This Sunday, February 5, 2023, many regional museums will be open with exhibitions, guided tours and initiatives throughout Tuscany
The first Sunday is the #SUNDAYattheMUSEUM with free admission to all the monuments, museums, galleries, parks and monumental gardens of the Italian State. Also many of the state places of culture managed by the regional Polo Museale della Toscana spread throughout the region will be open free of charge with the chance to visit the current temporary exhibitions, thematic guided tours and other initiatives.
In Florence, you can visit the National Archaeological Museum where the current exhibition “Treasures from the lands of Etruria. The collection of the Counts Passerini, Patricians of Florence and Cortona” continues.
The four Medici Villas of the regional Polo Museale are all open, starting with the Medici Villa of Poggio a Caiano with its Museum of Still Life, which exhibits over two hundred works from the collections that belonged to the Medici. The works are arranged in an chronological itinerary that follows the development of the Medici collection of this genre, dedicated to the representation of themes and subjects of nature. Flowers predominate, in all their varieties and arranged in the most imaginative ways (in vases, singly or in garlands, in small bunches), fruits, animals (also seen with purely scientific illustrative attention), but also precious or in common use combined with the other elements of nature to form intense and refined compositions, in some cases full of symbolic meaning.
In the Medici Villa of Cerreto Guidi you can still visit the exhibition “Cerreto medicea” by Massimo Tosi with a series of watercolor tables documenting the history of the Cerreto Guidi area and its main monuments, including with splendid bird’s eye views, all era of Cosimo I de Medici, in the age of its greatest splendor.
Also in Florence, the Medici Villa of Petraia and the Garden of the Medici Villa of Castello with its splendid Animal Grotto, the Last Supper by Andrea del Sarto in San Salvi and the Park of Villa Il Ventaglio are also open, which are always free of charge in any case.
All the archaeological areas in the region are also open: the Tumuli di Montefortini and Boschetti in Comeana (Prato), the tumulus of Sodo in Cortona (Arezzo), the National Archaeological Museum of Castiglioncello and, in the province of Grosseto, you can admire the archaeological areas of Vetulonia, Roselle and the ancient city of Cosa.
In Arezzo you will have the opportunity to visit the Basilica of San Francesco for free with the extraordinary pictorial cycle of the Legend of the True Cross by Piero della Francesca, the “Gaio Cilnio Mecenate” National Archaeological Museum and the Roman amphitheater and the collection of Apulian ceramics donated by the family Festa and also the Casa Vasari Museum and the National Museum of Medieval and Modern Art.
At the Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions of the Upper Tiber Valley – Palazzo Taglieschi in Anghiari, you will have the opportunity to see part of the exhibition “Stories of Women. From Albrecht Dürer to the contemporary world of Ilario Fioravanti” with dozens of works that celebrate the female image from the Renaissance to today, between myth, biblical and evangelical representations and much more.
The two national museums of Villa Guinigi and Palazzo Mansi will be open in Lucca. At Villa Guinigi, the fifteenth-century “residence of delights” of the Lord of Lucca, Paolo Guinigi, husband of Ilaria del Carretto, the history of the city unfolds, from the eighth century BC. to neoclassicism and Jacopo della Quercia, Fra Bartolomeo, Giorgio Vasari, Guido Reni and Pompeo Batoni are just some of the artists represented in the museum.
In addition, from November in one of the rooms, the restored lead sarcophagus of Antraccoli recounts the life and burial of a man in Tuscany in the 4th century AD.
At Palazzo Mansi you can relive the splendor of a wealthy merchant family from Lucca amidst frescoed halls, splendid beautifully preserved tapestries, and a superb picture gallery with paintings from the most prestigious Italian and foreign schools – including works by Domenico Beccafumi, Pontormo, Domenichino Tintoretto and Luca Giordano.
The island of Elba preserves the memory of Napoleon Bonaparte’s (1814-1815) stay on the island. The memory of this stay, which lasted only ten months, is mainly linked to the two Napoleonic residences, the Palazzina dei Mulini, located at the top of Portoferraio and the Villa di San Martino, a few kilometers away, respectively evidence of the public and private life of the ’emperor. The latest restoration interventions have returned the original appearance to the houses, bringing to light the wall decorations and reassembling part of the original furniture. The two villas will be open for free this Sunday.
In Pisa, the national museums of Palazzo Reale and San Matteo are open, where a free guided tour is scheduled at 11am of Simone Martini’s polyptych to illustrate this grandiose altarpiece, considered one of the major works of the Italian and European fourteenth century, highlighting its main historical-artistic, technical and material history aspects, and the results of the last restoration completed in 2015.
Outside Pisa, at the Certosa di Calci, the public can visit the extensive grounds with guided visits to the evocative settings rich in art and history that hosted the Carthusian order from the 14th to the 20th century: the large cloister, the monks’ cells, the church, the numerous chapels, the refectory and the chapter and with a selection of works by Igor Mitoraj donated to the State in 2018 and temporarily placed in the spaces of the Certosa pending the creation of the museum dedicated to the artist in Pietrasanta.
In Monsummano Terme (PT) you can visit the house museum of the poet Giuseppe Giusti with the rooms of the digital exhibition itinerary.
In the province of Siena, along one of the Via Francigena routes, the Hermitage of San Leonardo al Lago will be opened, and the National Etruscan Museum in Chiusi.
Below is a list of the places mentioned above, organized by province, open this first Sunday of the month for free:
MAF Museo archeologico nazionale di Firenze
piazza S.S. Annunziata, 9b – 50122 Firenze (FI)
Cenacolo di Andrea del Sarto
via di San Salvi, 16 – 50135 Firenze (FI)
Parco di Villa il Ventaglio
via Giovanni Aldini, 10/12 – 50131 Firenze (FI)
Giardino della Villa medicea di Castello
Via di Castello, 47 50141 Firenze
Villa medicea della Petraia
Via della Petraia, 40 50141 Firenze
Villa medicea di Cerreto Guidi e Museo storico della Caccia e del Territorio
via Ponti Medicei, 7 – 50050 Cerreto Guidi (FI)
Basilica di San Francesco
piazza San Francesco, 1 – 52100 Arezzo (AR)
Museo Archeologico Nazionale “Gaio Cilnio Mecenate” e Anfiteatro romano
via Margaritone, 10 – 52100 Arezzo (AR)
Museo di Casa Vasari
via XX settembre, 55 – 52100 Arezzo (AR)
Museo Nazionale d’Arte Medievale e Moderna
Via San Lorentino, 8 52100 Arezzo
Museo delle Arti e Tradizioni Popolari dell’Alta Valle del Tevere – Palazzo Taglieschi
piazza Mameli, s.n.c. – 52031 Anghiari (AR)
Cortona (AR) Area Archeologica del Sodo e Tomba di Camucia
Loc. Sodo di Cortona 52044 Cortona (AR)
Area Archeologica di Roselle
Via dei Ruderi, 46 58040 Roselle (GR)
Area archeologica di Vetulonia
vie Case di Siena, s.n.c. – 58043 Castiglione della Pescaia (GR)
Museo Archeologico Nazionale ed Area Archeologica di Cosa
via delle Ginestre, s.n.c. – 58015 Orbetello (GR)
Museo nazionale delle residenze Napoleoniche Palazzina dei Mulini
piazzale Napoleone, 1-3 – 57037 Portoferraio (LI)
Museo nazionale delle residenze Napoleoniche Villa S. Martino
via di San Martino – 57037 Portoferraio (LI)
Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Castiglioncello
Via del Museo, 8 57016 Castiglioncello, Rosignano Marittimo (LI)
Museo nazionale di Villa Guinigi
via della Quarquonia s.n.c. – 55100 Lucca (LU)
Museo nazionale di Palazzo Mansi
via Galli Tassi, 43 – 55100 Lucca (LU)
Museo nazionale di San Matteo
piazza S. Matteo In Soarta – 56126 Pisa (PI)
Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Reale
Lungarno Pacinotti, 46 – Pisa
Museo nazionale della Certosa Monumentale di Calci
via Roma, 79 – 56011 Calci (PI)
Museo nazionale di Casa Giusti
viale Vincenzo Martini, 18 – 51015 Monsummano Terme (PT)
Villa Medicea di Poggio a Caiano e Museo della Natura Morta
Piazza de’ Medici,14 59016 Poggio a Caiano (PO)
Area archeologica di Comeana (PO). Tumuli di Montefortini e Boschetti
via Montefortini, 1 59015 Carmignano (PO)
Eremo di San Leonardo al Lago
strada dell’Osteriaccia, 4 – 53035 Monteriggioni (SI)
Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Chiusi. Necropoli di Poggio Renzo e Tomba del Colle
via Porsenna, 93 – 53043 Chiusi (SI)
About Lourdes Flores
An American living in Florence for over 10 years, Lourdes continues to explore and discover new places in Tuscany with the eyes of a tourist but with the experience of living in Italy. She shares her experiences on this blog and website, particularly offering lots of travel planning help on the Forum!