The ‘Uffizi Diffusi’ project is set to debut with five temporary exhibitions that will feature artworks from the Uffizi Galleries on display in various towns and villages across Tuscany.
The five-exhibition event is called ‘Terre degli Uffizi’ and, like the wider Uffizi Diffusi project, is aimed at exhibiting artworks from the Florentine museum’s famed art collection throughout Tuscany, especially in those places that have a connection to the artist’s life and work or where they can be enjoyed in a more intimate setting, not hampered by masses of tourists fighting to get the same shot.
The long-term goal of the Uffizi Diffusi project is to contrast overtourism by trying to spread visitors around the region to lesser visited towns and villages rather than have them all crammed into the Uffizi Galleries, which, pre-pandemic, received an average of two million visitors a year.
The Tuscan towns and villages chosen to host the works of art for the first five exhibitions are all located in northern Tuscany and include Poppi, San Godenzo, Anghiari, Montespertoli and Castiglion Fiorentino.
The first exhibition, ‘Nel segno di Dante,’ is part of the celebrations for the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death. It opens on July 17 in Poppi, province of Arezzo, and will be on display at the hilltop Castle of the Guidi Counts, political allies of Dante. The paintings feature themes and characters from the Casentino valley, an area of Tuscany where Dante spent time, and evoked in the Divine Comedy, such as the artwork depicting one of the most famous episodes of the Inferno, the one related to the forbidden love story of Paolo and Francesca.
Also part of Dante’s 2021 celebrations, the exhibition in the mountain village of San Godenzo (Florence) will display a portrait of Dante by Renaissance painter Andrea del Castagno, a native of San Godenzo, which is also the place where Dante was staying when he was sentenced to death in Florence in 1302. The painting will be on view at the visitor center of the Foreste Casentinesi National Park, starting on July 26.
At the Museo della Battaglia in Anghiari (Arezzo), site of a famous battle depicted by Leonardo da Vinci in a painting that got mysteriously lost, the exhibition opening on August 12 will be centered on historical figures who went from being soldiers and mercenaries fighting in the various battles that saw opposing families fight for control of the territory to men of culture who started their own courts. One such figure is Federico da Montefeltro.
In Montespertoli, just 20 kilometers southwest of Florence, the focus will be on Giotto and his influence on local artists, such as Taddeo Gaddi, who contributed to spreading Giotto’s artistic style around the entire Val d’Elsa. This exhibition opens on September 25.
Castiglion Fiorentino, a small, walled city in eastern Tuscany (province of Arezzo),will host an exhibition focusing on the figure of Saint Francis of Assisi; nearby is one of the most celebrated places in Christianity, the Sanctuary of La Verna. To celebrate the Feast of the saint on October 2, opening day of the exhibition, the Uffizi Galleries and the Municipal Art Gallery of Castiglion Fiorentino will exchange two important paintings depicting the episode when Saint Francis received the Stigmata, marks resembling the wounds on the crucified body of Jesus Christ.
For more details on the Terre degli Uffizi event and dates, visit the Uffizi website.