One of the famous artistic workshops of the Italian Renaissance, the Opificio delle Pietre Dure was established in 1588 at the behest of Ferdinando I de' Medici to provide the elaborate, inlaid precious and semi-precious stoneworks.
Discover the Museum of this institution, a fascinating and unusual Florentine gem!
Completely renovated in 1995, the collection was rearranged according to three main themes – the Grand-Ducal Medici and Lorraine periods, the Post-Unification period (after 1860), and the craftsman’s techniques. This third section also illustrates the production phases of intarsia and inlay work, giving you the opportunity to discover the most intimate mechanisms of a fascinating episode of Florentine art history.
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Discover the Museum of one of the famous artistic workshops of the Italian Renaissance – the Opificio delle Pietre Dure Institute for Restoration & Cultural Heritage. Completely renovated in 1995, the collection was rearranged according to three main themes – the Grand-Ducal Medici and Lorraine periods, the Post-Unification period (after 1860), and the craftsman’s techniques. This third section also illustrates the production phases of intarsia and inlay work, giving you the opportunity to discover the most intimate mechanisms of a fascinating episode of Florentine art history.
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 the following 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.
The Opificio delle Pietre Dure Museum is open only in the morning as follows:
- Monday to Saturday, during 4 fixed time slots in the morning: 8:30 am, 9:50 am, 11:10 am, 12:30 pm. Extraordinary opening on May 1.
- Visit is accompanied by security personnel, for groups with a maximum of 30 persons.
- Individual and unaccompanied visit outside of these time slots is not possible.
- Visit has a maximum duration of 1 hour.
European Union citizens aged 18 to 25
Children under 18 years old from any country
Children under 12 (must be accompanied by an adult)
Tourist guides and interpreters (accompanying a group), with official documentation
Students/scholars of all nationalities may apply for special research permits for a limited period.
Free admission the first Sunday of every month
Italian and European school groups accompanied by their teachers, with official authorization from the school and with an advance booking made directly with the museum.
Service fees (pre-sale and online booking fees), as well as fees for temporary exhibitions happening during your visit are due for ANY KIND OF TICKET as well as for free admission days.
When picking up a reduced or free ticket, you will be asked for a document proving your right to the price reduction. Entrance will be denied without it.