Florence: Neoplatonism, Hermetism, Magic
Facade of the church Santa Maria Novella, designed by Leon Battista Alberti and the Sun symbolism (heliolatry) in Renaissance (Marsilio Ficino treaty De Sole and De lumine).
Church of San Pancrazio and the replica of the Sacred Sepulcher, designed by Leon Battista Alberti on the model of the tomb of Christ in Jerusalem.
The choir of Sant'Annunziata by Alberti evocative of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Anastasis) in Jerusalem.
Santa Maria del Fiore, italic clock with prophets foreseeing the advent of Christ and the concept of philosophia perennis.
Michelangelo radically new architecture design (preannouncing manierism) in the library of San Lorenzo.
Astrological frescos in the small cupola above the choir of the Old Sacristy in San Lorenzo and in the Capella Pazzi, Santa Croce.
The Gates of Paradise by Ghiberti (Baptistery of San Giovanni) and the symbolic interpretation of the plants (floral iconography) on the border of the door in correspondence to the biblical scenes on the door panels.
San Marco, the tomb of the philosopher and Christian cabbalist Pico della Mirandola and the poet in Greek and Latin Poliziano.
San Miniato al Monte, the tomb of the Portuguese Cardinal with symbolism related to Neoplatonism.
Galleries & museums
Uffizi: interpretation of Boticelli’s Birth of Venus and Primavera. The Buontalenti chamber called Tribuna designed as a manifestation of the four natural elements.
Palazzo Vecchio: the secret passages in the ducal palace, the studiolo (camerino) of the duke Cosimo I and the alchemical studiolo of Francis I. Find out about the foundry and alchemical laboratories in the palace and the Uffizi. Sala dell Udienza, frescoes of Francesco Salviati depicting the ancient gods and the enigmatic mysteric divinity Phanete-Aion (with lion head, goat legs and wraped by a serpent).
Barghello: the bust of a youth by Donatello with a necklace and medallion representing the currus animae, the carriage of the soul. Fascinating statue of a mysterious pagan divinity Eros-Attis by Donatello and the importance of love in Renaissance thought, derived from Plato’s Simposium and reinterpreted by the Medici court philosopher Marsilio Ficino in his treaty De Amore.
Boboli garden’s grotto.
In the outskirts of Florence
Medici Villa of Careggi, where the Platonic Academy led by the honorable philosopher Marsilio Ficino was gathering. In the courtyard the well where the famous physician Pier Leone da Spoleto was drowned after the death of Lorenzo de Medici.
Medici Villa at Poggio a Caiano, mysterious frieze in glazed terra cotta showing the life of the soul.
Ex Medici villa (now Villa Demidoff) at Pratolino with the awesome statue of the Apenine, the personified gigantic mountain in human form.
On the traces of Leonardo, trip to Vinci, home of the universal genius.
Other destinations in Tuscany
Siena: San Domenico, chappel of saint Caterina da Siena, polychrome marble incrustations on the floor with the scene of Orpheus enchanting the wild animals as a prefiguration of Christ. The cathedral: pavement marble incrustation showing Hermes Trismegistus, reputed as the father of hermeticism and alchemy and the mountain of the Sages by Pinturicchio.
San Galgano, the sword in the rock and it’s legend
San Antimo, austere Romanesque Benedictine abbey with carved figurative capitals.
San Sepolcro, shocking painting of Rosso Fiorentino, Deposition from the Cross and the frescoes of Piero della Francesca.