Free Museums for Anna Maria de’ Medici Day
Thanks to a timeless gift by Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici to future generations, her family’s art collections are now on exhibit for posterity at the Uffizi, the Pitti Palace and the Medici villas.
February 18 is full of historical significance and celebration in Florence with free museum openings in recognition of Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici (1667-1743) on the anniversary of her death. After many years in Germany as the wife of a nobleman, this remarkable woman, the last member of the Medici dynasty in Florence and a patron of the arts, donated her family’s significant cultural patrimony upon her passing in an act of love to the city of her birth. This is known as the “Patto di Famiglia.”
A historical re-enactment featuring Anna Maria de’Medici, who will meet the public, is scheduled in Palazzo Pitti’s Sala di Bona at 10 and 11 am, noon and again at 3, 4 and 5 pm. Admission is free but reservations are necessary, which can be made by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A pageant of Florentines dressed in traditional 18th century costume also will march from Palagio di Parte Guelfa at 10:20 am to the Medici Chapels to participate in a ceremony at her grave. Afterwards, the site is open to visitors free of charge until 1:50 pm.
The Medici Chapel and adjoining church of San Lorenzo, designed by Brunelleschi, are filled with Renaissance marvels and artistic masterpieces from the beautiful church itself to Michelangelo’s statues of Day and Night and Dusk and Dawn that mark the tombs of the Duke of Nemours and the Duke of Urbino.
To further honor her memory, the following landmarks also welcome visitors all day at no charge. Hours at the destinations, run by the city of Florence, are listed below.
Palazzo Vecchio, including Arnolfo’s Tower (9 am- 7 pm); the Tower of Arnolfo (10 am – 5 pm)
Novecento Museum of 20th Century Art (11 am – 2 pm)
Santa Maria Novella (9 am – 5:30 pm)
Brancacci Chapel (10 am – 5 pm)
Bardini Museum (11 am – 5 pm)