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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: 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

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: a private passage on 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

The Loggia della Signoria, also called Loggia dei Lanzi because of the guard of German mercenaries (lansquenets) who stood here in the sixteenth century, was built in the fourteenth century thanks to the work of Simone di Francesco Talenti, Lorenzo di Filippo and Benci di Cione. This structure was originally used to host indoor public popular assemblies and official ceremonies ...

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Gallery of the Academy: the 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 ...

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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, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

The visit of the second floor of the Palazzo Vecchio begins with the so-called Apartments 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, ...

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Audience Hall in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

We now reach the Sala dell’Udienza which was the Chamber of Justice, used for the meetings and hearings of the Signoria. Originally also on this floor there was a large hall, the Great Hall. Its dimensions were similar to those of the underlying Salone dei Duecento. But between 1470 and 1472 the room was divided, by the work of Benedetto ...

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Study of Francesco I de’ Medici in Palazzo Vecchio

At the end of the wall of the Salone dei Cinquecento (the one where the entrance is), there is a small masterpiece of Florentine mannerism, the study of Francesco I (in Italian “Studiolo di Francesco I” also called Tesoretto or Scrittoio del Duca). It is a small side room without windows that was part of the private apartments of Francesco ...

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The Courtyard of Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

The first courtyard of Palazzo Vecchio was built in the first half of the fourteenth century and then modified by Michelozzo in the fifteenth century. This architect replaced the pillars with cylindrical and octagonal columns and then built the loggia. In the second half of the 16th century, the entire building underwent major modification works carried out by Vasari at ...

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Palazzo Vecchio: one of the symbols of Florence

One of the symbols of Florence, Palazzo Vecchio or Palazzo della Signoria was designed by Arnolfo di Cambio around 1299 as the residence of the Priors of the Arts, the palace was completed in 1314. The 94-meter-high tower of Palazzo Vecchio, called the tower of Arnolfo was built in 1310, together with the palace. It was probably supported by an ...

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The Importuno by Michelangelo, Palazzo Vecchio

Closeup of the figure of the Importuno by Michelangelo, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

Florence is a historic city full of legends. Among these there is a singular one concerning Michelangelo Buonnarroti. The great artist author of the David and the Pietà could have made one of his works in a stone of Palazzo Vecchio. But what is most surprising in the legend is the way in which the artist would have created the ...

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Quarters of Pope Leo X in Palazzo Vecchio

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 have been used in ...

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Hall of Geographical Maps in Palazzo Vecchio

At the end of the museum itinerary is the Hall of Geographical Maps (Sala delle Carte Geografiche) or Stanza del Guardaroba. In this room was originally the Medici Wardrobe of Grand Duke Cosimo I. That is, the seat of the institution that preserved, inventoried and moved all the assets of the State and the Sovereign. The room has a beautiful ...

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Grotta del Buontalenti: a grotto in the Boboli Gardens

The Buontalenti Grotto was built, designed and conceived between 1583 and 1593 by Bernardo Buontalenti (Florence 1536-1608). This Grotto is one of the most important places in the Boboli Gardens, it is an artificial cave filled with false stalactites and stalagmites, with statues of sheep, shepherds and Roman gods. Buontalenti Grotto represents one of the most valuable examples of Mannerist ...

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Salone dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

The Salone dei Cinquecento was built in 1495, during the period of restoration of the Florentine Republic. That is, after the expulsion of Piero de’ Medici in 1494. The work was done by Simone del Pollaiuolo called “il Cronaca” (1457-1508) assisted by Francesco di Domenico and Antonio da Sangallo. The huge hall was built at the behest of Frà Girolamo ...

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Uffizi Gallery: the most important museum of Florence

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 large ...

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