Fruit (grapes and apples) by Caravaggio at the Ambrosian Library in Milan. Around the middle of the 17th century there was a decisive turn toward the growing conventionalisms and triumphal intonations of baroque luxury. The parabola continued until the late 18th century, when in various areas of Europe we see a return to the simplicity of the subjects and even the painted material, which favoured smooth surfaces and reduced the effects that could be produced with brushstroke skills. If this latter development may have been in tune with the spread of Jacobin ideas, it certainly agreed well with a certain severity of the neoclassical period. The new institution makes it possible to compare the different characteristics of the pictorial genre in the various states of Italy before unification, which could of course be documented even more effectively by selecting other works from the Florentine collections that have remained in the storerooms. Some interesting impressions may be drawn, consonant with certain anthropological and cultural characteristics of our country. Thus, we see the outstanding Neapolitan examples of the 17th century, frequently distinguished by remarkable skill in the execution and the richness of the objects depicted, which nevertheless tend to be represented with a certain compositional disorder. The Roman works exhibit an explosion of luxury, providing a striking example of baroque ostentation. In the images from Florence there prevails instead a systematic order in the representation: in many works plant species are arranged with considerable care, reflecting an organisation and mental attitude that the visitor will somehow see echoed in the villa’s botanical park. Those careful divisions by species seem to offer up a living and figurative correspondence with Florence’s historical vocation for scientific research of the world, but also a reflection of its deeply rooted predisposition for commerce. Another reason for visiting the museum is the chance it offers visitors to move around in almost complete solitude, to be free of those crowds regimented with zootechnical criteria that unfortunately constitute the pride of many a public administrator. The idea for this museum was insistently encouraged by Federico Zeri, who often spoke of it in his final years, even as an exponent of the Consiglio Nazionale del Ministero (a role, like others, which he seems to have obtained as a result of television celebrity rather than for his outstanding scientific merits).

Andrea G. De Marchi obtained his degree and specialisation in Rome in 1985, and a PhD in Lausanne. For many years he worked with Federico Zeri and ran the Galleria Doria Pamphilj. He is an art historian for the Ministero dei Beni Culturali (Soprintendenze di Bologna and GNAM in Rome). He has researched various aspects of figurative art between the 14th and 19th century.

piccoli grandi musei

Created in 2004 with the identification of the so-called “minor” museums of Florence and its province, the “Piccoli Grandi Musei” project, supported and promoted by the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, carries out a system of promotion and development of lesser known museum institutions in the local area with the aim of making available alternative cultural itineraries, embracing collections of religious art, museums of collectionism, science museums, archeological museums, historic villas and gardens, all having in common a single multimedia system of integrated communication. After having covered the areas of Florentine Chianti, the Empolese-Valdelsa, the Valdarno, the Mugello, and the plain and hills north-west of Florence, the project now focuses on Florence itself and features the city’s museums of historic collectionism.

Le stanze dei tesori

Meraviglie dei collezionisti nei musei di Firenze from Palazzo Medici Riccardi to Stefano Bardini Museum Horne Museum Stibbert Museum Salvatore Romano Foundation and Museo Bandini Palazzo Davanzati Museo Casa Rodolfo Siviero

3 October 2011-15 April 2012

Le stanze dei tesori see pp. 24-25 and p. 42

In a city like Florence, an ark of public and private art treasures, it was inevitable that the exercise of the profession of antique-dealing would take hold and flourish, and this is precisely what happened from the 19th century. Italians like Stefano Bardini, Elia Volpi and Salvatore Romano, but also foreigners like Sir Herbert Percy Horne, Frederick Stibbert and Charles Loeser, are well-known names in the history of the art market; but are equally so in the history of 20th-century museology, to which they contributed, not only fuelling the purchases of collectors and museums especially abroad, but also making available spaces and collections for their own museums. The series of initiatives included in the 7th edition of the “Piccoli Grandi Musei” project focuses precisely on the elegant and unobtrusive presences of museums born from historic collectionism in Florence. The precious “stanze dei tesori” mentioned in the title are, precisely, the remarkable museum realities that are involved in a dense programme of promotion and development: exceptional and unified opening times, exhibitions and newly designed presentations, didactic activities and workshops, guided tours and itineraries, combining to put online the Horne, Stibbert, Stefano Bardini, Palazzo Davanzati and Fondazione Salvatore Romano museums. The permanent interventions and promotional events dedicated to single museum institutions are flanked by an exhibition, held in the very central Palazzo Medici Riccardi, which recounts, from a totally unprecedented overall viewpoint, the context and lives of the collectors who lived in Florence between the 19th and 20th centuries, men of refined tastes, empassioned erudites or otherwise true antiquarians who put together their extraordinary collections, all of them inspired by the same obsession to ‘possess art’.

Pass dei Tesori the multiple entry ticket to the museums involved in the project is free with the purchase of Firenze Card Free guided tours and workshops with the Pass dei Tesori Guided tours for individuals Saturday and Sunday in all the museums involved Di museo in museo... guided tours by bus on one Sunday a month Workshops for families free activities on Saturdays and Sundays (see p. 55) Free educational activities for schools Information and booking: 055 2340742 For times and activities see:

bardini villa and garden

he Fondazione Parchi Monumentali Bardini e Peyron was founded in 1998 by the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze following the restoration project targeting the Bardini buildings, begun in the 1990s. The Bardini complex includes the 17th-century villa and its large park: 4 hectares of woods, gardens and orchards reaching to the medieval walls of the city, between costa San Giorgio and borgo San Niccolò. The garden and the villa are open all year and offer more than exhibition space: in the villa are the Museo Annigoni, the Fondazione Capucci and the Società Toscana di Orticoltura.


Capucci Museum see p. 45

For times and events see

a green walk Palazzo Pitti and Villa Bardini are connected via the Boboli Gardens. There is free access for residentes see p. 6

Museo Pietro Annigoni

The museum, inaugurated in 2008, houses more than 6,000 pieces and is thus the world’s largest collection of Annigoni’s work. It is a centre for the study of the artistic culture of the 20th century and it organises temporary exhibitions tied to Annigoni and the period in which he lived and worked, fully engaged with his times, with particular attention paid to themes of great critical importance for art in the 20th century.


Macchiaioli a Villa Bardini curated by Silvestra Bietoletti and Roberto Longi

until 30 October 2011 48 works by the most well-known Macchiaioli artists, like Giovanni Fattori, Telemaco Signorini, Silvestro Lega, Odoardo Borrani and Plinio Nomellini, celebrate one of the artistic movements that most innovated figurative art between the 19th and 20th centuries. The exhibition covers the development of the ‘revolution’ introduced by the macchia: from early experimentation to fully-fledged affirmation, up until the threshold of the 20th century, when the example of the masters became an unavoidable model for young Tuscan artists. The paintings come from a valuable private collection, composed by its maker with particular attention to the aesthetic quality and historical importance of the paintings.

events linked to the exhibition

Villa Bardini costa San Giorgio, 2 open: until 30 October Tuesday to Sunday 10-19; from 31 October times subject to change

Guided tours for individuals Saturday and Sunday at 10.30, 11.30, 15.30, 16.30 All the activities are free to those who buy a ticket to the museum the same day. The exhibition ticket is also valid for the Museo Annigoni and the Capucci Museum.

Giardino Bardini chronology 1309 the Comune di Firenze has an estimate drawn up of the Mozzi properties where there is mention of a palace “with a large loggia and garden behind the said palace and an adjoining house with garden and lawn, and walled land behind the house” early 1400s the Mozzi family is forced to sell off many of their properties situated in Santa Lucia de’ Magnoli, including the family palace 1551-1552 Luigi di Conte di Giovannozzo dei Mozzi again obtains ownership of a part of the family palace and adjoining lands

Information and booking: 055 20066206 open: Tuesday to Sunday 10-19, last entrance at 18

first half of the 1600s for Giovan Francesco Manadori the architect Gherardo Silvani (1579-1675) builds a villa in a panoramic position on costa San Giorgio 3 January 1603 Senator Piero di Luigi di Conte dei Mozzi reunites the property of the palace, purchasing the remaining part from Ersilia Della Gherardesca 1781 Margherita D’Orford leaves to Giulio Mozzi a “house with large garden” stretching as far as the city walls, at the back of Palazzo Mozzi, and Villa Medici at Fiesole 1793 (ante) the so-called Villa Manadora is bought by the Cambiagi family

1814 Giacomo Luigi Le Blanc is the proprietor of Villa Manadora and in this area creates a modern English-style park July 1839 Pier Giannozzo dei Mozzi buys from Le Blanc the entire western section of the park, that is, the English-style garden with the villino and the Casino 1880 the complex is bought by the Silesian princess Wanda Carolath von Beuthen 1913 the antique dealer Stefano Bardini purchases the entire property from Princess Carolath von Beuthen and begins the great work of transforming the property 1922 at the death of Bardini the property is inherited by his son Ugo

1965 death of Ugo Bardini; the Bardini inheritance is the object of a long bureaucratic and administrative procedure, only recently concluded January 2000 following an agreement between the Ministero delle Finanze and the Ente Cassa di Risparmio, restoration work begins on the Giardino Bardini 2007 the villa and garden are opened to the public Giardino Bardini via dei Bardi, 1r costa San Giorgio, 2 open: every day 8.15-16.30 in January, February, November and December; 8.15-17.30 in March; 8.15-18.30 in April, May, September and October; 8.15-19.30 in June, July and August closed: 1st and last Monday of the month, 1 January, 1 May, 25 December


academies and foundations

Accademia di Scienze e Gabinetto Scientifico Lettere “La Colombaria” Letterario Vieusseux

Accademia della Crusca

“La Colombaria” developed spontaneously from the meetings of a group of Florentine scholars who established the Academy in 1735. Today it houses an archive consisting of manuscripts, incunabula, 16th-century books and letters, and a collection of drawings and prints. The Academy also publishes a series entitled ‘Studi’ and the ‘Atti e Memorie’ appear annually. The library consists of some 10,000 volumes and includes the Devoto, Ravà, Procissi and Rodolico archives.

The Accademia was founded in Florence in 1582-1583 by five Florentine men of letters: Giovan Battista Deti, Anton Francesco Grazzini, Bernardo Canigiani, Bernardo Zanchini and Bastiano de’ Rossi. They were then joined by Lionardo Salviati, who drew up a cultural programme and a system for codification of the Italian language. Spirited meetings, jokingly called ‘cruscate’ (from ‘crusca’, coarse bran as opposed to fine flour), gave the Accademia its name, and it adopted a rich symbolism relating to grain and bread. From the very beginning, the Accademia welcomed Italian and foreign scholars and exponents of various fields of knowledge: grammarians and philologists, writers and poets, scientists, historians, philosophers, jurists and statesmen. The Accademia’s principal work, the Vocabolario (first edition in 1612), made a decisive contribution to the identification and diffusion of the Italian language.

via Sant’Egidio, 23 open: Monday to Friday 9.30-13.30

Accademia delle Arti del Disegno The Accademia (initially the Accademia e Compagnia delle Arti del Disegno) was founded in 1563 by Cosimo I de’ Medici under the influence of Giorgio Vasari. Among the first Academicians were Michelangelo, Vasari, Ammannati, Bronzino and Francesco da Sangallo. In 1784 it was reformed by Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo who named it the Accademia di Belle Arti and in 1873 it was separated into two distinct branches, the Board of Academicians also known as Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, and the Teaching Institute (Accademia di Belle Arti). Aside from its collection of sculpture, painting, tapestry and furniture, the Accademia has a historic archive of documents, printed books and photographs and a library with circa 6,000 volumes and journals, devoted to Tuscan artistic culture from the 19th century to the present day. via Orsanmichele, 4 open: Monday to Friday 9.30-12.30

events and exhibitions

In collaboration with several institutions, the Accademia promotes conferences, concerts and exhibitions on sculpture, painting and architecture, with a special focus on the contemporary world. Its exhibition centre is in piazza San Marco

Fondazione Longhi

The Fondazione di Studi di Storia dell’Arte Roberto Longhi was established at Villa “Il Tasso” in 1971 following Longhi’s wish that his library, his photo archive, and his art collection “benefit the younger generation”. The Fondazione’s books (about 36,000 volumes), photos (70,000 items), and art collection (paintings, drawings, engravings, miniatures, and sculptures), plus vast archives, are at the disposal of scholars and students. The primary objective of the institution is to encourage and further the study of art history while keeping alive Roberto Longhi’s cultural legacy and the methods he devised.


via Benedetto Fortini, 30 open: Library Monday to Friday 9.30-13, 14-17.30 by appointment

In 1820 the enlightened businessman from Geneva Giovan Pietro Vieusseux opened his Gabinetto Scientifico Letterario in Palazzo Buondelmonti. A lending library was added to the Gabinetto reading room in 1822. The Gabinetto, later moved to Palazzo Strozzi, has counted among its ranks figures like Tecchi, Montale, and Bonsanti, who founded the ‘Antologia Vieusseux’. This is still a vital institution in Florence which organises conferences and events, custodian of a rich Library, the Historic Archive and the Archivio Contemporaneo “Alessandro Bonsanti” (Palazzo Corsini Suarez, via Maggio, 42). Palazzo Strozzi, piazza Strozzi open: Library Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9-13.30, Tuesday and Thursday 9-18. Historic Archive Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9-14, Tuesday and Thursday 9-14, 15-18. Archivio Contemporaneo Monday, Tuesday and Friday 9-13, Wednesday and Thursday 9-17.30

exhibition Insegnare narrando storie. Laura Orvieto e le sue Storie del Mondo 20 October-20 November 2011 Archivio Storico del Comune di Firenze

conferences Il Libro rosso di Carl Gustav Jung 8 October 2011 at 9.30 Sala Ferri, Palazzo Strozzi Odoardo Fantacchiotti 13 October 2011 Sala Ferri, Palazzo Strozzi Laura Orvieto: la voglia di raccontare le Storie del Mondo 19 October 2011 Sala Ferri, Palazzo Strozzi Letteratura italiana e Unità nazionale 27-29 October 2011 Sala dei Dugento, Palazzo Vecchio Sala Ferri, Palazzo Strozzi Sala Luca Giordano, Palazzo Medici Riccardi Vieusseux editore e la formazione di una coscienza italiana: all’‘Antologia’ all’Archivio Storico italiano 15 January 2012 Sala Ferri, Palazzo Strozzi

Accademia dei Georgofili The Accademia was founded in 1753 with the purpose of contributing to scientific progress in agriculture and to the development of the rural world. Housed in the Torre de’ Pulci since 1932, it has an extraordinary library with over 70,000 volumes ranging from monographs to journals. Permanent and temporary exhibitions bear witness to the wealth of its holdings, unique in the history of agriculture. Logge degli Uffizi Corti open: Library Monday to Friday 15-18

Villa medicea di Castello via di Castello, 46

The Florence Lyceum Club This is one of the oldest international cultural associations in Florence. The first Lyceum founded in Italy was based on the model of the women’s clubs opened in 1904 in London, Paris and Berlin. The Club’s first president was Beatrice Pandolfini (née Corsini) who set out courageously to offer cultural experiences that were noteworthy for being open and innovative. The most pertinent example is the first Italian exhibition of the Impressionists, admired for the first time in Italy at the Florence Lyceum Club in 1910. Palazzo Giugni Fraschetti via degli Alfani, 48

events I cinque sensi e oltre: l’intelligenza del cuore from October 2011 to May 2012 A wide range of events focusing on the theme I cinque sensi e oltre: l’intelligenza del cuore, inspired by the tapestry cycle La dame à la Licorne. Concerts ranging from Renaissance and Baroque music to the classical, romantic and contemporary repertoire, up to jazz Course of musical education, listening to masterpieces of the string quartet genre Lectures dedicated to the artistic world of Cosimo I de’ Medici; medical/scientific conferences; meetings with historical themes, accompanied by projections of documentaries, aimed at students of higher secondary schools in the province of Florence; meetings and discussions of history, literature, cinema and philosophy; round table on aesthetic judgement in journalistic commentary

An almost unique example of a typical Florentine house, which developed out of the medieval tower and preceded the appearance of the Renaissance palace. Built in the mid-14th century by the Davizzi family, during the 16th century it passed to the Bartolini and then in 1578 to the Davanzati who owned it until the late 1800s. In 1904 it was bought by the antique dealer Elia Volpi who restored the palace and furnished it with items from his collection. The palazzo was later bought by the State and opened to the public in 1956. The furnishings, paintings, tapestries and items of everyday use effectively recreate the interior of a noble Florentine house as it would have been from the 14th to the 17th century. There are also numerous paintings with secular and religious subjects including the triptych by Lorenzo Monaco and the 15th-century tondo decorated with the Gioco del Civettino (Game of the Fop) by Giovanni di ser Giovanni known as lo Scheggia. Sculptures include Antonio Rossellino’s Bust of a young man. Of great interest is the collection of ceramics and majolica dating from the 14th to the 18th century and the rare wall decorations, such as those in the Sala dei Pappagalli and the room known as the bedroom of the Castellana di Vergy. via Porta Rossa, 13 open: every day 8.15-13.50 closed: 2nd and 4th Sunday, 1st, 3rd and 5th Monday of the month, 1 January, 1 May, 25 December davanzati

Museo Casa Rodolfo Siviero

The Casa Siviero was built in the neoRenaissance style in 1875, the year the new lungarno Serristori was completed. Rodolfo Siviero, known as the “James Bond of the art world” for his important contribution in ensuring that many stolen works of art were returned to Italy, bought the building in 1944 and lived there until 1983. He left the house and its furnishings to the Regione Toscana on the condition it became a public museum. In the collection are works by Soffici, Annigoni, Manzù and Berti, as well as by Giorgio de Chirico who was very attached to this house. lungarno Serristori, 1-3 open: Saturday, from October to May 10-18, from June to September 10-14 and 15-19; Sunday and Monday, all year 10-13 closed: 1 January, 1 May, 24 June, 15 August, 25 and 26 December

Museo di Casa Martelli

House of Dante

Palazzo Martelli, which became a State museum in 1999, was opened to the public in 2009 to make available for general viewing the historic home and artistic collections of this noble family. At the beginning of the 16th century the Martelli, bankers and allies of the Medici, bought a property that was to grow in the following years. Since the 17th century the first floor has housed an art collection that today retains its original arrangement. This house museum is, therefore, not the result of a posthumous reconstruction but derives from the centuries-old stratification of a family’s life.

The Casa di Dante we know today dates back to 1911 when the architect Giuseppe Castellucci reproduced a rather quaint medieval style building in the area in which the poet was said to have lived. The museum illustrates the life of Dante Alighieri and the Florence of his times. The Museo degli Originali includes a collection of medieval edged weapons, ceramics and objects once in daily use. via Santa Margherita, 1 open: Tuesday to Sunday 10-18 closed: Monday

via Zannetti, 8 open: Thursday afternoon and Saturday morning by appointment casamartelli

Casa Guidi

After their secret marriage (1846) the poets Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning fled to Italy and lived in Florence until Elizabeth’s death (1861); the house was bought in 1971 by the Browning Institute of New York which restored the apartments, filling them with objects and furniture, some of which once belonged to the couple. piazza San Felice, 8 closed: from April to November, Monday, Wednesday and Friday 15-18

Casa Siviero and Palazzo Davanzati are participating in the project “Piccoli Grandi Musei” Le stanze dei tesori see p. 36


Antonio Berti... e gli artisti fiorentini continuavano a nascere curated by Angela Sanna and Attilio Tori until 31 December 2011 Siviero purchased various works by his friend Berti, which are today held in the museum. The exhibition takes a close look at their relationship both through documents from the archives of Siviero, the Fondazione Berti, and the Accademia del Disegno, and with works by the sculptor illustrated in the writings of Siviero, or that saw him involved in the commissioning of them and in their display at the Accademia del Disegno.

house museums

Palazzo Davanzati


Siviero collezionista del sacro curated by Diletta Corsini 28 January 25 April 2012 Following the exhibition of chalices, ciborium and monstrances, other liturgical objects collected by Siviero are on display – thuribles, crosses, bells – up until now unseen by the public as they have been kept on the closed upper floor of the house museum. The exhibition is enriched by similar objects refound by Rodolfo Siviero.

Young Collectors’ Competition Participants must send a description of their collection, which is judged on the basis of its originality, interest and motivation, before 31 December. The competition covers the following age groups: up to 11 years, 12-18 years, 18-25 years. Prizes for participants and winners.

Luoghi insoliti 25 September, 16 October, 13 November 2011 free guided tours booking required

Remembering Siviero 100 years from his birth December 2011 A day dedicated to Siviero, born 24 December 1911: presentation of new research and film projection.

natural history and anthropology museums

he Imperial and Royal Museum of Physics and Natural History, was founded in 1775 by Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo of Hapsburg Lorraine to collect together natural artefacts and scientific instruments, previously kept in the Uffizi Gallery. It is commonly called “La Specola”, recalling the Astronomical Observatory which was completed in 1789. The institute now consists of six sections, or museums, located in palazzi throughout the centre of Florence, where items of quite exceptional naturalistic and scientific value are preserved. These include 16th-century herbals, rare 18th-century waxworks, fossilised skeletons of elephants and collections of brightly coloured butterflies, giant crystals of tourmaline, Aztec artefacts, majestic wooden sculptures and even the largest flower in Anthropology the world. The museums represent an and Ethnology impressive universe of nature, history, The oldest items come from the Medici science and art. collections and the 18th-century collection


of James Cook, while others were collected by researchers and scientists in the 19th and 20th century. The American Indians, Lapland, Siberia and Indonesia are all represented in separate sections. The collection of musical instruments is significant.

via del Proconsolo, 12 open: from 1 October to 31 May Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9-13, Saturday and Sunday 10-17; from 1 June to 30 September Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Sunday 10-13, Saturday 10-18 closed: 1 January, Easter, 1 May, 15 August, 25 December

Botanical gardens (Medicinal Herb Garden)



This is the most important Italian scientific institution for the collection and preservation of plants. The museum houses some exceptional herbals, and artistic and didactic collections which include the still life paintings of Bartolomeo Bimbi and wax models of plants, fruits and mushrooms made in the 18th and 19th century.

Corpi danzanti. Sculture in bronzo di Innocenzo Vigoroso 30 September 2011 10 January 2012

The Botanical Gardens originated in 1545 as a garden of medicinal plants. Today the grounds cover an area of 3 hectares, with a series of thematic flower-beds, large hot-houses and smaller greenhouses. Itineraries are available for the blind, based on touch and smell. The gardens are also home to some monumental trees, several of which are over 300 years old.

exhibition Le forme del piccante

via Giorgio La Pira, 4 open: admission with reservation and guided tour only 055 2346760

via Pier Antonio Micheli, 3 open: from 16 October to 31 March, Saturday, Sunday and Monday 10-17; from 1 April to 15 October, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday to Sunday 10-19 closed: 1 January, Easter, 1 May, 15 August, 25 December

26 September 30 October 2011

“La Specola”

On the ground floor is the Skeleton Hall where the skulls and complete skeletons of ancient and extinct animals are housed. On the first floor is Galileo’s Tribune, created in 1841. The second floor houses the zoological museum, providing an almost complete panorama of existing animals as well as a large number now extinct or in danger of extinction. The collection of anatomical waxes includes items of great scientific, and also artistic, interest; these continue to be consulted in the study of anatomy. In the Torrino of the Specola, the new arrangement exhibits important historic and scientific items including many from the Medici collections. The exhibition of crystals has again been extended.

Photo Andrea FiesoliStudio Grandangolo in Prato


Administrative offices: via Giorgio La Pira, 4

via Romana, 17 open: from 1 October to 31 May Tuesday to Sunday 9.30-16.30; from 1 June to 30 September Tuesday to Sunday 10.30-17.30 Skeleton Hall and Observatory admission with reservation and guided tour only 055 2346760 closed: 1 January, Easter, 1 May, 15 August, 25 December

exhibitions under the umbrella of Firenze Preziosa 2011, organised by Le Arti Orafe

Mari Ishikawa Monologo - Parallel worlds 6-23 October 2011 Retrospective dedicated to the Japanese artist, creator of jewellery inspired by nature

Preziosa Young 2011 10-22 October 2011 On show, works by the winners of the international competition and the creations of artists, teachers and students at Le Arti Orafe, works sold by auction on 22 October in the Skeleton Hall to support the research of the Fondazione FiorGen.

innovation: the new Mineralogy Section

Mineralogy and Lithology

Collections of minerals, rocks and gems. Not to be missed is the large topaz crystal and an aquamarine weighing almost 1 kilo. Videos and innovative educational multi-media graphics describe and illustrate the museum’s collections via Giorgio La Pira, 4 open: from 1 October to 31 May Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9-13, Saturday and Sunday 10-17; from 1 June to 30 September Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Sunday 10-13, Saturday 10-18 closed: 1 January, Easter, 1 May, 15 August, 25 December

Geology and Palaeontology

This museum exhibits the fossils of vertebrates that have been found in Tuscany over two centuries, illustrating the palaeontological history of the region, its palaeogeography and the progressive stages in the evolution of marine and terrestrial fauna. Among the items displayed is the skeleton of the oldest primate found in Tuscany. via Giorgio La Pira, 4 open: from 1 October to 31 May Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9-13, Saturday and Sunday 10-17; from 1 June to 30 September Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Sunday 10-13, Saturday 10-18 closed: 1 January, Easter, 1 May, 15 August, 25 December

At the entrance, the 19th-century cabinets give a little foretaste of the collections, from the historical to the more recent, including instruments once in use in the museum and in the laboratories. The new museum itinerary begins with a series of thin slices of minerals, mostly parts of nodules of agate variety quartz from Brazil, illuminated to highlight the patterns and colours. Included in a tactile itinerary for visitors with impaired vision are a smoked variety quartz weighing 135 kg and the portion of an amethyst variety quartz geode weighing over 200 kg. These are followed by examples of Brazilian pegmatite (from the Ponis collection), remarkable for the spectacular formations of elbaite crystals, at times associated with variously coloured mica, with pure albite, with quartz and with pink-coloured morganite variety beryl. The didactic section begins with the birth of planet Earth and the fascinating world of meteorites, with two large examples of “ferrous meteorites”: the Chupaderos, discovered in 1852 in Mexico, and the Sikhote Alin, which fell in Russia in 1947. Also interesting are the meteorites that have fallen in Italy, like the one that fell in Siena on 16 June 1794. The presentation continues with a definition of rocks and minerals, with an extraordinary ialine variety quartz weighing 150 kg, and proceeds with an illustration of geological conditions in the formation of rocks. This is followed by an explanation of the laws regulating growth patterns, determining the crystalline form of each mineral and the symmetries that are found in crystals and in crystalline structures. The physical properties of minerals, like density, hardness, cleavage and colour, are described. The itinerary ends with a section dedicated to minerals and environment and on the technological use of minerals. A spectacular show-case focuses on fluorescent minerals where, by varying the intensity of the illumination, one can admire the change from faint to very bright colour tones. The last part is dedicated to the “treasure”, that is, to historical or extremely valuable collections. The Elban collection was so baptised by the director of the Gabinetto di Mineralogia F. Millosevich. The collection is made up of old material from the 18th and early 19th century and the Foresi and Roster collections, bought in 1877 and 1888. Here there are specimens from the pegmatitic area of San Piero and Sant’Ilario and from the mines of Rio, like the minerals of the tormaline group, which are unique in the world, and the haematites and ilvaites. The Medici collection of crafted stones comprises some 700 specimens, originally conserved in the Tribune of the Uffizi and transferred to the Museum of Physics and Natural History at the end of the 18th century. These manufactures (bowls, vases, tobacco boxes, etc.) date from the Quattrocento (bowls of Lorenzo the Magnificent) to the 18th century, with a prevalence of local works from the “Galleria dei Lavori”. There is no shortage of objects from the Orient or from central America, brought as gifts to the Florentine court, and from New Zealand, collected by Cook in the course of his journeys. In the gem collection there are two specimens of exceptional size: an acquamarine variety beryl weighing 98 kg and a topaz weighing 151 kg, the second largest in the world. Also on display are precious and semi-precious stones, such as diamonds (like the 20-carat uncut octahedron), beryls, zirconiums, garnets and quartzes. The ebony table-top inlaid with lapis-lazuli, jasper and chalcedony, part of the cabinet of the future Ferdinando I (1580), dominates a further show-case dedicated to ornamental, semi-precious, synthetic and artificial stones. Giovanni Pratesi President of the Natural History and Anthropology Museum

natural history and anthropology museums

focus / Tradition and


richard ginori museum • stibbert museum

ow a foundation, the Stibbert Museum came into being in 1908 on the death of Frederick Stibbert (1838-1906). According to the terms of his will, Stibbert left his art collections and the building where they were housed, located at Montughi, to the city of Florence. The bequest is now a rare example of a 19th-century house and museum which is still well preserved. In recent years, many of the original arrangements and exhibits, altered during the 20th century, have been reinstated. The creation of the Japanese armoury was one of Stibbert’s passions and he went on collecting up until the last months of his life, hundreds of objects that document the styles of armour and the splendid quality of edged weapons from the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’. Today the collection is considered one of the most important in the western world.


via Frederick Stibbert, 26 open: Monday to Wednesday 10-14, Friday to Sunday 10-18 closed: 1 January, Easter, 1 May, 15 August, 25 December


The Stibbert Museum is participating in the project “Piccoli Grandi Musei” Le stanze dei tesori see p. 36


Il Risorgimento della maiolica italiana: Ginori e Cantagalli organised by the Associazione Amici di Doccia with the Stibbert Museum and the Richard Ginori Museum Stibbert Museum 30 September 2011 15 April 2012 The splendour of the enamels, the iridescent sheens, the quality of the pictorial representation and the eclecticism of the forms that once dazzled visitors to the Great Exhibitions are features of the contemporary exhibition on the art of Florentine majolicas after the Unification of Italy. A selection of 19th-century majolicas coming from the Museo di Doccia, together with Cantagalli pieces from the Museo Stibbert, form the nucleus of the display. The exhibition is completed by prestigious loans from the Ashmolean Museum of Oxford, the Victoria & Albert Museum of London, the Musée National de Céramique of Sèvres and the William De Morgan Foundation in London, in addition to previously unexhibited pieces from private collections, together with some of the most important designs of the recently catalogued Fondo Cantagalli kept at the Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche in Faenza.

he collections grew at the same time as the Doccia ceramics factory founded by Carlo Ginori in 1737. This was the first museum of a manufacturing enterprise founded in Italy and recounts, through its collections, the history of the oldest business producing porcelain still active today in Italy.


viale Pratese, 31, Sesto Fiorentino open: Wednesday to Saturday 10-13, 14-18

exhibition activities linked to the exhibition video projection At the Stibbert Museum, in the period of the exhibition, a video is being projected on the ceramic manufacturing technique, produced by the Museum of Montelupo workshops In addition to the activities organised by the Museo di Doccia (see pp. 52-53), practical clayworking sessions are being held at the Museo della Ceramica of Montelupo and at the Museo della Manifattura Galileo Chini of Borgo San Lorenzo

Urbano Lucchesi: mondo rurale e soggetti di fantasia nelle maioliche Ginori della fine dell’Ottocento 30 September 2011-15 April 2012 The first exhibition dedicated to the maiolicas of the recently rediscovered sculptor who was active at Doccia between about 1880 and 1900. The museum has recently acquired a nucleus of works that are on public display for the very first time.


Nuovi arrivi al Museo 5 November 2011 A meeting on Urbano Lucchesi and on the very recent acquisition of his works, with wine-tasting

casa buonarroti

uilt by Michelangelo Buonarroti the Younger to celebrate his family’s fame, this fine 17thcentury palazzo, is now a house museum with a dual function: to bear witness to the efforts of the Buonarroti through the centuries to expand and embellish their home, to protect the precious cultural legacies it contains (including the valuable Archives and the Library), and to preserve rare art collections; and at the same time, to celebrate the genius of Michelangelo, by exhibiting many of his works, such as the Madonna of the Stairs and the Battle of the Centaurs, and alongside them the extensive collection of drawings. The museum holds annual exhibitions addressing themes that relate to the Casa’s cultural and artistic heritage and its legacy, as well as to Michelangelo and his times.


via Ghibellina, 70 open: Monday and Wednesday to Sunday 9.30-16 closed: 1 January, Easter, 1 May, 15 August, 25 December

Andrea Commodi dall’attrazione per Michelangelo all’ansia del nuovo

An important selection of graphic art and pictorial works representing the colourful personality of Andrea Commodi (15601638), a cultivated artist with a flair for experimental and non-conformist expression. Among the works exhibited, a model and a group of drawings relating to the project for a never completed fresco in the Cappella Paolina of Palazzo del Quirinale.

project Nel nome di Michelangelo Itineraries linking the Casa Buonarroti and the Santa Croce Monumental Complex. The two places have an important link in Michelangelo. This initiative, begun in 2010, also highlights the importance of the Santa Croce quarter with cultural and promotional activities.

n 1911, the English architect and art historian Herbert Percy Horne purchased Palazzo Corsi to house his collection of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and furnishings in such a way as to recreate the atmosphere of a Renaissance home. Horne died in 1916, his collection (which in the meantime had grown to include more than 6,000 works) was left to the Italian State, creating a foundation “for the benefit of study”. Today, visitors see the Horne Museum as the English collector would have wanted them to: an elegant treasure chest of masterpieces of painting and sculpture (from Giotto to Simone Martini, Masaccio, Filippino Lippi, Domenico Beccafumi, and Giambologna), but above all as a home, decorated with precious items dating from the 1200s to the 1600s, in which to relive the past and discover the customs and art as they were in 15th- and 16thcentury Florence.


curated by Gianni Papi and Annamaria Petrioli Tofani 27 March-16 July 2012

The Horne Museum is participating in the project “Piccoli Grandi Musei” Le stanze dei tesori see p. 36

• hornemuseum


via dei Benci, 6 open: Monday to Saturday 9-13


galileo museum

he Galileo Museum is heir to a prestigious tradition of scientific collecting that boasts nearly five centuries of history and centres on the importance attributed, by the Tuscan grand dukes, to the protagonists and to the tools of science. It revolves around the figure of Galileo Galilei, authoritative and controversial protagonist of astronomy and modern science. The new arrangement of the museum emphasises the importance of Galileo in the museum’s collections and the research activities that identify the dual function of the Galileo Museum – as an Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza, an institute and a museum for the history of science.


piazza dei Giudici, 1 open: Wednesday to Monday 9.30-18, Tuesday 9.30-13 closed: 1 January, 6 January, Easter, 1 May, 15 August, 1 November, 8 December, 25 and 26 December

museum of mathematics


he Giardino di Archimede is a museum, the first of its kind, dedicated entirely to mathematics and its applications. It is organised into a number of interrelated sections, each of which functions as an independent exhibition. The section Oltre il compasso (Beyond the Compass), dedicated to the geometry of curves, is flanked by a second interactive section, Aiutare la natura: dalle Mecaniche di Galileo alla vita quotidiana (Helping Nature. From Galileo’s Le Mecaniche to Daily Life). Interactive machines, similar to those developed by Galileo, show that we continue to use such machines today and that the humble instruments we use on a daily basis contributed to the birth of modern science. Information on the various sections can be found on the website.


via San Bartolo a Cintoia, 19/a open: Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9-13, Tuesday and Thursday 9-13 and 14-17, Sunday 15-19 closed: holidays and August

New interactive section on Galileo and the measurement of time One year after its new opening, the Museo Galileo inaugurates an interactive section on the themes of astronomy, optics, mechanics and the measurement of time. From the month of December, as well as the exhibition of the historical collections on the first and second floor, and the setting up of the didactic workshops and temporary exhibitions on the floor partly below ground level, visitors find, on the ground floor, three rooms focusing on the material and virtual exploration of a number of Galileo’s instruments. The route begins with two mechanical models illustrating ancient cosmological concepts as compared with the new celestial world discovered by Galileo. A remarkable touch screen then enables us to observe the sky just as the Pisan scientist viewed it through the lenses of his telescope or, by choosing a combination of different lenses, how astronomers who devoted themselves to the perfecting of the telescope saw it. From the motion of the planets to the fall of physical bodies, the laws of motion are exemplified by three models illustrating the parabolic trajectory of projectiles, the fall of physical bodies on an inclined plane and the properties of cycloid curves. The properties of the cycloid suggested the perfecting of the pendulum clock conceived by Galileo for the calculation of longitude: two models displayed in the second room illustrate its functioning near a touch screen dedicated to the “jovilabe”, Galileo’s other instrument for determining longitude at sea through the observation of the moons of Jupiter. The movement of the satellites is simultaneously illustrated by a refined mechanical model. Lastly, various large-scale escapement models, directly set in motion by visitors, illustrate the functioning of mechanical clocks. The last room contains five old tower clocks and a spectacular working model of the lost clock of the planets built by Lorenzo della Volpaia for Lorenzo il Magnifico.

In September 2011 Gucci’s new museum opened in the historic palazzo della Mercanzia: on three floors, the museum offers a dynamic and interactive display, rich in history, using objects, documents and pictures of the well-known fashion house founded in 1921 in Florence.

Textiles Museum of Prato

The museum was created in 1975 within the Istituto Tecnico Industriale Tessile Tullio Buzzi, as a cultural institution aimed at conserving the memory of local industrial production and acting as material support in the study of industrial textile design.

via Santa Chiara, 24, Prato Temporarily closed for restoration and rearrangement, excepting the exhibition rooms


piazza della Signoria Information:

Futurotextiles. Surprising textiles, design & art

organised by Lille3000 30 September-13 November 2011

Museo Roberto Capucci

Housed in Villa Bardini, the museum opened in 2007 with the aim of making Capucci’s work better known through thematic exhibitions. The rotating exhibitions use the rich archive of the Fondazione Roberto Capucci which, since 1951, includes 450 creations, 300 illustrations, 22,000 sketches, 20 notebooks, 150 audiovisual sources, 50,000 photographs and 50,000 press articles. costa San Giorgio, 2 open: Tuesday to Sunday 10-18 closed: 1 January, 25 December


Salvatore Ferragamo: Ispirazione e Visioni until 12 March 2012 Two events in the life of Ferragamo were fundamental in the elaboration of inspirations and visions that would influence his future. The first was his arrival in California, where he became the ‘shoemaker to the stars’, and where movie-director Cecil B. De Mille commissioned him the sandals for the actors in the film The Ten Commandments. The other crucial event was Ferragamo’s return to Florence in 1927: here he was fascinated by the beauty of the monuments, and by the wonders of applied art in public and private collections, while at the same time he absorbed the impact of Futurism, and of Thayaht, Sonia Delaunay, Duchamp and Gio Ponti. The exhibition displays 255 works, including 99 models of shoes from the 1920s to the 1950s, and 156 works of art from both Italian and foreign collections.

fashion museums and archives

Museo Gucci

An itinerant exhibition showing at numerous international venues that illustrates the interaction of fabrics with science, technology and art, with the aim of presenting an overview of the most recent developments in fibre production and in the most innovative applications of fabrics outside the traditional realm of fashion, with a focus on the future of the textile sector. The Prato edition is the exhibition with which the Museo del Tessuto, after a period of closure for renovation, re-opens selected rooms with a modified exhibition itinerary. To highlight the developments of local production – which backed by a more than millenarian tradition now tackles new research options with the idea of reaching an ever higher level of specialisation and thereby confirming its leadership on international markets – the museum’s ‘Sezione Contemporanea’ tunes into the exhibition with a feature on hi-tech fabrics developed by the businesses of the Prato textile district. The exhibition explores the possible future applications of technological fabrics to architecture, design, biotechnology, medicine, protection, sport, aerospatial applications, transport and electronics, housing in four inflatable structures resembling igloos not only samples of the fabrics and the fibres – a range of high-resistance, conductive, insulating, electronic, medical materials, etc. – but also works of art and multimedia interactive installations. Related events and activities The exhibition is flanked by a packed programme of initiatives, educational activities, seminars and workshops directed at both those working in the sector as well as the general public.

open: Monday and Wednesday to Friday 10-15, Saturday 10-19, Sunday 15-19 For more detailed information on the exhibition venues

Museo Salvatore Ferragamo

The collection of footwear on exhibition at this museum, inaugurated in 1995, documents the entire working life of Salvatore Ferragamo, from his return to Italy in 1927 until his death in 1960. The museum highlights both the great technical prowess and the artistic flair of a master whose contribution to the brand “Made in Italy” was fundamental, and his relations with the artists of his time. The collection is enhanced by post1960 production: every year, several contemporary models are given places in the Archivio Salvatore Ferragamo, from which the museum selects the materials for exhibition.

piazza Santa Trinita, 5r open: Wednesday to Monday 10-18; in August, Monday to Saturday 10-13, 14-18 closed: 1 January, 1 May, 15 August, 25 December


alinari national museum of photography

he MNAF (Alinari National Photographic Museum), managed by the Fratelli Alinari Fondazione per la Storia della Fotografia (Alinari Brothers Foundation for the History of Photography), includes a space for temporary exhibitions of historical and contemporary photography and a permanent exhibition space devoted to the history and the techniques of photography. A particular feature of the museum is the Museo Tattile (Tactile Museum) for the blind: for the first time, a museum space devoted to photography includes specially designed braille supports for ‘reading’ the works.


piazza Santa Maria Novella, 14a red open: every day 10-19.30 closed: Wednesday and August



Bettina Rheims e Serge Bramly. Rose c’est Paris in collaboration with the Bibliotèque nationale de France until 27 November 2011 Bettina Rheims, Serge Bramly and the city of Paris as the source of inspiration come together in a story where photography and film are presented simultaneously, like a work of art in different yet complementary formats. The authors evoke a somewhat unusual Paris, the scene of a detective story with three characters: the city and two twins, B and Rose.

Immagini del Novecento Fotografie di Giuseppe Quatriglio 2 December 2011-8 January 2012 Journalist, story-writer and essayist, Quatriglio travelled as a foreign correspondent and photographer across four continents. From his archive a carefully selected collection of about 140 photographs divided into three sections: Sicily in the 1950s, portraits and travels.

Duffy “the photographic genius” 12 January 2011-4 March 2012 The first Italian exhibition dedicated to Brian Duffy, the celebrated English photographer of “Swinging London”, famous for having immortalised David Bowie on LP covers that caused a sensation. Duffy revolutionised the way fashion images were created, working with the most famous international journals and magazines.

Museo Bandini

Founded by Canon Angelo Maria Bandini in 1795, the collection was first housed in the church of Sant’Ansano and is now found in the building specially designed for it at the start of the 20th century by the architect Giuseppe Castellucci. On his death the Canon left the museum to the Chapter of Fiesole. Not to be missed on the ground floor are some fine Della Robbia terracottas (including the Effigy of a Young Man known as Sant’Ansano by Andrea della Robbia) as well as some fragments of classical sculptures, inlaid furniture and marble bas-relief sculptures. Displayed in the two rooms on the first floor are paintings by The well-known Museo Bandini artists (from is participating in Taddeo Gaddi the project “Piccoli to Nardo di Grandi Musei” Le stanze dei tesori Cione and Lorenzo see p. 36 Monaco) in addition to works dating from the 13th to the 17th century. via Giovanni Dupré, 1, Fiesole open: every day, March and October 10-18, from April to September 10-19, from November to February 10-14 closed: Tuesday from November to February

Primo Conti Foundation

The Foundation is housed in the 15th-century Villa Le Coste where the artist lived for many years. In 1980 the villa became the seat of the Foundation when a donation by the Conti family led to the establishment of a Documentation and Research Centre on the Historic Avant Garde. The Foundation has three sections: the Museum with the works of Primo Conti, the Archive and the Studio. The Museum (with 63 paintings and 163 drawings by the artist) and the Archive (housing many archives including those of Papini, Conti, Pavolini, Carocci, Pea, Samminiatelli) together represent a unique resource in Italy for the scholarly study and understanding of avant-garde movements. via Giovanni Dupré, 18, Fiesole open: Museum Monday to Friday 9-13. Visits also Saturday, Sunday and the afternoon, for groups by appointment Archive Monday to Friday 9-13, by prior appointment

Giovanni Michelucci. Disegni inediti organised by the Fondazione Michelucci Palazzo Comunale di Fiesole, Sala del Basolato 30 September-30 October 2011 70 unpublished drawings – the result of careful research and loaned by the architect’s collaborators, friends and relatives – are expressions of Michelucci’s language of space. Notes, letters, plans, sections and perspective views recount his restless search for forms and spaces that responded to the requirements of those who lived in them and convey his idea of the city, a contemporary space for the community, for living, for dialogue. On display, a group of drawings marks the development of his artistic sensitivity in the representation of architectural ideas and the elements constituting nature, landscape, architecture and the city. Exhibition itinerary: Family strip cartoons Line drawings on letters from the 1930s: strips of family satire that portray in a tongue-in-cheek style the architect himself, his wife, his grandchildren, his dog Pluto and other invented characters. Nature and architecture 20 sketches document the creative process of practising architecture in a process of ‘symbiosis between natural and artificial forms’. Also on display are two sketches for the Sienese staging of Monteverdi’s ‘Madrigali guerrieri et amorosi’ (1987). City pieces 17 ‘city pieces’, including studies for large-scale urban interventions and projects for single complexes (1969-1985). Here we find drawings relating to ideas and

contemplations and projects that were never actually executed, such as that for the Area Garibaldi and piazza Mino in Fiesole. Communal spaces 14 drawings of religious buildings and meeting places; among them the study for the Church of San Giovanni Battista, also known as the “Chiesa dell’Autostrada” (1960-1964). The section is completed by sketches made in a notebook of 1966 and in a diary of 1967. Furniture design 9 drawings from the 1940s on the theme of the chair, and one from 1980, are expressions of the architect’s continual experimentation with the design of furniture and furnishings which were later executed by eminent craftsmen.


fiesole museums


Fondazione Giovanni Michelucci

Established in 1982 by the architect Giovanni Michelucci (Pistoia 1891Fiesole 1990), by the Regione Toscana and by the Cities of Pistoia and Fiesole, the Foundation has its headquarters at Villa Il Roseto in Fiesole, where the architect had his home and studio. The Foundation promotes study and research in the field of town-planning and contemporary architecture, with particular reference to social structures, and publishes ‘I Quaderni della Nuova Città’. Housed here are the architect’s library, the archive of projects, the collection of photographs, both professional and personal, the collection of manuscripts, the collection of letters and the collection of university lectures. Villa Il Roseto via Beato Angelico, 15, Fiesole open: Monday to Friday 9-13 Guided visits by appointment

Omaggio a Giovanni Michelucci organised by the Accademia Italiana di Firenze Civic Archaeological Museum, Sala Costantini 30 September-30 October 2011 The schools of design, fashion and photography of the Accademia Italiana di Firenze dedicate a special tribute to Michelucci on the occasion of the exhibition at the Museo Archeologico. On display are projects prepared by students in the course of the academic year.

Civic Archaeological Museum

The museum exhibits early Etruscan, Roman and medieval artefacts which came to light during excavations in the area of Fiesole, as well as items donated by private collectors. As it began to grow in size, in 1914 the museum was transferred to a structure in the shape of an Ionic temple, designed by Ezio Cerpi and located inside the archaeological park. Reorganised in 1981, this also houses the Costantini Collection. via Portigiani, 1, Fiesole open: every day, March and October 10-18, from April to September 10-19, from November to February 10-14 closed: Tuesday from November to February


foreigners in florence

Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz Founded in 1897, and part of the MaxPlanck-Gesellschaft since 2002, this is one of the oldest research institutions dedicated to the history of art and architecture in Italy. One of its principle aims is the education of scholars of an international level. The institute’s resources include the library with over 300,000 volumes, 940 ongoing journal subscriptions, and one of the most wideranging photographic libraries on Italian art, at the disposal of researchers from all over the world. via Giuseppe Giusti, 44

edited by Alyson Price

La Pietra is the seat of the University in Florence and houses the Acton Collection with over 7,000 paintings, sculptures and other objects, and a Library with about 12,000 volumes and 16,000 photographs. The University hosts the Remarque Institute seminars, the Graduate Studies seminars, the Acton Miscellany, the Season Events and the La Pietra Policy Dialogues.

Dutch University Institute for Art History Founded in 1958 to encourage cultural exchange, particularly between northern and southern Europe, the institute has an extensive and specialised library with a prestigious collection of critical texts on the history of art and culture. The main areas of specialisation are Italian art and the art of the Netherlands. The insitute organises exhibitions, publications and lectures. viale Torricelli, 5

In 1979, Margaret Rockefeller Strong Cuevas, granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller, donated her father’s estate, Villa Le Balze, to Georgetown University. Her aim was that Le Balze would be a place of learning in honour of her father, himself a philosopher, writer, and educator. Georgetown University now offers students the opportunity to study in Florence, and organises conferences and publications.

British Institute of Florence The Harold Acton Library Founded in 1917 to promote cultural exchange between Italy and the Englishspeaking world, the British Institute today offers a comprehensive programme of courses in the Italian language, the English language and history of art, as well as a wide range of cultural events. lungarno Guicciardini, 9

Villa Le Balze via Vecchia Fiesolana, 26

activities Lectures autumn 2011 From Petra to Shawbak Crusaders on the road to Jerusalem Elisa Pruno (University of Florence) 27 September at 17.30 Sustainability and competitive advantage Marco Tortora (Kent State University, Florence Program) 8 November at 17.30

The centre at Villa I Tatti is devoted to advanced study of the Italian Renaissance in all its aspects: the history of art; political, economic, and social history; the history of science, philosophy, and religion; and the history of literature and music. Villa I Tatti via di Vincigliata, 26


US Politics - Towards the 2012 Elections 10-13 October 2011

Georgetown University

The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies

Villa La Pietra via Bolognese, 120

La Pietra Policy Dialogues aims to make a creative contribution to contemporary public policy debate by bringing together a wide array of actors not commonly called upon to reflect on policy questions or to sit at the same together, including academics, table politicians, business leaders, and other public intellectuals, with the ultimate goal of building a rich and diverse network across the Atlantic.


New York University in Florence at Villa La Pietra

activities Cultural Programme A series of public lectures held each Wednesday at 18. As part of its contribution to the 150 years of Italian unity, the season’s lecture series includes on 19 October Matteo Sansoni on ‘Verdi, Mazzini and the Patriotic Chorus in the Risorgimento’ and on 30 November Paul Ginsborg on ‘European Romanticism and the Italian Risorgimento’. On 9 November Lauri Thorndyke presents her ‘English Walks’.

The Medici in the Fifteenth Century: Signori of Florence? organised by Robert Black and John Law 12 October, Prato, Monash Centre 13-14 October, Firenze, Villa I Tatti

French Institute in Florence The French Institute, the oldest in the world and established in 1907, is part of the French State and of the cultural network of the French Embassy in Italy. It is located in the 15th-century palazzo Lenzi and for over a century it has constantly maintained an active cultural policy and developed its unique library and newspaper library. piazza Ognissanti, 2

activities The season includes Le rendez-vous des voyageurs, new monthly meetings on the experience of travel (from 11 October at 18.30), a meeting with Olivier Roy on the ‘Arab spring’ (30 November at 18), the Festival of French Romantic piano music (16-18 November at 20.30) and France Danse. Festival di danza contemporanea 2011 (until 23 December). Jeudi Cinema returns (from September to December, Thursdays at 20) Ripensare l’artigianato d’arte per una trasformazione sociale, economica e ambientale 6-21 October 2011 organised by CITEMA - Città Europea dei Mestieri d’Arte, within the European project“SOSTENUTO. Pensare la cultura come fattore di innovazione sociale ed economica”

Syracuse University in Florence As one of the oldest study abroad programmes in Italy, Syracuse’s longstanding relationship with the Florentine community enable it to offer an extensive range of courses and cultural immersions. The University is housed in Villa Rossa, purchased by the University in 1963. piazza Savonarola, 15 information Sasha Perugini is the new Director at Syracuse University in Florence.


he best way to get to know a city is by walking it. We become familiar with its shape, its districts, its buildings, its open spaces and the way it changes at different times of the day and night. It becomes more and more of a pleasure to get around Florence on foot as the regulations change about access for motorised traffic. Because of its size it is possible not only to walk the streets on the built land around the Arno, but also to climb up to piazzale Michelangelo and look down on the city, to see it in the landscape. In 1873 two English sisters, Susan and Joanna Horner, published Walks in Florence which became a very popular guide for English visitors to late 19th-century Florence. This is a very thorough guide to the churches, palaces, galleries and streets of Florence, ‘within the compass of daily walks’. Most contemporary tourists would not have a pocket big enough to hold such a guide. For the 21st-century traveller, Lauri Thorndyke has given us slim-line guides to a particular kind of walking with a different purpose. Her three walks take us to the places and sites the English frequented, or lived in, from the 18th to the 20th century: the period of the Grand Tour, of the Victorians, and of the Edwardians. Each walk is published separately and describes the walk with map references, illustrations and voices from the past. Get walking, let your imagination take you into the past while you feel the ground beneath your feet.

Discover the English in Florence with THE ENGLISH WALKS IN F LOR EN CE by

Lauri Thorndyke

three brief guides following in the tracks of English travellers, evoking the golden age of that elegant tourism which signaled an unforgettable period in the history of Florence


€ 5 for one € 12 the series

on sale in Florence at museum bookshops, at Paperback Exchange and My Accademia, at the British Institute or directly from Centro Di

foreigners in florence


European University Institute

The EUI is an international postgraduate teaching and research institute established in 1972 by the six founding Member States of the European Community to promote cultural and scientific development in the social sciences, law, economics and the humanities in a European perspective. Lectures and seminars are organised with high profile figures on the international scene. The EUI carries out its work in various places near the city.

Festival of Europe From 6 to 10 May 2011 the first Festival of Europe was held in Florence. The city was transformed into a workshop with a full calendar of events characterising the European Union, built around the central Conference on the State of the Union.

Badia Fiesolana via dei Roccettini, 9 San Domenico di Fiesole

“A factory for a European identity” conversation with Josep Borrell

Josep Borrell Fontelles, after a degree in aeronautical engineering and various specializations in 1979, entered politics, holding important posts in Spain. Between 2004 and 2007 he was president of the European Parliament and in 2010 was elected president of the European University Institute. photo Francesca Anichini

The Istituto Universitario Europeo di Firenze is a “fabbrica d’identità”, an “identity-creating workshop” of Europe, an identity that must nonetheless be consolidated. Forty years ago, when it was established, Europe was still in the making and the aim of the Institute was to encourage European studies and activate courses and doctorates. Today, now that a united Europe is a concrete reality and European Studies courses are adopted by numerous universities – including the University of Florence – the role of the Institute is also that of drawing attention to the function of Europe in relation to the rest of the world. More than 30 different countries are present at the Institute, with teachers coming from all over the world. Europe today means peace, mobility and the absence of frontiers. Young people who have no memory of the phase preceding its formation, with different currencies and countries limited by frontiers, perceive Europe as “free”. In reality it is a fragile concept because it is not yet finished. The Festival d’Europa aims to be an opportunity for collective reflection, two or three days in which to talk about Europe, in which the academic world and the political world, normally rather distant and uninterested in each other, have the chance to interact, exchange and compare ideas and opinions. The European University Institute’s relationship with Florence has been limited up until now. The Institute has in fact lived in isolation, as if in a bubble, on the hill of San Domenico, far from the affairs of the city. Our aim in promoting and organising the Festival has not been so much about making ourselves known, as about doing something for Europe together with Florence and its institutions, with international visibility. The success of this first edition is due in large part to the widespread general participation and to the extremely positive reaction of the people of the city during the course of the event.

interview with Marco Del Panta The creation of the Festival was your idea. How did it come about? The idea sprang from my observation that this Institute, independently of its academic excellence, had no external visibility and had no interactive relationship with the city. The fact that I came from the Foreign Ministry meant that I tended perhaps to have a rather “political” vision of the Institute and I considered it absolutely fundamental to ensure a synergy with the city that for over thirty years had accommodated the EUI and that had also contributed to its success (if the Institute had been located in an obscure city it would not have had the same attraction). The idea was to have local institutions and the European University work together and organise an event that gave visibility both to the local area and to the Institute. How did the city, the authorities and the people of the city react to the Festival? For me what counted a great deal was the attitude of the mayor, who expressed himself favourably and wants to repeat the Festival. We are also very satisfied by the reaction of the public in general: about 80,000 people participated, visiting the 70 events, and focusing particularly on the stands in piazza della Signoria. We broke a decadeslong absence of collaboration with the city authorities and if, for understandable reasons, reactions were initially lukewarm and cautious, later more positive responses arrived and by the end of the Festival the Regione declared its intention to continue to finance it in the future. We are now trying to involve the Comune of Florence in a co-financing operation, for the moment it has contributed, albeit with promptness, only in the organisation, without participating at a financial level. How was the event organised? Was it difficult? First of all, I’d like to say that if the Festival took place at all it was thanks to Serena Bürgisser. If I had the initial idea and I found the financing, the coordination of the organisation was all hers. (Serena Bürgisser now speaks) The most difficult part was the coordinating of the organising committee, over which we had control, which was composed of various institutions: the University of Florence, the Comune, the Chamber of Commerce, the Provincia, and also the Representations in Rome of the European Commission and the European Parliament. A good move was also to call on local associations to participate with their own funds. (the interview continues with Del Panta) This being the first edition, there were occasionally problems of coordination: the President Josep Borrell initially said to me “ça nous dépasse” (editor’s note: “it goes beyond our capabilities”). In a certain sense we were, if you like, “mindless”. Did the participating countries react positively or negatively? At a political level there was enthusiasm all round. Jerzy Buzek, president of the European Parliament, and the Commissar Androulla Vassiliou wrote us favourable letters, the Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini thanked me personally. At an academic level a little less, in particular a former professor of ours gave a negative judgement, claiming that this was not an academic initiative, something we did in fact know from the outset: it was a project of visibility for the Institute and for the city of Florence. With the Festival did you reach the objective you had set yourself? Did anything surprising happen compared to your expectations? There was some disappointment at the absence of the President of the Commission José Manuel Durão Barroso, although to be fair he did everything he could to be present: perhaps the decisive factor here was a certain infrastructural inadequacy in Florence (i.e. the airport). Surprise over having attracted 80,000 people, many of whom were Italian, therefore not just tourists passing through as we had expected, but numerous young people who came

Serena Bürgisser, after having worked for national and international companies in Italy and abroad, has since September 2009 been responsible for the Communications & PR unit of the European Institute, managing External Relations and the Press Office and collaborating with the secretary general. photo Francesca Anichini

by Ginevra Marchi with Clara Gambaro

foreigners in florence

The European dimension of Florence

specifically to participate. The initial aim was to draw the people of the city closer to European institutions, and that worked. The press reaction was excellent at a European and local level, thanks to the 250 official journalists present. There was less coverage at a national level, this possibly because the Festival was seen more as a Florentine event.

What is your criterion of assessment for the success (or ortherwise) of each event and which events would you not repeat or do in a different way? One aspect I am particularly pleased about is the didactic one. The fact of having gone for three months to the high schools of Florence with students from our Institute and from the University of Florence to give lessons on exactly what Europe is about was one of the most concrete things about an initiative of this kind. What we would not do again is place the Institute at the centre of the organisational model, not because it went badly but because we would prefer someone else to take care of the organisation. The intention is to hand over the reins at the organisational level, with the hallmark of the Festival remaining at the European Institute. A university alone cannot take on the organisation of an event of these proportions.

What is the future of the Festival and how can Florence become a symbol of European culture of the future as well as of the past? The Festival will probably be biennial, with the role of the Institute limited to general supervision and the organisation of the Conference on the state of the European Union, which is in fact one of its academic responsibilities, while all the rest will have to be organised by some other institution, which at the present time has yet to be identified with certainty. The Festival d’Europa draws attention to an unknown facet of the city, its European dimension. This is the most original aspect of the event. Florence, a city known all over the world for its culture, a city that has contributed to the development of European culture over the centuries and, let us not forget, is the custodian of the Historical Archives of the Union, today continues to have something to say in the European sphere. This thanks particularly to the European University Institute, and to the University of Florence, but also to a network of cultural associations that express excellence recognised at an international level. I trust that the Festival has highlighted these aspects in the first edition and trust that it will do so in subsequent editions.

Marco Del Panta, secretary general of the European Institute from 2007 to June 2011 and creator of the Festival of Europe, has been in the diplomatic service since 1988. He was Italian consul in Vienna and chief secretary at the Embassy in Cairo. From 2001 to 2004 he directed Office V of the General Management for Cultural Promotion of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and, from 2004 to 2007 was chief counsellor of the Italian Permanent Representation at the European Union. He is currently a functionary of the General Management of the European Union of the Foreign Ministry.

children Activities generally take place in Italian, please consult websites for information regarding activities in English or in other languages.



Il Detective dell’Arte

Il Detective dell’Arte

Il Detective dell’Arte

Domeniche matematiche

Domeniche matematiche

Domeniche matematiche

Families at Palazzo Strozzi

Art weekend

Art weekend

Casa Siviero 1 October

Museum of Mathematics guided visit and workshop 2 October

Palazzo Strozzi Family Sunday 2 October

Famiglie al museo Cenacolo di Sant’Apollonia Un affresco e la sua storia 15 October at 10 the Bargello Tesori d’avorio: i segreti di un’antica lavorazione 15 October at 10.30 Orsanmichele Le “Arti” e i loro santi protettori 22 October at 10.30


Museo di Scienze Planetarie via Galcianese, 42/H Prato La nascita del nostro pianeta (workshop) 8 October at 15-17 Mineralogy and Lithology La nascita del nostro pianeta (workshop) 16 October at 10.30-12.30 Geology and Palaeontology PaleoMEMO (workshop) 23 October at 10.30-12.30 “La Specola”, Skeleton Hall Halloween al Museo (event) 31 October from 19

Families at Palazzo Strozzi

Casa Siviero 5 November

Museum of Mathematics guided visit and workshop 6 November

CCC Strozzina every first weekend of the month


Mineralogy and Lithology Dalla Terra a casa nostra (workshop) 13 November at 10.30-12.30 Exhibition Cristalli, “La Specola” Quando la Terra diventa Arte (workshop) 27 November at 10.30-12.30

Famiglie al museo

Palazzo Pitti La Bella Italia. Arte e identità delle città capitali (for older children up to age 14) 13 November at 10 and 11,30 Archivio di Stato Cittadini d’Italia (reserved for the participants of the 13 November tour) 19 November at 10,30 the Accademia Michelangelo 29 November at 19

Families at Palazzo Strozzi Palazzo Strozzi From one florin to the next (guided visit and workshop) every Saturday at 10.30-12; in English on request

Palazzo Strozzi From one florin to the next (guided visit and workshop) every Saturday at 10.30-12; in English on request

... for all the gold in the world! (guided visit and workshop) every Sunday at 10.30-12.30; in English on request

... for all the gold in the world! (guided visit and workshop) every Sunday at 10.30-12.30; in English on request

Count me in! (creative maths workshop) every Saturday at 15-17; in English on request

Count me in! (creative maths workshop) every Saturday from 22 October at 15-17; in English on request

Musesplorando is the virtual space where you find all the educational options open to you for an exciting journey in the world of the sciences. Science at the click of a mouse!!

Familiarizzare il Museo

(Getting to know the museum) at the Natural History and Anthropology Museums workshops, games, guided tours for the old and the young to understand the world of nature through play and experiment in the museum’s collections



bookings: 055 2346760

Il Detective dell’Arte

at the Museo Casa Siviero

for children and young people learning from the detective Rodolfo Siviero

Casa Siviero 3 December

Museum of Mathematics guided visit and workshop 4 December

CCC Strozzina every first weekend of the month


Mineralogy and Lithology Natale in Museo (workshop for children aged 6 to 12) 3 December at 15-17 Geology and Palaeontology Natale in Museo (workshop for children aged 6 to 12) 10 December at 15-17 Anthropology and Ethnology Natale in Museo (workshop for children aged 6 to 12) 17 December at 15-17 “La Specola” Natale in Museo (workshop for children aged 6 to 12) 24 December at 15-17 Geology and Palaeontology Simili... ma non troppo! (workshop) 26 December at 10.30-12.30

Famiglie al museo

the Uffizi Il racconto del Natale nei dipinti della Galleria 17 December at 11 18 December at 15 and 16.30

Families at Palazzo Strozzi Palazzo Strozzi From one florin to the next (guided visit and workshop) every Saturday at 10.30-12; in English on request

... for all the gold in the world! (guided visit and workshop) every Sunday at 10.30-12.30; in English on request Count me in! (creative maths workshop) 3 and 10 December at 15-17; in English on request

Workshops in decorative techniques Ginori Museum 29 December at 16

Il weekend dell’arte

CCC Strozzina every first weekend of the month until 22 January

Domeniche matematiche Museum of Mathematics guided visit and workshop first Sunday of the month

Famiglie al museo

Gallery of Modern Art Una novella racconta il paesaggio (up to age 9) 14 January at 11 Museo di Casa Martelli Storia di una famiglia fiorentina e della sua dimora 21 January at 10 and 11.30 Archivio di Stato Sulle tracce della famiglia Martelli (reserved for the participants of the 21 January tour) 28 January at 10.30

Families at Palazzo Strozzi Palazzo Strozzi From one florin to the next (guided visit and workshop) every Saturday until 22 January at 10.30-12; in English on request

february Domeniche matematiche

Domeniche matematiche

Famiglie al museo

Famiglie al museo

Museum of Mathematics guided visit and workshop 5 February

the Bargello Tesori d’avorio: i segreti di un’antica lavorazione 12 February at 10.30

Palazzo Davanzati Il “gioco del civettino” specchio della vita quotidiana del Medioevo 19 February at 10.30 the Accademia Michelangelo 19 February at 16.30 the Uffizi Fiori nell’arte (in Italian and English with workshop) 25 February at 16

Workshops in decorative techniques Ginori Museum 25 February at 16

first Sunday of every month the activities are repeated on the following Sundays, depending upon demand booking necessary 055 7879594

Boboli Gardens Le grotte dei Medici 25 March at 10 San Marco Museum Il racconto della Pasqua nei dipinti del Beato Angelico 25 March at 11 31 March at 10.30 and 15

Workshops in decorative techniques Ginori Museum 31 March at 16

Famiglie al museo

Discovering masterpieces of art together with the whole family. From the most famous museums like the Uffizi and the Accademia to lesser-known treasures like the Cenacolo di Fuligno, numerous itineraries offer visitors the opportunity to explore the city’s amazing artistic heritage. Not just art though: the Archivio di Stato is again taking part in the initiative, with events aimed at the discovery of old documents, invaluable testimonies of our rich historical past

Ginori Museum 28 January at 16

guided tours and surprises!

Cenacolo di Fuligno Alla scoperta di un capolavoro nascosto: itinerario del Perugino a Firenze (for older children up to age 14) 17 March at 10.30

for families with children aged 7 to 14

Workshops in decorative techniques

(Mathematical Sundays) at the Museum of Mathematics

Museum of Mathematics guided visit and workshop 4 March

Sezione Didattica del Polo Museale

... for all the gold in the world! (guided visit and workshop) every Sunday until 22 January at 10.30-12; in English on request

Domeniche matematiche





booking necessary 055 284272 fax 055 2388680 Wednesday at 15-18 and Thursday at 9-12

at the Ginori Museum

on the occasion of the exhibition Il Risorgimento della maiolica italiana: Ginori e Cantagalli workshops on the ‘spolvero’ decorative technique booking necessary information and bookings: 055 4207767 museo@richardginori1735

illustrations by Silvia Cheli




Art weekend

at Palazzo Strozzi for families with children aged 3 years and up • Captions designed specifically to encourage interaction • Audioguides for both adults and children • The Family Suitcase: The Banker’s Change Purse contains texts and games designed to allow each family group to follow a particular route through the exhibition • A rich programme with which to explore art in a stimulating and entertaining way with activities for different age groups – workshops, storytelling and in-exhibition drawing activities – and stroller tours for parents with children under 3 • the Family Ticket: created to encourage families to visit the exhibitions and participate in Palazzo Strozzi activities, this allows a family group (up to 2 adults and their children) unlimited access to the exhibitions Money and Beauty and Declining Democracy until 22 January 2012 on the occasion of the exhibition Money and Beauty. Bankers, Botticelli and the Bonfire of the Vanities free workshops with exhibition entry ticket; booking necessary 055 2469600 (Monday to Friday 9-13, 14-18) fax 055 244145 family activities are available in English on request at 055 3917133. Minimum group participation may apply You can book the Family Suitcase The Banker’s Change Purse ahead of your visit by phoning 055 2645155 or ask directly in the ticket office Calendar and further information

Visits to the exhibition and workshops From one florin to the next Have you ever wondered what an adventurous life a coin can have? Together we discover what can happen to a florin travelling in a Renaissance merchant’s purse and how it can be invested in goods or artworks. Back in the studios we create and decorate our own precious object, using materials discovered at the exhibition every Saturday at 10.30-12 (in Italian); in English on request for children aged 3 to 6 and accompanying adults

... for all the gold in the world! What was life like for a Renaissance merchant-banker? What instruments did he use? Together we explore how merchants invested their accumulated wealth and discover why they often spent it on creating works of art. Back in the studio we create an art work on commission, just like the artists of the past Sunday at 10.30-12.30 (in Italian); in English on request for children aged 7 to 12 and accompanying adults

The Banker’s Change Purse

The whole family can have fun exploring the exhibition with this leather money-bag modelled on the ones used by Renaissance bankers and merchants. The family suitcase designed for Money and Beauty contains objects, interesting facts and games to play as one looks at the various works, all classified according to age range. An intriguing novelty is a competition linked to the mystery of the Botticelli Code. Answering questions leads to the combination to the strongbox containing a coded message. Everyone is invited to use the Banker's Change Purse and take on the challenge of the Botticelli Code. every day for everyone aged 3 and up

at the CCC Strozzina for children aged 6 to 12 and accompanying adults

Workshops and creative activities for children and adults together to discover the world of contemporary art every first weekend of the month from November until 22 January Saturday 15.30-17.30, Sunday 10.30-12.30 booking necessary 055 3917137


at the Oblate complex

for adults and children every Saturday stories, readings, puppets, fantastic and entertaining characters guarantee enjoyment for all

Easy Money. Family and children’s book

Every Palazzo Strozzi exhibition has special labels written for families. For Money and Beauty the theme is money and banking: young visitors are introduced to the principles that lie behind the money they use every day. The labels have been published in a book edited by Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, one of Europe’s leading central bankers

calendar and information: 055 291923

Workshops at the Pecci

workshops and guided visits to the exhibitions for adults and children bookings 0574 531835 calendar and further information:

Workshops at the Horne Museum

family workshops and visits to the collection information and booking 055 244661


illustrations by Silvia Cheli

(Learning by doing) at the Museo degli Innocenti for children aged 3 to 11

A world of games and creative workshops where children, as in a Renaissance workshop, learn by doing. There are two programmes: Gioca e impara con l’arte (Play and learn through art), with a museum visit and direct observation of work followed by practical activities in which children become artists; and Diritti in gioco (Rights in play), concentrating on the rights of the child Among the workshops are: • Il putto in fasce, in search of places and works in the Institute that represent childhood, through a pictorial narrative of the lives of children in other times • Guarda che faccia! presents Domenico Ghirlandaio and his history as a recorder of the Florence of the late 1400s, to stimulate children to develop their own self-portraits • Gli animali nella storia dell’arte, stories, anecdotes and symbols in art and the animal world • Ser Pippo e il Quadrato Magico/Ser Pippo e il Cubo Magico, understanding the architecture and geometry of Filippo Brunelleschi • Le costruzioni di Ser Pippo understanding how to construct the architecture of Brunelleschi • L’Accademia del ghiribizzo learning to draw with Sandro Botticelli • L’arte di dipingere sui muri, experiment with the techniques and styles of wall painting • Artisti in miniatura discovering illuminated manuscripts and drawing letters as art • L’arte di far ridere le pagine learning how to make a book bookings: 055 2478386 workshops in English upon demand

La Bottega dei Ragazzi

(Children’s workshops) Guided games in the nursery. Spaces are also made available for birthday parties


L’arte dell’“imparar facendo”

Monday to Friday 9-13 and 16-19, Saturday 10-13 e 16-19, last Sunday of the month 10-13


at the Museo e Istituto Fiorentino di Preistoria


at Palazzo Vecchio Celebrate a birthday in the evocative surroundings of the Palazzo Vecchio through the Children’s Museum. Celebrate with gifts and candles in a specially appointed room. Maximum numbers 20 children and 5 adults Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 14.30-17.30; Saturday and Sunday 9.30-12.30 and 14.30-17.30. Activities for children begin at 10 and at 15. Parents have the first half an hour to decorate the birthday room

Piccoli Grandi Musei

Le stanze dei tesori

at Palazzo Medici Riccardi and at the museums Stefano Bardini, Horne, Stibbert, Bandini, Palazzo Davanzati, Casa Rodolfo Siviero and Salvatore Romano Foundation from 3 October 2011 to 15 April 2012 on the occasion of the exhibition Le stanze dei tesori workshops for families bookings: 055 2340742 (Monday to Friday)

Celebrate a birthday in the museum and get to know prehistory better with a guide who allows children to touch some of the objects. At the end of the visit children join in the chosen workshop and treasure hunts designed for different age groups (ages 5 to 12) bookings: 055 295159

Il Museo dei Ragazzi (Children’s Museum)

A collection of educational projects promoted by the municipality, offering a broad array of educational and cultural opportunities, with the participation of various museums. Over 40 activities, using drama, multimedia and hands-on interactive material

activities in the Museo dei Ragazzi in Palazzo Vecchio Quartieri Monumentali •Scopri Palazzo Vecchio •Favole per i più piccoli •Teatro al museo •Atelier d’arte •Il cibo come cultura •Geografia al museo •Giochi di ruolo

Activities last about 1 hour and 15 minutes. The Museo dei Ragazzi has different activities going on over the same day, it is therefore possible to choose more than one activity for children. information and bookings: 055 2768224 fax 055 2768558 Monday to Sunday 9.30-17


music in the city

Music in autumn Following the summer interlude, the Florentine music scene gets going again with a varied programme of events embracing every kind of musical experience: the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino with the opera and symphonic seasons held in its theatre; other symphonic seasons such as that of the Orchestra della Toscana, with a prestigious calendar of concerts; chamber music, to be enjoyed not only at two or three weekly events in the distinguished programme of the Amici della Musica at the Teatro della Pergola, but also at other recital halls of long-established tradition (the Lyceum Club Internazionale di Firenze, Musicus Concentus, the Accademia Bartolomeo Cristofori-Amici del Fortepiano) or at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole as part of their “Concerti per gli amici” programme on Sunday mornings ( Keep an eye out too for the programme of concerts of the Conservatorio “Luigi Cherubini” di Firenze in the Sala del Buonumore or at Villa Favard, announced on the website. In addition to some interesting and illustrious jazz events, some noteworthy for the presence of artists of international renown, and the important recitals of the Renaissance and Baroque repertoire in many of these concert halls, let us dwell briefly on the opera programme of the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, given the exceptional offering of an opera of great contemporary interest, directed by Zubin Mehta (from 25 October to 2 November): The Makropulos Affair, in which the composer Leoš Janácˇek, in 1926, put on stage the disquieting theme of a woman’s search for perpetual youth. The revival of the highly successful Barber of Seville in the theatre of corso Italia, with the vividly coloured scenes and costumes of Sigfrido Martin Beguè (from 29 November to 6 December), is flanked, at the Teatro Goldoni, by the performance of La Bottega del Barbiere, which Venti Lucenti composed for children, though it will certainly delight the adult public as well, as did the analagous staging regarding Don Pasquale last winter. An important event for the city is the inauguration of the new Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino on the evening of 21 December 2011, with Zubin Mehta directing new work by Sylvano Bussotti and the Ninth Symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven. Eleonora Negri


Eleonora Negri pursues an active career in the field of music and musicology. She is a researcher and teacher of music history courses, the author of published articles, a radio presenter and organiser of conferences and concert events. Since 2003 she has worked at the University of Florence, teaching the Epistemology of Music, collaborating on the Degree Course in Philosophy and coordinating music laboratory activities.

books about town

a selection of books on the architecture of Florentine gardens

in collaboration with the bookshop Arte&Libri Via dei Fossi, 32r, Firenze

Nuova guida della città e contorni di Firenze con la descrizione del Palazzo Pitti e Giardino di Boboli... ed altre cose degne di osservazione: con pianta, vedute e statue, Firenze 1846 Guida alle specie allergeniche degli orti botanici italiani: il Giardino dei Semplici, l’Orto botanico di Firenze, di Mariangela Manfredi et al., Fidenza 1885 (ristampa 2008)

Guida agli alberi di Firenze: con itinerari in parchi, giardini, strade, piazze ed altri luoghi accessibili al pubblico, a cura dell’Ordine dei dottori agronomi e dei dottori forestali della Provincia di Firenze, Firenze 1986 Gli orti di Parnaso: il Giardino dell’orticoltura a Firenze: storia e progetto, di Marco Dezzi Bardeschi, Firenze 1989

Mostra del giardino italiano, catalogo della mostra (Firenze, Palazzo Vecchio, 1931), Firenze 1931

Aspetti faunistici del Parco di Villa Strozzi, a cura di Gabriele Oliva, Firenze 1990

Mostra documentaria e iconografica di Palazzo Pitti e Giardino di Boboli, catalogo della mostra (aprile-giugno 1960), Firenze 1960

Il giardino degli Orti Oricellari, di Leandro Maria Bartoli e Gabriella Contorni, Firenze 1990

Il verde, lo sport e il tempo libero nel comprensorio metropolitano di Firenze, a cura del Centro studi territoriali, Padova 1972 La Petraja: villa e giardino: settecento anni di storia, di Ferdinando Chiostri, Firenze 1972 L’orto botanico dell’Università di Firenze: guida alla visita del Giardino dei Semplici, a cura dell’Istituto botanico dell’Università di Firenze in collaborazione con l’Azienda autonoma di turismo, Firenze 1973 La città effimera e l’universo artificiale del giardino: la Firenze dei Medici e l’Italia del ’500, a cura di Marcello Fagiolo, Roma 1980 La Grotta del Buontalenti nel Giardino di Boboli: nota breve sull’architettura e sul restauro, di Francesco Gurrieri, Firenze 1980 Marcello Guasti: quaranta sculture (1960-1980), catalogo della mostra (Firenze, Giardino delle Oblate, 22 marzo-25 maggio 1980), Firenze 1980 Gabriele Perugini: interno esterno / sculpture 1965-1980, catalogo della mostra (Firenze, Giardino delle Oblate, 8 novembre 1980-11 gennaio 1981), Firenze 1981 Il giardino di Boboli, di Caterina Caneva, Firenze 1982 Il Ventaglio: villa Archinto alle Forbici e il suo parco, di Massimo de Vico Fallani, Firenze 1983 Villa Il Giardino: una dimora signorile nella campagna di San Salvi, di Laura Lucchesi e Stefano Bertocci, Firenze 1985

Il Giardino dei Semplici in Oriente: resoconto di una spedizione in India e in Nepal, di Paolo Luzzi, Firenze 1990 Guida botanica del Parco di Villa Strozzi, Firenze, di Graziana Fiorini e Carlo Ricceri, Firenze 1990 Palazzo Poniatowsky Guadagni: l’architettura, l’arte, il verde in un quartiere di Firenze, di Giampaolo Trotta, Firenze 1990 Boboli 90, atti del Convegno internazionale di studi per la salvaguardia e la valorizzazione del giardino (Firenze, 9-11 marzo 1989), a cura di Cristina Acidini Luchinat ed Elvira Garbero Zorzi, Firenze 1991 Le Cascine di Firenze: ombre e meraviglie di un parco, di Marco Conti e Alfredo Scanzani, Firenze 1991 Il giardino Fabbricotti e la bella natura di Montughi: giardini di Firenze Capitale, di Paola Cammeo, Firenze 1991 Gli Orti Oricellari a Firenze: un giardino, una città, di Leandro Maria Bartoli e Gabriella Contorni, Firenze 1991 Il giardino di San Marco: maestri e compagni del giovane Michelangelo, catalogo della mostra (Firenze, Casa Buonarroti, 30 giugno-19 ottobre 1992), a cura di Paola Barocchi, Milano 1992

edited by Miklós Boskovits In English

Formafluens: i lungarni di Firenze quale giardino fantastico, catalogo della mostra (Villa Forini-Lippi, Montecatini Terme, 12 maggio-30 luglio 1995), a cura di Lino Centi, Montecatini Terme 1995 Il giardino come laboratorio di sperimentazione. Itinerario per “ascolti e visioni” nel giardino di Boboli, di Fiorenza Mariotti e Patrizia Mazzoni, Firenze 1995 Nuovi parchi per la città storica: proposte per Lucca e Firenze, di Annalisa Maniglio Calcagno et al., Lucca 1995 La villa e il giardino della Petraia a Firenze, di Cristina Acidini Luchinat e Giorgio Galletti, Firenze 1995 Il giardino botanico di Boboli, di Mario Lolli Ghetti et al., Firenze 1996

Prime nozioni istituzionali per il restauro dei parchi e dei giardini storici, di Francesco Gurrieri e Filippo Nobili, Firenze 2003

Giardini & giardini: il verde storico nel centro di Firenze, di Daniela Cinti, a cura di Guido Ferrara, Milano 1997

Il sistema del verde: il viale dei Colli e la Firenze di Giuseppe Poggi nell’Europa dell’Ottocento, di Claudio Paolini, Firenze 2004

I cani in pietra bigia di Romolo Ferrucci del Tadda: simbolismo e capriccio nel giardino di Boboli, di Gabriele Capecchi, Firenze 1998

Il sistema del verde nell’area metropolitana fiorentina, a cura di Giovanni Malin, Firenze 2004

Le Cascine: un parco per la città, a cura dell’Assessorato all’Ambiente del Comune di Firenze, Firenze 1998 Catalogo della sezione locale di storia del territorio della biblioteca del giardino dell’orticoltura, a cura di Luca Brogioni e Alessandra Tarunti, Firenze 1998 Giardino di Boboli: la guida ufficiale, di Litta Maria Medri e Giorgio Galletti, Livorno 1998 Il giardino del Museo archeologico nazionale di Firenze, a cura di Antonella Romualdi, Firenze 2000

Il giardino di Boboli: un anfiteatro per la gioia dei granduchi, di Gabriele Capecchi, Firenze 1993

Il giardino del Bosco di Fonte Lucente. Indagini conoscitive per un piano di governo del giardino, a cura di Ines Romitti, Firenze 2001

Flora spontanea delle Cascine: un parco sul fiume, di Stefano Mosti, Firenze 2005 La limonaia del Giardino di Boboli: storia e restauro, a cura di Paola Grifoni, Livorno 2005 La Villa medicea di Careggi e il suo giardino: storia, rilievi e analisi per il restauro, a cura di Luigi Zangheri, Firenze 2006 L’Orto de’ Pitti: architetti, giardinieri e architetture vegetali nel giardino di Boboli, di Domenico Filardi, Firenze 2007 Ville e giardini nei dintorni di Firenze: da Fiesole a Artimino, di Stefano Casciu e Mariachiara Pozzana, Firenze 2010 I giardini di Firenze e della Toscana. Guida completa, di Mariachiara Pozzana, Firenze 2011

new books Centro Di autumn 2011

Florence in the Nineteenth Century.

Bollettino degli Uffizi 2010

A Guide to Original Sources in Florentine Archives and Libraries

edited by Federica Chezzi with Marta Onali

2 tomes by Bert W. Meijer, Guus Sluiter and Paola Squellati Brizio

In English

Series directed by Bert W. Meijer

Il giardino utile: giardini, orti e pomari della Scuola di agraria alla fattoria delle Cascine all’Isola di Firenze, di Sergio Costa, Firenze 2003

Il giardino Stibbert: un percorso simbolico a Firenze, di Francesca Serci, Firenze 2004

Repertory of Dutch and Flemish Paintings in Italian Public Collections. Vol. III Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta

In English

La flora in riva d’Arno a Firenze: studio floristico e vegetazionale delle sponde dell’Arno nel comune di Firenze, finalizzato anche alla realizzazione di spazi di verde cittadino, di Stefano Mosti, Firenze 2002

L’orto botanico dell’Università di Firenze, il Giardino dei Semplici, di Giovanna Ciuffi Cellai et al., Firenze 1996

Il giardino Bardini: uno specchio della storia fiorentina, Firenze 2001

by Alyson Price

Sette idee per il parco urbano di Castello: Bellini, Braschi, Ferrara, Maestro, Magnaghi, Pizziolo, Preti, a cura dell’Assessorato all’Urbanistica del Comune di Firenze, Servizio pianificazione grandi progetti, Firenze 2001

Il giardino di Boboli, a cura di Litta Maria Medri, Milano 2003

Guida alla visita del Giardino dei Semplici di Firenze, di Giovanna Cellai Ciuffi e Fernando Fabbri, Firenze 1992


The Alana Collection. Italian Paintings and Sculptures from the Fourteenth to Sixteenth Century. Vol. II

La caccia, il frutto, la delizia: il parco delle Cascine a Firenze, di Alessandro Rinaldi, Firenze 1995

Series ‘Gli Uffizi. Studi e Ricerche’ n. 22 edited by Antonio Natali

La Croce di Bernardo Daddi. Vicissitudini di un’opera d’arte

The Corsi Collection. Tuscan paintings from the fourteenth

edited by Antonella Nesi essay by Ginevra Utari

La Collezione Corsi. Dipinti toscani dal XIV al XV secolo

to fifteenth century

edited by Sonia Chiodo and Antonella Nesi In Italian and English

Giovanni Michelucci. Disegni inediti Exhibition catalogue (Fiesole, 30 September30 October 2011) edited by the Fondazione Giovanni Michelucci



Botanical Garden of Pisa

Arboretum, Vallombrosa

via Luca Ghini, 5 Pisa open: Monday to Friday 8-17, Saturday 8-13

Vallombrosa, Reggello open: by appointment 0575 353021

In 1544 Luca Ghini founded the first European Botanical Garden in Pisa, which was established as a university department for the study and teaching of botany through the direct observation of living plants. It was moved to its present site between 1591 and 1595. The garden has four glasshouses: that ‘of the banana tree’ with orchids, bromeliaceae, araceae and food plants; the succulents; the palms; and the ferns – together with various gardens with an arboretum, the Scuola Botanica and the Idrofitorio. Not to be missed are the Magnolia grandiflora and a Ginkgo biloba, planted in 1787, and the collection of Tuscan species threatened with extinction, like the pink hibiscus and the common bladderwort.

Botanical Garden of the University of Siena via Pietro Andrea Mattioli, 4 Siena open: Monday to Friday 8-17.30, Saturday 8-12.30 Established in 1784 by Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo on the site of the 16th-century Orto dei Semplici, it was moved to its present location in 1856. There is a section for medicinal plants, an area with Gymnosperms and trees of exotic origin – like the quince, the pomegranate and the jujuba – and a third section with exotic plants, a rock garden and a fern garden. Tropical plants, like orchids and agaves, and species of semidesert environments, like cacti and euphorbia, are conserved in the greenhouse and in the tepidarium.

Botanical Garden of the City of Lucca via del Giardino Botanico, 14 Lucca open: by appointment Monday to Friday 9.30-12.30

Istituto Agronomico per l’Oltremare via A. Cocchi, 4 Florence open: by appointment 055 5061701

The collection was created by Adolfo di Bérenger for the purposes of teaching and experimentation, and was moved to the Abbazia di Vallombrosa in 1880. Conserved in the arboretum are some 5000 specimens of over 700 species of trees and shrubs. The park is organised into seven arboretums, named after the curators who succeeded one another between 1869 and 1976. It comprises a nursery, a botanical garden and a belvedere of sequoias, some specimens standing as tall as 44 metres and with trunks measuring 2 metres in diameter.

Deriving from the Istituto Agricolo Coloniale Italiano, the Institute carries out research, experimentation and training activities oriented primarily at development cooperation programmes. The Botanical Garden, whose greenhouses contain tropical and subtropical plants, is the result of the collections put together by experts of the Institute during the 20th century in Africa and in America, although even today the collections continue to grow in number and variety.

The tropical garden forms part of the Istituto Agronomico per l’Oltremare, a technical and scientific consultancy department of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the field of development cooperation in the sectors of tropical agriculture, environment and the protection of natural resources, with headquarters in Florence.The garden contains a specialised collection of tropical and subtropical plants of 200 botanical species that are among the most important and representative of the countries of the intertropical belt. More than just a systematic collection, its function has always been purposely educational; it has consistently flanked the training activities carried out by the Institute and has always been the object of visits by school groups and others.

Botanical Garden, Frignoli SS63 del Passo del Cerreto, Frignoli di Sassalbo, Fivizzano (Massa Carrara) open: July and August, every day 10-18; from September to June only groups by appointment 349 3692280 / 366 2680172

Instituted in 1990, it contains environmental reconstructions of rock formations in the Lunigiana Appennines and the Apuan Alps, together with an arboretum and an area that recreates the Appennine wet zone. There are three main collections: that of edible, medicinal and poisonous plant species, that of the willows (the only one of its kind), and the splendid collection of peonies.

Botanical Garden “Pietro Pellegrini”, Alpi Apuane via Massa Arni, Pian della Fioba, Massa open: by appointment 0585 490349 or Instituted in the Park of the Apuan Alps in 1966 for the conservation and development of the alpine flora, the peculiarity of this botanical garden lies in the natural appearance of the environment, where many plant species grow spontaneously; the varied nature of the terrain is particularly appropriate for the recreation of different Apuan environments – calcareous peaks, siliceous peaks and wet areas – and the endemic species that flourish within them.

Established in 1820 by Marie Louise of Bourbon, it is divided into two sections: one section comprises the Arboretum with a cedar of Lebanon planted in Why visit 1822, the Small Lake and the Mound; another area contains seven glasshouses and the Hortus sanitatis, the garden the richest Italian collection of medicinal plants • to observe the characteristics and adaptations with the 700 species most widely used of plant species to the tropical and subtropical throughout the world according to the FAO. environments in which they live, from deserts to forests The collections include the Ericaceae, • to get to know the plants from which many everyday products are derived with over a 100 species of • to learn interesting facts about tropical plants and their uses rhododendron, and Theaceae, With its surface area of 10,000 square metres, the tropical garden is a little like the camelias. green haven in the midst of the city; it is important from the technical and scientific point of view, but also from that of environment and landscape.

The botanical collection Herb Garden, Elba Loc. Eremo di Santa Caterina Rio nell’Elba, Isola d’Elba from Easter to September Information:

Arboretum, Abetone Alta Valle del Sestaione, Corpo Forestale dello Stato Fontana Vaccaia, Abetone (Pistoia) open: from 15 June to 15 September 9.30-12.30, 15-18.30, holidays 9.30-18.30


The plants are cultivated in the greenhouses and garden of the Institute. They are grouped on the basis of their use, and include: fruit trees (banana, papaya, annona, mango, jackfruit); fibre-yielding plants (cotton, ramie, kapok, Panama hat palm); forest trees (mahogany, podocarps, African oak);ornamental plants (“flowers of the past, present and future”, flamboyant, jacaranda); Spice-bearing plants (black pepper, vanilla, false pepper); plants containing stimulants (coffee, cocoa, maté, tea, coca); medicinal plants (guaiac, sausage tree, aloe); perfume-bearing plants (frangipani, vetiver, lemongrass); gum or resin-bearing trees (pencil tree, rubber tree); plants bearing colourants (annatto, dragon’s blood, sea grape); basic foods (taro, breadfruit, manioc); plants containing pesticides (Derris elliptica, chinaberry); oil-bearing trees (palm oil, Indian almond, nutmeg tree); sugar-bearing plants (sugar cane, liquorice); other unusual trees and shrubs include the camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora), sapodilla (Manilkara zapota), jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis), endod (Phytolacca dodecandra), papyrus and dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides).

Botanical Garden, Pania di Corfino Loc. Piè Magnano-Orecchiella, Corfino, Villa Collemandina (Lucca) open: from October to June only groups by appointment 0583 644941; from June to September every day 9-18 Founded in 1984, it is laid out on the basis of ‘chorographical’ criteria and illustrates the flora of woods, pastures, moors, peatlands, bogs and rock environments present in the Garfagnana Apennines and in particular in the Parco dell’Orecchiella.

hese architecture walks offer fascinating insights into the city beyond, or immediately within, the ‘viali di circonvallazione’, the ring-road encircling the city centre. The walks explore un-monumentalised areas of the contemporary urban fabric, generally far from tourist traffic. This is the city of today, although there are also hints of what the city has been, will be, or could have been. The buildings en route have been chosen not on the basis of any stylistic criteria or critical judgement, but rather because they represent episodes in the history of architecture that have been important for their impact, both visual and otherwise, in the corresponding urban context.


Public parks and gardens in Florence in the 20th century

The last decades of the 19th century witnessed a certain divergence in the relationship between Florence and its parks and gardens. On the one hand, thanks to the activity of the Società Toscana di Orticoltura, the city confirmed the high standards of its gardening skills and achievements at a national and international level. Between 1876 and 1880 their successful activities enabled this outstanding example of a private association to obtain full ownership of the Giardino dellʼOrticoltura (1) and build inside it a large tepidarium. On the other hand, to stem the financial crisis afflicting the city with the transfer of the capital to Rome (1871), the municipal authorities drastically reduced resources earmarked for the nascent facility responsible for the creation and maintenance of the city’s green areas (among the most significant achievements of Poggi’s project) whose top posts, between 1874 and 1914, were progressively taken away from botanists of undisputed fame in favour of functionaries attentive above all to questions of budget; it was in the context of the containment of expenses that in 1890 a large part of the city nurseries activated by Attilio Pucci at the Cascine were sold off to the State (thereby starting a process of fragmentation that would lead to an increasingly difficult unitary vision of the park); this tendency was also reflected, on a smaller scale, in the renting out of the Giardino delle Rose (2) to a private concern in 1885. After the First World War, the issue of the re-establishment of public parks and gardens, devastated by the war, was interwoven with that of the reconstruction of the city and its enlargement in the face of an increasing demand for housing. The city administration drew up a new town plan, drafted by Giovanni Bellincioni between 1915 and 1924, and the Servizio Giardino Pubblici, now incorporated into that of the Belle Arti e Antichità, was given new impetus with the reintroduction of the office of Soprintendente (suppressed in 1889). The public parks and gardens that were allocated to the expanding districts continued to be based on Poggi’s model, that is, open squares situated between building lots, green areas that simply substituted a square space in the crisscross structure of the urban fabric. Thus were formed piazza Leopoldo (3), piazza Viesseux, piazza della Vittoria, the green area around via Salvi Cristiani, the present-day piazza Francia, piazza Pier Vettori, piazza Paolo Uccello, which even in their design reveal a direct derivation from the 19th-century garden, with informal compartments

architecture walks

Here we conclude the series of features on public parks and gardens in Florence. In addition, in the current issue Christine Desmoulins writes on the French parks and gardens, just as in VisitArt 3 Tim Richardson offered us a glimpse into the ‘sentiment’ of the city park in London and in English culture.

edited by Emilia Daniele*

delineated by curving pathways and ponds and patches of high shady trees; a design that denoted a precise behavioural model, bourgeois rather than popular, the gardens being destined ideally for brief promenades with leisurely pauses in the shade for the inhabitants of the area. However, despite the urbanistic limitations of the plan, based on schemes that were inadequate for a 20th century city (the division into lots of Campo di Marte was also foreseen, with a spacious garden on viale Malta), it did contain an important innovation: two long areas running parallel to the river, respectively at Bellariva (4) and at Argingrosso, linking up the city’s east and west outskirts, were converted into public parks. Innovations realised in practice (however much with stylistic characteristics and usability that were different from those originally anticipated), although disregarded until the 1960s, were taken up again to develop the theme of the ‘linear park’ along the Arno, the dimension of the square as a measure of urban public park having been superceded. The early 1950s witnessed a significant development in the relationship between green areas and a more consciously ‘social’ residential building; significant in this sense was the creation of the ‘Villaggio dell’Isolotto’, which proposed a settlement model based on the contemporary English urban plan, with low houses distributed within green areas, following the post-neorealistic current interpreted by architects of the calibre of Fagnoni, Gamberini and Michelucci. But it was particularly from 1955 onwards that public green areas were charged with further values, since they were now seen as an important opportunity for enhancing the city’s beauty as well as being a context for civic and cultural education. Fundamental here was the figure of Piero Bargellini who was City Councillor for Fine Arts and Gardens, and for Education under the La Pira administration, as well as President of the Board for Town Aesthetics. It was at this time that the Giardino dellʼIris (5) was instituted, celebrating the flower that was the symbol of Florence with a competition that attracted to the city empassioned flower growers from all over the world; that sculptures and works of art by contemporary artists were installed in gardens and in the centre strips dividing traffic lanes; that in both ‘historic’ gardens (including the Cascine and piazza d’Azeglio) as well as gardens of recent creation the first ‘children’s

Giardino delle Rose. Photo Direzione Ambiente


architecture walks

gardens’ were created (the most interesting on the lungarno del Tempio, 6). And while in the centre of the city work was undertaken on turning piazza Indipendenza, piazza della Libertà and piazza Vittorio Veneto into green squares, and viale dei Colli was restored, other new areas were created – piazza Conti, piazza Torquato Tasso, piazza Dalmazia, for example, and viale Mazzini, costa Scarpuccia, viale Volta, three gardens around the Fortezza on the via Valfonda side, and two at Rovezzano. These were important green areas (followed by the covering of the Affrico stream, the parks of Bellariva and of lungarno Colombo, piazza Elia della Costa, via Novelli and via Locchi), whose realisation made necessary the establishment of the municipal nurseries at Sollicciano, a solution which clearly demonstrated that public green areas were now considered inextricably bound up with the definition of the city’s new image and which found further expression in the incorporation of the Fine Arts and Gardens Section with that of Public Works. With the same determination, the Comune won over from the State the banks of the River Arno (1957), thus laying the foundations for the planning of the river park, one of the most interesting challenges facing the city from the following decade onward. The economic boom of the 1960s brought with it episodes of uncontrolled parcelling out of land which the urban plan of Detti, adopted in 1962, succeeded in containing only in part: if on the one hand, by limiting the Sorgane project, efforts were made made to preserve the hill environment surrounding Bagno a Ripoli, on the other the city witnessed the progressive concreting of the plain between Novoli and Scandicci, which inexorably eliminated all traces of the countryside and garden allotments that previously surrounded the city, and in the end led to the definitive erosion of the surviving remains of green areas even around monumental complexes lying just outside the city ring-road, like the park of Villa Demidoff (or Parco di San Donato, 7, which had already been reduced with the building of the FIAT factory in 1939). At the same time, within the perimeter of many urban green areas large spaces were taken over for the creation of recreational and sporting complexes, and prefabricated public schools (for example at Anconella, in the list of public parks only from 1953). In the 1980s urban problems and problems of pollution led to the creation of the new office of City Councillor for the Environment, responsible not only for the management of the water and gas supplies, and refuse collection and sewage disposal, but also, significantly, for the management of public parks and gardens. One of the larger-scale issues it faced was the ‘Grandi Cascine’ Project, whose aim was to

‘reclaim’ a park that Florentines had always regarded with a certain aloofness, extending the work of recovery to the banks of the Argingrosso on the opposite side of the river. But city administrations and the cultural élite were also involved in debates on the development of the plain between Florence, Prato and Pistoia (certainly not immune from problems of hydro-geological and structural recovery), further expression of the determination to imbue with strong environmental values (the system of the metropolitan park) large, intelligently planned inter-urban and suburban areas that counterbalanced the unlimited growth of the cities. At a city level, the consistent arrangement and definitive opening to the public of the parks of important historical villas situated at the edges of the urban perimeter – Vogel (8), Stibbert, Fabbricotti, Il Ventaglio, Favard, Strozzi al Boschetto – were among the most interesting actions of the last decades of the 20th century. Also significant was the identification of various sectors which the city administration confronted with renewed commitment, coordinating with the ‘Consigli di Quartiere’ (city district councils), which since 1993 have taken over part of the functions of maintenance of public green areas: in addition to the creation of new urban gardens (praiseworthy, from the point of view of landscape conservation, the Giardino di Carraia), the grassing over or landscaping of road junction structures, which have grown exponentially with the expansion of the city; and the maintenance of gardens belonging to public schools. What emerges is the will to organise the patrimony of gardens and parks into a more efficient idea of ‘system’, an issue that objectively has spurred the present-day administration to dedicate even greater attention, compared to the past, to urban parks and gardens, and to the riverbanks. The concept of a ‘system’ of urban green areas has been confronted with determination by readdressing the projects for the ‘Grandi Cascine’, for the river park, for the green ‘corona’ that characterises the Oltrarno (the so-called ‘greenway’) where even the distinction between public and private green areas has been superceded (consider the Bardini Garden, now incorporated into a single-visit itinerary together with Boboli and Forte Belvedere). Recent city council decisions have led to a rebalancing of responsibilities between the Direzione Ambiente and the ‘Consigli di Quartiere’ (thanks to which, for example, from 2008 there is an ever growing number of allotments within the urban area), and look towards the reinsertion of various social issues into a general plan that will have as its strength the enhancement of public urban green areas.

Park of San Donato, Florence.


*Emilia Daniele is an architect. Research Fellow in the History of Architecture and Urban Studies and professor at the Facoltà di Ingegneria CivileArchitettura at Pisa University. She assists the chair of the Associazione Dimore Storiche Italiane – Sezione Toscana in the organisation of cultural events, such as the national and international studies conferences. She edits volumes of architecture, art and fiction.

7 Parco di San Donato

architecture walks

1 Giardino dell’Orticoltura

4 Giardini di Bellariva

between via Vittorio Emanuele II, via Bolognese and via Trento public garden: 1932-1934 project: Ufficio Belle Arti The garden was created by the Società Toscana di Orticoltura in 1858. It was bought by the Comune in 1931 and used as a public garden following reclamation work directed by the Ufficio Belle Arti. The garden contains important remains of the ‘golden age’ of the Società: the tepidarium built by Giacomo Roster (1880), the first example in Italy of a large structure made of glass and iron, the entrance gate and the loggetta Bondi (arch. Castellucci, 1911). To the north, linked by a bridge over the railway, is the Mound with the Orti del Parnaso, stretching as far as the entrance on via Trento. In 1986 a large fountain/dragon in stone, iron and mosaic was built here along the central flight of steps (arch. M. Dezzi Bardeschi) and in 2003 a Giardino dei Giusti was created, inspired by the garden founded in Jerusalem in the 1960s, which spread throughout the world in memory of ordinary people who work to save human lives.

between lungarno A. Moro, via M. Minghetti, vialetto A. Gomez construction: 1957-1960 project: Assessorato allo Sport, Turismo e Giardini / Direzione Passeggiate pubbliche In Bellincioni’s town plan the wedge-shaped area of the Bellariva gardens was identified as one of the parts of the city most suited to be made into a large informal public park. The idea was taken up again after the War, when the project of a riverside park took shape, a park that joined the lungarno del Tempio (1954-55) with the new lungarno Colombo and lungarno Aldo Moro and the new PecoriGiraldi garden. The project for the public park was drawn up by the town councillor responsible for Sport, Tourism and Gardens (G. Nannini) who had chosen the central area of Bellariva as the site for the new municipal swimming pool (opened in 1960), with lawns and shady areas under tall trees (followed by the installation of other sporting facilities); the green area had already been reduced by the building of houses on via Aretina (from 1949), the church of Sant’Antonio (1957), the primary school on via Minghetti and later, the RAI production centre (1965-67).

between via di Novoli and viale A. Guidoni construction: 2008 project: Comune di Firenze Between 1822 and 1832, in the plain known as ‘Polverosa’, Nicola and Anatolio Demidoff, Prince of San Donato, built the majestic Villa Demidoff to designs by Giovan Battista Silvestri, one of the most highly prized examples in Florence of a neoclassical villa. Today few traces remain of the building, which was damaged during the Second World War, and then gutted and used as workshops, laboratories and partly as a public school. In via San Donato, the Cappella Demidoff does survive, now a Church of Christ, with its central ground-plan and cupola with lacunaries inspired by the Pantheon. The large estate (where the first golf course in Italy was laid out in 1889), sold off in lots by later owners, was in part occupied by the FIAT factory in 1939, and when the latter was dismantled the city authorities were faced with a complex plan of urban development. Tackled with great determination only in the last decade, the area is now occupied by the new Palazzo di Giustizia, the university campus, new residential buildings and the 12 hectares of the city park of San Donato.

2 Giardino delle Rose

5 Giardino dell’Iris

8 Parco di Villa Vogel

between viale G. Poggi, via dei Bastioni, via del Monte alle Croci, viale G. Galilei construction: c. 1870 project: Giuseppe Poggi, Attilio Pucci The garden was an important feature of Poggi’s grand project for the viale dei Colli. It was laid out with an early collection of roses by Attilio Pucci who, following a French, naturalistic and rationalised model, divided up a piece of rural land belonging to Philippine Fathers into a series of terraces. In 1896 the superintendent Angiolo Pucci lamented the decision to rent out the land to the gardener Carlo Landini, and deprived the Comune of the prestige of possessing a prized public rose-garden unique in Italy. There is a magnificent view of the city at one entrance in the middle of the broad flight of steps of Monte alle Croci, renovated by Pucci in 1885. It contains approximately 1,000 varieties of rose. In 1998 the lower and easternmost part was made into a Shorai garden, designed by the Japanese architect Yasuo Kitayama to celebrate the twinning of the cities of Florence and Kyoto.

between viale G. Poggi, viale Michelangiolo, via del Monte alle Croci construction: 1954-1957 project: arch. G. Zetti Founded in 1954 following the proposal of two women, Flaminia Specht and Nita Stross Radicati, promoters of the establishment in Florence (the city whose emblem since the Middle Ages has been a red iris on a white field) of the ‘Premio Firenze’, the international competition for the best variety of iris. Thanks to the interest of the assessore Bargellini, the land situated to the east of piazzale Michelangelo, the so-called ‘Podere dei Bastioni’, was assigned to the organisers; the garden was opened in May 1957, laid out to designs by the architect G. Zetti; in 1967 a lake was created in the lower area to accommodate species of iris suited to marshy habitats. It generally is open to the public from 25 April to 20 May; this year it hosted the 56th international Competition of the Iris (9-14 May), held in collaboration between the City of Florence and the Società Italiana dell’Iris.

between viale A. Canova, via delle Torri, via L. Pampaloni public garden: starting in 1982 project: Direzione Ambiente This green area, originally attached to the Renaissance suburban villa-farm of the Capponi family, comprising farmlands, vegetable plots and an Italian-style garden, in the 19th century passed into the hands of the Franceschi family, who made the new lemon-house and converted the park into an English-style garden. In November 1981 the property was sold by the Vogel family (owners since 1922) to the City of Florence, partly as a result of moves by local activists who reported its state of degradation and campaigned in favour of its use by the public. Large-scale restoration work ensued, both on the building and on the park, with the planting of new greenery to enrich the old trees and fruit trees already standing. The playground apparatus was installed at various times, between 1994 and 2001, and was renewed in 2007; part of the estate was set aside by Quartiere 4 to be used as allotments. Between viale Canova and via del Saletto is the Giardino Villa Vogel 2.

Detail from the town plan of 1915-1924.

From ‘Firenze’, Rassegna del Comune, 1964.

3 Giardino di piazza Pietro Leopoldo

6 Giardino del lungarno del Tempio

piazza Pietro Leopoldo construction: c. 1925 project: Soprintendenza Servizio Giardini Pubblici An oval-shaped green area built as part of the implementation of the town plan of Bellincioni (1915-1924) in the industrial district of Rifredi, which developed between the 19th and 20th century. With the eight roads that converge upon it, it forms a ‘classical’ starshaped motif, although the geometric perfection is somewhat weakened by its bisection by via Gianni and via Tavanti, on the axis connecting the Fortezza da Basso with Careggi. By 1935 the area was already surrounded by a compact urban fabric, mostly small villas, in addition to the industrial buildings of Superpila (demolished in 1999 to make way for popular houses and apartments and local facilities including a Coop, a public garden and a car park). A new green area was laid out in 1955, and in view of the increased volume of traffic the perimeters of the two semi-oval gardens were lined with hedges so as to prevent children from straying onto the road.

between ponte San Niccolò and via Piagentina construction: 1954-1955 project: Assessorato ai Giardini This was the stretch of the riverbank traditionally relegated to free access for ‘renaioli’ and bathers. In 1901 it was ‘screened off’ with a line of trees that added tone to the houses that were built along the river at the end of the 19th century. Between the two wars a project to make a bathing establishment was formulated, though in the end this came to nothing. Following clarification of the dispute over ownership of the property, between the Comune and State (which even in 1953 granted use of the riverbank to private concerns for various activities, including an open-air cinema), in 1954 it was made into a public garden by the Comune, which set up here one of the first examples of a city garden for children, with an area given over to an ‘experimental traffic garden’, where children on bicycles could learn the regulations of the highway code (still in existence).


architecture walks

Christine Desmoulins French architecture critic and author of numerous works including 25 maisons individuelles and Villas modernes. Banlieue Ouest 1900-1939 with Jean-Pierre Lyonnet. She is also known for her books on architecture for children. She has contributed regularly to ‘Architecture’, ‘Abitare’ and ‘Archicréé’.

French parks and gardens and their relationship with the city Everywhere, cities pass from one age to another by means of subtle mutation. In France, where greater attention is devoted to the national heritage, the Doisneau world of cities in black and white of the 1950s has progressively given way to rows of carefully plastered pale façades. In the parks and in the gardens it is the plant varieties that evolve, causing a wind of freedom to blow over the flowering shrubs. And if the compositional rules regulating our French-style gardens undoubtedly survive, it is undeniable that the spirit of contemporary gardeners has also made its contribution, headed by Gilles Clément and his ‘moving garden’ (le jardin en mouvement), a living space left to the free development of the species. In Paris, just a stone’s throw from the Museum of the Louvre, the garden of the Palais Royal illustrates precisely this evolution. Created in 1730 for the son of the Duke of Orléans, it is bordered by four galleries surmounted by a 17th-century building. Four double rows of pruned lime trees and red chestnuts shade the avenues, while from the basin jets of water are directed toward two large lawns lined with bushes. Long neglected, this garden has been renovated by the landscape designer Mark Rudkin, who, having restored the historic parterres, remodelled the flowering areas, deliberately discarding all rare and expensive plants, and thus delicately transforming the atmosphere of the place. Irregular bushes now create a more unified colour, with subtle variations of shades. Nicotianas, petunias, verbenas and heliotropes flourish in the parterres bordered by profiled lime trees and small barriers overrun with ivy and honeysuckle. With the arrival of summer, blue shades intermingle with yellow and white.


From the medieval garden to the French-style garden To understand the plant world of French cities one must bear in mind a number of fundamental points in the history of parks and gardens, with a first important period in the Middle Ages. At the very source of medieval gardens were monks, the gardening consultants of the emperor Charlemagne. All great monasteries boasted a garden of medicinal herbs, a vegetable garden and an orchard. In 1593 the first botanical garden in France was created at Montpellier, an evolution of the garden of medicinal plants inspired by the curative garden of Padua. Laid out around a ‘mound’ with an innovative scientific significance, it attracted visitors from all over Europe, and in 1,600 the illustrious agronomist Olivier de Serres cited it as an example in his treatise Théâtre de l’agriculture et mesnage des champs. Over an area of 4 hectares in the heart of the city, this garden has today more than 2,000 plant species, including a 18th-century male Gingko biloba, which became self-fertilising after the grafting of female branches in 1832. The importance of statues and a monumental 19thcentury greenhouse confer a romantic charm to the place. Another great experimenter was the “Good King” René, Duke

Parc des Buttes Chaumont, Paris

Christine Desmoulins

of Anjou (1409-1480). It is of course impossible to know whether he actually had time to read Il sogno di Polifilo by Francesco Colonna, written in 1467 and considered the source of inspiration for Renaissance gardens, but what is certain is that he was partly responsible for the prosperity of cities like Angers, Aix-en-Provence and Avignon. A passionate horticulturalist, he introduced the mulberry tree into the region and had promenades and gardens laid out where he acclimatised numerous varieties. In 1536 the architect Philibert de l’Orme, returning from Rome, made his own contribution to the age of innovation. Fascinated by the harmony and proportions of Italian gardens, he designed for Diane de Poitiers the Château d’Anet and its gardens, and, breaking with the tradition of medieval gardens, laid the foundations for the French-style garden. In the 17th century this style would become established as the supreme masterpiece of the gardener’s art, thanks to the compositions of André Le Nôtre, the gardener of Louis XIV at Versailles, which subsequently influenced all the European courts. If Italian terraced gardens set the stage for the landscapes surrounding them, and if the English gardens glorified the freedom of a picturesque and idealised nature, the French garden established itself as a projection of architecture. It was designed to be admired from the first floor of a residence and participated in the scenic representation of a form of power. Based on a central viewpoint and on the ubiquitous presence of water, it cultivated symmetry and rigorously dominated nature, imposing a rigid order on the pathways, the truncated perspectives, the parterres, the basins of water, fountains and decorative elements. In the castle of Anet it is a raised terrace that reveals to visitors the geometric arrangement of the gardens, whose layout exploits the principles of optics. The perspective axis, originating from the apartments, structures the symmetry of the avenues punctuated by statues and plant sculptures, and also that of the parterres, the basins and the rows of trees. The free compartments are literally overrun by the embroideries of the pruned box trees, parterres and small copses, and as one draws away from the castle and from the centre of the garden, lawns and woods progressively take over their right to exist. In Paris the garden of the Tuileries and the Luxembourg garden, created respectively for Caterina and for Maria de’ Medici with the aim of accompanying the eponymous palaces, represent other outstanding examples of French-style gardens. The same can be said of the park of the Château de Villandry, built on the banks of the Loire under Francis I. At Cucuron, in the Luberon region, the garden of the Pavillon de Galon, an 18th-century hunting lodge, stands as a contemporary version of the same theme and has its place in the list of ‘Jardins remarquables’, the gardens of special interest officially classified by the French Ministry of Culture.

Conversation with Ghislaine Chardon, head of the management service of the Parks and Gardens of Paris

How have parks and gardens in the City of Paris evolved since the beginning of the 20th century? As far as gardens are concerned, Paris has witnessed two important periods, that of Alphand in the 19th century and that of the 1930s, characterised by fairly structured squares with numerous constructed elements (porticoes, pergolas, kiosks for music, etc.). More recently, in the 1990s, a number of large parks were created: Bercy, la Villette, the Parc André Citroën and the tree-lined promenade of the Viaduc des Arts. The gardens of today are very different from those of the 19th century and the 1930s. The contemplative calm of the ‘garden to see’ has been replaced by the animation of the ‘garden to live in’. In this period of transition gardens have become places available for activities, but also in a certain sense ‘consumer goods’, with related problems in terms of maintenance. Consultations with inhabitants about the layout of public gardens have increased considerably since the beginning of the 21st century. There is a new philosophy now: instead of considering the architecture of gardens as a long-term perpetual element, gardens tend to be created responding to the requirements of the inhabitants and the elected representatives. We host concerts and other events and, since 1995, access has been granted to lawns, this bringing about a real revolution in the life and frequentation of parks and gardens. At the Champ de Mars, groups of youngsters often picnic until late in the evening.

What is the policy of the City of Paris in this field? The so-called Paris intra-muros (the central zone of the city lying inside the ring-road boulevard) boasts 470 hectares of gardens, without counting the Bois de Boulogne and the Bois de Vincennes (1,900 hectares in all). Between 2001 and 2008, with the large parks mentioned earlier, in the Paris intra-muros 30 hectares of supplementary green areas were created. The period between 2008 and 2014 will see the establishment of another 30 hectares. The City of Paris lies in the centre of a metropolitan area, an agglomeration of 10 million inhabitants, absolutely remote from any countryside. Gardens, the only green areas, appear as the last free public areas. Since our aim is to make available to every Parisian a garden less

architecture walks

From the ideas of the Jean-Charles Alphand to contemporary parks In the 19th century Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann dominated the urban renovation of Paris. The city was finally conceived as a single unit, and no longer as an agglomeration of districts and a juxtaposition of building blocks each extraneous to its neighbour. Broad avenues were built, flanked by the houses of well-to-do families and tree-lined pavements. Convinced of the importance of green areas, Haussmann called on the engineer Jean-Charles Alphand to coordinate the first Service des Promenades et des Plantations, a dedicated technical office in the true sense. Creator of the Bois de Boulogne and the Bois de Vincennes, the latter was also responsible for the laying out of three large parks. The romantic and picturesque Parc des Buttes Chaumont, noteworthy for its landscaping and Anglo-Chinese inspiration, delighted visitors at the Great Exhibition of 1867. The Parc Monceau was dotted with small eclectic buildings and watercourses. The Parc Montsouris, built on the site of old quarries, was inspired by the London parks. With its green areas conceived as meeting-places where all social classes could intermingle, it is the expression of an extremely modern vision, today more than ever established and widespread. Alphand was also behind a whole network of squares, with small public gardens set up in the middle of them, that were seen as absolutely essential for the life of urban neighbourhoods. After Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Lille and Bordeaux would also undergo a metamorphosis based on this logic. The special rapport which Alphand established between green areas and the construction of the city was echoed in the 1990s with the creation in Paris of three large contemporary parks (see on the right the conversation with Ghislaine Chardon), including the Parc André Citroën, laid out over an area of 24 hectares once occupied by a car manufacturing plant. Conceived by two groups of architects associated with the winning landscape designers of a single competition – JeanPaul Viguier with Alain Provost and Patrick Berger with Gilles Clément – the park is located on the left bank of the river Seine, and is a tribute to the harmony between buildings and plant structures. Its key elements are the grand canal designed by Jean-Paul Viguier and the greenhouses of Patrick Berger. Further away, near the Bastille, the socalled Coulée Verte, or green course, the tree-lined promenade of the Viaduc des Arts, literally ‘Viaduct of the Arts’, brings the countryside into the city following the course of an old railway line. Snaking its way over a length of 4 km, the planted promenade occupies the top of the viaduct and ends under the Bois de Vincennes. At the very beginning of the 1990s Lothar Baumgarten created a contemporary artistic garden for the Cartier Foundation. In complete osmosis with the immaterial architecture of Jean Nouvel, the garden can be viewed through the glass screen separating it from the pavement of the Boulevard Raspail. Umbrella plants, poppies, grasses... 200 flower species and 35 tree varieties recreate a wild environment so effectively as to deceive the observer. The recently inaugurated Parc de Clichy Batignolles by Jacqueline Osty, illustrates current tendencies, focusing on environmentalist uses. Inspired by three themes (the seasons, sport and water), the park mixes gardens with contrasting atmospheres, small mounds and flights of steps, and an expanse of water with aquatic plants and a rich and varied ecosystem. Developing a radically changing urban district is also the intent of landscape designer Catherine Mosbach and architect Françoise Hélène Jourda in the new botanical garden of Bordeaux, where greenhouses, artificial wild islands and recreational sequences offer a compromise between the unrestrained cohabitation of the natural and the long history of the art of gardens. At Nice, the whole game is about getting back in touch with the idea of a modern green city forged by the Consiglio d’Ornato between 1832 and 1860. The building projects now in progress force upon landscape designers challenges at various levels, from the gardens to the agglomerations. To bring green areas into the city, the latter will soon be traversed by a plant promenade occupying a dozen hectares created by the Pena & Pena Agency that will link up the Paillon to the Jardin Albert I and the Théâtre National, revealing the façades of the baroque buildings of the old city and creating links with the new city. Everywhere, through the interaction of the landscape with an array of plant life, the gardens of the 20th century weave harmonious contrasts between city and nature. The spontaneous indigenous flora now has its place beside horticultural plants and becomes the support for environments rich in biodiversity. ‘Weeds’ no longer exist and the garden has become, here and there, a point of observation for this biodiversity. This tendency to develop and highlight the question of nature in cities has prompted this year, at the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, a superb exhibition entitled ‘La Ville Fertile’ (open from 23 March to 24 July 2011 at the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre in Paris,

than 300 meters from home, we take advantage of any free space to create gardens, and all of them are different. As in the case of the lands presently available belonging to the Réseau Ferré de France (RFF), the company responsible for the national railway network. We create neighbourhood gardens on land once expropriated for the railway line of the Petite Ceinture, the inner circle of railway transport that went around Paris. These pieces of sloping land are rather particular, and the presence of tunnels represents an obstacle. The projects must therefore be adapted to the context and be accessible to the disabled. In the 15th arrondissement, where a garden will soon link up two already existing parks, we are setting up access by building flights of steps, or by traversing the existing buildings. Near the Gare de l’Est is the Jardin d’Eole, which features a projecting balcony over the railway tracks. Among the most important projects, we are also laying out, with the landscape designer Michel Pena, a park of 12 hectares on lands once belonging to the hippodrome of Auteuil.

What are the developments in terms of environmental consciousness? Grass coverings are often treated like accessible lawns, and when gardens are integrated into neighbourhoods under construction, we recover rainwater from the buildings nearby. We encourage biodiversity by conserving areas to which the public has no access. In the arrondissements with fewer gardens (2nd, 3rd, 9th), we make an effort to create vertical green spaces. And if the solution of plant walls is not particularly satisfactory, planting gardens or plant coverings on public structures is another tendency that favours biodiversity. To support the ecological management of green areas, we have drawn up a maintenance plan that should be taken up by other cities and become a national plan. What can be said about shared gardens and collective gardens? Shared or collective gardens were created in 2002-2003, during the administration of Bertrand Delanoë, mayor of Paris. Unlike workers’ gardens, which provide modest families with supplementary food supplies, these are intended to be inviting poles of socialization and conviviality, and make it possible for inhabitants to do gardening together. In this context, 53 associations have signed a programme charter, the Charte Main Verte, which prohibits the use of chemical products, but allows total freedom in the choice of plant species.


Visitart n4 eng  

VisitArt Florence 4 english - autumn/winter 2011-2012

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