Beetween middle ages and Renaissance
This excursion will allow you to see several buildings of Middle Ages and Renaissance that cohabit in Florence with extreme elegance and gives this city the artistic unicum.
Already in ‘300 Dino Compagni, a contemporary of Dante, merchant and reporter, commented about Florence in the Cronica delle cose occorrenti ne’ tempo suoi:
"many from distant countries come to see, not for needs, but for the goodness of works and arts and for the beauty and ornaments of the city".
For this itinerary you will need to allocate half a day
- Via del Proconsolo
- Pazzi – Quadratesi palace
- Alighieri Houses
- Badia Fiorentina
- Bargello National Museum
- San Firenze Square
- Gondi Palace
- Santa Croce square
- Santa Croce Basilica
- Pazzi’s Chapel
- Borgo Santa Croce
- Alle Grazie Museum
- Bardini Museum
VIA DEL PROCONSOLOBeing one of the most ancient streets, it marks the oriental limit of the first entourage of the city.
At number 12 rises the so-called Palazzo Nonfinito (literally: non-finished building) by Buontalenti, now the Anthropology and Ethnology Museum, but visits are allowed only with permission of the direction, it houses an ample documentation on various human races in several continents.
PALAZZO PAZZI – QUARATESIVia del Proconsolo, 10
The residence of the Florentine patrician Jacopo Pazzi, designed by the architect Giuliano da Maiano (middle XV century), clearly refers to the works of Brunelleschi.
Its greater simplicity in taste, if compared to the majestic Building of Medici - Riccardi is being revealed by the courtyard by pure and elegant lines and the use of plaster in substitution to the rustic ashlars, in the upper part of the façade.
CASE DEGLI ALIGHIERIVia Santa Margherita, 1
This is a complex of houses heavily renovated, rising in a medieval district dominated by a tall tower, which host Dante’s heirlooms. Dante is supposed to be born at n° 1 of Saint Margherita street.
OPENING HOURS: working days h:4.30 pm – 6.30 pm; public holidays: 10.30 am – 11.30 am
In 978, the mother of Count Ugo of Tuscany's founded the complex comprising the monastery and the ancient Benedictine Abbey (badia = abbey), today a place of great importance in the cityscape. In late ‘200 the church was a first renovated by Arnolfo of Cambio, but of his work, only the apse remains. The rich portal and the portico by Benedetto da Rovezzano dates back to the Renaissance period (1495), while the slender bell tower, with hexagonal base and culminating in a cusp, dates back to ‘300. In ‘600 the church was object of further works that upset the original plan of it and changed the structure from Latin cross to Greek cross. The Baroque inside, contains a splendid table by Filippino Lippi (La vergine compare a san Bernardo) and various sculptures by Mino da Fiesole among which emerges the marmoreal grave of Marchese Ugo of Tuscany.
From the sacristy you can access to the Small Cloister Piccolo Chiostro degli Aranci and the loggia, an admirable work of B. Rossellino (around 1440).
The Chapel Pandolfini, that leans out on the fifteenth-century atrium, has been renovated on the remains of the preceding Saint Stephen small church. In this church, Lecturaes Dantis take place, in memory of the first public reading of the Divine Comedy by Dante, held by Giovanni Boccaccio in 1373, in that small church.
BARGELLO NATIONAL MUSEUMVia del Proconsolo, 4
OPENING HOURS: 8.15 – 13.50.
CLOSING HOURS: the 2° and 4° Monday of the month and the 1a 3a 5a Sunday of the month
At first home of the Podestà and then of the Captain of Justice or Bargello, comprises from three buildings with tower, whose construction extended from 1255 to 1346.
The museum is of great importance for the knowledge of the Tuscan sculptures from '300 to '600.
Among the works displayed, do not miss at any cost, in the first room devoted to Michelangelo: the Ebrious Bacchus, the bust of Brute and Apollino or David.
In the loggia at the top of the external staircase, the David in bronze and the St. George both by Donatello are also magnificent. The two famous tiles performed by Ghiberti and by Brunelleschi as models in the contest for the door of the Baptistery in 1402, the terracotta of Giovanni and Andrea della Robbia and finally the splendid statue depicting Ercole and Anteo del Pollaiolo are also of great interest .
Unique example in Italy, the museum shows also rich collections of oriental carpets and ivory works, datable between the V and the XVII century.
SAN FIRENZE SQUAREThe square takes the name from the great Baroque building (1700) ex convent of the Filippini, devoted to St. Florence. The back of the sixteenth-century Palazzo Vecchio stands in the background of the square.
GONDI PALACEPiazza San Firenze, 4
Built at the end of the XV century from Giuliano da Sangallo, it is characterized by a beautiful courtyard with an external staircase with a richly decorated baluster; the tones of chiaroscuro rendered by the light passing through the columns and the decorative element of the little fountain, all contribute to give to this environment, a sense of precious harmony.
The façade, even if valuable in the pattern of the sloping ashlars, was modified in the XIX century in the course of extension works.
SANTA CROCE BASILICAPiazza Santa Croce, 16
Paying visit: the ticket comprise the Museum.
OPENING HOURS: from Monday to Saturday h. 9.30 am – 5.30 pm; Sunday h. 1.00 pm – 5.30 pm
This Franciscan church, masterpiece of Gothic Byzantine, is famous to be the pantheon for famous men of Italy. Planned by Arnolfo di Cambio in 1294, it was consecrated only two centuries later by pope Eugenio IV.
The façade and the bell tower date back to the last century. The inside features three ample aisles divided by ogival arcades on pillars; the roof is built in open trusses.
Along the walls are disposed the graves of exceptional geniuses such as Michelangelo, Galilei, Foscolo and some funeral plates devoted to as many men of fame. Among the many sculptures and paintings, let’s mention after the fifth right altar, the tabernacle in pietra serena with Annunciation, by Donatello (1435) and above all, an absolute must, the beautiful grave of Leonardo Bruni by Rossellino (first half of '400). The Bardi’s chapel, situated to the right of the greater altar features frescos by Giotto depicting events of St. Francis, well restored and freed of its nineteenth-century additions.
Above the altar of the chapel, by the heading of the left transept, stands the famous wooden Crucifix of Donatello (1425), criticized by Brunelleschi for its excessive realism.
On the side of the church the convent articulates in a cloister of the '300, and on its right a second cloister opens, featuring very elegant shapes, designed by Brunelleschi and finished with the collaboration of Rossellino.
Pazzi’s chapelYou access to this masterpiece of Phillip Brunelleschi, erected in the time span 1443 – 1446, passing under the magnificent fifteenth-century portal of Giuliano da Maiano that opens onto the second six-columns portico annexed to the church.
On the white walls, the pietra serena draws with lines lesene, trabeations, windows, arcades and frames, all of pure style. The umbrella dome coverage, ends with the lantern. The polychrome medallions are enamelled terracotta by Luca della Robbia.
Opera di Santa Croce MuseumPiazza Santa Croce, 16
Paying visit: the ticket comprise the Santa Croce Museum.
OPENING HOURS: from Monday to Saturday h. 9.30 am – 5.30 pm; Sunday h 1.00 pm – 5.30 pm
The museum exhibits several masterpieces recovered and restorated after the Flood of 1966, among which we remember the Crucifix of Cimabue and the statue of San Ludovico di Tolosa by Donatello .
BORGO SANTA CROCEThis is a characteristic Florentine street, flanked by ‘400 and ‘500 buildings, among which stand out Palazzo Rasponi - Spinelli at n.10, featured also by graffiti.
ALLE GRAZIE BRIDGEThe bridge was rebuilt after the war and offers a beautiful view all around, from the Old Bridge to the hill of St. Miniato, towards the fourteenth-century door - tower of S. Niccolò and to the poggio dell’Incontro.
OPENING HOURS: Sat / Sun / Mon h 11.00 am – 5.00 pm
Phone: 055 2342427
The museum gather a rich collection of ancient sculptures, distributed in 20 rooms. Among the most noteworthy are the series of wood-and-filler statues and terracotta by Florentine and senese school of '400. On the second floor the Galleria Corsi that in ten rooms, displays works that go from the XII to the XIX century.
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