BED AND BREAKFAST LEONARDO DA VINCI FLORENCE

Some informations about what you can see in August and September, in Florence.
blocks_image
Open for guided tours, upon booking only: 055 294883, ask about the opening days which are changing frequently. This house where Martelli family lived is now a museum, recently (2009) opened; inside, pantings from Luca Giordano, Beccafumi, Salvator Rosa among others. But the house itself it'is really interesting, with frescos and stucco ornamentations made in 1700, and a wonderful architecture, perfect for the life of a noble florentine family: a Quadreria (room full of paintings), Sala da Ballo (Dance room), and the impressive Living Rooms.
blocks_image
Casa Martelli, Salone rosso (Red hall)
blocks_image
Casa Martelli, Salotto giallo (Yellow living room)
Florence Municipality developed this project with Unesco World Heritage Centre. From this site, you can download 28 mp3 audio guides, explaining works from Gianbologna, one of the great Renaissance artist, who leaved many masterpieces in Florence. Some of them are inside museums, others are visible in Florence's streets and places, like this Hercules Fighting the Centaur Nessus, who is in the Loggia della Signoria, which is in fact an open air sculpture gallery, open 24/h.
In the site you'll find also many texts and a map of Gianbologna sculptures in Florence.
blocks_image

Visualizza Il Giambologna a Firenze in una mappa di dimensioni maggiori
Palazzo Vecchio has opened to public access some spaces, formerly closed to public, as its parapet walk, a place with beautiful and unusual city views, through embrasures and medieval windows. So it's now possible to visit it; reservation is suggested, phone to +39 055 2768224 from Monday to Sunday, from 9.30am to 5pm. The Arnolfo tower is also open; you have to ask for visit it, when you book or buy the ticket. Parapets walk and tower are part of the museum of Palazzo Vecchio which now it can be visited, as other rooms, too, in the Palazzo are now opened to public, and a range of guided tours can also be booked, for instance special tours for students, or family with children, information here. Below, some photos taken during the visit!
blocks_image
blocks_image
blocks_image
blocks_image
Panorama from the side of Fiesole hill, which is just visible in the bottom right side of the picture, next to the fourteenth-century bell tower of the Badia Fiorentina. On the left the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore, designed by Brunelleschi
Forte di Belvedere, made by Buontalenti, seen through the windows of Palazzo Vecchio parapet walk
Ponte Santa Trinita, a masterpiece by Bartolomeo Ammanati but on project and decisive advices by Michelangelo.
blocks_image
The Birth of Venus (1485) is one of the Uffizi Gallery's mastepieces and a symbol of Florence Renaissance.
One of the most important Florence museum is Museum of San Marco, which we suggest to our bed and breakfast guests; fairly less known and much less visited than Uffizi or Accademia, San Marco is a wonderful museum, both in terms of architecture and of masterpieces kept inside.
blocks_image
blocks_image
Architect, painter and writer, Giorgio Vasari (above a self portrait), from Arezzo, was a central figure in Renaissance's Florence. He's renowned as the author of the book the "Lives" of artists, and his works as painter, while valid, are now recognized as certainly below the level of the greats of his era such as Michelangelo and Bronzino; he actually gave his best as architect, producing what is his masterpiece, the Uffizi, in perfect harmony with the city context, just as his other stroke of genius, the Vasari Corridor, true "elevated road" that links Palazzo Vecchio to Palazzo Pitti.

On Polo Museale of Florence website there's a page with current
events in Uffizi and in other Polo Museale's museums; guided tours, conferences, concerts, special openings. Some events are with free entrance.
blocks_image
blocks_image
Beside being an art masterpiece, Uffizi was also a technical prowess due to the very heavy building mass and water nearness; Vasari wrote "I've never build anything more difficult and dangerous, because it had to be founded over the river, and almost in the air."
Not a big museum like Uffizi or Pitti, but Accademia Gallery beside David, has worthy seeing paintings, as International Gothic paintings from 1370 to 1430 in the just renowed second floor rooms; and several masterpieces, among others from Perugino (Pala di Vallombrosa), Filippino Lippi (Deposizione della croce), Pontormo (Venere e Amore).
blocks_image
The most visited Florence museums, Accademia Gallery and Uffizi Gallery, have both usually a very long line at the entrance during opening hours; that's why it's a good idea to phone and to reserve this two museums some days before. Florence Museums Polo Museale Fiorentino number is 055 294883; booking charge is 4 euro per reservation. But there's another way to avoid the line: if you don't bother to wake up early, Accademia and Uffizi museums open at 8.15 a.m.; so, before 9 a.m. there's no line at all or just a short one...
blocks_image
Other than David, Accademia Gallery has other important Michelangelo sculptures, as this Prisoner, Atlas (1530).
Uffizi Gallery has space problems, with a lot of paintings closed in deposits and so not visible to public. That's why Italian state is making some renovations and enlargement works of the exhibition area; not easy at all because of the same problems of static encountered by Vasari himself during the construction, as mentioned above. The first 8 rooms were ready on December 2011; they accommodate paintings from El Greco, Velazquez, Durer, Rembrandt, Gerrit Dou among others.
blocks_image
Between the paintings from deposits, this "Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Francis", by El Greco, recently restored.
blocks_image
Polo Museale of Florence in italian Polo Museale Fiorentino is the public agency that manages Florence national museums: they are 31, not only the famous Uffizi, Pitti and Accademia, but also other wonderful spaces, sometimes less known and less visited which is a true pity! The complete list is available on Polo Museale website; sure, if you are in Florence for the first time you'll want to see Uffizi or Accademia Gallery and its Michelangelo's David, but if you have time, we invite you to discover the lesser-known museums, in several cases with free admission: among them, very little spaces as cloisters and small halls, and also some famous, big villas, owned by Medici family. As just some miles outside Florence, Medici Villa of Petraia and Corsini Villa of Castello, located within walking distance from each other, both with free entrance (for opening times see the links above).
blocks_image
Medici Villa of Petraia, designed by Bernardo Buontalenti on the lower slopes of a hill just 4 miles far from Florence center, has a great panoramic view on city plain. There's an hourly walk with Villa's keepers inside the building, which lets you explore its various environments, paintings, ancient furnitures, including the courtyard magnificent frescoes from il Volterrano
blocks_image
The spectacular main room of the Corsini Villa a Castello, with some of the Greek and Roman statues on display; the villa contains some 100 remarkable sculptures, reliefs, steles and all sorts of Villanovan, Etruscan, Roman and Greek artifacts from the endless deposits  - over a hundred thousand pieces - of the National Archeological Museum of Florence
September and October are perfect for a visit in Boboli Garden; with the entrance ticket, you have also access to Museo degli Argenti The Costume Gallery and Museo delle Porcellane.
The Renaissance garden is still today not so different from the garden it was at the Medici time; that's why despite the name, it's not just a "simple" garden, it's actually a museum, with ancient Roman, Renaissance and Baroque statues. If you want to visit all the place, you can spend inside a whole day, discovering all the magnificent surprises it has: grottos, fountains, middle age walls, perspectives on the city, and the wonderful geometrical green shapes.
blocks_image
David by Michelangelo (Accademia Gallery)
On June 2012 other 9 rooms were opened. Other rooms meanwhile are opened; visiting Uffizi, you can find some rooms closed because works are still going on.
Among restored space, finally the
Tribuna too, after a long restauration, is now visible. Friends of Florence made possible the project, and on their website there are informations about it.
The Tribuna was designed by
Bernardo Buontalenti in 1584, and beside being an architectonical masterpiece, it's the first Uffizi museum room, built just to receive a part of the Duke collection.
blocks_image
The Battle of San Romano, by Paolo Uccello, just restored by Opificio delle Pietre Dure, it's displayed in Uffizi Gallery. Google Art Project has a high definition image of the painting
blocks_image
FAIRS AND MARKETS
ORGANIC FARMS PRODUCTS
ARTISANAL PRODUCTS
Every month in Florence there are some little markets, usually held in some "piazzas", places, with small farmers and traditional local artisans. That's why we recommend them. A fair, for instance is planned in Piazza Santo Spirito each third Sunday of every months, from 9 a.m to 7 p.m: this fair it's about small organic agriculture farms - they are usually family-run farm, with few hectares, - hand made artisanship, and trade of traditional regional products, such as ceramic. It's an opportunity to buy Tuscan extra virgin oil from organic production, or organic wine; or also aromatic herbs, cultivated with care. The fair organization has a simple website, but only in italian language.
If you go to these fairs, a little of words of italian could help for speaking with the producers, each of them has its own stand; but it's not so necessary, as you'll find quite everywhere people speaking at least a little of english.

Next markets:

Saturday 5 and Sunday 6, September, Piazza SS Annunziata, Bread Market (Fierucola del Pane), from 9 am to dawn

Saturday 8 August, Saturday 12 September: artisanal and antique market, books, furnishings, cloths, etcetera in Piazza della Libertà, from 9 am to dawn

blocks_image
EVENTS IN FLORENCE
blocks_image
Ponte Vecchio
Obviously there are many events next months, in Florence; we'll write about some of them.
For other information, you can search on Florence
tourism website: you have the possibility to choose only music events, or only art events, and so on, and you can search on the complete list of every sort of events - even choosing all Florence Province municipalities, or only one.
Inside some national museums as Uffizi, Accademia, Galleria Palatina, Bargello you'll find great temporary exhibitions, next months. Complete list at Florence National Museums Institutions, in italian Polo Museale Fiorentino, website,
here.
Among the current exhibitions, we suggest "Piero di Cosimo", in Uffizi Gallery,
information here, an eccentric painter, one of the greatest genius in italian Renaissance.
Florence has a very felt musical tradition, which derives from historical reasons, here the modern opera was born with the Camerata de 'Bardi in the Renaissance. The city has two world-class orchestras, which are the Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the Orchestra della Toscana. To their concerts, many other activities of the highest level are added throughout the year, both of symphonic music and opera, chamber music and contemporary classical. Let's give a look to the next musical seasons in Florence.
One of these, it's the season of the Friends of Music (Amici della Musica), which is among the most prestigious in the world about chamber music, including performances and concerts of absolute value. At
this link the season of the Friends of Music, which beginning in October it goes on until April; the concerts are held at the historic Teatro della Pergola, one of the oldest in Florence.
L '
Orchestra della Toscana (ORT) will celebrate in Autumn its 33 season; the Orchestra's concerts are held in Florence in another historic theater, the Teatro Verdi , in the district of Santa Croce, the program here .
The Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra has a brand new opera theater, the Opera di Firenze; winter season will start on September 22, with concerts, dance, performance, operas, played by the most ancient florentine orchestra,
information here.
blocks_image
Something perfect in winter: a visit in the Florentine traditional workshops. Visits and tours are organized by Florence Foundation for Arts and Crafts (Fondazione di Firenze per l'Artigianato Artistico), an institution created by Florence Chamber of Commerce, Florence Municipality, Province of Florence, and local artisans' Associations. Guided tours are made in some artisans' workshops, in italian and english. Here is the website, www.fondazioneartigianato.it/en/, full of information about tours, events, crafts, all about Florence artisans.
blocks_image
blocks_image
The Giardino del Cavaliere, on the top of Boboli hill; at center, the Fontana delle Scimmie by Giambologna and Tribolo; back, on the hills behind the fountain, the Torre del Gallo and on the right, Arcetri, where Galileo lived (in Villa il Gioiello) and where in 1872 an observatory was built.
Piero di Cosimo, Andromeda liberata da Perseo, detail
Before the start of the Maggio season, some operas are on display at the new Opera Theatre, in Florence, as the Il Barbiere di Siviglia by Gioacchino Rossini (image above) till September 6; Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini, till September 8; and Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti, till September 30. Information here; tickets start at 10 euros, and you will enjoy the perfect acoustic of the brand new theatre!
blocks_image
blocks_image
EVENTS ON FLORENCE TOURISM OFFICE WEBSITE