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Posts Tagged ‘Private Italy Tours Ltd’

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A fascinating staging – The Medici Dynasty Show

It is always a great pleasure to encounter an experience in Florence that is new, fresh, educational and intellectually interesting. Such is the case with “The Medici Dynasty Show”, now in its second year of performance at a historic ‘new’ venue.

It is, additionally, rare to encounter a performance which educates the audience about the final days of the Medici in a little over an hour. This is a performance that can easily precede an aperitivo and a late dinner.
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Don’t speak or understand Italian? No problem; the play is presented in English!
The heart of the story is the last meeting between the Medici ruler, Gian Gastone and his sister, Anna Maria Luisa. At the center of the action is a discussion about what needs to be done with the Medici estates, art, jewelry and other possessions of the family. The two are brother and sister and the last surviving members of the family traced back to Cosimo Pater Patriae.
Gian Gastone, ridden with disease, is confronted by a strong and vital sister who insists that a decision be made. I shall leave the rest of the story to your enjoyment.
Ticket Office The Medici Dynasty Show
Il Fuligno, the location for the performances, is located in the former Convent of Sant’Onofrio dell Monache di Foligno. Dating back to the 15th Century, the building was decorated by such local renaissance artists as Neri di Bicci.
Please note that the performance venue can accommodate only a maximum of ninety (90) seats per show.

ALL YEAR ROUND AT 7:00 PM – Duration 1 hour

The Medici Dynasty Show, at 7pm inside the Church of il Fuligno.

No performances on Monday and Friday. In August the show runs only on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.

All shows are live and in English language.

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The Convent performance venue

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Last Supper restored detail

I had the privilege of studying the panels of Giorgio Vasari’s Last Supper during a visit to the Opificio dell Pietra Dura workshop in Florence’s Fortezza di Basso last March.

Given the condition of the painting at that time, it was difficult to believe that the restored panels would be ready to hang once again in their place of honor in the Basilica of Santa Croce by early November of this year.

 

On November 4, exactly fifty years from the date that Vasari’s work was inundated and nearly destroyed in 1966, the work was unveiled in its original home.

It is difficult to put in to words what this means to Florentines. When Cimabue’s Crucifixion was restored and unveiled, the city expressed the same deep sense of pride they do now. Florentines are justifiably proud of their artistic heritage, no more so than when a Renaissance treasure by Vasari comes once again to life.

This is no small piece of art. The completed work measures 8.6 Feet (262 cm) high by 19 Feet (580 cm) wide.

For forty-six years the panels were kept in secure storage, awaiting the moment when art restoration would successfully meet the scientific techniques required to carefully and lovingly repair the painting.  It was in 2012 that the panels were moved to the Opificio della Pietra Dura in Florence to begin the process of ‘rebirth’.

Vasari’s opus joins several other master works at Santa Croce, including Taddeo Gaddi’s Last Supper.

Below are some photographs taken shortly after the flood submerged this masterpiece for over thirty-six hours, as well as photos of the work’s recent restored unveiling.

In a word? GO!

Santa Croce Visiting Hours, Ticketing Information and Map

Shortly after the flood – note that the panels have been covered with linen cloth to stabilize the paint so that it would not flake off as the piece was moved and dried.

The experts bring the Last Supper back to life

The completed masterpiece, in its place of honor at Santa Croce

 

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Our prayers are with those affected by a second series of large earthquakes that struck late this evening Central European Time, October 26, 2016, once again in central Italy.

The epicenter appears to be in the same general area of central Italy, not too far from Amatrice, one of the most heavily damaged villages in the August quake. Recent reports indicate that the quake’s center was about 36 miles from Perugia and shocks were felt as far away as Rome.

Here is a link to the latest update, as of 5:05PM EST October 26 2016:

Earthquake Central Italy October 26 2016

Per coloro che possono leggere l’Italiano, ecco un recente aggiornamento di nottizie italiana, la RAI:
Here is a map showing the general location of this most recent quake’s epicenter.
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Here is some great news about the Uffizi in Florence.

For those who have visited the gallery, you may recall the Sandro Botticelli rooms located off of the Eastern/First Corridor in numbers 10 – 14. (See map below) They were rather dark, crowded (always) and not easy to navigate.

Thanks to a complete renovation of those rooms, the Botticelli’s glow as never before. In addition to the rooms dedicated to Sandro, Rooms 9 and 15 have been upgraded as well.

The rooms reopened on October 18, 2016 (yesterday).  For those of you headed to Florence anytime in the future will enjoy the spectacular way his unforgettable work is now showcased.

Enjoy!

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Primavera in the newly renovated rooms of Botticelli at the Uffizi

Uffizi Gallery

CLOSED MONDAYS!!

Tuesday – Sunday, 08:15AM – 06:50PM

Tickets: Uffizi Web Site

MAP OF BOTTICELLI ROOMS, UFFIZI

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Are you looking for a ten-day, four star hotel based, exploration of the art and history of Tuscany? Would you enjoy a small group of like-minded travelers who share a passion for the intriguing history of the world’s art center?

Room of Pope Leo X Poggio a Caiano

Poggio a Caiano: Medici Villa Ballroom (Room of Leo X) Frescoes by Alori, Pontormo, Franciabigio and others (15th, 16th and 17th Centuries)

Do you have a passion, a curiosity or an interest in learning more about the Florentine Renaissance, its famous artists, writers, sculptors and musicians?

JOIN US on our annual exploration of what once was the creative center of western European culture.

Our special, annual, exploration includes:

  • Round trip airfare from Charlotte, NC to Florence/Return (credit applied for those travelers who join us from other cities)
  • Transfer from Asheville, NC to Charlotte Airport outbound and return
  • Four Star Hotel in Florence city center
  • Overall group size limited to twenty-four guests
  • Private guides most days with group size is limited to no more than ten guests per group, all equipped with Whisper Phones for hearing our guides in the clearest way possible
  • Two separate full day excursions with private guides to Siena and Lucca
  • A vast and incredible array of excursions which can be added to your time on the tour
  • Open afternoons for explorations on your own, with support and guidance from your 24/7 tour leader, Mark Gordon Smith of Private Italy Tours LTD (www.private-italy.com)
  • All museum entrance tickets included
  • All ground transportation in Italy is included
  • Breakfast, daily, included
  • Two dinners – Welcome and Farewell at wonderful restaurants in the city center
  • Bound itinerary books for you to refer to in the course of your tour and to keep as a memory of your time in Italy

Tariff is $4150.00 per person, inclusive

No Single Supplement

View our Introductory Video about this incredible tour

Click on the photo below to download and view our narrated PowerPoint introduction for this tour.

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PowerPoint Introduction Art Tour Tuscany

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Very few visitors to Florence have ever heard of Villa La Quiete. Even if this is a place you do not know, make plans to visit this incredible exhibit.

NOTE: Before you go, please double check the hours that the exhibit is open, as listed below.

Now home to a university of cultural studies for foreigners, and not far from Sesto Fiorentino, the villa’s restoration is being previewed, in anticipation of its April 2017 reopening, in an exhibit of works by  Renaissance artists.

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Villa La Quiete and Gardens

The area of the current villa’s location was called, during Roman occupation, Palagio di Quarto after a hill not far from the ancient city center of present day Florence. The Orlandini family owned the villa from the 12th Century and substantially expanded it during their ownership. It changed hands several times during the 15th century: 1438, given to a military leader, Nicholas di Tolentino, as a gift from the Republic of Florence; 1453 bought by Pierfranceso de Medici.

In 1637, Christine of Lorraine, wife of Grand Duke Ferdinand I de Medici, acquired the villa and was responsible for expanding and improving the building to its current beauty. The property’s furnishings were given to the Palazzo Pitti and Palazzo Vecchio in Florence as part of Anna Maria Luisa de Medici’s Patto di Famiglia. She was the last remaining direct descendant of the Medici family tree, leading back to Cosimo, Pater Patriae. The Family Pact (Patto di Familia) of 1743 stipulated that all Medici property was to be given to the city of Florence.

The building is now the home of a work by Domenico Ghirlandaio’s son, Ridolfo, Mystical Marriage of Saint Catherine. The other works in the exhibit were loaned by other museums and churches.

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Domenico Ghirlandaio – Mystical Marriage of St. Catherine

The exhibit features several little known works including Botticelli’s Coronation of the Virgin with Saints, one of but a few crucifix’s by Baccio di Montelupo and the Ridolfo di  Ghirlandaio Mystical Marriage of Saint Catherine.

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Coronation of the Virgin with Saints, 1490-1492 Botticelli

Exhibition Room, Villa La Quiete

Courses at the University vary by term and further information can be found by clicking here:

Universita degli studi di Firenzecentro Cultura per Stranieri

Exhibit Hours:
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 5:00PM to 8:00PM
CLOSED: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Florence’s Central University of Cultural Studies for Foreigners

Via di Boldrone, 2

50141 Firenze

Italy

Tel: 055.27.56.444

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Libreria Aqua Alta Entrance

Down one of the more typical walkways of Venice, in the heart of the Castello Sestieri (neighborhood), and in the shadow of the gorgeous Cathedral of San Giovanni e Paolo, is an unexpected treasure of Venice, the Bookstore of High Water (Libreria Aqua Alta). Please refer to the map link below for detailed location information.

Any self-respecting lover of books MUST visit, if only for the memorable curiosities contained within: a gondola (yes, a real gondola) full of books, room after room of volumes stacked, in most cases, to the ceiling, another small boat filled with hard and soft covers and, as a final treat, an outdoor set of stairs built from tomes that afford you a view of the canal behind the shop.

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The Infamous 3-D Artwork

As you enter the store, be prepared for the friendly and outgoing owner, Luigi Frizzo, to greet you. Along with his pointing out a certain three dimensional painting of Venetian palazzi, showcased near the check out counter (right), one of any number of well fed cats may stare you down, might stretch and resettle or could even meow a hello.

I have visited this libreria numerous times over the years. Each visit, I wonder how Luigi keeps the bookstore, literally and figuratively, afloat.

When you are next in Venice, make sure you add a short easy break at the “High Water”. You will not be disappointed.

Calle Longa Santa Maria Formosa (Corte Senza Nome)

5176/B – Castello, 30122 Venice

Tel: +39 041 296 08 41

Daily Hours: 9:00AM – 8:00PM

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