Florence isn’t all Renaissance exhibitions and world-famous masterpieces. It’s also got a stock of contemporary art galleries that hide away between the grand palazzos and piazzas.
So turn your back on the Michelangelos and Caravaggios and give these five lesser-visited gems a go…
Gallery of Modern Art
Gallerie D’Arte Moderna – or the Gallery of Modern Art – is an obvious first stop on your contemporary art trail. It shows that modern is all relative in Florence, so the 30 rooms start with pieces from the 18th century and finish with paintings from World War I.
You’ll find the gallery on the second floor of the Pitti Palace, so you could also take the chance to poke around the other galleries.
- Gallerie D’Arte Moderna, Piazza de’Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze Fl
Air Art Gallery
The Air Art Gallery – AKA the Aria – is one of the most beautiful art galleries in Florence. For starters, you have to go to the Renaissance quarter and walk through a 16th-century tropical garden to get to the showroom.
The art gallery itself, though, is all-modern. Take the exhibitions – they’re colourful and creative, so you could catch a photography series documenting Italian refugees, admire a wall-long cityscape, or spy sculptures of Victorian swimmers.
Keep an eye on the events calendar, too – the Aria Art Gallery hosts regular art fairs.
- Aria Art Gallery, Borgo Santissimi Apostoli, 40r, 50123 Firenze Fl
The Museo Novecento specialises in 20th-century art, arranging around 300 pieces across 15 rooms. They’re not just sorted by age, either – photos, paintings, installations and sculptures from across the era mingle to give you an overview of a colourful century of Italian art.
You’ll come across some surprises, too. Watch out for the costume sketches of Giorgio de Chirico and the smooth sculptures of Antonietta Raphael.
- Museo Novecento, Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, 10, 50123 Firenze Fl
Marino Marini Museum
Looking for a real hidden gem? Try the Marino Marini Museum. The sculptures and drawings here shelter in the disused Church of Saint Pancras, where arching windows double as spotlights for the exhibitions.
All of the art is by the artist Marino Marini, a 20th-century sculptor who lived and studied in Florence.
- Marino Marini Museum, Piazza di S. Pancrazio, 50123 Firenze Fl
The SACI Galleries come from the Student Arts College International, so expect a mix of professional art and shows from current and graduating students.
The Jules Maidoff Gallery is the one of the smallest spaces – but also one of the most dramatic. Sculptures, paintings and screen prints sit under its vaulted ceilings.
- SACI College of Art & Design, Via Sant’Egidio, 14, 50123 Firenze Fl