Monday, March 14, 2016

Florence: a visit to the Duomo 'repair shop for marble'


A new adventure in Florence after many visits
Ciao Firenze office is close to the Duomo on Via Cavouar


Slow travel in Italy during the off season  allows you to walk the side streets, exploring small shops, churches and even museums with fewer visitors. Even the coffee bar is full of locals not tourists when you order your morning cappuccino.  

I have spent a lot of time in Firenze since a semester abroad, 
and never thought to take a 'tour'.




Ciao Florence offered to send me on one of their tours that included a visit to the stone carving studio where trained stone cutters do repairs and preservation of statues, decorative friezes, pillars, trims for the Cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore. 


Just a block from the Duomo down a narrow street
Only one block from the Duomo is a simple one story building that I may have walked by a number of times but never noticed the signage:








There is a sculpture on the outside wall depicting 
scultorestone carvers
The original studio was at a site near the back of the Cathedral.   This building is now the Museo dell' Opera.   Michelangelo worked in the original location to create works of art know world wide.    



My guide had the key that took us back in time as we stepped into the studio
I tried to imagine the noise from hammer and chisel or the voice of the artist talking to the stone as we entered the building.   The studio is one large room with a vaulted ceiling.  Natural light streams in from the windows at the top of the room.  And there is a fine powder everywhere.   It may be ground stone or the by product of sanding a piece of stone smooth.  A modern ventilation system now snakes up one wall.   



None of the scultori were working when we arrived but the current repair projects at different work stations, suggesting they would return.   It takes years of study and apprenticeship before a sculptor becomes a master.









Amazing that the tools the artisans use today are modeled after those used when the statures, pillars or ornamental stone was created centuries ago.

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Damages or 'worn out' statues are duplicated and the original art work is preserved in the museum.    The depth of each curve and planes are measured with the metal calibrating system above.
Entire statues are duplicated in this way.







Modern scaffolding was not available when the massive Church was constructed.  To protect the builders a system of leather belts and ropes was designed.




My day with Ciao Florence included a visit to the Baptistery and the Duomo.  Even though I had visited both buildings before, returning with an expert explained so much more.




Contact Ciao Florence for your next adventure


Ciaoflorence Tours
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CIAOFLORENCE OFFICE
info@ciaoflorence.it
 
Ciaoflorence Tours   +39 055354044
Sales office: Via Cavour 36R
Head office : Via Luigi Alamanni 35

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you. Hope you have an opportunity to visit here as well.
      next time I hope my videos are better and I can post those as well. The next post shall be on a perfume studio in an old palazzo

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