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The Collections

Visitors who want to learn more about the history of the artwork should pay a visit to the museum that is housed in the Via Alfani, which displays a number of impressive examples of works created by the pietre dure such as plates, cabinets, table tops and plates, most of which are inlaid with intricate and striking mosaic patterns. These items are decorated very lavishly with patterns such as flowers, fruit and animals, while once piece of particular note depicts a view of the Piazza della Signoria. The first floor of the building also features an exhibition of the various technical processes of the works of pietre dure throughout history.


The Museum

People who have a love for semi-precious stones and want to learn more about the traditional of Italian jewellery making is sure to enjoy exploring the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, which is maintained by the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage. The Opificio was one of the most celebrated artistic workshops of renaissance and was established by Ferdinando I de' Medici in 1588 in order to provide the elaborate stone works that Florence became renowned for. The stonework designs that were established and perfected in this huge workshop can be seen in some of the city’s most impressive and famous buildings, with a notable example being the decoration that adorns the Cappella dei Principi in the Basilica di San Lorenzo di Firenze.


During their heyday, the Opificio masters perfected a number of impressive techniques, such as the opera di commessi medicei and commesso in pietre dure, which are types of mosaics that use semi-precious stones. This technique involved inlaying very thin veneers of semi-precious stones that were selected for their colour as well as opacity, grain and brilliance in order to create extremely elaborate decorative effects. This technique required extraordinary skill and practice and it would often take the masters a considerable amount of time to prefect it. These days, many of the workshops in the Opificio delle Pietre Dure are still in use, and visitors who take a tour of these workshops will be able to view the masters as they take part in delicate restoration work and this is a great way to learn more about this and other unique styles.

Open hours today: 8:15 am - 2:00 pm
  • Monday

    8:15 am - 2:00 pm

  • Tuesday

    8:15 am - 2:00 pm

  • Wednesday

    8:15 am - 2:00 pm

  • Thursday

    8:15 am - 2:00 pm

  • Friday

    8:15 am - 2:00 pm

  • Saturday

    8:15 am - 2:00 pm

  • Sunday


  • July 25, 2024 11:21 am local time

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