Fifth Florentine Weekend
Thursday, October 20 – Monday, October 24, 2016
Thursday October 20
6:30 pm Lecture and Cocktail at Palazzo Tornabuoni hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Lowry Bell
Friday October 21
10:00 am Guided visit of the renovated, recently reopened Opera del Duomo Museum
The Opera Duomo Museum contains many of the original works of art created for the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. The museum is located just east of the Duomo, near its apse. It opened in 1891, and now houses what has been called “one of the world’s most important collections of sculpture”. Among the museum’s holdings are Lorenzo Ghiberti’s doors for the Baptistery of Florence Cathedral called the Gates of Paradise, the cantorie, or choir lofts, designed for the cathedral by Luca della Robbia and Donatello, and The Deposition, a pietà intended by Michelangelo for his own tomb.
12:00pm – Apéritif at Palazzo Pucci hosted by the Marchioness Cristina Pucci
In spite of numerous restorations, the palace keeps most of the original style: the ground floor with its original stone pavement, a large central window, and the Pucci family emblem. There is also a large courtyard with a lofty gate adorning the entrance. Both the courtyard and the ground floor are open to the public. The Pucci were an ancient family, for centuries very influential due to banking and trading. They were also important patrons of the arts. Antonio Pucci commissioned Sandro Botticelli in 1483 to create four panels in celebration of the wedding of his son. Emilio Pucci, marquis of Barsento, designer and politician, is probably the most famous of the Pucci’s of modern times. He had a very successful career as dress designer, with famous stars like Princess Grace of Monaco, Jacqueline Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe all wearing his designs as well as staying at the Palazzo Pucci.
7:00 pm –Pre-Cocktail party reserved to Leonardo Members at Villa Il Garofalo
8:00 pm – Welcome dinner at Villa Il Garofalo hosted by Countess Maria Vittoria Colonna Rimbotti
The villa’s original complex dates to the XIII Century and was firstly owned by Dante Alighieri’s family where they most likely resided.
The Portinari family then became the next owners. Other illustrious families followed until the end of World War II when Count Pier Francesco Rimbotti purchased and restored the villa to its original historical grandeur, still maintained today.
Saturday October 22
10:30 am Exclusive tour of Villa La Pietra to view the Valois tapestries, the Villa and the garden, followed by a light snack.
Villa La Pietra (“The Stone”), owes its name to the area where it stands, along Via Bolognese, where a milestone of Roman origin used to indicate that Florence northern gate was seven miles away. It was built in the 1460s for the Sassetti bankers family, then it was sold to the Capponi family in 1545. Finally in 1907 Arthur Acton and his wealthy American wife Hortense Mitchell purchased the property, that was later inherited by their son Harold. On his death in 1994, Sir Harold bequeathed La Pietra and his fortune to New York University in order that the villa and its collections could be preserved intact, and the estate, including four other villas, could be used for academic purposes. The main villa is surrounded by a 16th-century Italian garden, completely reorganized by the Actons, arranged in a series of broad terraces, parterres and fountains, linked by hedged walks providing vistas of architectural features, and over 180 statues. The Acton Collection consists of more than 7,000 objects including paintings, tapestries, sculptures, ceramics, and important Baroque furniture. There is also a fine library of some 12,000 volumes.
08:15 pm Dinner in the Palazzo Capponi, with the beautiful Salone Poccetti overlooking the Arno river, hosted by Countess Chiara Miari Fulcis Ferragamo
Sunday October 23
10:30 am Departure from Florence for lunch in the countryside in a private property in the surroundings of Florence, hosted by Marchioness Bona Frescobaldi.
04:00 pm Return to the hotel in Florence
Afternoon and dinner free
Monday October 24
10.00 am Exclusive private opening of the Uffizi Gallery and guided tour with a special view of the artworks restored by Friends of the Uffizi Gallery and Amici degli Uffizi. At the end of the tour, switch-on opening ceremony of the new Seicento rooms with the Caravaggio paintings, in the presence of Director Eike Schmidt
This is one of the most important museums in the world and was built between 1560 and 1580 by Giorgio Vasari, commissioned by Cosimo I de’ Medici who wanted a majestic palace with two wings “over the river and almost suspended in the air.” It was meant to house the principal administrative offices of the Tuscan State, hence the name of Uffizi (Offices).The project planned by Cosimo I, to arrange prime works of art in the Medici collections on the piano nobile, was effected by his son Francesco I who commissioned from Buontalenti the famous Tribuna, where a selection of outstanding masterpieces was a star attraction of the Grand Tour.
The Uffizi Gallery houses an immense artistic heritage which includes thousands of paintings from the Middle Ages to modern times as well as many ancient sculptures, miniatures and tapestries. The collection of self-portraits is world-famous and in the course of time has grown through acquisitions and donations from contemporary artists. Equally remarkable is the collection of drawings and prints, known as the Gabinetto dei Disegni e delle Stampe. in alternative (on request)
10:00 am Departure from Florence and visit and wine tasting at the Marchesi Antinori Chianti Classico Cellar in Bargino
The Antinori family has been producing wine since 1385, over twenty-six generations. Built entirely with locally sourced materials, respectful of the surrounding environment and preserving with great care the Tuscan landscape, this winery is a milestone in the history of the Marchesi Antinori company. It is set amongst olive groves, vineyards and oak trees, mostly built underground concealed within a hill, designed by one of Italy’s leading architects as a sort of a temple to wine. The reasons for completing this projects are strictly tied to the production of wine but also to give a vast public of wine lovers the opportunity to come into direct contact with the production philosophy of the family, offering the possibility of seeing, from the vineyard to the bottle, how a wine is born, observing the step-by-step phases of fermentation and aging.
6:30 pm Classical music concert of the Quartetto TAAG of the Music School of Fiesole in the Michelangelo room of the Uffizi Gallery
The recently restored room dedicated to Michelangelo and Florentine Painters shows works from the end of the 15th – beginning of the 16th century. It displays the only confirmed survived painting on panel by Michelangelo, the so-called Tondo Doni. It was a private commission that Michelangelo painted for Agnolo Doni, a very rich Florentine merchant. It is still in its original frame, which was also cleaned in preparation for the re-installation. The works by early sixteenth-century Florentine painters that were moved into this room include those to the immediate right and left of the “Tondo Doni” by Francesco Granacci, who was a friend of Michelangelo. The works to the right and left of Granacci’s paintings showcase two separate artistic schools active during Michelangelo’s lifetime, San Marco School the Annunziata School.
8:00 pm Exclusive private opening and guided tour of the Vasari Corridor
The Vasari Corridor is an elevated enclosed passageway which connects the Palazzo Vecchio with the Palazzo Pitti. The Vasari Corridor was built in five months by order of Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici in 1565, to the design of Giorgio Vasari. It was commissioned in connection with the marriage of Cosimo’s son, Francesco, with Johanna of Austria. The idea of an enclosed passageway was motivated by the Grand Duke’s desire to move freely between his residence and the government palace. Halfway over the Ponte Vecchio the corridor features a series of panoramic windows overlooking the Arno.
8:45 pm Special private farewell dinner in Palazzo Pitti
Built in the second half of the 15th century for Luca Pitti, a wealthy Florentine banker, Palazzo Pitti became home to the Medici after the wife of Grand Duke Cosimo I, Eleanor de Toledo, purchased it in 1549, turning it into the main family residence. The Medici commissioned famous architects to finish construction on the Palazzo and by 1570 the two side wings, the courtyard and the gardens were concluded. Nowadays the palace houses some important museums, including the Palatine Gallery, the Royal Apartments, the Silver Museum and the Gallery of Modern Art.