Monday, August 20, 2012

Florence Travel Guide for Art Lovers

Florentine Art Through The Ages
by Elissa Watters, guest blogger

Palazzo Vecchio (town hall
Visiting Florence sometime this fall?  Take advantage of everything the city has to offer!  Below is a list of a few places to visit but you can also wander the backstreets, escape the crowds and uncover some of this magical city’s hidden treasures.  Duck in and out of various shops along the way and get to know the work of talented, modern Florentine artists, such as painters or potters.  Find a local restaurant for lunch and savor the artistic food.  During the later hours of night, go out and experience Florence’s vibrant nightlife.

On a practical note, consider buying tickets ahead of time online to visit the most famous museums—doing so can save a lot of time!

1) Piazza della Signoria
Although the main tourist sites in Florence, the Piazza della Signoria cannot be missed.  This traditional Italian square was the original home of Michelangelo’s renowned statue David (now a reproduction stands in its place). Also, the Palazzo Vecchio (the town hall), has been there since the Middle Ages.

2) Galleria dell'Accademia
To see Michelangelo’s original David, go to the Academy Gallery.  In addition, the Gallery's exhibition Arte Torna Arte (translation: Art Returns to Art) includes works by contemporary artists such as Picasso, Bacon, Warhol and Duchamp. Open until November 4, this exhibition gives visitors the opportunity to see ancient and modern works side by side.

Gentile da Fabriano, Uffizi Gallery
3) Uffizi Gallery
Once the possession of the Medici family, the art in the Uffizi Gallery is some of the best in Florence.  In addition to their extensive permanent collection, the Uffizi currently has a special exhibition entitled the International Gothic In Florence, 1375-1440,  which ends December 8th, 2012. The exhibition offers a glimpse of Florentine art in the early Renaissance. Various works of 14th and 15th century Florentine art, including pieces by Gentile da Fabriano and Lorenzo Monaco, are on display.

4) The Duomo (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore)
Another frequently visited site in Florence, the Duomo, is the home of a vast collection of stunning Italian frescoes and an incredible example of Italian architecture.  The Duomo has a long history of construction that involved many architects, including Brunelleschi.  The work began in 1296, but the fa├žade was not complete until 1887.

5) Teatro della Pergola
The Duomo (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore)
Discover a selection of Italian plays performed at Teatro della Pergola from mid-October of 2012 through mid-April of 2013.  If you do not wish to hear a play in Italian, perhaps arrange to take a guided tour of this beautiful theater, built in 1656.

6) Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
An array of operas, ballets and music concerts can be found here every month of the year, except August.  Visit their website (see below) for more information on the productions they have to offer.

7) Open-Air Markets
Open-air markets are a long-lasting tradition in Western Europe. They can be found in every town/city, including Florence.  At these markets, everything from fruits and vegetables to clothing and souvenirs can be found.  Ask your hotel for the locations of these markets.  A few of the markets that might be suggested are Le Cascine and Mercato Centrale.

Mentioned in this article @pergolafirenze, @maggiomusicale, @etsy

Check out these Italian finds discovered on @etsy today!
by Miriam Schulman 

Do you love the honey yellow tones of Tuscany? Then you will love art with that dominant honey gold tone...  
Sunflower Art Collage
Yellow Honey gold tree art