Saturday, 17 July 2021

The most beautiful villages in Tuscany

 "La Bandiera Arancione" - the Orange Flag - of the Touring Club Italia is one of the most sought after accolades among the villages of Italy and nearby areas. To win a place on the Orange Flag list means that the Touring Club and its members have assessed your village to be one of the most attractive villages in Italy in terms of beauty and livability, and with a great artistic and cultural heritage. The list is renewed every three years with only about 8% of 3,200 candidates making the grade. This year, 38 villages in Tuscany found a place on the list.

 The 38 most beautiful villages in Tuscany

Anghiari, Province of Arezzo

I have one quibble with their list, namely that they have selected mostly not villages but towns, some of them quite considerable. I guess that's a consequence of their voting system since obviously more of their members visit towns than small villages. I would have included both Montefioralle and Panzano in Chianti on my list of the most beautiful villages in Tuscany.

Anyway, here are the 38 most beautiful villages in Tuscany, according to Touring Club Italia, the Province of Sienna receiving the most awards:

 
San Gimignano

There are 16 awarded villages in the Province of Sienna: Casole d'Elsa, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Cetona, Chiusi, Montalcino, Montefollonico, Montepulciano, Monteriggioni, Murlo, Pienza, Radda in Chianti, Radicofani, San Casciano dei Bagni, San Gimignano, Sarteano and Trequanda.

If you are in the Province of Pisa: Casale Marittimo, Casciana Terme Lari, Castelnuovo di Val di Cecina, Peccioli, Pomarance and Volterra.

Four in the Province of Grosseto: Massa Marittima, Pitigliano, Santa Fiora and Sorano;

Three in the Province of Arezzo: Anghiari, Castiglion Fiorentino and Lucignano.

Three villages in the Province of Firenze: Barberino Tavarnelle, Certaldo and Vinci.

Two in the Province of Lucca: Barga and Montecarlo.

Two in the Province of Pistoia: Abetone Cutigliano and Collodi.

One in the Province of Livorno: Suvereto.

One in the Province of Massa-Carrara: Fosdinovo.

 

Tuscany Toscana
Don't forget to visit my Tuscany
Travel Guide!

Up-to-date news on what to see and where to stay in Chianti and all of Tuscany.

Tuscany Travel Guide

vacation accommodations in Tuscany


Author: Anna Maria Baldini

All content copyright © ammonet Italian Web Site Promotion 2021. All rights reserved.

Monday, 5 July 2021

Upcoming Chianti wine festivals

On 4 and 5 September 2021, there is a wine tasting event taking place in the attractive village of Radda in Chianti - Radda nel Bichiere. Earlier in the year, on the first weekend of June 2021, there is another one in Lamole in Chianti, I Profumi di Lamole. And the Chianti wine festival takes place in Montespertoli from 10 to 12 September 2021. To take in some or all of these wine tasting occasions, you could find a place to stay on the Panzano in Chianti website.and for the Montespertoli Chianti wine festival on the Montespertoli website.

Radda nel Bichiere
At Radda nel Bichiere

For September, there are two upcoming Chianti wine festivals to note in your agenda.

Chronologically, the first is the Chianti Classico wine fair taking place in Greve in Chianti, 45-60 minutes south of Florence and reachable by bus from Florence. The official name is the XLVI Rassegna del Chianti Classico (46th Expo of Chianti Classico wines). In 2021, this wine festival takes place from the 10th to the 12th September 2021 in Piazza Matteotti, the main piazza of Greve in Chianti. Note that you might have to park some distance from the venue due to heavy traffic - this fair is very popular. If you also plan to drink some wine, that's just one more reason to take the bus.

Rassegna del Chianti Classico
The Terre di Melazzano booth at the Rassegna del Chianti Classico
 
The way it works is that you buy a wine glass from the Cassa and Informazioni booth and this allows you to try a certain number of the wines displayed. You can both buy and order wine and olive oil at the booths. In addition to the wine tasting, a variety of events is offered during the four days, but I wouldn't over estimate their intrinsic interest. Click here for the 2021 programme. The Greve Chianti wine fair has a good number of Tuscan wineries represented, each offering all of the wines that they produce - mainly Chianti Classico, of course. My only objection to this fair is that when the weather is hot, few of the exhibitors take any steps to keep their wines cool. Some of them are left in direct sunlight and are distinctly warm when you taste them.

The second wine tasting event is Vino al Vino, taking place one week later in Panzano in Chianti, 10 minutes drive in the direction of Sienna from Greve and also accessible by bus from Florence. Vino al Vino takes place from the 16th to the 19th of September 2021. To some extent, I prefer Vino al Vino over the Chianti Classico Expo if only because it is smaller, with about 21 wineries presenting their wines and olive oil, and has a more intimate atmosphere. I also find the food on sale better than in Greve. There's live Jazz on Saturday & Sunday from 6 until 8 pm.

Vino al Vino Panzano Chianti wine festival
Vino al Vino Panzano Chianti wine festival

For accommodation nearby the venues:

Greve in Chianti accommodation.

Panzano in Chianti accommodation.

Villa hotels.

Chianti wine festivals on Facebook.

Tuscany Toscana
Don't forget to visit my Tuscany
Travel Guide!

Up-to-date news on what to see and where to stay in Chianti and all of Tuscany.

Tuscany Travel Guide

Author: Anna Maria Baldini

All content copyright © ammonet Italian Web Site Promotion 2013 - 2021. All rights reserved.

Friday, 28 May 2021

An exquisite reliquary bust at the Diocesan Museum of Florence

My attentive readers will know that from time to time I like to draw attention to works of art in small museums that are unjustly negrlected by visitors to Tuscany. Today I want to describe a beautiful reliquary bust commissioned by the Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo III and created in 1703. The bust is silver cast using the lost wax method and finished by chisel, with gilded copper details. It was intended for the Pieve di San Cresci located on the slopes of Monte Giovi (province of Florence). San Cresci lived during the 3C and is considered to be the evangeliser of the Mugello where he was martyred around the year 250.

For the execution of this splendid reliquary, the Grand Duke turned to his court artist, the sculptor, architect and great draftsman Giovanni Battista Foggini who executed the design, leaving the execution of the work to another great artist of the Medici court, the German silversmith Bernard Holzman who performed the work in silver, clothing the saint in finely decorated and chiseled Roman armour. The youthful face of the saint, bearded and with thick hair, is slightly turned to the right. On the base runs the inscription: Sancti Crescij Xp Martyris Caput.

From a stylistic point of view, you can see the high quality in the accuracy of the finishing of the details and in the pride of the figure, clearly derived from the classical models, already used in the Middle Ages by the Arezzo goldsmiths Pietro and Paolo and then again in the Renaissance also by Donatello when he made the reliquary bust of San Rossore in Pisa.

This reliquary is one of the many masterpieces exhibited in the all too neglected Diocesan Museum of Florence in Santo Stefano al Ponte. If you can spare the time during your visit to Florence, I strongly recommend spending a couple of hours there.


Tuscany Toscana
Don't forget to visit my Tuscany
Travel Guide!

Up-to-date news on what to see and where to stay in Chianti and all of Tuscany.

Tuscany Travel Guide

vacation accommodations in Tuscany


Author: Anna Maria Baldini

All content copyright © ammonet Italian Web Site Promotion 2021. All rights reserved.

Sunday, 23 May 2021

Getting married in Tuscany: great wedding venues in Tuscany

If you're planning on getting married in Tuscany, a wonderful wedding venue will be at or near the top of the list of "musts" to make the your wedding a super-special occasion. There's an enormous range of great wedding venues in Tuscany at your disposal so I want to mention some wedding locations of which I have personal experience.

Getting married in Tuscany
Wedding dinner at Villa Felceto

For a do-it-yourself wedding in Tuscany, I can strongly recommend Villa Felceto, located on the Podere Felceto olive farm near Panzano in Chianti, halfway between Florence and Sienna. The villa, in ancient times a monastery, and the nearby dependencies provide accommodation for 20 people while the nearby agriturismi plus hotel and apartment accommodation in Panzano offer a good range of additional places to stay for your guests. The villa and its grounds provide beautiful settings for your wedding ceremony and wedding dinner. And very importantly, the owners, Roberto and Jussara, who speak excellent English, can and will provide lots of assistance with your arrangements, especially catering, so that you can organise everything without the assistance of a wedding planner.

More about Villa Felceto wedding venue in Tuscany.


Do it yourself wedding location in Tuscany
Wedding feast at La Ghiandaia in Tuscany

Another great do-it-yourself wedding venue in Tuscany is Agriturismo La Ghiandaia which is located near the tiny village of Lucolena in central Chianti, 30 km from Florence. The agriturismo is an ideal location for a wedding of up to 30 - 35 guests all of whom will be able to stay on site. For your wedding buffet you can take advantage of the beautiful veranda with its panoramic view, ideal for dancing, or a splendid converted wine cellar for inside dining in case of rain.

Silvia, the gracious owner of La Ghiandaia, is ready and able to organise everything for your wedding. She is experienced in organising complete, customised weddings at her house, including accommodation, finding a church or town hall, reserving a suitable restaurant if required, organising the buffet and party at her house with musicians and waiters, flower decorations, rental vans and wedding car and in general everything that is necessary to make your wedding day happy and memorable for you and your wedding party.

Review on Trip Advisor: "A perfect Wedding" at La Ghiandaia in Tuscany.

More about La Ghiandaia wedding location in Tuscany.

great wedding venues in Tuscany
Wedding reception at Villa Gamberaia


If you prefer to celebrate your wedding at one of the most famous villas in Tuscany, then Villa Gamberaia is the place for you. This magnificent villa is located in Settignano just a few km from central Florence, and its formal Tuscan garden is probably the most famous in Tuscany, if not all of Italy. The views from the garden are spectacular. Villa Gamberaia is not only its garden: within the villa there are magnificent salons and an interior colonnaded courtyard which may be rented for weddings. There is sufficient accommodation in the villa dependencies for your wedding party, and of course a huge range of accommodation around Settignano and Fiesole, and in Florence for your guests.

More about Villa Gamberaia.

More about accommodation at Villa Gamberaia.


Wedding in Tuscany - Villa Vitigliano
Villa Vitigliano dining al fresco

Last but not least, the height of luxury and sophistication in Tuscany is to be found at Vitigliano , a recently restored rural "borgo" located between Panzano and Greve in Chianti, 45 minutes south of Florence. I have already praised this uniquely beautiful Tuscan boutique hotel, and I want to add that Vitigliano is surely the most luxurious wedding venue in all of Tuscany, with its own Turkish bath, whirlpool and professional kitchens. The Bridal Suite in the Tower offers an unforgettable ambiance for your wedding night, and the other luxury suites are ready for the bridal couple and their families. Accommodation for the wedding guests is readily available within a ten minute drive. Vitigliano has its own ancient chapel for a traditional wedding ceremony.

More about Vitigliano wedding venue.



Tuscany Toscana
Don't forget to visit my Tuscany
Travel Guide!

Up-to-date news on what to see and where to stay in Chianti and all of Tuscany.

Tuscany Travel Guide

Author: Anna Maria Baldini

All content copyright © ammonet Italian Web Site Promotion 2015 - 2021. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

When will Italy be open to visitors again?

UPDATE 16 May 2021: Delta Airlines COVID-tested flights between the U.S. and Italy will open to all customers effective today, May 16, following the Italian government's lifting of entry restrictions enabling American leisure travelers to visit Italy again. My recommendation is that you should be vaccinated against covid19 before coming to Italy on vacation. I would even expect that to become Italian government policy.

UPDATE 9 May 2021: The latest hint from the Prime Minister is that Italy will welcome vaccinated visitors from Europe and America starting 15 May 2021. However, let's wait for the official announcement and rules.

STOP PRESS 5 May 2021: Italy is gearing up to welcome back European travellers in the second half of June, says Italian PM Mario Draghi. “We will have to provide clear and simple rules to ensure that tourists can come to Italy safely,” the Prime Minister remarked in his closing remarks at the G20 tourism ministerial meeting held today in Rome. “The European ‘green pass’ will be ready in the second half of June. In the meantime, the Italian government has introduced a nationwide ‘green pass’, which will enter into effect in the second half of May.”

26 April 2021: American tourists who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will be able to visit the European Union over the summer, according to the head of the EU’s executive body, more than a year after shutting down nonessential travel from most countries to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The fast pace of vaccination in the United States and advanced talks between US authorities and the European Union over how to make vaccine certificates acceptable as proof of immunity for visitors will enable the European Commission to recommend a change in policy that would see trans-Atlantic leisure travel restored by summer 2021.

I'm guessing that many of my readers are looking forward to coming to Italy again soon and are naturally pondering the question: "When will Italy be open to visitors again?" Before I give my opinion on that, let's divert ourselves with a brief look at a similar interruption that took place just as mass tourism was beginning.

In England at the beginning of the 19 C, one of the more frustrating aspects of the Napoleonic Wars (1803 - 1815) was the ban on foreign travel. The English were the continent's greatest travellers. Among the wealthy, the Grand Tour of the 18 C was still a living tradition. Both the classical curriculum at school and the training of manners at home confidently looked to the Grand Tour to complete their work, while the artist fretted to be back in the mellow light of the Campagna and the budding author to add his impressions to an already over-stocked market for Italian travel memoirs. For the ordinary tourist - the "Thomas Cook traveller" avant la lettre - the Peace of Amiens was the first chance to go abroad since the beginning of the war. When war broke out again 14 months later, most tourists on the Continent rushed for home. Only American citizens could travel freely. There was a brief sense of relief in 1814 when Napoleon was sent into exile on Elba, only to escape in February 1815 and rule France again for the 100 Days. His defeat by the British at Waterloo in June 1815 followed by exile to St Helena ended the wars definitively and the tourist trade jumped back into its full stride.

Visitors to Italy - the Uffizi in the 19th century

"Back into its full stride" - that's what we're all hoping for. But when? My best guess is that vaccination against the covid-19 virus will be sufficiently comprehensive in Italy and in the English-speaking countries by mid to late August this year, 2021, that travel to Italy will become possible and increase rapidly. I'm assuming, perhaps optimistically, that new virus mutants will not be resistant to current vaccines.

This might be helped by the introduction of what has been called a "covid passport" confirming that the traveller has been inoculated This kind of thing has been around since WW II in the form of a document confirming inoculation for diseases such as Yellow Fever, compulsory for the issue of a visa to travel to countries where that disease is prevalent. Visa-free travel calls for a slightly different administrative procedure, presumably involving airlines and/or immigration officers, but the principle is the same.

So that's my best guess right now. I will update that as events unfold, but my feeling is that you can book your accommodation for August onwards and flights as soon as the airlines start to offer normal schedules. As in 1815, there's huge pent up demand. I look forward to a good tourism season during the second half of 2021.


Tuscany Toscana
Don't forget to visit my Tuscany
Travel Guide!

Up-to-date news on what to see and where to stay in Chianti and all of Tuscany.

Tuscany Travel Guide

vacation accommodations in Tuscany


Author: Anna Maria Baldini

All content copyright © ammonet Italian Web Site Promotion 2021. All rights reserved.

Friday, 7 May 2021

Bargello Museum in Florence re-opens: Sala degli Avori (Room of the Ivories) re-organised

To me, the Bargello Museum of Florence is one of the most under-appreciated art collections in the world. There are bigger museums without a doubt but many of them require a pair of roller blades to visit. The Bargello is intimate and human in scale, and stuffed with masterpieces, both Florentine and especially pieces collected by Florentines from elsewhere. On no account miss it when you visit Florence.

After being closed for several months on account of the corvid pandemic, the Bargello is open once again and with a completely re-organised Sala degli Avori (Room of the Ivories), now completed after six years of work. 

Bargello Museum room of the ivories

 The Room of the Ivories in the Bargello Museum, Florence

The exhibition layout has been completely re-organised and includes the display of works that were previously kept in the archives, among them a valuable Baroque crucifix that is back on display after almost a century in dark obscurity. The collection of works in ivory covers 15 centuries, ranging from rare Etruscan and Roman objects to 19 C artefacts. There are about 250 works on display, in a wide variety of styles and from both Eastern and Western civilisations. The displayed works of art now have labels in English in addition to Italian. 

Byzantine ivories in the Bargello Museum, Florence

 Byzantine ivories in the Bargello Museum, Florence

The Sala degli Avori is located on the first floor of the Bargello and exhibits precious and historic ivories such as a diptych with scenes from the life of Saint Paul and Adam in the earthly paradise and a plaque with the Byzantine Empress. Other works include the rare Carolingian Flabellum from the abbey of Tournus, the Olifante of Sainte-Chapelle, donated to the king of France in 1274, as well as mediaeval paintings, mosaics and sculptures.

Ivory mirror in the Bargello Sala degli Avori

Ivory mirror in the Bargello Sala degli Avori

Many of the art works that comprise the Bargello's ivory collection are the legacy of the Lyonnaise antique dealer Louis Carrand who, on his death in 1888, gifted to the Bargello almost 2,600 works, including sculptures, jewels, paintings and fabrics. Other ivories in the collection come from 19 C purchases and from historic Florentine Grand-Ducal collections.


Tuscany Toscana
Don't forget to visit my Tuscany
Travel Guide!

Up-to-date news on what to see and where to stay in Chianti and all of Tuscany.

Tuscany Travel Guide

vacation accommodations in Tuscany

Author: Anna Maria Baldini

All content copyright © ammonet Italian Web Site Promotion 2021. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Events and festivals in Tuscany during 2021

The new year has begun and now is the moment to think about events and festivals in Tuscany during 2021. If you're planning a trip to Tuscany, do look at our lists of folkloric festivals, jousts, archery and crossbow contests and numerous other events that take place in Tuscany during the course of the year. These range from the massive float parades of the Carnevale in Viareggio through the great mediaeval costume festivals to simple village food feste.

Events and festivals in Tuscany
Huge prossesion float at Viareggio Carnevale

 The festivals of Tuscany have become more and more polished and exciting in their presentation and yet remain genuine folk festivals dependent entirely on the enthusiasm of the local organisers, in many cases these being competing local contrade, rioni etc. These latter are clubs and societies based on the various residential quarters of villages, towns and cities, the most famous being the contrade of Sienna which enter their horses (and riders) in the famous Siena palio twice every year.

The competitions are almost always costume events with processions, and very often dinners and food stands play an important role. Look through our lists for local events taking place near where you will be staying, and in addition try to attend at least one major event during your stay.

The main Tuscan festivals.

A comprehensive list of local events and festivals in Tuscany.



Tuscany Toscana
Don't forget to visit Elena Spolaor's
Travel Guide!

Up-to-date news on what to see and where to stay in Chianti and all of Tuscany & Umbria.

Chianti Travel Guide


vacation accommodations in Tuscany

Tuscany tourist information - tourist information

Author: Anna Maria Baldini

All content copyright © ammonet Infotech website promotion 2015 - 2021. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

The iris garden in Florence is open from 2 May until 20 May, 2021.

One of the most pleasing sights in Florence at this time of year is the Iris Garden, located just below Piazza Michelangelo and the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte on the southern heights overlooking Florence. The Iris garden will be open to the public from 2 May 2021 until 20 May 2021.

The Iris Garden of Florence is the only one in Europe dedicated to the iris and it houses over 1500 varieties of the iris, which is, of course, the symbol of Florence.

The garden is managed by the Italian Iris Society and is open to the public for one month a year between April and May, the period of the spring flowering. This year the opportunity to stroll through the avenues and hills covered with irises and olive trees will be from 2 to 20 May, from 10:00 am to 6:00 PM (with last entry at 5.30 pm).

As always, admission is free, but for those who want, scheduled guided tours are held every Sunday and on public holidays at 11 am and 4 pm, with a contribution of 5 euros per person.


Tuscany Toscana
Don't forget to visit my Tuscany
Travel Guide!

Up-to-date news on what to see and where to stay in Chianti and all of Tuscany.

Tuscany Travel Guide

vacation accommodations in Tuscany


Author: Anna Maria Baldini

All content copyright © ammonet Italian Web Site Promotion 2021. All rights reserved.

Monday, 26 April 2021

17th century fresco uncovered in the Uffizi during covid-19 closure.

It seems that work continued in the Uffizi Galleries in Florence while they were closed as part of the battle against Covid-19. During renovation work, lost frescoes were discovered. The director of the Uffizi, Eike Schmidt, said that the six months of closure were put to good use, renovating 14 new rooms that will open to the public next month, and discovering frescoes that would otherwise have remained hidden. The previously hidden frescoes include a life-size figure of a young Cosimo II de Medici dating from the 1600s, as well as decorative plant motifs from the 1700s on the walls and ceiling of nearby rooms.

Newly uncovered fresco in the Uffizi depicting Cosimo II de Medici


Tuscany Toscana
Don't forget to visit my Tuscany
Travel Guide!

Up-to-date news on what to see and where to stay in Chianti and all of Tuscany.

Tuscany Travel Guide

vacation accommodations in Tuscany


Author: Anna Maria Baldini

All content copyright © ammonet Italian Web Site Promotion 2021. All rights reserved.

Are the museums open in Florence?

 As the traditional tourism season approaches and we all hope for Italy to be able to re-open to visitors, the question is "Are the museums open in Florence?" The answer is YES some sights opened today since Tuscany, along with most but not all of Italy, is now in Covid status "orange", and others will open during the course of May 2021. The Regions are opening up and relaxing their anti-covid precautions as the number of new infections continues to drop.

The Duomo (Cathedral) of Florence is open for visitors from Monday to Saturday, 10:15 am - 5:00 pm and access to the dome itself is possible daily 12:45 - 7:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday 12:45 - 5:30 pm. 


 On 16 May, Giotto’s Campanile will reopen daily 12:45 - 7:00 pm, and the Opera del Duomo Museum will be open on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays 10:15 am - 5 pm. The Baptistery remains closed for restoration. 


On Tuesday, April 27, the Boboli Gardens reopen daily (apart from the first Monday of the month) 8:15 am - 6:30 pm.


The Uffizi and Palazzo Pitti will reopen on 4 May. Opening hours (Uffizi): 8:15 am - 6:30 pm. Opening hours (Palazzo Pitti): 1:30 - 6:30 pm. Booking is now required at weekends to limit numbers, but bookings are not required for other days.


 

The Palazzo Vecchio is open daily 9:00 am - 7:00 pm and 9:00 am - 2:00 pm on Thursdays. 

The Museo Novecento is open daily 11:00 am - 7:00 pm and 1100 am - 2:00 pm on Thursdays. 

The Brancacci Chapel is open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 10:00 am - 5:00 pm.

 

The Bardini Gardens are open 10:00 am - 6:00 pm until at least the end of May. Booking is required on the weekend and on holidays.


Tuscany Toscana
Don't forget to visit my Tuscany
Travel Guide!

Up-to-date news on what to see and where to stay in Chianti and all of Tuscany.

Tuscany Travel Guide

vacation accommodations in Tuscany


Author: Anna Maria Baldini

All content copyright © ammonet Italian Web Site Promotion 2021. All rights reserved.

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Historical libraries of Florence, Italy

The historical libraries of Florence preserve some of the most important book, periodical and manuscript collections in Europe. One or two of them are in themselves works of art, ranking among the most beautiful in the world.

The most beautiful libraries of Florence

La Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze


La Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze
Reading room of the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze
Let's begin with the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze because it is the largest library in Italy, housing as it does more than six million volumes. The library was founded in 1714 and opened to the public under the name Biblioteca Magliabechiana in 1774 which of course long predates the formation of the modern country of Italy. That's why this national library is located in Florence. There is also a large National Library in Rome, founded in 1876, and a much smaller one in Naples, the splendid Biblioteca nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III.

Since 1935, the collections of the BNCF have been housed in a neo-classical structure designed by Bazzani and Mazzei, and located near the Arno in the Santa Croce district. Tragically, as a consequence of its location, the 1966 flood damaged nearly one third of the library's holdings, most notably its periodicals, and the Palatine and Magliabechi collections, and some were irrecoverably lost.

The reading room is severely neoclassical, making it, for me, the least attractive of Florence's important libraries.

La Biblioteca degli Uffizi


La Biblioteca degli Uffizi
The reading room of the Biblioteca degli Uffizi in Florence
The Uffizi Library, much frequented by art historians but much less known to the general public, was founded in the second half of the 18 C by the Grand Duke Peter Leopold and over the years has specialised in the field of art history. The Uffizi Library was housed up until 1998 in the part of Vasari’s complex that was originally the ridotto or foyer of the Medici Theatre. The new location was opened on 16 December 1998 in the renovated areas previously occupied by the Biblioteca Magliabechiana, under the porch, near the entrance to the gallery. It's not a large library, but has very good holdings of periodicals. The 78,600 titles include 470 manuscripts, 5 incunabula, 192 sixteenth-century books, 1,445 books printed between 1601 and 1800 and 1,136 periodicals. The reading room is quite spectacular, as we would expect in a part of the Uffizi.

La Biblioteca Marucelliana


La Biblioteca Marucelliana Firenze
The reading room of the Biblioteca Marucelliana in Florence
The Marucelliana Library is the result of a bequest by Abbot Francesco Marucelli, from whom the library takes its name. The donation of this rich and substantial library was made with the express aim of facilitating study by young people from the poorer sector of the Florentine populace. It was opened to the public in 1752. The structure was built specifically to house the library. Construction (1747–1751) on Via Cavour was directed by the architect Dori who had won the public contest for the design. By the late 18 C, space was becoming tight, so that the library had to be expanded beyond the original building into the adjacent Palazzi Della Stufa and Pegna, and the ground floor of the Palazzo Fenzi Dardinelli. Although not great architecture, the Marucelliana Library has a wonderfully homely feeling about it - a bibliophile's paradise!

La Biblioteca Riccardiana


La Biblioteca Riccardiana in Florence
The reading room of the Biblioteca Riccardiana in Florence
The Riccardian Library was founded in 1600 by Riccardo Riccardi and was moved to its present location in 1670. In 1715, it was opened to the public. In 1812, there was a risk of the library being auctioned off, but the Florence authorities were authorised by the Government to buy it, which they did in 1813 and two years later it was sold to the state. I'm a sucker for Baroque libraries, and so you can readily imagine, I come and spend a bit of time in the Biblioteca Riccardiana whenever I need a bit of aesthetic relaxation. The library is packed with treasures. For example, it holds a copy of Pliny's Historia naturalis dating from the 10 C and an autograph manuscript of the Florentine Histories of Niccolò Machiavelli.

La Biblioteca Moreniana

La Biblioteca Moreniana
The Biblioteca Moreniana in Florence
In the same building as the Riccardian Library, the Palazzo Medici Riccardi, we have Morenian Library which speciliases in the history and culture of Tuscany. The library originated with the acquisition in 1870 by the Florentine authorities of the library assembled by Pietro Bigazzi. The most important foundations of the collection were parts of the library of Domenico Maria Manni and that of Domenico Moreni, compiler of the annotated historical bibliography of Tuscany (1805), and consisting mostly of documents relating to the history and culture of Tuscany. Subsequent acquisitions included collections formed by other scholars and gatherers Tuscan antiquities such as enthusiasts like Giuseppe Palagi, Emilio Frullani and Giovanni Antonio Pecci. In 1942, the library was opened to the public in the historical setting of the Palazzo Medici Riccardi next to the Biblioteca Riccardiana. In recent decades, other manuscripts of particular interest for the history of Tuscany have become part of the library's patrimony including of books by Rubieri-Zannetti, Rosini and Ombrosi Frullani). Since 1978, the library has been managed directly by the Province of Florence while continuing to share some public services with the Biblioteca Riccardiana.

Biblioteca dell'Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze


Biblioteca dell'Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze
Biblioteca dell'Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze
The Library of the Academy of Fine Arts is located on via Ricasoli, next door to the Galleria dell'Accademia where the original statue of David is displayed. The library first saw the light of day in 1801 with the purchase, sponsored by Giovanni Degli Alessandri, the then president of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze and director of the Uffizi, of the library belonging to the architect Giuseppe Salvetti. The library contains texts relating to the history of art and music. The reading room is quite small with a pleasing ambience with a number of fine sculptures decorating the space.

La Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana


La Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence
La Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence
The Laurentian Library is one of the major collections of manuscripts in the world and a major architectural gems of Florence. The library was designed by Michelangelo between 1519 and 1534, but work was completed only in 1571. Laurentian Library was built in a cloister of the Medicean Basilica di San Lorenzo di Firenze under the patronage of the Medici pope, Clement VII, to emphasize that the Medici family were no longer mere merchants but members of "the better classes". To me, this library is one of the most perfect, in architectural terms, in the world. Even leaving that aside, the library contains the manuscripts and books belonging to the private library of the Medici family, the collection now amounting to about 11,000 manuscripts, 2,500 papyri, 43 ostraca, 566 incunabula, 1,681 16 C prints, and 126,527 prints of the 17 C to 20C. Changing exhibitions allow one to view and study these incredible treasures.

More about the Laurentian Library.

Il Gabinetto Scientifico Letterario G. P. Vieusseux


Il Gabinetto Scientifico Letterario G. P. Vieusseux
Conference room of the Vieusseux Library in Florence
The Vieusseux Library in Piazza Strozzi was founded in 1819 in Florence by Giovan Pietro Vieusseux, a Genovese banker, merchant and publisher. The reading room made leading European periodicals available to Florentines and visitors from abroad in a setting that encouraged conversation and the exchange of ideas so that the library soon became a cosmopolitan meeting point of Italian and European culture. A circulating library with the latest publications in Italian, French and English was later installed next to the reading room. Numerous literary Italians, among them Giacomo Leopardi and Alessandro Manzoni, frequented the Gabinetto Vieusseux when they were in Florence, as did literary foreign residents and visitors, including Stendhal, Schopenhauer, James Fenimore Cooper, Thackeray, Dostoevsky, Mark Twain, Émile Zola, André Gide, Kipling, Aldous Huxley and D. H. Lawrence. The warm 19 C conference room is the part of the library most familiar to the public.

The Berenson Library at Villa I Tatti


Berenson Library at Villa I Tatti

Berenson Library at Villa I Tatti

The most recent foundation in our list is the Berenson Library which is a part of Villa I Tatti, the home of the art historian Bernard Berenson for most of his life and now an Italian Renaissance research institute belonging to Harvard University. Villa I Tatti located outside Florence close to the municipal boundary with Fiesole and near Settignano. Bernard Berenson lived there from 1900 and the adjoining library and art collection were designed for him in 1936. Berenson was a fastidious man in himself (personally - although it tormented him, his relationship with the art dealer Duveen and others was not quite so fastidious) and not surprisingly his library is exquisite. He accumulated (and often read) a huge number of art historical books and periodicals, and these form the basis of this, one of the most beautiful and complete small libraries created during the 20 C.

Historical villas of Tuscany.

Historical gardens of Tuscany.


Tuscany Toscana
Don't forget to visit my Tuscany
Travel Guide!

Up-to-date news on what to see and where to stay in Chianti and all of Tuscany.

Tuscany Travel Guide


vacation accommodations in Tuscany

Author: Anna Maria Baldini

All content copyright © ammonet Infotech website promotion 2016 - 2021. All rights reserved.