Casa Guidi, poet Elizabeth Barrett´s home in Florence

Casa Guidi, poet Elizabeth Barrett´s home in Florence

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Visiting a house-museum always embraces a closer emotional approach to the artist who lived there than just simply observe the works exhibited in the neutral and dehumanized rooms of a museum. Casa Guidi was the Florentine residence of poets Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning for the most part of their married life. Located in the heart of Florence, the apartment has elegant main chambers with an 18th century decoration style and essentially maintain the same furniture that in the Brownings´ age. They resided here for fourteen years, between 1847 and 1861, and these interiors served as inspiration for some of their greatest poems, like Casa Guidi Windows (Elizabeth Barrett, 1851), inspired by her struggle for freedom.…

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CLET: the street artist behind the “customized” traffic signs in Florence

CLET: the street artist behind the “customized” traffic signs in Florence

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Street art does not survive in Florence as much as in Berlin. However, it has its representation with Clet Abraham (1966, Brittany). He has lived in Florence since 2005 and has today a shop and atelier in the neighbourhood of San Niccolò. His actions in the urban furniture, consisting of customizing traffic signs with stickers, bring nothing but joy to all visitors. CLET converts traffic signals into works of art without altering their function. He was first accused of abusive invasion of the public space in May 2017. The attractive French artist has been convicted by an Italian court to pay a fine of EUR10,400 for one of his works (L’Uomo comune) on the bridge alle Grazie.
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The house of Piero Bargellini, a key figure during “l’alluvione di Firenze 1966”

The house of Piero Bargellini, a key figure during “l’alluvione di Firenze 1966”

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The Arno River severely overflowed on the 4th of November, 1966, causing what is commonly known as “l’alluvione di Firenze”. The city of Florence and part of Tuscany were inundated by the floods, causing an impact affecting the economic and cultural environment of Florence. Fortunately, as November 4 was a bank holiday, many businesses were closed and a large part of the population was at home, thus avoiding an even bigger disaster. Nevertheless, 101 people died, 5000 families lost their homes and 6000 businesses had to close. The deluge also destroyed and/or damaged countless works of art, prominent buildings and books. The damages could be repaired thanks to the efforts of Italian citizens, international committees and foreign donors. Piero Bargellini (1897-1980), writer, historian, politician and intellectual, was the mayor of Florence in that difficult moment.

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Cappella Brancacci, the Sistine Chapel of Florence

Cappella Brancacci, the Sistine Chapel of Florence

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Beyond the streets crowded by the omnipresent tourists looking for Florentine gems from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, there are less exploited corners of great historical and artistic richness as the Brancacci Chapel, also known as the “Sistine Chapel of the first Renaissance”. The paintings on the walls are among the most popular and influential frescoes at the time. They are distributed in two horizontal levels along the chapel, which is part of the Carmine church and convent, founded in Florence in the mid-thirteenth century by a group of Carmelite monks from Pisa. Located in Piazza del Carmine (Florence-Oltrarno), the Cappella Brancacci is one of the oldest monumental buildings in Florence. The frescoes illustrating the life of Saint Peter are masterpieces by Masaccio and Masolino, painted between 1425 and 1427, just in the early years of the Florentine Renaissance. Later on, Filippino Lippi was called to complete Masaccio’s chapel decoration, which had been left unfinished due to Masaccio’s death in 1428.

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Uncommon museums of Florence #3: Museo di Casa Martelli

Uncommon museums of Florence #3: Museo di Casa Martelli

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There is always an interesting spot to discover in Florence that keeps us away from the common repertoire, this is the case for the so-called Martelli’s House Museum. The Museo di Casa Martelli was a residential palace inhabited since the beginning of the 16th century by the bankers family Martelli. In 1986, Francesca Martelli, last family member living there, left the house to the Curia of Florence. In 1998, the Curia sold the palace to the Italian State and it became a museum in 2009. From that point on, the palace is a state civic museum that displays the remains of the Martelli family valuable art collection, as well as the house frescoes.…

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Uncommon museums of Florence #2: Stefano Bardini Museum

Uncommon museums of Florence #2: Stefano Bardini Museum

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Stefano Bardini (1854-1922) was a prominent Italian antiquary who decided to transform his collection into a museum and donate it to the city of Florence. The building, a magnificent palace eclectic in style, where the museum has its headquarters, was acquired and restored by Bardini in 1881, in order to be used for his antiquarian trade activity. The antiquary modified the structure adding new gates and stairs, used medieval and Renaissance stones, chimneys, in addition, he affixed painted coffered ceilings. Bardini transformed the old building — the former church and convent of San Gregorio della Pace — into a wonderful neo-Renaissance villa, where, besides the exhibition halls, there were workshops so that the pieces were restored before selling them.

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Oltrarno artisan walk — Experience the local, the authentic and the hidden Florence with Maria B.

Oltrarno artisan walk — Experience the local, the authentic and the hidden Florence with Maria B.

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Maria B. — half Italian, half Swedish — is a graphic designer with a great sensitivity and passion for any form of aesthetics and beauty. “Florentine Experience Shopping” was created by Maria in 2015 in order to spread her love for authentic and incomparable Florentine craftsmanship. She spent months hunting handicraft workshops interacting with the artisans and designers, where she gained knowledge of what is behind a genuine artisan piece. Her private and customized “Oltrarno Artisan Walk” —among other interesting and recommendable tours she also organizes— offers an unparalleled visit to some arresting and extraordinary working spaces where one can observe closely craftsmen creating the most delightful and outstanding handmade products, for instance: leather bags and shoes, gold and silversmiths, Florentine mosaic, wood art, and much more.…

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Distinguished libraries of Florence

Distinguished libraries of Florence

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Following the steps of German photographer Candida Höfer, who exceptionally portrayed the soul of libraries in solitude, same images in Florence reveal the splendour of the Marucelliana library, born in the middle of the XVIII century after donation by the abbot Francesco Marucelli; the Biblioteca dell’Accademia della Crusca, placed within the Medici villa of Castello, as the largest library of linguistics and history of the Italian language; the Medicea Laurenziana Library designed by Michelangelo (holds its infamous Mannerist staircase) in the cloister of the basilica of San Lorenzo; the National Library of Florence, which also offers a free guided tour in Italian and English on Saturdays at 11:30 a. m.; and the modern library in the Novoli campus of the University of Florence (UniFi).…

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“The Cleaner:” Marina Abramović at Palazzo Strozzi

“The Cleaner:” Marina Abramović at Palazzo Strozzi

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Florence is alive and wants to express itself. Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi presents a retrospective of world-wide acclaimed performance artist Marina Abramović. The show opens its doors on September 21, the same day that L’Eredità delle Donne festival begins. During four months, till January 20, 2019, Florence and particularly the Palazzo Strozzi hosts an exhibition that pays tribute to the fifty-year career of one of the heavyweights of Action Art. She is the first woman that has a “solo exhibition” at the Palazzo Strozzi.…

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‘Steve McCurry. Icons,’ photo exhibition at Villa Bardini

‘Steve McCurry. Icons,’ photo exhibition at Villa Bardini

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On view until September 16, Villa Bardini presents a retrospective dedicated to the artist Steve McCurry (Darby, Pensilvania, 1950), one of the great masters of contemporary and documentary photography. Curated by Biba Giacchetti, the exhibition entitled Steve McCurry. Icons displays more than a hundred photographs featuring the best works of the North American photographer produced during his extensive career spanning over forty years. The exhibition takes visitors on a symbolic journey through countries like India, Afghanistan, Burma, Japan, Cuba or Brazil across the complex universe full of experiences and emotions carried in McCurry’s images.
Steve McCurry. Icons – Villa Bardini – Costa San Giorgio 2, Florence (admission: 10 EUR)

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