In 2007, Friends of Florence introduced its first winter program.
Florence is lovely in the wintertime, as there are essentially no tourists and the city returns to the Florentines. There is a magic to the city at this time of the year that is quite unique.
Program highlights included:
• A lecture by William Cook, Ph.D. titled The Theme of the Last Supper in Florentine Art.
• A visit to Sant’ Apollonia to view The Last Supper by Andrea Castagno.
• A viewing of The Last Supper by Pietro Perugino in the Refectory of the Convent of Beata Angelina da Foligno.
• A visit to the Monastery of San Salvi to view The Last Supper by Andrea del Sarto and other works.
• A visit to the Certosa di Galluzzo, a former Carthusian monastery famous for both its art and architecture, founded in 1341 by Niccolò Acciaiuoli, followed by vespers at the exquisitely decorated San Miniato al Monte, one of the best-preserved Romanesque churches in Tuscany. It contains beautifully restored thirteenth century mosaics.
• Dinner at Palazzo Frescobaldi, the home of Board members Marchesa Rosaria and Marchese Ferdinando Frescobaldi.
• A visit to the Church of Ognissanti, to view The Last Supper by Ghirlandaio.
• A trip to San Gimignano, an outstanding example of a thirteenth century tower town, for a walking tour of the town and its medieval towers, including visits to the Collegiata of San Gimignano and Pinacoteca.
• Lunch at the Villa di Pillo, home of Friends of Florence board members John and Kathe Dyson.
• A viewing of the works of Lorenzo Monaco and other artists at the Galleria dell’Accademia
• Dinner at the home of Friends of Florence Board Members Marchesa Bona and Marchese Vittorio Frescobaldi.
• A day trip to explore the countryside around Siena, including a visit to the extraordinary Monte Oliveto Monastery, built in 1319, and viewing of the frescoes of Signorelli and Sodoma.
• Lunch in a Tuscan trattoria in Pienza
• A visit to the town of Pienza, the earliest example of Renaissance urban planning.
• A visit to Sant’ Antimo, built as a Benedictine monastery upon orders from Charlemagne in 800 AD.
• Dinner hosted by Friends of Florence Board Members Robert and Anne Krebs in Villa Kraus, their home in Fiesole.
• A visit to the Basilica of Santa Croce, including the refectory, church and chapterhouse. The Basilica contains the tombs of many famous Florentines, including Michelangelo and Galileo, and radiant frescoes by Giotto and his gifted pupil Taddero Gaddi.
• A visit to the Opificio delle Pietre Dure to visit the restoration Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise, partially funded by Friends of Florence.
• A visit to the Friends of Florence restoration project of Rustici’s bronze sculptural group from the north portal of the Baptistry, The Sermon of Saint John the Baptist, followed by lunch at the Cantinetta Antinori.
• A private visit to view the Contini Bonacossi Collection near the Uffizi Gallery, followed by a private visit to the Uffizi, focusing on works by the masters of The Last Supper cycle visited during the course of this program.
• A viewing of The Last Supper by Franciabigio in the Convent della Calza, followeb by dinner at the Villa Canigiani, hosted Friends of Florence Board Member Claudio Caprotti.