Lonely Planet Writer

Seek out experimental sculptures at this Florence military base

The impressive former Renaissance military base, Forte di Belvedere, reopens in Florence for 2018 with its latest summer sculpture exhibition, GONG, by artist Eliseo Mattiacci. Considered one of the greats of contemporary art and pioneers of the Italian avant-garde movement of the late sixties, Mattiacci’s experimentation and renovation in sculpture, inspired by cosmology and conceptual relations between art and nature, man and environment, is one to be seen set against the backdrop of arguably the city’s most stunning panorama.

Art exhibit at Forte di Belvedere
View of Florence from Forte di Belvedere. Photo by Forte Belvedere

A display of twenty sculptures is showcased within the Forte grounds, plus a selection of 80 drawings, exploring the cosmos orbits of the planets. The iron sculptures are intended to measure the nature of life in the universe – the magnetic attraction between matter and the stars.

artwork at the GONG exhibition
Eliseo Mattiaci’s GONG exhibition at Florence’s Forte di Belvedere runs until October. Photo by Forte Belvedere

Mattiacci’s artistic pieces can be found around the world, including in the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome, Kunstforum Stadtische Galerie in Munich, the Capodimonte Museum in Naples, the Institut Culturel Italien in Paris, the Prada Foundation in Milan, and the Italian Cultural Institute in Los Angeles to name few.

Forte di Belvedere was built in the 1590’s by the ruling Medici family and sits on the highest southern hill in the city of Florence. Open only during the summer months, it is a spectacular venue offering some of the most stunning views of the Renaissance city. The exhibition is open until 8pm daily ( except Monday) offering aperitivos within a pop-up bar which is ideal for sunset cocktails.

 Sculpture by the artist Eliseo Mattiaci
GONG features 20 sculptures by Eliseo Mattiaci. Photo by Forte Belvedere

Past exhibitions at the Forte have included British artist Antony Gormley and Belgian Jan Fabre, and continues Florence’s leading role in contemporary, public art.

GONG exhibition runs until 14 October 2018. Open from 11am until 8pm (last entry 7pm, closed Monday). Tickets are €3 (€2 for residents of Florence).

By Nardia Plumridge