Must-See Art Installation at Forte Belvedere in Florence

written by Tiana Kai
Best views from Forte Belvedere Florence

After two failed attempts I was finally able to explore the largest fort in Florence, Forte Belvedere. Unfortunately, tragedy struck more than five years ago when two people fell to their deaths—quite a horrific intro!—so it was closed for security measures and reopened last year. Now there are guard rails put in place and some walls have been raised, so have no fear!

Forte Belvedere in Florence

Best views of Florence Tuscany

Views of San Miniato al Monte church from Forte Belvedere

Quick background…
History is not my strong suit, but I find it really fascinating that Grand Duke Ferdinando I de’ Medici had the fort designed by Buontalenti as a way to protect Florence. It was built from 1590 to 1595 and what’s really cool is that it’s connected to Palazzo Vecchio (Florence town hall) by way of Boboli Gardens, Palazzo Pitti and finally the Vasari Corridor.

I had no idea what to expect, so was completely blown away as soon as we walked up the long arched entrance. The amazing thing about Forte Belvedere—besides the fact that Kim and Kanye got married here, even though Nicco asked me “what’s a Kardashian?”—is that it’s actually an outdoor exhibit space. An exhibit space with an amazing aperitivo too!

Forte Belvedere Art Installation

Forte di Belvedere Firenze

Giuseppe Penone tree exhibit

Giuseppe Penone art installation

Giuseppe Penone Florence tree exhibit

Florence modern art at Forte Belvedere

Random tree hugger

Forte Belvedere Florence Tuscany

Art at Forte Belvedere and the Duomo

Interpretive dance with my scarf.

I love how there’s art all over Florence—new, old, random, beautiful pieces in every corner. But, who would think that there would be incredible art up at a fort?!

Last year’s exhibit was by Chinese artist Zhang Huan, which I totally missed. This year’s exhibit is by Italian artist Giuseppe Penone called Prospettiva Vegetale, meaning Plant Perspective. Let me just say, WOW! I was more than impressed by the space, work and the perfect tie between the two.

Giuseppe’s style is arte povera, which is a modern art movement from the 60’s/70’s that dismantles the concept of government and culture. Prospettiva Vegetale connects the strength between man and nature. This exhibit has also been displayed at New York’s Madison Square Park and Whitechapel Gallery in London to name a few.

I could have lingered around Forte Belvedere all day! It was nice and quiet with incredible 360 views. If you’re in Florence then this is a great alternative to all the typical sights like Piazzale Michelangelo and the Accademia.

Aperitivo at Forte Belvedere

Aperitivo at Forte Belvedere Florence

After the wandering we stayed a while and grabbed a drink plus pigged out at the buffet for 12€ each. There are beautiful comfy couches to hang out on. It was a perfect way to celebrate Ferragosto in Florence yesterday; next time I’ll bring a book and blanket…oh and Macintosh, since dogs are allowed.

The bar seems to have some kind of theme every night, so check out their aperitivo events that are from 6.30 – 8pm. If you’re in Florence, I would love to visit again, so let me know if you want company!

*This exhibit runs until October 5th, 2014. Forte Belvedere is open from 10am – 8pm, closed on Mondays. There’s even a few pieces on display inside Boboli Gardens, that’s next on my list! Tickets are 5€, but make sure to ask for the Forte Card, which allows you limitless entries for this exhibit. For more info visit Forte Belvedere

What has been one of your favorite exhibits or museums? One of my most memorable museum moments was at the Dynamo exhibit at the Grand Palais in Paris last year, so interactive! 

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[…] I loved this art exhibit by Giuseppe Penone at Forte Belvedere in Florence! Check out all the pics here. […]

Niccolò Brogi August 16, 2014 at 6:02 pm

I love the first one and the one with the scarf!

Tiana Kai August 16, 2014 at 6:09 pm

Thanks for your patience with the wind and the guy telling me to get off the wall! <3

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[…] the day to get motivated and FINALLY check out Forte Belvedere’s contemporary art exhibit Prospettiva Vegetale—meaning Plant Perspective—by Italian artist Giuseppe Penone. […]

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[…] Explore Forte Belvedere Florence where you'll enjoy beautiful art installations, great happy hours and the best views in Florence, Tuscany!  […]

Becky Padmore August 18, 2014 at 2:36 pm

The tree exhibit is extraordinary, I think I would have to hug it too 😉

Tiana Kai August 19, 2014 at 10:37 pm

Haha, I took a few pics of her, thought it was really cute. The exhibit was so amazing, can’t wait to take some friends there!

Escape Hunter October 12, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Very original.
I think Salvador Dali would love the one with the tree upside-down!

Tiana Kai October 15, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Haha very true! Palazzo Strozzi actually has a piece of his at the Picasso exhibit this month.

Yuna Gahyun Park November 15, 2014 at 10:37 pm

hello, do you think it’s also possible to get aperitivo in thesedays? 🙂

Tiana Kai November 16, 2014 at 4:14 am

I’m not 100% sure, I would call +39.055217704 to double check 🙂 For another amazing aperitivo view you can check out Se.Sto bar at the Westin.

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