Pietre Dure Museum for Restoration & Cultural Heritage
The Opificio delle Pietre Dure – literally “Workshop of Semi-Precious Stones” – is a public institute of the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage based in Florence. It is a global leader in the field of art restoration and provides teaching as one of only two Italian state conservation schools. The institute maintains also a specialist library and archive of conservation as well as a scientific laboratory which conducts research and diagnostics and provides a preventive conservation service.
Attached to the Opificio delle Pietre Dure is its museum, which directly derives from the manufactory for the artistic production and workmanship of semiprecious stones officially founded in 1588 by Ferdinand I de’ Medici.
The collection of the Museum offers a unique reflection of life and events of the centuries-old artistic production of the Opificio.
The Opificio\'s most prestigious creations were frequently gifts from the Florentine Grand Dukes to the powerful in all of Europe, and are conserved in palaces and museums throughout the continent.
The museum houses many of the incomplete works left behind in the workshops, along with modified or subsequently disassembled works. To these may be added all those artifacts which survived the 19th century dispersion during the reign of Napoleon, ending only in 1882 when the collection took on museum form. Among the latter are some highly impressive and sophisticated examples, outlining the historic development of craftsmanship over three centuries. The Museum also possesses an important reserve of ancient marbles and semiprecious stones illustrating the inlay technique employed at the time.
The Museum was renovated in 1995 according to Adolfo Natalini’s design. The collection was rearranged according to themes:
- the Grand-Ducal Medici and Lorraine periods
- the Post-Unification period (after 1860)
- the craftsman’s techniques
The section dedicated to the craftsman\'s techniques includes a rich set of stone samples, workbenches, tools and even didactic examples of a few of the production phases of intarsia and inlay work. In this way, you\'ll have the opportunity to trace the full process from the initial design through to the finished work, and to discover the most intimate mechanisms of a fascinating episode of Florentine art history.
Practical Information - Before You Book
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IMPORTANT NOTE: The museum or attraction will automatically confirm the closest available time, which can be anytime during opening hours on the selected date, if your preferred time is no longer available.
The Opificio delle Pietre Dure Museum is open only in the morning as follows:
- Visit is accompanied by security personnel, for groups of maximum 30 persons.
- Entrance, in 4 entrance spots each morning (from Monday to Saturday) is a fixed times: 8:30, 9:50, 11:10, 12:30. Extraordinary opening on May 1st.
- Single and free visit outsides these times is not possible.
- Visit has a maximum duration of 1 hour.
Once a confirmation code has been assigned to your reservation, we can refund the cost of unused tickets, also for no-shows, minus a service fee (reservation fee and online booking fee).