Modern Florence - A Tour of Contemporary 3D Art (part 1)

Many Masters of the Renaissance, even more masterpieces of the Renaissance. Florence dazzles with beauty, mastery and good taste. The tours are well known and the most important stops of art history popular. Today, however, we have prepared a somewhat different tour for you: A tour through the contemporary 3D art of Florence.

You will travel to Florence, to the city of Michelangelo's David…. the city of the Medicis. This is a city trip. You only have few days to visit the most important corners of the city. So, what to see first? The first day you probably get up early, and stroll through the Florentine alleys and parks. The next day you'll spend your time viewing the masterpieces of Michelangelo, da Vinci, Giotto, Donatello, Raphael, Boticelli, etc. The art of that ancient time: beautiful, fabulous, masterful… The question is, can we describe contemporary art in the same manner and can it, too, be found in Florence? Our answer: Absolutely!!!
Let us show you.

Welcome to a very special tour that will give you an insight into contemporary 3D art in Florence and show you the most beautiful places this diverse city has to offer.

Piazzale Michelangelo:

We start our tour at one of the highlights of this city: the Piazzale Michelangelo. What we find here is a stunning square with a breathtaking view over the whole city (see cover photo). A replica of Michelangelo's David stands in the middle. Cozy cafés surround the square inviting you to sit, enjoy a “Caffé” and contemplate the beauty of your surroundings. 
Yes, we agree, this has nothing to do with contemporary art yet, but none should ever go to Florence and not pass through this beautiful square. We can also get an overview here, enjoy the ambiance of Italy, and gather energy for the rest of your tour.

From Piazzale Michelangelo to the Rose Garden "Giardino delle Rose" (approx. 6 min):

Giardino delle Rose in winter
Giardino delle Rose in winter

We leave Michelangelo’s David and the square named after him and continue on to the Rose garden only a few minutes walk away. Here we find about 350 different types of roses and a variety of other plants, as well as 12 beautiful sculptures by the artist Jean-Michel Folon (1934 - 2005). At the entrance to the garden we find Partir (leave). This sculpture depicts Folon's nostalgia for Italy, a country with which he fell in love during a journey at a very young age. The sculpture is the outline of a suitcase, and inside, a ship riding the waves. The suitcase frames the city, lyrically inviting you to take Florence home with you.

More of Folon’s sculptures are strategically placed, in symbiosis with nature. For example Chat (cat), a sleeping cat is poetically sleeping amongst the roses or Je me souviens (I remember) (2003), which is a male figure sitting on a bench with an open book on his lap - inviting us to sit down and enjoy nature, art and, of course, the fabulous view.

Jean-Michel Folon, Partir, 1977
Jean-Michel Folon, Partir, 1977


From the rose garden to "Le Murate Caffè" (approx. 15 min):

Welcome to a young, international, but above all, modern Florence! What started out as a literary café has now developed into a vibrant center for contemporary art and culture. Exhibitions, workshops, concerts, debates, readings and other activities take place here. Definitely worth a visit! 

From "Le Murate Caffè" to the Four Seasons Hotel (approx. 14 min):

The next location is an absolute insider tip! 

Again, only short walk away, is the Four Seasons Hotel. If you wondering what we could possibly find here, you are in for a surprise. The garden of the hotel, the Giardino della Gherardesca, was laid out in the 15th century and it covers an area of 4.5 hectares. It is now full of the most amazing Italian contemporary sculptures.

Here we can find Rotture (2017), Paradiso perduto (lost paradise), Metamorphosis – Butterfly and My Times by Ugo Riva, works of art by Dario Tironi and the sculpture „Cigno“ Facing the future ("swan") by Anne Shingleton.

There is also Pesci (fish) by Gioela Suardi. The artist hopes that her artwork, like nature, will give people a feeling of  joy and poetry. Additionally, it represents creative people who escape their everyday surroundings.
And not to be left unmentioned are the extraordinary works Il peso del tempo sospeso (The weight of suspended time), Marta e l'elefante (Marta and the elephant) and Testa di Rinoceronte (Head of Rhinoceros) by Stefano Bombardieri. The artist sees animals as the link between man and nature. With skill and delicacy he is able to convey this through his art.

From the Four Seasons Hotel to the Museo Novecento (approx. 15 min):

Paolo Parisi, Museo
Paolo Parisi, Museo

From the Four Seasons Hotel another short walk to the Museo Novecento. 20th century works of art have been presented here, in both permanent and temporary exhibitions, since 2014. The permanent exhibition includes works by Giorgio De Chirico, Filippo De Pisis, Gino Severini, Giorgio Morandi, Mario Mafai, Renato Guttuso, Felice Casorati and Ottone Rosai. In temporary exhibitions are even more three dimensional art featured.

Maurizio Nannucci, Everything might be different
Maurizio Nannucci, Everything might be different


From the Museo Novecento to the Street Levels Gallery (approx. 3 min):

The tour continues to the Street Levels Gallery, which deals with the interaction between art and the street. The gallery is not only an exhibition venue for art of various genres, but also a meeting place for young people with creative minds.

After perusing the Street Levels Gallery, there are seven more stops on our contemporary art tour to look forward to. But first let's recharge our batteries and enjoy the sunset - part 2 follows!

View from Piazzale Michelangelo at sunset



Author: Natalia Nedza 

After studying in Florence for half a year, I am now happy, to show you a very special side of this beautiful city.

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