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Museums, Villas and Palaces

Medici Villas: the villas of the lords of Florence

Villa di Cafaggiolo, Barberino del Mugello. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

The Medici Villas are among the most original architectural structures of the Italian Renaissance. These villas were built between the fifteenth and seventeenth century by the lords of Florence, the Medici. The Medici Villas represent a kind of new building for its time, which differed both from the typical farms from the stately castles. The Medici Villas are an example ...

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The Chianti Sculpture Park – Where art and nature meet

The Chianti Sculpture Park is located in Pievasciata ca. 10 kilometres north of Siena and it is a permanent exhibition of contemporary installations and sculptures. It is a private initiative of Piero and Rosalba Giadrossi, both lovers of modern art. About 15 years ago they had the idea of an approximately 7-hectare virgin and already fenced wooded area, which was home ...

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Santa Maria della Scala: an ancient hospital of Siena which has become a museum

The current museum complex of Santa Maria della Scala, was one of the first European hospitals expressly built to accommodate pilgrims traveling along the Via Francigena, and support the poor and abandoned children. The complex is located opposite the facade of the Duomo in Siena, and its creation is due to the canons of the cathedral, who probably founded it ...

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Vasari Corridor: the symbol of the power of the Medici in Florence

The Vasari Corridor it’s a covered way which connects Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace) to Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace), passing through the Galleria degli Uffizi (Gallery of the Uffizi) and crossing the River Arno above the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge). The Corridoio Vasariano, more than one kilometer long and 3.50 mts large, was constructed, in only five months, by Giorgio Vasari ...

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Loggia della Signoria (Loggia dei Lanzi): an open-air museum unique in the world

Loggia della Signoria, also called Loggia dei Lanzi due to guard German mercenaries (in Italian: “Lanzichenecchi”, corrupted to Lanzi) who was stationed here in the sixteenth century, was built in the fourteenth century through the work of Simone di Francesco Talenti, Lorenzo di Filippo and Benci di Cione. The Loggia in origin served to house the assemblies of the people and ...

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Gallery of the Academy of Florence: the Museum of Michelangelo’s David

The Galleria dell’Accademia (Gallery of the Academy of Florence), one of the most visited museums in Florence, is located on the premises of the fourteenth century Ospedale di San Matteo and the women’s monastery of S. Niccolò di Cafaggio. The gallery was founded in 1784 by Grand Duke Peter Leopold of Lorraine as a teaching collection for students of the ...

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Hall of the Lilies in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

The Hall of the Lilies (Sala dei Gigli) takes its name from the floreal decorations on its ceiling and walls, it’s the only one Hall of Palazzo Vecchio that still today conserve the 15th century aspect. The Hall was obtained in 1472 from the division in two rooms of the Sala Grande carried out from Benedetto and Giuliano da Maiano, ...

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Chapel of the Priors in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

The Cappella dei Priori (Chapel of the Priors) also called Cappella della Signoria was built between 1511 and 1514 by Baccio d’Agnolo and its decoration was entrusted to Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio (Ridolfo Bigordi said il Ghirlandaio), son of the famous Domenico Ghirlandaio. The chapel is dedicated to St. Bernard and consists of two rooms with vaulted ceilings: the altar area and ...

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Apartments of Eleonora in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

After the visit of the Apartment of the Elements cross the gallery from which it dominates the Salone dei Cinquecento and enter the Apartments of Eleanora. The Apartments of Eleonora is so named because when Cosimo I established his residence in Palazzo Vecchio this wing of the building was reserved to the rooms of his wife Eleonora of Toledo, daughter of the ...

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Apartments of the Elements in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

The visit of the second floor of the Palazzo Vecchio begins with the so-called Apartment of the Elements. These rooms were the private rooms of Cosimo I. In this section of the building are: the Hall of the Elements, the Hall of Opi, the Hall of Ceres with the Scrittoio di Calliope, the Hall of Jupiter, the Terrace of Juno, the ...

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Audience Hall in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

We now arrive at the Sala dell’Udienza (Audience Hall or Audience Chamber) which was the Chamber of Justice, used for meetings and audiences of the Signoria. Originally, also this area was a large room as the underlying Salone dei Duecento, the Sala Grande (Great Hall), but between 1470 and 1472 the room was divided, by Benedetto da Majano, by a wall going to form ...

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The study of Francesco I de’ Medici in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

At the end of the wall of the Salone dei Cinquecento – the one where is the entrance -, is a small masterpiece of Florentine Mannerism, the study of Francesco I (“studiolo” also called Tesoretto or Scrittoio del Duca), it is a small side room without windows that was part of the private apartments of Francesco I. At the time of its construction ...

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The Courtyard of Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

The first courtyard of Palazzo Vecchio was built in the first half of 14th century and then modified by Michelozzo in 15th century, he replaced the pillars with cylindrical and octagonal columns and built the loggiato. In the second half of 16th century all the palace endured important modification jobs executed by Vasari for wanting of Cosimo I de’ Medici. ...

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Palazzo Vecchio: one of the symbols of Florence

One of the symbols of Florence, Palazzo Vecchio o Palazzo della Signoria was projected by Arnolfo di Cambio around 1299 as residence of the Priori delle Arti, the palace was completed in 1314. The tower of Palazzo Vecchio, 94 metres high, and called Tower of Arnolfo, was built in 1310, along with the Palazzo itself. It is probably supported by ...

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The Importuno by Michelangelo, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

Behind the marble group of Hercules and Caco by Baccio Bandinelli, to the right of the entrance of Palazzo Vecchio, near the corner of the palace, can be seen – carved on a stone near the base of Palazzo Vecchio -, a profile of the head of man: the so-called “Importuno” (Nuisance). The legend of “Importuno” tells that Michelangelo Buonarroti, ...

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Quarters of Pope Leo X in Palazzo Vecchio: the Hall of Leo X and the Hall of Clement VII

The Quarters of Pope Leo X are on the first floor of the Palazzo Vecchio, these rooms were modernized by Giorgio Vasari in 1555-62. The decorations of the same Vasari and Gino Lorenzi, are dedicated to the most illustrious personages of the Medici family and their businesses. These rooms were used as in past years as boardrooms by the Mayor of Florence, today ...

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Hall of Geographical Maps in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

At the end of the Palazzo Vecchio museum tour is the Hall of Geographical Maps (Sala delle Carte Geografiche) or Stanza del Guardaroba where it was the Medicean Guardaroba (cloakroom) of the Granduca Cosimo I, that was the center of the institution that conserved, inventoried and enlivened all the assets of the State and the Monarch. The room has a ...

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Grotta del Buontalenti: an artificial grotto in the Boboli Gardens in Florence

The Cave of Buontalenti, was built, designed and created between 1583 and 1593 by Bernardo Buontalenti (Florence 1536-1608), this cave is one of the most important places in the Boboli Gardens, is an artificial cave filled with false stalactites and stalagmites, with statues of sheep, shepherds, and Romans goddesses. The cave is one of the finest examples of mannerist architecture of ...

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Salone dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

The Salone dei Cinquecento was built in 1495, during the period of restauration of the Florentine Repubblic (after the expulsion of Piero de’ Medici in 1494), by Simone del Pollaiuolo called “il Cronaca” (1457-1508) he was assisted by Francesco di Domenico and by Antonio da Sangallo. The enormous Hall was built for wanting of the friar Girolamo Savonarola, to its ...

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Uffizi Gallery: the most important museum of Florence, and one of the most famous museums in the world

The Uffizi Gallery is the most important museum of Florence and one of the most famous museums in the world. The building houses a superb collection of works of art, divided into several rooms arranged for schools and styles in chronological order. This is an immense artistic heritage, which includes thousands of pictures ranging from the medieval to modern, a ...

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