Discovering the Florentin Mosaic. A Special Tour for the International Workers’ Day 2013

To celebrate the International Workers’ Day 2013, Florencepass Tour Operator decided first of all to respect the spirit of the occasion and organize a special tour theme not for the day of the celebration, but for Saturday, May 4, 2013.

We chose to celebrate the work in the manner of Florencepass, or investigating its relationship with art.

Our Florentine Mosaic Tour: Artisans in Florence & Medici Chapels. International Workers’ Day 2013 relates to the work as a technique to learn, reinvent and transmit that creates value, that helps to make the world a more beautiful place.

We are in Florence, then came natural to think about the craftsmanship, and more specifically to the technique of Florentine mosaic, a very special and ancient procedure, characteristic of the city.

Uno dei maestri Lastrucci al lavoro
Florentine artisans. The master Lastrucci works with the technique of Florentine mosaic

This technique, known in Roman times, was recovered and became famous in Florence in the sixteenth century, at the instigation of the Medici.

The Florentine mosaic method has been refined over the centuries thanks to the establishment of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure (Workshop of Semi-precious Stones) in 1588.

The Florentine mosaic, for the vividness of the colors and the accuracy of the images, it is a real form of painting in stone.

Nowadays in Florence some workshops still work with this technique, continuing the tradition and creating wonderful works: we have chosen to take you to visit the workshop of Lastrucci family.

In this art workshop, hosted in the premises of the Hospital of San Francesco de’ Macci, the master Iacopo and master Bruno select chalcedony, jasper and alberese, making skillful use of colors of these semi-precious Tuscany stones to obtain shining stone paintings.

The stones are sawn by hand by the two mosaic masters, and polished.

Le pietre per il mosaico fiorentino nel Laboratorio Lastrucci
The stones for the Florentine mosaic in the Studio Musivo Lastrucci in Florence

Examples of works made with this ancient art are found in many museums in Florence.

We have decided to combine a visit to the Lastrucci laboratory with a tour of the Medici Chapels, because here the technique of Florentine mosaic gave the best of itself.

The chapels occupy a part of the Basilica of San Lorenzo, which was once the parish and the burial place of the Medici family.

The museum consists of two areas: the New Sacristy, built by Michelangelo between 1521 and 1534, and the Chapel of the Princes, with the crypt below.

The chapel, built starting in 1604 with the contribution of Buontalenti, has the largest dome in Florence, after that one of the Cathedral.

The chapel is decorated with rich inlays made with the technique of Florentine mosaic: porphyry, granite, mother of pearl, lapis lazuli, and coral decorate the rooms, creating a dazzling play of color, almost magical.

The special tour of Florencepass starts with this visit to the Medici Chapels, to find the highest creation that the Florentine mosaic technique has shaped, and will continue with a visit to the art studio of Lastrucci family, where the mosaic masters will illustrate the manufacturing process, as it is still performed today.

The crypt of the Medici Chapels in this period also hosts the temporary exhibition The Splendor of the Medici. Pope Leo X and Florence. We will visit the exhibition as well, to deepen the role of art in Florence under the Medici.

We start at 2 pm in Piazza Madonna degli Aldobrandini in Florence (outside the entrance to the Medici Chapels) and finish the tour at 5.30 pm at the Studio Musivo Lastrucci, in Via de ‘ Macci (Santa Croce area).

The tour costs 27 € for adults and 19 € for European citizens under 26 or over 65, including all entrance and booking fees.