A stroll through modern art, fashion and crafts in Florence
Alongside the classic sites it can boast about, the City of the Lily is also home to significant expressions of the present in the world of art and manufacturing excellence.
15 July 2022
This is because works by XX and XXI Century artists are often housed in historic structures and buildings in Florence. The Museo Novecento and its permanent collection, exhibitions and regular exhibition cycles is housed in the old Spedale delle Leopoldine hospital in Piazza Santa Maria Novella.
Close by and still in the historic centre, there is the Marino Marini Museum, dedicated to one of the finest Italian XX century sculptors, housed in the former Church of San Pancrazio between Vigna Nuova and Piazza Santa Maria Novella, dating from the year 1000 and de-consecrated in 1809. It is home to more than 180 works by Marini including sculptures, paintings, engravings and drawings.
In short, over and above David and other Florentine icons, there really is a great deal to discover. Art and fashion have a deep, indissoluble bond which produces superb results in Florence. It is no coincidence that the only museum in Italy dedicated to the history of costume and fashion, where you can see garments by Valentino, Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace and Yves Saint Laurent, among many others, is precisely the Museum of Costume and Fashion. Its collection has more than 6,000 items, including clothes and accessories from all periods and theatrical costumes. And an authentic gem: the cobalt blue court mantle with golden Savoy knots that belonged to Donna Franca Florio.
Returning to the chance for getting to know about contemporary art in the city that symbolizes classical and Renaissance art, don't miss a visit to La Manifattura Tabacchi, the old tobacco factory located in a former industrial complex covering six hectares with 16 buildings housing artist residences, exhibitions and retrospectives, and a shop for old, new or regenerated books.
The gap between Art and Fashion, when touring Florence, is closed by the many artisan shops where other forms of art come to life every day, in the world of leather goods, goldsmiths, cut and sew. Just wander around the Santo Spirito, San Niccolò and San Frediano quarters, or near Ponte Vecchio and Santa Maria Novella. Or move out of town to the Oltrarno area. In addition to a little knowledge as such, there are also many opportunities for attending courses and experiences even for beginners. You will be able to study the skills of artisans held in high regard all over the world. For example, you can print an original etching on a printing press with ink and cotton paper just like the print shops did 400 years ago. ...