If, when in Florence, you are craving to see the Renaissance masterpieces, you can do it spending really very little, avoiding annoying lines and having a worry-free and enjoyable time..!
Choose to tour the Cenacoli,
which are rooms in former convents and monasteries where friars, monks or nuns used to have their meals, decorated with murals depicting Jesus Christ and his Apostles at the Last Supper..!
The most famous one is Leonardo da Vinci's, in Milan..!
The Cenacoli usually are for free viewing. Let's see the one of Sant'Apollonia, painted in 1447 by Andrea del Castagno, very close to the Accademia Gallery. Just have a look at the marble slabs. It's unbelievable how realistic they are. You can imagine touching them, and feeling how cold they are.
In this Cenacolo you can fully immerse yourself in the proper Florentine Renaissance, that placed man at the center of the Universe.
You should feel that in this painting you, as a beholder, are assuming the active role.
Thanks to the rules of the one-point perspective, discovered by Filippo Brunelleschi, space recedes from the beholder's eye into the picture plane. You yourself as a viewer are the point of reference. You must picture a virtual pyramid with the base on a level with your eyes, the apex corresponding to the vanishing point (usually in the middle of the painting, on a horizontal line) and the pyramid rays converging to that point/apex, so much so that, for the first time ever, the space is rendered in a measured, mathematical way. What does this mean?
It means one theoretically simple, astonishing thing: human rationality can understand and overcome reality, and put it in order.
This mural is a fresco..!
“Fresco” means “fresh” in Italian, i. e. “painted on fresh lime”. Varnish, applied on fresh lime, becomes “one” with it, due to the chemical process of carbonatation. In this way the painted surface becomes as resistant as stone, and lasts forever with its brilliant shiny colours. As a matter of fact, this Cenacolo looks as if it was painted only a short time ago..!
If you want to know everything about these marvellous, off the most beaten track places, get my private walking tour of Florence..!