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Museo dell'Opificio delle Pietre Dure - Museum of Semiprecious Stones Factory

The Museum is located in via degli Alfani, right behind the Accademia Museum (you'll easily recognize it from people waiting in line outside). In this museum there's never to wait in line, it's quite unknow to most people, but it sure deserve a visit.
This museum collects some wonderful objects originally made in the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, a 400 years old handcraft laboratory, founded by Ferdinando I and originally located in the Uffizi museum. Nowadays the Opificio is an important restauration laboratory, and the museum tells us the story of this great and still unknown italian art.

The building of the museum is pretty ancient, and it was restored in a modern but sober and elegant way by prof. arch. Natalini.
The exposition collects beautiful objects made with semiprecius stones of every kind, realised with several different techiques:: inlay, painting, sculpture...

The hands that have worked on stones were so skillful, they have realized designs full of details, colors and complex forms, cutting accurately thousands of stone slabs and assembled them together in order to create inlays of absolute perfection. Flowers, leaves, animals, dead natures, represented on every type of object: tables, fireplaces, tobacco cases, pots, church furnishingses. The colors are thousands, as much as the stone varieties, fine cut and joined, with their tonalities and texture that give an incredible three-dimensional effect.

Tables are sure the more numerous objects and are just amazing: generally they have a black polished stone plan, on which have been realized the inlay or painting designs; some are realized with mixed techniques. Stones create some spectacular effects: a brown stone, streaked as a wood table becomes a violin; a pink stone that vanishes in orange becomes a peach, a red diaspro becomes a complicated coral branch… they have been realized with an incredible handicraft precision, the details are perfect, I assure that it gives just a three-dimensional effect to you, and is amazing how the choice of the right stone can reproduce exactly the color and the texture of another material.

Besides the plans of the tables the objects I appreciated most are: a majestic enormous Russian fireplace, entirely realized in green emerald diaspro and copper, and one wooden piece of furnture with several trays, mad in 1600, really amazing: in the form it imitates a rinaissance palace of Firenze, every little tray is decorated with a stone slab representing an exotic bird... Really a wonderful object, it would be perfect in my room!

At ground floor there's the exposure of the objects exited from the warehouses of the factory, while on the first floor there's a small section dedicated to the factory: it collects several ancient instruments for working and cutting hard stones, and a rich collection of stone samples used in the objects: marbles of every color, quartzes, basalts, graniti…

I really love this museum, and sure suggest you to visit, the entrance is very cheap (just 2 euro), but for students is free.
Inside the museum pictures are not allowed.

Opificio delle Pietre Dure
Via Alfani, 78 - 50121 Firenze (Italy)
tel: +39 055 26511
fax: +39 055 287123
Monday - Saturday: 8.15-14.00
Thursday: 8.15-19.00
email: opd@beniculturali.it

an amazing table decorated with birds, flowers and fruits

an example of the decorations in semiprecious stones


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