The Pitti Palace - Specola Museum - Brancacci’s Chapel
Nature gives its best in the alleys of the Boboli garden, enriched with statues and small panoramic views. Science reveals itself in the observatory of anatomy of the Specola Museum. Art unveils itself in the Brancacci’s Chapel with the admirable frescoes by Masaccio.,
One full day is advised for this itinerary. There are many places to rest or have a meal.
- Palazzo Pitti
- Boboli Graden
- San Felice
- Zoological museum La Specola
- Via Maggio
- Santo Spirito
- Santa Maria del Carmine (Brancacci’s chapel)
Paying visit. complimentary ticket with Galleria Palatina and Appartamenti Reali
OPENING HOURS: from Tuesday to Sunday h 8.30 am – 18.50 pm
Paying visit: complimentary ticket with Museo delle Porcellane
OPENING HOURS: every day from 9.00 am till one hour before sunset.
Closing hours: the first and last Monday of the month
Phone: 0552651816; reservations Phone: 055294883
This spectacular Italian garden which starts from the hill behind the Pitti palace, was designed in 1550 by Tribolo. The building works started when Cosimo I de' Medici and his wife Eleonora of Toledo decided to establish their new dwelling in this area. The garden, rich of sculptures to the point to be considered an open museum, features works by George Vasari, (1554-1561), Bartholomew Ammannati and Bernard Bontalenti.
The Amphitheatre of the XVII century adorned with a tub and sculptures, where during summer season are performed open-air shows, dates back to the cycle of works. The same goes for the Fountain of the Ocean, carved by Giambologna, the Small Cave of Madam and the Great Cave, a jewel of mannerist culture and architecture, characterized by external decorations of stalactites, and water games. Other important features of the Boboli garden are the Viavaio of Neptune and at the top of the hill the Garden of the Cavalier which offers a beautiful panoramic view and the adjacent small villa that houses the Museum of the Porcelains where valuable items coming from Sevres, Chantilly, Capodimonte, Vienna, Berlino,Worcester, China and Japan are in display. After the Prato dell'Uccellare , going down toward Porta Romana, we find the Viottolone, a long straight avenue flanked with cypresses and statues that ends in the Isolotto square, at which centre the great statue of the Oceans by Giambologna, surrounded by other three sculptures depicting the rivers Nile, Gange and Euphrates, cannot be missed. The Kaffeehaus, the Limonaia and the Palazzina della Meridiana were realized in the ‘700 during the epoch of the Lorraine. In 1789, at the centre of the amphitheatre, was erected the Egyptian obelisk coming from Luxor.
SAN FELICEThis church, erected in a plaza not too far from the Pitti palace, features a Renaissance façade attributed to Michelozzo. Inside you find good paintings of the '300 and '600 constitute ornaments for altars of ‘400; on the right wall there’s a crucifix by Giotto’s workshop.
ZOOLOGICAL MUSEUM LA SPECOLAVia Romana, 17
OPENING HOURS: from Thursday to Tuesday, h 9.00am – 1.00 pm
At the first floor you can admire the Gallery of Galileo, a vast hemicycle-room decorated with mosaics and frescoes celebrating Florentine scientists.
On the second floor there are numerous display where are preserved anatomical pieces made by coloured wax, produced from 1775 to 1814. Among them, the anatomical studies in wax by C. Susini stand out. These works are of clear reference to the scientific and enlightenment tendency of '700 while the compositions of the '600 by Gaetano Zumbo reveal the taste for macabre, typical of Baroque.
VIA MAGGIOStraight and flanked by XIV and XVII palaces, this street hosts, at number 26 the house of Bianca Cappello, designed by Buontalenti, remarkable example of ‘500 high-class house.
SANTO SPIRITOPiazza Santo Spirito (Oltrarno)
OPENING HOURS: from Monday to Friday, h 8.30 am – 12.00 am and 4.00 am – 6.00 pm
This is one of the most beautiful building of First Renaissance. Started by Filippo Brunelleschi in 1444, it was completed forty years later by Manenti. The pure lines of the uncovered façade form a great harmony on its entirety, also with rigorous lines of the bell tower designed by Baccio d’Agnolo. The inside is divided in three aisles, articulated by arcades on columns that also surround the transept. The altars are decorated with numerous famous works of master sculptors and painters of the '400 and '500 among which we remember Rossellino (Capponi’ sarcophagus) and Filippino Lippi (Madonna with Child and Saints).
From the left aisle you access the hallway featuring a magnificent barrel vault (Cronaca), and then that the octagonal sacristy with two rows of pillars and ribbed dome coverage, a work by Giuliano from Sangallo.
SANTA MARIA DEL CARMINE - BRANCACCI’S CHAPELPiazza del Carmine, 14
OPENING HOURS: workdays: ore 10.00 – 17.00; Sundays and public holidays: 1.00 pm - 5.00 pm. CLOSED on Tuesday.
The original church built in the Middle Ages, was destroyed in 1771 by a great fire, and then reconstructed in Baroque style. Surprisingly, the annexed Brancacci’s chapel, universally famous for the Masaccio’s frescos, was preserved. The assignment to paint the chapel was commissioned to Masolino but it was its assistant, Masaccio, that gave the paintings such a plastic strength and a sense of perspective that was recognized by everybody, in all times, as the new artist destined to be a reference for the others and the turning point from the gothish styles. For the first time Masaccio, introduced the sense of terrestrial humanity that would prevail in future paintings. The series of frescoes was completed fifty years later by Filippino Lippi. We recommend the visitor to stop at two paintings: the Temptation of Adams and Eve by Masolino and la Cacciata di Adamo and Eva by Masaccio on two opposite panels, so that the confrontation gives evidence of the great strength of Masaccio, whose art made a breakthrough in Renaissance paintings.
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