Whether you are new to Florence, currently considering settling in the city, or just coming to visit for a short time, it is worthwhile to learn something about its rich history. If there is one name that refers to the first family of Florence, it is the noble Medicis who flourished in every respect during the Renaissance. The family included bankers and popes, farmers and merchants. However, by the middle of the 18th century, the Medici’s patrimony was at risk when one of its last heirs lay dying.
What happened next is reenacted in “The Medici Dynasty” show, a new English-language theater production that is being presented all year-round to Florentine residents and visitors. Four nights a week (every night except Monday and Friday), guests are swept back in time to learn how the wealthy Medici family influenced the development and preservation of the arts in Florence. For English-speakers wishing to understand the complex history of the Medici dynasty, it is a most worthwhile experience.
The multimedia theater show combines modern techniques such as video reanimations with live actors in traditional costumes, to tell the story of the Medici family from a deathbed confrontation between the dying Grand Duke Gian Gastone and Anna Maria Luisa de Medici, his estranged sister. The year is 1737, and the siblings are the last heirs of the great family. A series of flashbacks to significant moments in the family’s history, covering three centuries, inform viewers about how Florence came to be known as a center for the arts, and why that remains true to the present day, thanks in no small part to Anna Maria Luisa.
Further accentuating the rich experience, the show is held in a Baroque church close to the historical center of Florence. The intimate ambiance of the chapel contributes to the overall sense of history being brought to life by the actors and media displays, since the space existed during the years of the Medici family’s active influence over Florentine affairs. The effect contributed by this setting is something that could not be reproduced in a standard, modern theater lacking in historical significance.
Tickets to the Medici Dynasty Show can be purchased at the box office not far from the Duomo. One of the streets that radiates away from the Duomo, Via Faenza, leads directly to the 15th-century Convent of Sant’Onofrio dell Monache di Foligno, where the show is performed. Arrive at the convent early to experience its cloister before entering the theater, within the convent’s cozy church. Prices are modest for the one-hour show: just 30 Euros for a standard ticket, with free admission for children.
By becoming the owner of one of the homes for sale in Tuscany, you can expect visits from curious friends and family abroad. The Medici Dynasty show is an enjoyable and efficient way to introduce newcomers to the history of the Medici family and to the city of Florence.