‘Bellissima’ Celebrates Via Maggio

Some of the Yves St. Laurent jewellery show

In honor of the 30th edition of the Biennale Internazionale di Antiquariato di Firenze (Antiques Fair or BIAF), a special edition of Bellissima, Via Maggio per BIAF will occur until October 1 on Via Maggio.  Celebrations of the street’s unique personality will occur and bring attention to the antique center of Florence. Most galleries and demonstrations will be open daily, unless specified.

During this week, the charm and soul of Via Maggio will be on display, with special exhibitions of art, antiques, crafts, and gastronomy.

Via Maggio and Piazza Frescobaldi will be decorated as a path that highlights the individuality of the street to assist the locals and tourists in understanding its prominence. The path travels down a road that was formerly, as indicated by the English translation of its name, Main Street, traditionally lined with antique shops to Palazzo Corsini, the main venue of the Antiques Fair (see related article).  Free, guided walking tours, offered daily at 6:30 pm (meeting point: piazza San Felice 8) will reveal the unfamiliar places of ancient Via Maggiore.

While antique pieces will be admired, there will be many contemporary art galleries open as well. The Galleria Antiquaria Alessandro Marletta will present modern drawings and the Galleria ZetaEffe, will display Florentine Luca Brandi’s original work. the Elizabeth Barrett Browning house, Casa Guidi (Piazza San Felice), will extend its openings on September 27, and 29, 2017 (3 – 6 pm) to encourage visitors interested in the Victorian poet.

Many shops and galleries will be open to honor the Biennale dell’Antiquariato and Florence’s long history as one of the capitals of major art production. The Frascione Arte will juxtapose its unusual ancient masterpieces alongside the creations of Lorenzo Perrone. For people who have interests in topics other then art, there will be an exhibition of the precious jewels of Maison Yves Saint Laurent from the 1970s to the ’90s at Bona Tondinelli (Via Maggio 28/r) and historic textiles from Abruzzo will be shown at Boralevi  (via Maggio 16/r).

Artisan expertise will also be exhibited, with the Atelier Via Maggio showing its priceless collection of precious stones that have been engraved by hand. At Sartoria Vestrucci, people will have the opportunity to learn the methods of tailoring and the production of custom footwear (via Maggio 58). Paintings by the two Brina brothers will be presented together for the first time in 400 years at the Fiorini gallery (via Maggio 9/r), and this week visitors are invited to the inauguration.

Along with art, the rich literary tradition of Florence will be given attention. The Clichy bookstore will hold readings with certain authors, and a presentation of Marcel Proust’s works will take place on September 28 (6:30 pm). The hearty food of Florence will also be celebrated with aperitivo and gourmet tastings from some of Florence’s famous local restaurants.

This weeklong event will celebrate the charm and rich history of Florence’s art scene, while bringing together celebrated works from a variety of time periods. Beauty of all generations and an assortment of art will be honored, which will make for a treasured event. (shannon duggan)