14 Set Florence Contemporary Art

Tuscany has a lot to offer when it comes to contemporary art: museums, large-scale outdoor installations, sculpture parks, photography exhibitions, street art, and so on.

Visitors come from every corner of the world to Tuscany to know and see the amazing beauty of the Renaissance, with Florence world-famous as the “cradle of the Renaissance”! Once you’re here, the amount of Renaissance treasures will almost overwhelm you. But it’s not like we’ve stopped there!


Original and interesting contemporary art exhibitions are organized once or twice a year by the Centre for Contemporary Culture Strozzina (Palazzo Strozzi), the Museo del Novecento, and the Pecci Museum in Prato (20 minutes from Florence…the anticipation is growing for its grand re-opening!).

The Centre for Contemporary Culture Strozzina (CCCS) was created in 2007, as part of the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, with the intention to give the city of Florence an international contemporary art centre. The CCCS is devoted to producing and showing thematic exhibitions, following an interdisciplinary approach linked to the most up to date scientific research on current trends in contemporary culture. This autumn, starting 23 September 2016 and running till 22 January 2017, Palazzo Strozzi in Florence will present Italy’s first major retrospective dedicated to one of the world’s most celebrated and influential contemporary artists: Ai Weiwei.

The recently opened Museo del Novecento is devoted to the Italian art of the twentieth century and houses a collection of about 300 works, divided into 15 exhibition spaces and organized through a path that traces the twentieth century, with its chronological, thematic and interdisciplinary approach, through paintings, sculptures, videos, installations and documents, and with the support of multimedia stations, sound devices and video rooms. 

Prato’s new Luigi Pecci Center for Contemporary Art has arrived at the finish line after nine years of hard work. Soon you will be able to visit the new wing designed by Dutch architect Maurice Nio, who also spearheaded the restoration of Italo Gamberini’s original building. The entire building will be reopened to the public on October 16th, and will feature double the previous amount of exhibition space—as well as a new archive, a specialized library, an outdoor theater, and a cinema/auditorium. The inaugural exhibition (which will take place from October 17th, 2016 until March 19th, 2017) has already been decided: it’s called “The End of the World”.

Tuscany is home to countless art galleries. Among the most important ones at an international level is the famous Galleria Continua in San Gimignano, and the Poggiali and Forconi gallery in Florence, focused on young Italian and foreign artists with modes of expression ranging from painting to the new media, recently above all photography.


The sun is shining and you’re not too keen about spending a day at the museum. Don’t worry, you can still enjoy contemporary art, while getting a suntan at the same time! Visit a sculpture park, take a picture in front of a large-scale installation or participate in a treasure hunt and try to spot some street art.

In summer, one of the most fascinating places to combine old and modern (and spectacular views) is undoubtedly Forte Belvedere in Florence: the terraces of this beautiful Renaissance fortress, built in 1590-95 by Grand Duke Ferdinando I de’ Medici and designed by Bernardo Buontalenti, are the perfect location for large-scale sculpture exhibitions.

Rose Garden – This quiet terraced garden, on a hillside overlooking Florence, just a few steps away from Piazzale Michelangelo, is home to a vast assortment of roses and countless other types of plants, and is also known for the permanent exhibit of sculptures by the Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon.

Fattoria di Celle – A farm on a hill overlooking the area between Florence and Pistoia, some international artists were invited by Giuliano Gori and his family to create installations in the picturesque open spaces, which are spread out over an area of about 45 acres and inside the historical buildings and various other rural structures. Today, Celle has about 70 installations.

 The streets of some Tuscan cities are increasingly starting to become a great place to spot some unusual, original and talented artists. And yes, we love street art!

Making headlines all over the world is Clet (Abraham), a French artist who has been living in Italy for over 25 years. He’s the author of the artistic street signs that you can easily spot around Florence (as well as Livorno and other places). His guerrilla art has also produced some incredible, and much discussed, works during the last years.