The magnificent St. Stephen Auditorium
The magnificent St. Stephen Auditorium is located in the heart of Florence, next to the famous and unique Old Bridge.
It can easily be reached by walking down Via Por Santa Maria, one of the most elegant and central streets in Florence’s city center, that links Repubblica Square with the Old Bridge. St. Stephen is one of the first churches buildig in Florence. Originally built in a simple Romanesque style, leater it was enlarged and restored following a Gothic and Baroque style. In the 1986 it was dismissed because of the depopulation of the city centre. During the centuries for many times St. Stephen was object of some renovations. Passed to the Augustininans control in 1585, it was completed restructured and embellished. Since Florence was the cradle of the Renaissance, it was specificaly for many of the churches and family chapels that magnificent works of art were commissioned of the greatest artists of all time. The church was largely damaged during the second World War, during the flood in 1966, and in 1993 at the bomb attempt in Georgofili Street. Restored at the end of 1990s, today, thanks to its magnificient decorated inners and its perfect acoustics, the Auditorium is an excellence ideal location where to live an unforgettable experience among Art, Architecture and Music in Florence.
The Franco Zeffirelli Museum
Walking through Piazza San Firenze it is impossible not to notice the San Firenze Complex. Imposing at over 3,700 square meters, the building that was once a convent of Filipino priests and later the Court of Florence is one of the few examples of Baroque architecture in the city.
Inside the building, one of the highlights is the music room, with a vaulted ceiling decorated with the Assumption of the Virgin by Giuliano Traballesi (1775) and surrounded by crates in the exedras and along the side walls, formerly used for singing Lauds by the Filipino priests.
The Performing Arts library is also noteworthy. With nearly 10,000 volumes of literature, history, religion, music, cinema, theater, fashion, costumes, photography and art, the collection was organized based on a functional system that reflects the subdivision by subject chosen by Franco Zeffirelli, director, screenwriter, Italian set designer and politician who lends his name to the museum in the complex.
The Zeffirelli Collection houses more than 250 works by Maestro Zeffirelli, including stage sketches, drawings, and costumes. The exhibition’s itinerary runs chronologically through the theater in prose, the opera in music and the cinema. The great artistic personalities who collaborated with him and the theaters around the world that welcomed him mark his passage through the Collection.
The first rooms are thus dedicated to the two figures who most influenced Franco Zeffirelli’s education and early career: first, the space for the mentor and teacher Luchino Visconti; then from the room dedicated to Maria Callas.
The Zeffirelli Collection section dedicated to Opera in Music opens with “playful operas” and Zeffirelli’s professional partnership with Callas. Continuing with the first hits in America and at MET New York, we understand the unmistakable contribution of director and set designer Zeffirelli to the world of Opera in Music.
Afterwards, visitors will be able to visit the section dedicated to Cinema. Great Shakespearean transpositions like “The Tamed Shrew” with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor and “Romeo and Juliet” with the young Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey pave the way for cinema.