Via dello Studio and the Bottega dell’Opera of Santa Maria del FioreUnknown places & works
Via dello Studio and the Bottega dell’Opera of Santa Maria del Fiore
There are many different ways to get to Piazza del Duomo in Florence. Most tourists head down to Via Dei Cerretani and after passing the Baptistery, they are immediately struck by the magnificence of the Cattedrale of Santa Maria del Fiore. As expected there are other choices and my recommendation is Via Dello Studio, a side alley that approaches the Cathedral on its right side. From this perspective you can see from afar the white and black marbles in a glimpse that slowly reveals itself. If you don’t belong to the party of the those who want it all and yesterday, this slow approach and unfretted discovery will make the Florence Cathedral even more majestic.
Walking in Via dello Studio is also like walking back in time in an ancient and untouched Florence: the wine seller’s shop where to sip good red wine accompanied by Tuscan delicacies, a fine art shop selling Renaissance materials and... a strange building, lower than the others, unpretentious and with a sloping roof. Try reading the plaque: what does it say? 'Bottega dell’opera of Santa Maria del Fiore'. This is the workshop where many of the works found in the Cathedral were made or restored. The door is glazed and if you give a peek inside you might even see some restorers at work. And if you like this idea, mark the date of 8th September: on the anniversary celebration of the cathedral, the public is admitted to the workshop and see the work in progress and also talk to the restorers who will be happy to explain their work. If you want a more detailed visit, we recommend booking our guided tour 'La Bottega del Restauro', which will allow you to admire the 'stonecutters' at work that still use traditional tools and techniques.
If you look to the right of the door you will see a bas-relief: there are some figures intent on carving. They are artists, craftsmen and sculptors working on capitals, statues and columns. It is, therefore, a sort of sign that tells what is done inside the building. And do you know there is an equal one not too far away? Precisely on the north side of Orsanmichele in the tabernacle of ‘Art dei Maestri di Pietra e Legname' in Quattro Santi Coronati by Nanni di Banco. After all, Orsanmichele was the Church of the Arts ...
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