Walking through Piazza San Firenze it is impossible not to notice the San Firenze Complex. Imposing at over 3,700 square meters, the building that was once a convent of Filipino priests and later the Court of Florence is one of the few examples of Baroque architecture in the city.
Inside the building, one of the highlights is the music room, with a vaulted ceiling decorated with the Assumption of the Virgin by Giuliano Traballesi (1775) and surrounded by crates in the exedras and along the side walls, formerly used for singing Lauds by the Filipino priests.
The Performing Arts library is also noteworthy. With nearly 10,000 volumes of literature, history, religion, music, cinema, theater, fashion, costumes, photography and art, the collection was organized based on a functional system that reflects the subdivision by subject chosen by Franco Zeffirelli, director, screenwriter, Italian set designer and politician who lends his name to the museum in the complex.
The Zeffirelli Collection houses more than 250 works by Maestro Zeffirelli, including stage sketches, drawings, and costumes. The exhibition’s itinerary runs chronologically through the theater in prose, the opera in music and the cinema. The great artistic personalities who collaborated with him and the theaters around the world that welcomed him mark his passage through the Collection.
The first rooms are thus dedicated to the two figures who most influenced Franco Zeffirelli’s education and early career: first, the space for the mentor and teacher Luchino Visconti; then from the room dedicated to Maria Callas.
The Zeffirelli Collection section dedicated to Opera in Music opens with “playful operas” and Zeffirelli’s professional partnership with Callas. Continuing with the first hits in America and at MET New York, we understand the unmistakable contribution of director and set designer Zeffirelli to the world of Opera in Music.
Afterwards, visitors will be able to visit the section dedicated to Cinema. Great Shakespearean transpositions like “The Tamed Shrew” with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor and “Romeo and Juliet” with the young Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey pave the way for cinema.
Since 2020, room 13 has housed the faithful reconstruction of Franco Zeffirelli’s Atelier. The furniture, ornaments, souvenir photos and objects that Mestre used to design his works are original.
Finally, room 14, or Sala Inferno, which is entirely dedicated to Dante’s Inferno project, never completed by Zeffirelli. Fifty-one sketches are displayed here and scenographically projected onto the ceiling and walls.
Piazza San Firenze, 5 – 50122. Firenze
Tuesday to Sunday
from 10.00 to 18.00
Full: € 12
Reduced over 65 and students under 18: € 8
Free disabled person, accompanying person 8 €
Free for children under 6