Palazzo Ruspoli

3 out of 5 stars3 Stars

Via de' Martelli 5, Florence, Tuscany, 50129, Italy
Palazzo Ruspoli
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Costs 109% more than similarly rated 3 star hotels

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More about Palazzo Ruspoli

Gian Lorenzo BERNINI - my personal favorite

by icunme

"Bernini - snippets from his life and work"

Most of the photos you see here are also on various Rome tips and they are here grouped as my favorite Bernini works. I did want to create a page - somewhat of a tribute to Bernini - with information about Bernini, the man. SEE ALSO THE TRAVELOGUE - BERNINI'S BRIDGE OF ANGELS

Born in Naples, he moved to Rome in 1606 with his father where they lived in a house across from Santa Maria Maggiore, then considered a rather remote location.
The favour of Urbanus VIII and commissions to various palaces, churches and the decoration of St Peter's, made Gian Lorenzo Bernini wealthy and influential. In 1642 he bought two buildings in Via della Mercede Bernini where he lived in one and rented the other until his death in 1680.

He left a fortune to his heirs who moved to a building in Via del Corso opposite from Palazzo Ruspoli, known as Palazzo Bernini. The late XIXth century inscription alludes to popes and princes kneeling before him. Bernini had a very likeable personality and, in the vernacular of present times, he had great marketing skills.

When Queen Christina of Sweden visited him he met her in his workshop, still dressed in his work clothes, by this indicating that his activity as an artist took precedence over the rules of protocol.

This is a noted self portrait and it has often been said that Bernini used himself as a model for the face of his famous David mable sculpture on view at the Gallery Borghese (not included in this travelogue group).

"Bernini's Ecstacy of Saint Teresa of Avila"

From my accidental visit to the Church of Sant Maria dell Vittoria where I was in the wrong church - but the right pew - as I glanced to my left, my eyes rested upon this sculpture. I'm not sure how long I stood transfixed, but everyone else in the church had taken their seats and I was still standing - I turned two pages in my missle to catch up with the Mass. (Nope, didn't pull out my camera and take this photo during Mass!)

This depicts the moment of the mystic "reverberation of light" when the Carmelite nun tells of having seen "an angel on the left, very beautiful - pierce the heart with a long golden dart, and the point seemed to be on fire." A beam of light coming from the opening cleverly hidden by the altar, illuminates Saint Teresa as she slides lifeless from the soft bed of clouds. In the 18th century the sculpture was particularly criticised for being too sensual and remained a work of great controversy.

"The Cornaro family in the side arches"

Ecstacy of Saint Teresa of Avila is actually a sculpture group - to the right and left of the central Saint Teresa you see eight members of the Cornaro family bearing witness from their balconies. The staging" of the work is accentuated by their presence as privileged spectators.

Photo by permission Roberto Piperno for non-commercial use only

"Truth Unveiled by Time (1645-52) marble"

As you enter the Borghese Gallery room VIII - this enormous figure all the way across the room catches your eye immediately - not only due to its sheer size and its corner setting but the muted cream, yellow, beige, tan shades in the marble - just the most exquisite veined marble and given its unique color composition, it takes on a luminous chromatic tonality.
Bernini's intention was that Winged Time lifts the drape to reveal the nude allegory with the sun in her hand. This was his eloquent reply to the violent accusations aimed at him regarding the Vatican campaniles project (1646). A summary of Bernini's take -- even if truth prevails, it sometimes arrives late!
If you take note of this face - many of Bernini's angels depict this same likeness - in particular the huge Angel in the Vatican Treasury Museum you will be astounded to see the same face bearing the same expression. I continue researching this face to find out just who might have been his model or if it was, in fact, another figure of his masterful fantasy.

"Tomb of Pope Urban VIII - 1627-47"

Tomb of Pope Urban VIII
Golden bronze and marble, figures larger than life-size
Basilica di San Pietro, Vatican
This is the second monumental papal tomb in the San Pietro made by Bernini. It was commissioned by the Pope and executed after his death in 1667 by a large group of sculptors headed by Bernini.

The composition is similar to that of the other (Urban VIII) tomb, however, there some differences. In contrast with the dominant figure of the Pope on the Urban tomb, the Pope here is a simple kneeling figure without any sign of his office. Instead of two there are four allegoric figures, Charity, Prudence, Justice and Truth. Below, there is a (real) door symbolizing the Gate of Death, from which a sand-glass holding skeleton (the Death) raises the heavy marble drapery.

"Apollo and Daphne"

Well, it first occurred to me that if this guy, Apollo, were chasing me - I don't think I would turn myself into a laurel tree - huh, uhhh..........

Now then, Apollo and Daphne - 1622-25 - Marble, height 243 cm
Galleria Borghese
This is the last work of Bernini's commissioned by the Borghese family and one of his most noted sculptures. The influence of antique sculptures (Apollo of Belvedere) and of contemporary paintings (Guido Reni) is clearly seen.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini depicts the chaste nymph Daphne being turned into a laurel tree as she is pursued in vain by Apollo god of light. This life-size marble sculpture, begun by Bernini at the age of twenty-four and executed between 1622 and 1625, has always been housed in the same room in the villa, but originally stood on a lower and narrower base set against the wall near the stairs. Consequently anyone entering the room first saw Apollo from behind, then the fleeing nymph appeared in the process of metamorphosis. Bark covers most of her body, but according to Ovid's lines, Apollo's hand can still feel her heart beating beneath it. Thus the scene ends by Daphne being transformed into a laurel tree to escape her divine aggressor.

The presence of this pagan myth in the Cardinal's villa was justified by a moral couplet composed in Latin by Cardinal Maffeo Barberini (later Pope Urban VIII) and engraved on the cartouche on the base, which says: Those who love to pursue fleeting forms of pleasure, in the end find only leaves and bitter berries in their hands - how about that!!

Bernini developed the twisting pose and combined it with an impression of vital energy. The most extraordinary execution of this marble sculpture show Proserpina's hand pushing against Pluto's face and creases his marble skin - his fingers make their indentations in the flesh of her thigh. Seen from the left, the group shows Pluto taking a fast and powerful stride and grasping Proserpina, from the front he appears bearing his trophy in his arms; from the right one sees Proserpina's tears as she prays to heaven, the wind blowing her hair, as the guardian of Hades, the three-headed dog, barks. Numerous moments of the story are thus captured in a single sculpture.
The story: Once upon a time, when Proserpina, daughter of Ceres, the goddess of agriculture, was gathering flowers in the fields, she was abducted by Pluto, god of the underworld, and carried off to his kingdom. Ceres was consumed with grief and in anger she scorched the earth, preventing grain from growing and the earth from producing fruit. Forced to intervene, Jupiter negotiated a compromise that provided Proserpina had not eaten anything while in the underworld she would be set free. Pluto however offered Proserpina part of a pomegranate, which she accepted. The Fates would not allow Proserpina to be fully released, but a negotiated settlement provided that she would spend part of the year with Pluto in the underworld (winter) and part of the year with her mother Ceres (summer). When Proserpina is with Pluto the earth is barren and cold and when she returns to her mother, Ceres pours forth the blessings of spring to welcome her beloved daughter home.

"Detail of indentations in the marble flesh"

Bernin - one of his most incredible marble executions


People waiting in line at the AccademiaPeople waiting in line at the Accademia

BAck rear view of DavidBAck rear view of David

The DuomoThe Duomo

Starting the walkStarting the walk

Forum Posts

Stores in Florence

by blablabla1

Does anyone know where I can find a list of stores, (or even better a list of shoe stores) in Florence, Via Cerretani? I need a specific shoe store I passed by earlier this year... Thanks is advance!

Re: Stores in Florence

by puerto_lover

If you know approximately where your specific store is located along Via Cerretani you could try to see it using Street View on Google Maps ? You can zoom into a shop front as well ?

Re: Stores in Florence

by blablabla1

Wow I thought I'd get a reply after a month =o I've been trying that for the last hour, and I'm not even absolutely sure that the street... But thanks =)

Re: Stores in Florence

by alza

Hi bla bla :)

When I need to find a store, I search the Yellow Pages on the Net. Here's the link to shoe stores on or near via dei Cerretani. Hope you recognise the one you want!


Re: Stores in Florence

by blablabla1

Thanks that was a really clever idea! I couldn't find it though but I will use this from now on =D

Re: Stores in Florence

by alza

very welcome! kind of fun to let your fingers do the walking in Florence!! :)

Travel Tips for Florence

Filippo Brunelleschi

by Azhut

Sculptor and architect
Florence 1377 - 1446 (infos from the web)

He is famous for the daring and original ideas behind his projects (such as the Cupola of the Duomo in Florence) and for the way in which he harmoniously re-elaborated the forms of classical architecture according to the new spirit of his age.
He was trained as a sculptor and goldsmith in one of the typical Florentine workshops. In 1401 he made himself known by winning the competition for the second door of Baptistery "ex aequo" with Lorenzo Ghiberti, who was in fact commissioned to carry out the work. The panels of the Sacrifice of Isaac that the two artists carried out for the competition can be seen in the Bargello Museum. Brunelleschi probably spent the next three years in Rome studying sculpture and architecture with his friend Donatello. He joined the Guild of Goldsmiths in 1401 but his interest in mathematics (he was a friend of Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli) and the study of ancient monuments tended to turn his work more and more in the direction of architecture.
From 1409 onwards, he worked on the construction of Santa Maria del Fiore and was immediately attracted by the problem of the cupola. The main structure was finished by 1434 and then completed by the lantern in 1436 and the four tribunes in the apse in 1438. During this period Brunelleschi also worked on the Spedale degli Innocenti (1421-24), the Old Sacristy at San Lorenzo (1428), the reconstruction of San Lorenzo (1423 ca.), the Pazzi Chapel in the Cloisters of Santa Croce (1430), and on the design for Santo Spirito (1436), completely renewing the appearance of the medieval city. His architectural works include the Ponte a Mare at Pisa, Palazzo di Parte Guelfa (1425) and the unfinished Rotonda degli Angeli (1434) in Florence. Today there is some discussion as to whether Brunelleschi really carried out the original designs for the Pitti Palace.

We were told to take the #7...

by Murphtique

We were told to take the #7 bus from the bus
station to Fiesole for a quick 20 minute ride and
we are glad we did. It was a very scenic ride and
the center of town has some nice outdoor
restaurants and shops. There is also a museum,
an old Roman theater and a hilly scenic walkway.

Great Pub

by Jmill42 about Friends Pub

One of the nightspots we hit on my friends wedding extravaganza was friends. Actually, we hit this bar twice because we had so much fun the first time. The bartenders all speak good English, and really get into the partying with you. No, I mean they REALLY get into the party with you. I think they might have drunk more than we did!! But, it was a great time for everyone. Drinks are average price, but excellent quality and the bar is very cozy. Great spot a street off the Arno.

One of the best trattoria

by alemir82 about Angiolino

This is one of the city's best trattorias, with dried flowers and chillis hanging from the brick-vaulted ceiling and tables with red-checked tablecloths. They serve a range of traditional Tuscan dishes at reasonable prices. This restaurant is popular with both the locals and tourists.


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 Palazzo Ruspoli

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Palazzo Ruspoli Florence
Palazzo Ruspoli Hotel Florence

Address: Via de' Martelli 5, Florence, Tuscany, 50129, Italy