ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Travel and Places»
  • Visiting Europe»
  • Italy

Florence, Italy: 4 Contemporary Galleries to Visit in the Oltrarno

Updated on July 17, 2016

Sonia Zampini, Curator of ZETAEFFE Galleria

Possibly the most unique and exciting sci-fi you will ever read.

The Vibrant Art of Francesca Pasquali


Bernard Aubertini's "Fire Art"


Alfredo Pirri's Nostalgic Paper Landscapes

A Templar must choose between the woman he loves and God.

La Reina by Flavia Robalo

What is Contemporary Art?

According to NYU (New York University) it is "the art of today, produced by artists who are living in the twenty-first century. Contemporary art provides an opportunity to reflect on contemporary society and the issues relevant to ourselves, and the world around us."

A few nights ago I had the pleasure of attending the annual "Live It Local" event in the Oltrarno at the beautiful Palazzo Belfiore, which is a historical edifice that offers period apartments for long or short stays in Florence. It's a wonderful and unique alternative to a common hotel. The brother and sister (Federico and Francesca) who kindly hosted this gathering invited many local professionals, thus allowing us the opportunity to network in an enjoyable atmosphere.

Molly McIlwrath, who was just featured in The Guardian as one of the world's Top Ten Tour Guides, was also present at this event. She offered a Contemporary Gallery Tour that was both fun and insightful. I have always wanted to go inside those posh, ultra-modern galleries on Via Maggio, yet (despite having worked in high-end galleries prior to moving to Italy), I admit that even I felt a bit intimidated to do so. Imagine my delight at being received warmly at each and every one by the friendly and knowledgeable gallery personnel.

Our first stop was TOURNABUONI ARTE (Via Maggio 58 R) where the vibrant artwork of Francesca Pasquali is currently being featured. This imaginative artist creates textured pieces and interesting large-scale compositions using colorful plastic straws. The light plays a tremendous role in creating an atmospheric quality in her work.

Our second stop was ZETAEFFE GALLERIA (Via Maggio 47 R) where Sonia Zampini welcomed us graciously in her beautiful space, and then explained deceased artist Bernard Aubertin's poetic link with fire, and the extensive use of this natural element in his compelling artwork.

Next was EDUARDO SECCI (Via Maggio 51 R), which featured Alfredo Pirri's paper artwork, which I found to be rather nostalgic since they resembled dreamy landscapes.

Finally, we went to RUVIDEZZE (Via Maggio 64 R), which featured a lovely wooden queen by sculptor Flavia Robalo and whimsical illustrations by Arianna Papini.

What struck me most about the tour was the innovation and vibrancy of the artwork on display. The concepts were exciting and inspiring; as was the juxtaposition of these modern pieces against historical spaces with 13th century groin vaulting or 15th century pietra serena cornices.

As much as I adore historical art, it was refreshing to see something new. I highly recommend that you do the same the next time you are in the Oltrarno. The galleries are very close to each other and near the famous palazzo of Bianca Cappello (who was the second wife of Grand Duke Francesco de' Medici- but we shall leave that scandalous affair for another article).

NOTE: When visiting these galleries, you may notice that some of them keep their doors locked. This does not mean that visits are "by appointment only" (as I had erroneously assumed). Just ring the bell and someone will welcome you inside. Also, keep in mind that many of these galleries have exhibition spaces located downstairs.




4. RUVIDEZZE: has a Facebook Page in conjunction with Carta Vetra, which offers classes:

To learn more about Molly McIlwrath and her fabulous tours:

To check out Palazzo Belfiore's lovely residence apartments:

As always, thank you for reading!

C. De Melo
Author & Artist

Whimsical Illustrations on Wood by Adrianna Papini


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)