Five Favorites: Art in Tuscany

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To many a traveler, Tuscany and art are synonymous. From the architecture to the numerous galleries to those gorgeous, green, and cliché hills, there’s an element of art in every corner of Tuscany.

That’s why I am very excited to introduce you to guest poster Alexandra Korey, a Canada-born Italophile with a love for Tuscan art. Alexandra is a big score for this particular Five Favorites feature as she writes the arts blog for the Tuscany Tourism Board (isn’t that the most fab job you’ve ever heard of??).

Below are Alexandra’s personal picks for the best of Tuscan art and where to find them. I love this list because it is a very fresh take on the Tuscan art scene. Please don’t write to me asking why Michelangelo’s “David” isn’t on here…

Five Favorites: Art in Tuscany

One of the primary reasons that people come to Italy – and to Tuscany in particular – is to see great art. A “top five” list of great art in Tuscany is almost impossible, given that I have what Italians would call “l’imbarazzo della scelta” – way too many choices. So I’ve taken this challenge chronologically, and warn you that this is a totally personal list that blends some of my favorites with some must-sees.

Etruscan and Roman Ruins at Roselle

The ruins at Roselle in Maremma, the southern coastal area of Tuscany, consist of an Etruscan city built upon, but not entirely ruined by, the Romans. When I was there we were practically the only people walking around this vast space (best done in spring or fall).

Medieval Art at San Miniato al Monte

San Miniato al Monte is a Romanesque church above Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence, from which you can get a great view of the city. The church itself is one of the few in this part of Italy to have a raised crypt.

Early Modern Art in the Uffizi Gallery

It’s no secret that the Uffizi gallery is one of the world’s best museums, and if you want to overload on art and risk Stendhal’s syndrome, this is the place to do it. I have written about how to approach the Uffizi so that you don’t drop dead of exhaustion, and suggest that you do not attempt to see everything at once.

Renaissance Art: Anything by Donatello

Would it be cheating if I suggested two totally different sculptures by Donatello that you could view and compare? Donatello had a long career and worked in many media and styles; these are two of my favourites.

a. Donatello’s Annunciation tabernacle in the Church of Santa Croce
b. Donatello’s Cantoria in the Museum of the Opera del Duomo in Florence

Contemporary Art in Lucca

Tuscany’s not really known for its contemporary art but recently there has been more movement in this field, especially in the town of Lucca.

Year-round, Lucca has a contemporary art space called… Lu.C.C.A! that offers rotating exhibits as well as frequent artists’ round tables and other special events. Every second summer there’s a biennial of contemporary art on the theme of paper, called Cartasia, that turns the whole town into an open air gallery.

Alexandra Korey is an art history professor turned professional blogger who resides in Florence Italy. She writes her personal blog and the arts blog for the Regione Toscana,

Photos © Tuscany Arts (1, 4, 5), Richardfabi, Wikipedia, Alexandra Korey

8 thoughts on “Five Favorites: Art in Tuscany”

  1. For sporty types, the run up to San Miniato is really challenging and you get a great reward in the form of the best view of the city once you get up there! Be prepared to have people mutter under their breath about your questionable mental state however…

  2. @Jason ha ha you’re kidding right? 😉 Actually you’re absolutely correct; in fact the city of Florence unveiled a jogging route (with appropriate signage) that cuts much of Viale Michelangelo and can finish up there at San Miniato. It’s a nice early morning walk (cool air and all) and I suppose an early morning jog too, if one were so sportily inclined.

  3. absolutely, Eleonora! The Pecci is great and will get much better with the new expansion. I receive their updates from the mailing list and really enjoyed the latest exhibit (on until the end of August) by Paolo Canevari. I went to the press preview so i got to ask questions and video the artist and stuff 😉

  4. Nice written post. The art in the Uffizi Gallery are really stunning. They have a great collection and it’s so huge inside. Great to take a stroll and admire at the arts and the past.


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