I was inspired to launch our first Insider Journey to Florence this year by Laudomia Pucci, daughter of designer Emilio Pucci and a true ambassador of the city. She has transformed a section of the family’s palazzo in the heart of town into an amazing archive/private museum and innovation hub where students are developing new fashion applications.
Our trip focused on the role that both Italian artisans and great families like the Medici, Strozzi, Antinori, Pucci and others have played in the city’s rich art and architectural foundation. The latest generation of artisans and members of some of these same families are continuing to innovate, and are evolving the city’s cultural scene. As Laudomia explained, foreign visitors have long played a role in the city’s cosmopolitan outlook, and they continue to do so.
We mixed most mornings with a spectacular art historian and storyteller who looks at Renaissance art and architecture through an economic lens, and afternoons visiting artisans and collectors, including one who has filled his palazzo with one of the best collections of female expressionist artists. One beautiful day we ventured into the country to see how the ancient hilltown of San Gimignano has become home to the groundbreaking contemporary art gallery Galleria Continua before joining Laudomia at her country estate to see more of the family archives and enjoy a splendid lunch.
Our farewell evening, we were treated to a performance by the opera talents of the Fondazione Mascarade in the Palazzo Corsini, followed by dinner with members of the Corsini family and their friends upstairs in the palazzo. As we hope to do on all of our trips, we were invited into the intimate world of Florence’s oldest families and newest changemakers, and we all left with a sense of wonder and connection.
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