After 400 days of construction and a €1 million investment, the Orsanmichele complex reopens to the public in a new garb. The Orsanmichele complex in Florence will reopen to the public on January 19, 2024, in a completely refurbished garb, following a total of 400 closure days: the museum closed on December 12, 2022, and the church closed January 16, 2023. The restoration, safety, museum reinforcement, and access improvement projects have cost 1.135,026.43 euros in total.
The Mic – Ministry of Culture is promoting the project, which is part of the significant cultural heritage projects and has been signed by the studies Map Architects and Natalini Architects. After just over a year, the historic complex, which is part of the State Group of the Museums of the Bargello and has been led by Paola D’Agostino, is once again useable. Orsanmichele’s narrative is extensive and spans multiple locations. In the 9th century, there was an oratory dedicated to San Michele surrounded by a garden; thus, in 1284, Arnolfo di Cambio constructed a vast loggia for trade, where a figure of the Madonna was made with the technique of fresco in 1290.
The so-called “virgin of wheat” had to prove to be a sign of miracles, and a confraternity was founded to disseminate its devotion. Orsanmichele’s twin life began at that point: as a location of trade and devotion. Following a fire in 1330, a new construction site was established in 1337, which resulted in the structure that we can still see today. The presence of 14 niches on Orsanmichele’s facades, each “inhabited” by a statue of one or more saints, is one of the features that have immortalized the beauty of the building. The Florentine arts’ desired niches have been filled over the years with masterpieces signed by the most important Florentine four hundred artists.
Inside the chapel, another famous artist, Andrea Di Cione, known as Orcagna, creates a magnificent tabernacle. The Madonna delle Grazie, painted by Bernardo Daddi, is housed in majestic building that resembles a priceless casket. From the lordship to the Grand Duchy, to the Italian Republic, going through the difficult years of fascism and war: the latter was a particularly delicate era. The bombings are feared, so the statues are relocated from their niches to a safe location before returning to their seats once the battle has over. Meanwhile, the first-floor hall serves as the headquarters for the Italian Dante company’s public readings of the Divine Comedy. And in the 1960s, on the occasion of the seventh anniversary of the high poet’s birth, the time for new and structural works arrived, including, among other things, the creation of a modern scale connection between the first and second floors designed by Studio Archizoom.
At the new layout, the 13 original statues shown at the museum, the work of the largest sculptors in Florence. Renaissance or Lorenzo Ghiberti (San Giovanni Battista, Santo Stefano and San Matteo), Donatello (San Marco and San Pietro), Nanni di Banco (Sant ‘ Eligio, San Filippo, four crowned saints), Andrea del Verrocchio (disbelief of San Tommaso), Baccio da Montelupo (San Giovanni Evangelista), Giambologna (San Luca), next to those fourteenth -century Piero di Giovanni Tedesco (Madonna della Rosa) and Niccolò Di Pietro Lamberti (San Giacomo Maggiore). Return to contact with the public, as they were in the external recesses and crossed the gaze of passers-by on the neighboring streets Orsanmichele. New didactic devices and a new brochure have also been developed, edited by Benedetta Matucci and Irene Parentini, and are connected with multimedia linkages via Q-code that allude to short documentary videos about the Orsanmichele Complex.
However if you have more interest in this museum, or to discover new things in Florence, let us know. We are running a Free Walking Tour of Florence from Santa Maria Novella. Our meeting point it’s in front of Marvelous Minerva Hotel, there you will meet our expert and official tour guide of Florence that will be very happy to show the city at you and at all your guest and friends.