The San Firenze Complex
The CIAS in the San Firenze Complex
The International Centre of Performing Arts has been housed since 2017 in the San Firenze Complex, located in the center of Florence in Piazza San Firenze, just a few steps from Palazzo Vecchio. The activities of the center are spread over approximately 3,700 square meters, divided between the ground floor and first floor. The areas occupied by the Center have been renovated by Franco Zeffirelli.
Late Baroque Architecture in Florence
Originally a convent of the Philippine Fathers and then the seat of the Court of Florence, it is one of the few late-baroque examples of the city. It was built by the Philippine Fathers in honor of St. Philip Neri, founder of the Order of Florentine origin. They entrusted the project to Pietro da Cortona in 1645, taking advantage of the legacy of Giuliano Serragli, whose coat of arms crowns the top of the facade among the allegorical statues sculpted by Pompilio Sticciati. The original stone statues are kept in the Museum of Florence.
In 1667 Pier Francesco Silvani started the construction of the church and, in 1715, he was succeeded by Ferdinando Ruggieri, who completed the façade in strong stone. In 1772 Zanobi Del Rosso, already working alongside Giovanni Filippo Ciocchi on the construction of the convent, designed the Oratory, connecting it to the church and the rest of the building.
The sculptor Giovacchino Fortini is the author, together with Antonio Montauti, of the preparatory plaster models for the marble bas-reliefs of the church with Stories of San Filippo Neri (1714-18), which are preserved in the atrium of the San Firenze Complex. Also attributable to Fortini is the group with Faith and Hope located above the tympanum of the portal (1736).
Music Hall of the San Firenze Complex
The magnificence of the Music Hall
The Music Hall, originally the Oratory of the Philippine Fathers’ complex, has a vaulted ceiling decorated with the Assumption of the Virgin by Giuliano Traballesi (1775) and is surrounded by boxes in the exedras and along the side walls, once used for singing praises.
Equipped with 120 comfortable seats, the hall has a maximum capacity of 150.
Library of Fine and Performing Arts
Zeffirelli’s private library
In the Library of Fine and Performing Arts there are about 10,000 volumes of literature, history, religion, music, cinema, theatre, fashion, costume, photography and art. The book collection also includes opera librettos, printed music and theatre programmes. All books are shelved using a functional system that reflects the subdivision by subject chosen by Franco Zeffirelli, but also able to meet the needs of users. The Library is open to the public.
Arranged along the corridor, in the central part of the ground floor, are the classrooms dedicated to the educational activities of the Centre.
Zeffirelli’s personal archive
The Archive of the Franco Zeffirelli Foundation is very rich in both quantity and variety of documents. Every theatrical and cinematographic production in which the Maestro has tried his hand in is extensively documented. In fact, there are materials relating to the various phases of development of each project: the documentation collected and produced in the preparatory phases, those relating to the realization, advertising materials and the critical apparatus of each work. Scripts, screenplays, notes, photographs, drawings and sketches, advertising materials, press reviews, correspondence, administrative documents, grey literature, and audiovisuals are kept in the Archive.
The Archive is open to the public by appointment.
The Zeffirelli Collection
The Zeffirelli Collection is located on the first floor of the San Firenze Complex.
subscribe to the newsletter