Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Museo dell’ Opificio delle Pietre Dure

This morning we went to the Museo dell’Opificio delle Pietre Dure – or the museum of semiprecious stones. I think of it as the museum of Florentine mosaics because that’s what is largely there. And boy, are there some great examples. We have seen examples around in the different museums (Pitti Palace, Palazzo Vecchio, etc.) but this museum has the best collection, obviously. Especially impressive are the table tops (usually round) made just after the unification of Italy when there wasn’t that much money and the school made them to sell to raise money (late 1800s). Unfortunately there are no good pictures on the web (you can't see much in this photo) and we couldn’t take pictures. It’s a small museum. You can spend just an hour if you are in a hurry or longer if want to linger over the beautiful pieces. The museum is at Via Alfani, 78 (north of the Duomo). Make sure you go up the stairs to the mezzanine level to see the different types of stone and equipment used.

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