San Lorenzo - Environs de Florence - Florence - - This building was built in the 1200s by a successful mosaic artist. It is full of artistic touches. Better yet -EVERY important site is within walking distance: Michealanelo's David, the Uffizi Gallery, the Central Market, the Ponte Vecchio over the River Arno, theBaboli Gardens and more! Within a two block area you will find all the restaurants, coffee bars, outdoor cafes and stores you could want. Our new kitchens give you the choice of whether to dine in or out. The Giotto apartment is located on the third floor (sorry, no lift, but we'll have your luggage carried up). It has four windows facing the Medici Chapels.See also:Vip Florence Cimabue Apartment THE HISTORY OF THE BUILDING Mr. Gaetano Bianchini was a very special artist: His works were a special kind of mosaic called "Commesso in Pietre Dure", where hard stones of all colors were cut very precisely and joined together to form a shape. You can see an example of his art in the left picture: if you click on it to enlarge, you can appreciate the quality of this masterpiece. His atelier was in the building which now houses Apartments Giotto and Cimabue oin the Canto dei Nelli. On the third floor, where the apartments are, a reinforced door (still present) was in place to protect all the finished pieces. The other two floors were the factory itself, where skilled workers cut and polished the single mosaic pieces which would be used later to form a complete work of art. Mr. Bianchini often asked painters to draw a subject for his works: so one day he called the young but already famous painter Antonio Ciseri, and they decided to build a large table picturing the first meeting between Giotto and Cimabue. The legend says that Cimabue (1240?-1302), the most famous painter of the XIII Century, was traveling in the countryside when he saw a young shepherd drawing with some chalk on a rock. The drawing was so well done, that Cimabue brought the young Giotto to Florence to became his pupil. During the preparatory sessions, Mr. Bianchini often invited the painter for dinner at his villa in Florence hills. There the young Ciseri met Cesira, Mr. Bianchini's daughter, and the two fell in love. The marriage took place after one year. Eventually, they had a son, the great grand-father of the current owner of the building. As a wedding present to his bride, and as an homage to Mr. Bianchini, Antonio Ciseri painted a portrait of the Bianchini Family, probably the most famous group portrait of the time. The portrait was displayed at the Uffizi Museum in 1991, the centennial of Antonio Ciseri's death. The "Giotto and Cimabue" table and the "Famiglia Bianchini" portrait still belong to the original family.
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