Florentine views on city’s contemporary art scene

By Nicole Brown

Mapping Contemporary Florence is introducing a new series of interviews with people living in Florence about their views on contemporary art in the city.

Here is what three University of Florence students had to say about where people can find contemporary art in Florence and how people misunderstand contemporary art in the city known for its Renaissance past.



“Florence is a very interesting city from a cultural point of view because it contains many different types of art. The art reveals many diverse experiences, which creates something incredible. It is impressive especially considering the restrictions of a city that is more focused on its Renaissance past than on modern art.”

“I  believe that Florence is starting to focus on the reuse of exciting spaces for contemporary art. There has to be a way to refurbish old buildings for new needs. The Center of Florence has more spaces that can be used for contemporary theater, exhibits and film. For example, some small theaters in San Frediano, Santo Spirito and Oltrarno feature contemporary art and attract many people.”

“The most innovative places that are used for exhibits are libraries, historic plazas and unused churches. In Florence, people, especially the youth, do not think Florence should only remain linked to its past. For example, the installation of Clet shows how people are looking at Florence differently. New areas of Florence are becoming more welcoming to works of contemporary art.”

— Teresa, 23, has been living in Florence for 3 years


Gianna and Marco
Gianna and Marco

“Recently I visited Treviso, a northern city in Italy, and there are a lot of art galleries in the city center. There were five to seven art galleries in the center of the little city. I’d like to see the same thing in Florence.”

“The Renaissance is Florence’s cultural background, and many Florentines are unwilling to see the city differently. Generally, contemporary art is misunderstood. Most people do not see an artistic value in contemporary art, but I think this is a problem in other cities as well.”

— Gianna, 24, has been living in Florence for 6 years


“The public plazas, like Piazzale Michelangelo, are common places for people to display contemporary art, but they are always temporary displays. Florence is not an innovative city, but there are places that exhibit temporary innovation.”

— Marco, 25, has been living in Florence for 6 years


Check mappingcontemporaryflorence.wordpress.com for more interviews coming soon.

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