I had the pleasure to see the new show “The Medici Dynasty Show” that brings on stage the stories of the Medici family, the most important family for the history of Florence. Here some information about the Medici family and what I liked about the show.
The Medici who?
The Medici family has been the most important noble family for Florence and Tuscany all. The family’s roots are in Mugello, agriculture area in Northern Florence, and legend has it that the balls on family’s coat of arms represent the blows of the club of giant Mugello on the shield of Averardo, Medici’s ancestor. Another legend has it as representing pills, reminding the family’s name, i.e. doctors in English.
The family ruled over Florence first, and Tuscany then, for about 300 years, making it the marvelous place you see today. They were a family of bankers, actually founders of the most important bank in Europe during the 15th century. They gained power in late 14th century with the Signoria of Cosimo de’ Medici. The Signoria was kinda of soft monarchy, where the Medici family members were elected signori (or leaders) of Florence. They reigned over Florence and Tuscany from 1434 to 1737, when the last Medici member died.
Over the centuries the family produced 4 popes, 2 regent queens of France and various important people. Most of them were great art and culture lovers and transformed Florence into an important and international cultural center, calling the most famous artists to work for them.
To name a few of them: Lorenzo the Magnificent was the promoter of the Renaissance, Caterina de’ Medici was one of the greatest queens of France, Cosimo I created the Uffizi Gallery, Ferdinando I commissioned the Medici Chapels, Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici left the family inheritance to Florence and Tuscany.
The Medici Dynasty in a show
300 years of history summed up in one hour show. This is the Medici Dynasty Show. Incredible, but real.
I was very happy to attend the show, since I love the Medici and their stories. I recently bought a book about the researches made on the corps preserved inside the Medici Chapels investigating about their life from a scientific point of view (here the book) and can’t wait to start reading it.
The Medici Dynasty Show takes place inside the Church of Sant’Onofrio at Il Fuligno. The church is quite small and can accommodate about 90 people, that are welcomed inside the private room of the last Medici’s member Gian Gastone. So you’re right on the stage.
The story starts on June 24th 1737, Florence Patron’s Day, when Anna Maria Luisa comes to Florence to talk about the Medici family inheritance to her dying brother Gian Gastone, who dies few days later on July 9th. The shows is based upon the dialogue between the two siblings; it goes back and forth in time to list all the great things that Medici family members did for Florence in over 300 years of history. Anna Maria Luisa wants to leave all the works of art and treasures commissioned and collected by her family to the city of Florence and she needs her brother’s help.
The two actors, Tim Daish and Carolina Gamini, are just great! They totally identifies themselves with Anna Maria Luisa and Gian Gastone, bringing you back in time. Their gestures, costumes and makeup are absolutely perfect. I also liked how they came up with a captivating story, providing a great starting point to learn more about the Medici and Florence.
The Medici Dynasty Show is an English show. It runs every day at 7pm, except Monday and Friday inside the Church of Sant’Onofrio at Il Fuligno in via Faenza 48, near the train station. The regular ticket costs 30€ per person, but discount for families and students are available.
I suggest you book your ticket in advance, since there are ONLY 90 seats per show per night. Here more information on the Medici Dynasty Show.
- Go to the show on your first day in Florence – the show is the perfect starting point for your stay in Florence. It provides you the basic info to understand better the rich city’s history.
- Read something about the Medici family – if you don’t know who the Medici are, I recommend you read something before attending the show.
- Be there 10 minutes before the start – since the room is not that big I suggest you to arrive at least 10 minutes before in order to get a good seat. Best places are in the front rows.