Essays

A Muse in Florence

Words By sheila lam

 

Tucked away on a narrow street in central Florence sits an unassuming building that hides a creative oasis. Inside the 16th century Palazzo Galli Tassi, Numeroventi is an epicentre for exploration, cross-cultural collaboration, and innovation. Behind the simple wooden door lies a world of artistic energy and vision. Situated halfway between the Duomo and Santa Croce on Via dei Pandolfini, Numeroventi is like a breath of life amidst the rich history of Florence.

I remember arriving at Numeroventi for the first time. As I opened the heavy wooden door, I was greeted by sunlight spilling across an open courtyard under archways and classical composite columns dotted with potted plants and tall statues on large stout plinths. The smell of stone, paint, and coffee mingled in the air.

 As a creator at Numeroventi, you’re challenged to take bold risks, experiment with new mediums, and push past self-doubt. Surrounded by talented, supportive peers from diverse backgrounds, creativity flourishes more each day.”

To visit Numeroventi is to be fully immersed in its society. During my residency here, I saw filmmakers from Spain share critiques with conceptual photographers from the UK and Italian sculptors help put up exhibitions with mixed media artists from Poland. The high ceilings, large windows, ancient frescoes, and carefully curated design all contribute to the atmosphere, drawing inspiration from the artists who reside at Numeroventi. Guests who book to stay in one of the intimately-designed lofts bond with artists-in-residence over a shared passion for the arts during long dinners under candlelight. During the day, you can find inspiration wandering Florence’s galleries, piazzas, and markets visiting the city’s most famed destinations like the Uffizi and the statue of David.

 

Martino di Napoli Rampolla is the visionary founder of Numeroventi. Born and raised in Panzano in Chianti, Martino has always had a deep appreciation for art and its ability to connect people from different backgrounds and cultures. After studying graphic design in Barcelona, Martino returned to Italy to pursue his true passion: creating a space where emerging artists could showcase their work and connect with art enthusiasts around the world. Thus, Numeroventi was born.

Martino has transformed Numeroventi into a beloved institution in the Florence art scene with worldwide recognition through his spirit and vision. He has a keen eye for talent and a deep commitment to supporting artists as they navigate the competitive world of contemporary art. Martino’s dedication and hard work have helped to make Numeroventi a vibrant and dynamic space for artists and art lovers alike.

 

As a creator at Numeroventi, you’re challenged to take bold risks, experiment with new mediums, and push past self-doubt. Surrounded by talented, supportive peers from diverse backgrounds, creativity flourishes more each day. You learn to incorporate techniques old and new, fusing Renaissance influences with modern multimedia elements, often culminating at a final showcase to the public. Numeroventi reminds us that Florence’s art scene is wider than the Renaissance era and that the city is still a seat of creativity and innovation.

Bidding goodbye here feels like saying farewell to old friends, and you leave anew after such a transformative experience. I’m grateful to have experienced it first-hand. Armed with new knowledge, connections, and confidence to fuel my creative journey, Numeroventi is a testament to the fact that art is alive and well in Florence. My time there showed me the power of an international creative community united by passion. Something anyone who visits would surely attest to: the spirit of Numeroventi will always hold a special place. ■

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