Giorgio Vasari was one of the Renaissance’s greatest artist and architect – and arguably the biggest gossip of them all!
Born in the charming Tuscan town of Arezzo in 1511, Vasari moved to Florence at the age of 16 to study under Andrea del Sarto.
It was in Florence that Vasari became friends with Michelangelo and where the Medici family took him under their employment.
Subsequently Vasari was sent to create works in Rome, Florence and Naples, as well as other places around Italy.
Possibly the most famous of his works still in existence today can be found in the Salone del Cinquecento in Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio – a massive room covered wall and ceiling with a breathtaking mural depicting finel- detailed battle scenes.
Inside Florence’s cathedral, Il Duomo, there is also a Vasari fresco in the cupola.
But Vasari is equally recognized for his work as an architect, having constructed a loggia inside the Uffizi Gallery that to this day gives visitors to the museum some of the best views over the river Arno.
Of course, Vasari is most famous for the creation of the Vasari Corridor. And justly so. At the request of the Medici family, Vasari constructed a passageway spanning from the public offices of the Palazzo Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti, once home to the Medici family.
The corridor wraps and winds its way around, atop and through some of Florence’s most important structures. From the Palazzo Vecchio in one of Florence’s most picturesque squares, Piazza della Signoria, the Vasari Corridor runs through the Uffizi Gallery, across the top of the Ponte Vecchio, around towers and through buildings, even passing by a church where the Medici family could attend mass unseen by the congregation below.
Vasari also worked on the Florence churches of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce, as well as constructing a dome in the Pistoia Basilica of Our Lady of Humility to name but a few of Vasari’s creations.
Vasari also knew how to construct a good story, writing his book ‘Lives of the Artists’ in which he proved to be quite the gossip.
The originally title when first published in 1550 stretched on almost as long as the Vasari Corridor, being ‘Lives of the Most Excellent Italian Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, from Cimabue to Our Times’.
In writing this book, Vasari created a whole new genre of writing – art history. He pieced together his work on the word of locals, fellow artists and the idea of never letting the truth get in the way of a good story!
What he lacked with his somewhat artistic approach to elements of lesser importance like dates and locations, he made up for with tantalising gossip about the great Renaissance artists.
Today, the title is still a popular read, albeit it requiring a little cross-referencing with other more, um, reliable sources.
Vasari’s Corridor and the Salone dei Cinquecento feature prominently in Dan Brown’s ‘Inferno’.
We are the first company in Florence to offer an Exclusive Dan Brown’s ‘Inferno’ -_Dante_in_Florence_Tour, tracing the paths of Robert Langdon as he treads the Florence city streets, and entering into some of Florence’s most iconic buildings, such as the Palazzo Vecchio and the Florence Baptistry building.
Artviva also has a 2-hour exclusive Da Vinci Code Art Sleuth tour with Seracini where you learn can how to spot a forgery, receive hints on building your own private art collection and continue on the search for lost masterpieces in the company of this expert.
Artviva offers as well guided Uffizi Gallery tour, followed by an exclusive-entry tour of the Vasari Corridor.