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 Canadian-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.
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.
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 www.arttrav.com and the arts blog for the Regione Toscana, http://arts.allthingstuscany.com.