Florence, Italy: 2016 Medici Dynasty Show- New & Improved!
Learn about the Medici and Renaissance Florence with this intriguing story.
Carolina Gamini and Giuseppe Arone
Marissa Garreffa and Tim Daish
My love affair with the Renaissance City began in November 2000 when I first laid eyes on the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. Three years later, I was working in Florence and actively researching the Medici family (especially Lorenzo il Magnifico).
One thing that my years of research has made clear: Florence would never have flourished without the Medici. True, other noble families contributed to the Florentine humanistic movement, but none as much as the city's generous and progressive rulers.
Last year, I wrote about Giuseppe Arone's brainchild: The Medici Dynasty Show. The multi-media, interactive, and educational presentation was both innovative and unique. Of course, Giuseppe did it with the help of many talented people and the show's two actors: Carolina Gamini and Tim Daish.
On May 19th, I attended the opening night of the 2016 season. When I heard that they had "changed everything" including the venue, I must confess that I experienced a bit of skepticism. It was so great last year, I thought to myself, how can they possibly raise the bar?
Marissa Garreffa, a writer and Australian expat, rewrote the script- and she did so brilliantly. The show flows like a theatrical performance combining moments of light humor with pockets of intense drama.
Now, audience members get to see a different side of the debauched and often mocked Grand Duke Gian Gastone; a noble, humanistic side that evokes our empathy for a man whose destiny was preordained. Historical facts are presented in a manner that makes the audience participant yearn to know more about this incredible dynastic family.
Some of the multimedia aspects of last year's show has been included this year, like images of relevant artworks and music.
The new venue is truly amazing: the former Convent of Sant’Onofrio delle Monache di Foligno, which dates back to the early 15th century. The building is richly decorated with vibrant, well-preserved frescoes by famous local artists like Neri di Bicci. The quiet cloister is charming and the performance takes places within a small Baroque church boasting lovely sculptures and frescoed ceiling.
In the span of about an hour, the show presents 300 years of Medici history that will surely enrich your trip to Florence. Ticket price is 30 euro (kids under 12 are free) and it's well worth the investment. Discounts are available for students and groups. For more information or to book seats, please visit their website (medicidynasty.com).
As always, thank you for reading.
C. De Melo
Author & Artist