Made in Tuscany
A treasure of sculptural art
A sort of three-dimensional tourist guide whereby you can survey the distinctive medieval town of San Gimignano from on high before, having left the Centro per le Arti San Gimignano1300, viewing it in all its beauty and magnificence on a real-life scale.
It is a meticulous and painstaking work carried out by a team of experts and enthusiastic artisans.
A miniature San Gimignano down to the last detail and in all its nuances thanks to thorough research; a history book retracing the years of major development and splendour of the town of the beautiful towers without even having to read a page.
Just stop and let yourselves be drawn into an interactive game in search of hidden details.
The initiative began in 2006 and, since then, the Art Centre has become an increasingly important tourist destination.
Divided into a permanent exhibition and a contemporary art gallery, the centre aims to contribute to the knowledge of art and history, consolidating the city's cultural bent by adding new cultural areas.
The permanent exhibition consists of various sections, from the Via Francigena to the history of the four neighbourhoods of San Gimignano: la Piazza, San Giovanni, il Castello and San Matteo.
The main gallery entitled "the city of beautiful towers" contains the model of the city during the fourteenth century on a 1:100 scale on show in 27 square metres of space with 72 towers, buildings and details that can no longer be seen today.
The surprise, deriving from the visual impact that you get when you walk into the room, comes from the fact that it has all been handmade in two years of work.
The buildings, made entirely in cold-decorated ceramics, initially necessitated in-depth technical and architectural research carried out by Michelangelo and Raffaello Rubino, the two creators of this spectacular work of art.
Enrico Guerrini's illustrations point out the most significant phases in the long history of the area, from its Etruscan origins to its Roman and medieval past and through to the present day.
One of the most striking models in the centre, on a scale of 1:10, relates the normal everyday life of the town with an imaginary view of the figures, workshops, buildings and streets of that time.
The faces and expressions of the clay figures, dressed in period clothing, offer an interesting touch, perfectly placed amid the various architectural styles of the town.
As you turn the corner, the 190 centimetres of the medieval tower house will even make little ones feel tall, showing the inside of the building with the roof, floors and audacious balconies.
Close by you can take a look at the bedrooms of a young lover, a three-dimensional homage to Memmo di Filippuccio's painting, "The Amorous Initiation of a Young Man".
Alternatively, head outside the town walls and visit the monastery of St. Francis and travel around the countryside and rural villages where working in the fields was punctuated by the sound of the bells in the distant turreted town.
The journey comes to a close with a video focusing on the creation and installation of the works, once more following in the footsteps of the team of experts to present the town with a small — in the true sense of the word — treasure of sculptural art.