Today we woke up to rain which is not bad considering we have only had a handful of rainy days.  So we decided to do some indoor visits and have been wanting to see two of the lesser known museums in Florence but equally as important as the Medici’s for their place in Florence’s history. Even though a rainy gray day we still find Florence beautiful and it certainly does not keep any tourists inside.  The Uffici museum had a long line outside as we passed by.  I feel so smug – we have been there 3 times now and never had to wait in line with our passes. Casa Buonarroti is a museum in the building which was a property owned by (but never occupied by) the sculptor Michelangelo, which he left to his nephew, Lionardo Buonarroti. The house was converted into a museum dedicated to the artist by his great nephew, Michelangelo Buonarroti the Younger. Its collections include two of Michelangelo’s earliest sculptures, the Madonna of the Steps and the Battle of the Centaurs. A ten-thousand strong library has accumulated there over the centuries, which includes the family’s archive and some of Michaelangelo’s letters and drawings.  Part of the interest for us is also to see the how the people lived back in the day.  The frescos and floors are so interesting. From there we walked just a few blocks to the Dante Museum. Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) was a minor politician and closet scribbler whose political career fizzled and died but whose poetry went on to become among the most famous works of all time and, because of its fame, pretty much codified Dante’s early 14th century Tuscan dialect as the basis for modern Italian.     How important is he in Italy? They put his portrait (taken from a fresco by Raphael) on the largest coin they could: the Italian €2 piece.    Few, outside of Italian high school students, ever read Dante’s La Vita Nuova (“New Life”) poetry collection, and only scholars bother with his lesser works, but just about everyone has heard of Dante’s Inferno.  The museum included the history of the times when Dante was alive.  This was before the Medici’s brought renaissance into Florence, before artists like Donatello, Michelangelo, and Botticelli.

Advertisements