The Beauty of “Slow Art”

People looking at art / photo flickr @ PhilRoader

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
– Henry David Thoreau

Our daily lives are surrounded by beauty, but we often forget to stop and appreciate all that surrounds us.

In Florence, Tuscany and all across the world, a global all-volunteer event started in 2010 called “Slow Art Day” with the aim of slowing down for one day of the year to visit a local museum with the idea to really look at art and to do it slowly…. As anyone who has visited a museum in Italy knows, there is so much to see so we often LOOK at a painting or sculpture WAY TOO FAST in order to just see more on our packed itineraries.


This year, Slow Art Day is April 12, 2014.


1. Sign up for one of the venues. Participation is free! There are 3 in Florence and one in Chianti so far… see below for list.
2. Show up on Saturday, April 12 at your museum, pay any entry fees and then on your own, look slowly at 5 pieces of art assigned by the host of the event, from 5-10 minutes each. The host should suggest which ones and might offer a map or suggestions but you look on your own.
3. Meet up after for lunch with the event’s host and other participants to discuss what you saw!


Tuscany is hosting 4 venues, with 3 just in Florence (there are only 6 so far in all of Italy). To participate, all you need to do is sign up through the links below. Participation is free, all you need to do is pay any museum entry fees and your own lunch ;-).

The places to visit in Florence are:
– The Uffizi Gallery – by licensed tour guide Elena Fulceri, who also writes for our guide on Florence.
– The Basilica of Santa Croce – hosted by Paola Vojnovic who works at the church
– The exhibit dedicated to “Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino” at Palazzo Strozzi – hosted by the excellent education department

If you’re in Greve in Chianti, head to La Macina di San Cresci for a very special visit among vineyards and olive orchards near the medieval hamlet of Montefioralle.

Try the experience of looking at a work of art slowly and let us in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter how it went, what you discovered trying #slowart!

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!