Terracotta itineraries

Terracotta itineraries in the area of Impruneta

The Municipal district of Impruneta, owing to its deep-rooted passion for this fascinating form of handicraft, offers numerous visible testimonies of this centuries-old art, both in the town centre and in the green surroundings.

In the town centre one can visit the characteristic Quartiere delle Fornaci (kiln quarter), while a trip by car allows the visitor to discover the various typologies of terracotta works in the territory, along ancient road routes, in the gardens of villas, in farmyards and country houses.

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Terracotta itineraries in the municipal district of Florence

The warm red of the roofs, interspersed with the green of the gardens enclosed among the houses of the historical centre, is the prevailing colour of Florence from above. In this landscape some works stand out more than others, thanks to the great masters’ skilful use of terracotta: we immediately realize how close the relationship was between Florence and the Impruneta kilns, their products always being much appreciated by architects and artists who have worked in Florence over the centuries and up to today.

It is a spectacular journey that, starting from a visit to workshops and kilns, reaches Brunelleschi’s Dome, the Palazzo Vecchio, museums, churches, houses, gardens and fortresses.

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– Basilica of San Lorenzo and floor of the Laurentian Library, Piazza San Lorenzo
– Medici Chapels, Piazza Madonna degli Aldobrandini
– Church of San Frediano in Cestello, Piazza del Cestello
– Church of Santo Spirito, Piazza Santo Spirito
– Dome of Santa Maria del Fiore, Piazza Duomo
– Fortezza da Basso, Viale Filippo Strozzi
– Museum of the Horne Foundation, Via dei Benci, 6
– Marino Marini Museum, Piazza San Pancrazio
– Stefano Bardini Museum, Piazza dei Renai, 37
– Stibbert Museum, Via Frederick Stibbert, 26
– Palazzo Budini-Gattai, Piazza Santissima Annunziata, 1
– Palazzo Corsini, Via del Parione, 11
– Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Via Cavour
– Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria
– Palazzo Zuccari, Via Giusti , 44
– Scuola di Guerra Aerea, Via Aeronautica, 14
–Santa Maria Novella Railway Station, new access ramp by Gae Aulenti from Piazzale Montelungo

Florentine Chianti area

Chapel of Semifonte
The small chapel, having an octagonal plan, is crowned by a red dome which is an exact reproduction in proportion of that of the Florentine Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. The chapel, built between 1594 and 1597 on a design by Santi di Tito, has a double function: a devotional and a memorial one, as it stands where the town of Semifonte, destroyed by the Florentines, once rose and which the noble Florentine patron Capponi commissioned almost as a compensation for those tragic events.

Sacred Art Museum of San Francesco
The museum is housed in the former Convent of San Francesco. In the oratory on the ground floor there is the most important work of the collection: the large polychrome terracotta depicting the Lament over the Dead Christ, attributed to Benedetto di Santi Buglioni’s workshop. The museum displays an important collection of paintings, sculptures, liturgical hangings and vestments as well as sacred furnishings which bear witness to the historical importance and artistic vitality of the Greve in Chianti area. Let us mention in particular some works by Francesco Granacci, a Madonna and Child between Saints Bartholomew and Francis and a rare 16th-century painted glass work depicting Saint Sylvester the Benedictory Pope, together with the Assumption of the Virgin, attributed to Jacopo Vignali.

The San Casciano Museum
The museum, set up in the premises of the Church of Santa Maria del Gesù, boasts various terracotta works in its collection ranging from tools for working clay, firing shards from ancient Etruscan kilns as well as a monumental glazed-terracotta work depicting the Assumption of the Virgin from the Church of Santa Maria in Casavecchia , attributed to Benedetto and Santi Buglioni’s workshop and dating from the second decade of 16th century. The museum collection holds some works considered fundamental to the Italian figurative art of the origins such as: the altar-frontal depicting Saint Michael the Archangel, attributed to Coppo di Marcovaldo, and the Madonna and Child by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, dated 1319. In the same room there are other important 14th-century panels with gold backgrounds, among which is the Madonna and Child by the Master of the Horne Triptych; various works of the same subject by Jacopo del Casentino, Master Francesco,
Cenni di Francesco, and the Master of Sant’Jacopo a Mucciana. Since September 2008 the San Casciano Museum has organized a section dedicated to Primitive Dwellings which documents the great variety of buildings – often created using adobe bricks – and traditional habitats with models to scale, explanatory panels and vintage photographs. In addition, until April 26th , the same museum will host an exhibition on the San Casciano town walls, made of brick like the Florentine ones.

Museum of Sacred Art
The museum, adjacent to the Parish Church of San Pietro in Bossolo, displays a varied collection of paintings and liturgical hangings, vestments and furnishings coming from the parish churches in the surroundings of Tavarnelle. In the cloister some 17th-century jars, belonging to the museum, will be on display. The following works are part of the valuable painting collection: a Madonna and Child attributed to Meliore; a Madonna and Child by Rossello di Jacopo Franchi: a panel with a similar subject by Lorenzo di Bicci; a harmonious series of panels painted in 1473 by Neri di Bicci, among which is a Madonna and Child Enthroned and a Lament over the Dead Christ; a Madonna with Christ and Saint John as Children by Empoli. Furthermore, other very important works are to be pointed out: a 14th-century triptych attributed to Ugolino di Nerio; a Madonna and Child between Archangels Raphael and Gabriel by the Master of Marradi;
two Saints by Giovanni Montini and other works from the 18th- and 19th-century Florentine school.