Why? To celebrate the legacy of Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici, who as the last of the Medici clan, bequeathed the family’s treasures to the city of Florence and Tuscan region
On February 18, to celebrate the anniversary of her death, all the museums of the Musei Civici Fiorentini as well as Palazzo Medici Riccardi will be open to the public with free entrance.
In addition to free entrance, on Friday, February 18 and on Sunday the 20th, the figure of Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici will return to life at the Museum of Palazzo Vecchio. MUS.E and the Civic Museums have for several years offered an interesting “living history” event to honor this important female figure in the history of Florence: Giaele Monaci dresses and acts as the Electress of the Palatinate, while Elisabetta Stumpo introduces both Anna Maria and the historical context of her time.
It is a chance for both adults and children alike to go back into the history of Florence and learn directly more about this important historical figure, being able to meet and converse with the Electress. The event will take place in the Sala dei Gigli in Palazzo Vecchio on Friday, February 18th (day of the anniversary of her death when entrance into the museum is free) at three separate times: 3pm, 4pm and 5pm. Visitors will once again have the chance to learn more about and meet and speak with the Electress on Sunday, February 20th at 11am, 12pm and 1pm. Entrance into the museum is not included on Sunday.
We like to highlight the importance of this woman to the history of Florence because what you see of Florence today would not exist without her direct intervention. So many important families of the past in cities in Italy collected and sponsored art across the centuries, building important collections which were at some point sold and spread out across the globe. It is the reason why you see lots of Italian art in museums across the world. Yet, Florence would not be a draw to all visitors if it didn’t have its own collections. The Medici family ruled over Florence and made a huge impact on the development of art with its sponsorship of artists, especially in the early Renaissance. Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici found herself at the end of that dynasty without heirs. She could not inherit the title of Grand Duchess of Tuscany, and the powers of Europe at that time had already ruled that at her death the Hapsburg Lorraines would inherit the title and all the lands associated with it. Anna Maria was able to stipulate a “Patto di Famiglia“, or “Family Pact”, with Francis Stephen of the Lorraines. It was a juridical document which ensured that the State, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, would inherit the immense treasure chest that were the Medici family’s private collections but could neither sell it nor move it out of the State. This included paintings, sculpture, libraries, jewelry and many other precious items that were to remain for the express purpose of drawing visitors to Florence and Tuscany and be used for the benefit of its peoples, forevermore. Thus you can appreciate how important Anna Luisa’s foresight was back in 1737 to what Florence is today.
Participation in the “living history” event itself is free, but booking is required. You can request further information and book directly by email at email@example.com or by phone at 055-276-8224.
Have a fun day this Friday thinking about and being grateful for Anna Luisa Maria de’ Medici! She’s buried in the family crypt, the Medici Chapels, within the Basilica of San Lorenzo which she helped complete.