A splendid building of the 14th century, a few steps away from Ponte alle Grazie over the Arno River and from Santa Croce, in the heart Florence: this is the Horne Museum.
A Florentine house perfectly kept and can be visited in each room, from the gracious decorated central courtyard to grotesques and sculptured marbles, overlooked by the big hall-room and the small portico, on the two upper floors, with the hall-room, the bed-rooms, and the kitchen.
A small treasure of art and architecture will give you the emotion of a leap into the past. The Horne Museum tells two stories.
The story of the life style in the Renaissance Florence, with its ashlar walls, the splendid windows made with coloured glass, the large sculptured fireplaces and the rich furnishings finely inlayed; and that of the refined 19th century taste of the English collections, which brought Herbert Percy Horne, architect, cultured man and aesthete, to gather in his Florentine home Italian works of art created between the 14th and 17th century.
Beyond the single masterpieces exhibited at the Horne Museum, it's probably the atmosphere that one breathes, the excitement and the magic of being plunged into a faraway past the most fascinating aspects of the visit to the palace.
The collections of silverware and female working tools hosted in the kitchen with the great stone wash-basin, the artisan tools, the chairs consumed by time and by wear, the inlayed crib, the painted coffer, the inlayed stools are a live and vivid testimony of the Florentine society in the Renaissance, precious in its highest expressions as well as in its daily life.
The museum contains a painting on wood by Giotto, a sketch by Bernini, a big canvas by Dosso Dossi, two paintings on wood by Simone Martini, a splendid Christ by Filippo Lippi; and also art works by Pietro Lorenzetti, Luca Signorelli, Piero di Cosimo, Benozzo Gozzoli, Filippino Lippi, Giambologna, Sansovino, Beccafumi, Vecchietta, Bernardo Daddi, Taddeo and Agnolo Gaddi.
For any information:
Museo Herbert Percy Horne
Via dei Benci 6 (055 244661)
Open 9am-1pm, closed on Sun.
Admission: 5 euro.