ART & DESIGN
The gallery’s wonderful collection is arranged to illustrate the evolving story of Florentine art. Some of the most famous pieces are in rooms 7-18, they include Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, Titan’s Venus of Urbino, Michelangelo’s Holy Family and Piero Della Francesca’s Duke & Duchess of Urbino.
Cappelle Medici is a dome of coloured marble. Marble tombs of the Medici family, designed by Michelangelo anchored high on the hexagonal dome walls carry the Medici coat of arms. Decorative inlaid semiprecious stones are cut to such precision that seams are nearly invisible to the naked eye.
Modern Art Museum (Palazzo Pi)
Situated on the top floor of the Pi Palace, the museum consists of 30 rooms which were once royal apartments. The varied collection comprises works which were donated by private collectors and once belonged to grand dukes, as well as paintings brought by the state and has everything from neo-classical to early 20th-century art. Students can also see the Costume Gallery.
Galleria dell’ Accademia
The Accademia di Belle Art was Europe’s first school of drawing. The Academy Gallery houses works of Italian sculptors like Michelangelo (main gallery), including the original David.
The National Museum has its setting in one of the oldest buildings in Florence and is one of the most beautiful in Italy. Initially the headquarters of the Capitano del Popolo and later of the Podestà, in the sixteenth century, it became the residence of the Bargello or head of police spies from which it took its name. The building is the setting mainly for works of sculpture and many examples of the decorative arts.
Palazzo Vecchio is a monument of exceptional artistic and historical importance and has been the city’s political centre over the centuries. The building was erected as the seat of the Priors of the Guilds, probably according to the plans of Arnolfo di Cambio (XIII-XIV centuries).
Cappella Brancacci (Chapel)
The church of Santa Maria del Carmine houses one of the greatest tributes to a painting of all time, the frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel, begun by Masolino and Masaccio, and finished by Filippo Lippi after the latter’s death. The recent lengthy restoration brought to light the evenness of the large decorative cycle that was conceived by Masolino and Masaccio in strict collaboration.
When the Medici bought the Palazzo Pitti in 1549 they also acquired large pieces of land behind the Palace, some of it previously owned by the Boboli family. Tribolo designed the garden in 1549, containing antique and Renaissance statues, fountains and other Mannerist embellishments.
San Marco Museum
Opened to the public in 1869, this museum houses the largest collection of sacred art in Florence including a sweeping fresco by Giovanni Antonio Sogliani and a superb collection of works by Mariotto Albertinelli.
The remarkable Duomo, of Santa Maria del Fiore, with its pink, white and green marble façade and characteristic dome dominates the city’s skyline. The building took almost two centuries to build (and even then the façade wasn’t completed until the 19th century) and is the fourth-largest cathedral in the world. It also houses the crypt of Santa Reparata.
Salvatore Ferragamo Museum
The museum was established in 1995 and located in Palazzo Ferroni. Together with famous fabrics, collections and drawings, it is possible to see a collection of 10,000 pairs of shoes designed by this famous Italian stylist from 1920 – 1960.
Spread across three floors, and spanning a total of 1,715 square metres, the museum charts Gucci’s remarkable 90-year history, from its beginnings when, in the tradition of his 14th century forbears, founder Guccio Gucci made his name as a purveyor of finest quality leather accessories, to its present-day status as one of the world’s leading luxury goods brands.
Costume Gallery (Pitti Palace)
The Costume Gallery in Florence (Galleria del Costume) is one of the museums inside the Pitti Palace. The collection contains garments, accessories and theatrical costumes, ranging from the 16th century to modern times, including items by fashion designers like Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace and Valentin. The highlight of the collection is the 16th-century funeral clothes of Grand Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici. These clothes were restored in the museum’s own laboratory, which is dedicated to the restoration of garments and accessories so that they can be preserved for future generations.
DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY
Pagani Museum & Factory Tour (Bologna)
At the Pagani facility, students will discover the incredible life of Mr Horacio Pagani. In the showroom, you will be able to admire the very first model to scale which Mr Pagani, the founder, made when he was just 12 years old. You will also get an opportunity to see the first racing car that he ever built, as well as the very first drawing of the Zonda and the latest Zonda Revolution and Huayra. Guided visits of the production workshop will be allowed together with a chance to buy official Pagani merchandise.
Ducati Factory & Museum (Bologna)
Ducati Motorcycles have long been known for their excellence in design and performance. From the first post-Second World War bicycle-like low-displacement motorbikes Ducati has grown over the years into a racing giant that is consistently competitive in both the racing arena and the world motorcycle marketplace.
Ferrari Museum and Factory (Maranello)
Immerse the students in the Ferrari story past and present, and top off the experience with a bit of time travel to the future too. The Maranello Museum tells the Ferrari story by delving deep into the Prancing Horse’s extraordinary roots and taking visitors on a magnificent journey via its most famous and successful F1 cars, legendary sports prototypes and GTs, and, of course, the road cars that have set the benchmark for the entire car industry.
Lamborghini Museum (Bologna)
Opened in 2001, the Lamborghini Museum reviews all the important milestones reached by the House of the Raging Bull including all the exclusive supercars that have turned it into a legendary brand. It is also possible to tour the factory to see the production process of these supercars. Factory tours must be booked well in advance and are not available throughout August.
Panini Motor Museum (Modena)
A museum established to show the private collection of 19 vintage Maserati. Umberto Panini bought the cars in order that they remain in Modena to preserve its car manufacturing heritage and they can be seen and enjoyed at the Museum known as CUP (Umberto Panini Collection).
CITY HIGHLIGHTS & DAY TRIPS
Guided Tour of Florence
A sightseeing tour of Florence on foot will offer the opportunity to see all its main attractions including the Piazza della Signoria, the Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio. An experienced guide will give information on the history of the city and will be able to answer any questions students have about the city.
Piazza della Signoria
Home to the Palazzo Vecchio, and the location of the original David by Michelangelo, a copy can now be found here. During the 14th Century – Florence’s golden age, crowds collected here. It is where Savonarola preached hell-fire against the decadence of the city and held his Bonfire of the Vanities, only to be burned at the stake in the same spot exactly one year later.
The walls are lined with tombs and 276 tombstones pave the floor. The church’s most famous inhabitants are Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Galileo and Bardi. Its various chapels feature works of art by Giotto and della Robbia, and the serene cloisters were designed by Brunelleschi.
The most famous bridge in Florence and also the oldest, this structure with three stone arches replaced a wooden bridge which had crossed the Arno River at this spot since Roman times. Originally the sides held food shops but by the end of the 15th century, the shops were assigned to goldsmiths and silversmiths.
Day Trip to San Gimignano and Siena
San Gimignano, a walled village famous for its tower houses and Siena, a beautiful city are the embodiment of medieval Tuscany. Archetypal in their architecture and culture they have been preserved to offer a glimpse of life in old Italy. The whole city of Siena, built around the Piazza del Campo, was devised as a work of art that blends into the surrounding landscape. The Piazza del Campo is also the home to the famous Palio.
Day Trip to Assisi
Known primarily as the birthplace of St. Francis (1182-1226 AD), the town has been a sacred place since long before the Franciscan era. The Basilica of San Francesco, one of Italy’s foremost monuments, was built between 1228 and 1253 AD.
Day Trip to Venice
Take a sightseeing tour around this fabulous city. Though thoroughly walkable, getting around Venice is a mesmerising experience aboard the city’s variety of public transport boats, the Amoretti or smaller.