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Art & Museums

Aperitivi Ad Arte - 2013

Published on June 7, 2013 11:55 AM | Comments

"Aperitivo" is one of those great Italian words/things that has no exact literal translation in English - not in a single word anyway. It is sort of like saying "let's go have a drink and a snack" in one word.

"Aperitivi Ad Arte" is that, plus art - Aperitivo in some of Florence's most famous museums. Imagine having a cocktail, a prosecco, or a glass of wine and enjoying some of Tuscany's famous appetizers while viewing the treasures of the Uffizi, Accademia and Bargello museums. This is "Aperitivi Ad Arte" and is happening now through September 26th.

The official page for info is here, but the SACI Art blog also has a version in English. €15 per person, and you must call to reserve - 055-294883.

SACI Art Blog

Published on April 8, 2013 1:58 PM | Comments

saci-art-blog.jpgThe SACI Art Blog (SACI = Studio Art Centers International) was started in December 2012 by a friend who works for the school.

They list events from all over Europe with a focus on what is going in Florence - it is an excellent resource for planning your museum visits for tourists and locals alike, and we highly recommended it.

The Thirties, The Arts in Italy Beyond Fascism

Published on October 27, 2012 11:04 AM | Comments


This is the current show at the Strozzi. I have not gone yet but plan to on some rainy November day. Here is a short review from The Independent. And something a bit more opininated from The Guardian (read some of the reactions in the comments there).

Tower of Palazzo Vecchio open to the public

Published on September 1, 2012 4:59 AM | Comments

File this one under "how in the world did I miss it"! The tower of Palazzo Vecchio is open to the public until September 30th - and has been open since June 25th. This is something I can't wait to do!


"The Tower of Arnolfo, reigning over Florence from the top of Palazzo Vecchio with its 95 metres of height, opens to the public for the first time on the 24th of June for the celebration of the patron saint, St. John. This is a gift of the City to Florence just as last year, on the same occasion, another tower, that of S.Niccolò, was reopened, too. Both towers, starting from June 24th, can be visited through September 30th.

The Tower of Palazzo Vecchio, attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio, completed the first core structure of the government building, which was constructed between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Up to the present it had been closed to the public. Starting Monday the 25th, the hours will be 9 a.m until 9 p.m. (Thursday 9 to 2 p.m), cost of entry 6,50 euro's, 10 euro's if combined with the ticket for the museum of Palazzo Vecchio."

More news on the lost Da Vinci

Published on January 20, 2012 11:13 AM | Comments

This is not exactly "new" news but the article is a nice summary of what has happened recently at the Palazzo Vecchio in the hunt for the lost Da Vinci, including details like this:

The researchers had hoped to conclude their search by evoking a ghostly image of Leonardo's work using ionized radiation to determine precisely which pigments existed on the hidden stone wall. But building a neutron activation device proved beyond the budget of National Geographic, which has already invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in the project, and private fundraising fell short. After the meltdown of the Fukushima Daichi reactor in Japan, the notion of using radiation to find a lost painting in the middle of Florence became politically untenable.

Image copyright and courtesy of the LA Times

Don't ask me why - I can't imagine any Italian who wants to show up for work on these days (the following are free - I think other state museums, except the Uffizi may also be open):

Museo dell'Opificio delle Pietre Dure Dec 25: 13.30 - 19.30, Jan 1: 13.30 - 19.30
Laboratori della Fortezza da Basso Dec 25: 13.30 - 19.30, Jan 1: 13.30 - 19.30

Giardino delle ex Scuderie Reali Dec 25: 09.30 - 15.30, Jan 1: 09.30 - 15.30
Parco di Villa il Ventaglio Dec 25: 09.30 - 15.30, Jan 1: 09.30 - 15.30
Parco e giardino della Villa medicea di Castello Dec 25: 13.30 - 19.30

Villa Medicea di Petraia e Castello Dec 25: 09.30 - 15.30
Villa Medicea della Petraia Dec 25: 13.30 - 19.30

Full list from the Ministry of Culture.

Has da Vinci's "Battle of Anghiari" finally been found?

Published on December 1, 2011 2:24 AM | Comments

Exciting news from Palazzo Vecchio on Mayor Renzi's blog - rough translation:

"The first results for the search of the Battle of Anghiari, Leonardo da Vinci's lost masterpiece, that are perhaps hidden behind a wall of the Salone dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio are in: endoscopic investigations began last night have found a gap of about two centimeters.

Hunting of the lost painting is being conducted by the National Geographic Society at the direction of engineer Maurizio Seracini, who has over 30 years experience dealing with the Battle. Tonight, the search began in earnest, with a probe that was inserted in a fresco by Giorgio Vasari, the 'Battle of Scannagallo', which the work of Leonardo may be hidden behind. In addition to the air gap found, further proof, according to the theories of Seracini, was Vasari himself wanted to save the Battle of Anghiari by constructing a new new wall, leaving a cavity. The investigations, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Precious stones, will continue until December 3.

"We are facing one of the greatest mysteries in art history", said mayor Matteo Renzi, who viewed the work in the exhibition with Terry Garcia, executive vice president of National Geographic, "and research that we must be proud (of). The first signs are positive, although it is still early to give the final response, but what is certain is that after 500 years, this mystery will be solved."

Too cool! I am going to try to go by tomorrow and check this out -

GUCCI Museum

Published on October 20, 2011 11:38 AM | Comments

It's new, and it looks pretty cool:

The Firenze Card

Published on October 19, 2011 4:12 PM | Comments


I am a bit late on commenting on this - I wasn't really doing much blogging over the summer when I think it finally went live. So - if you are in the dark too - the Firenze Card is Florence's attempt to catch up with many other major tourist cities by offering a product that makes it easier (and ostensibly cheaper) to get into museums/sites etc. and also gives you a transportation option (not that that is so necessary in Florence, where almost everything is within walking distance for most).

Their website has some quirky translations, but looking through it and seeing what is offered I would have to say this card is a major win. The list of 50 places you can visit is impressive (although some of these are free already and open only limited hours), and the free bus rides are a great kicker for the few spots not right in the center.

The only issue I can see is the price, as it can start to add up for families that are not EU citizens (EU citizens get one under 18 admission per adult card). At 50 euro per person, if you have a few kids and are coming from the U.S. or other places outside the EU, it could sound expensive - especially if you only visit a couple of places. I would prefer to see a card like this either offer the same discount for everyone with children under 18, and also last longer than 3 days - 5 would be optimal. But those are quibbles - overall if you want to visit a lot of museums and churches, and not have to wait in line or make reservations, this is an awesome new option.

Giovanni Michelucci exhibit

Published on October 12, 2011 9:34 AM | Comments

You probably know something by Michelucci if you have been to Florence, even if you don't know who he is. The Ponte alle Grazie was designed by him, and his firm was also responsible for the Santa Maria Novella Train Station here. Or perhaps you have seen the church of San Giovanni Battista near where the A1 and A11 cross paths. In any case, he was an amazing architect and planner, and this show of his drawings is up at the Palazzo Communale in Fiesole until the end of October:


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