Home Magazine Unconventional artistic venues: Lungarno Collection, Florence

Lungarno Collection is the chain of hotels owned by Ferragamo family. Specialized in the sector of fashion and luxury, Salvatore Ferragamo established his homonymous haute couture brand since 1927. 

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Lungarno was born in 1995 in Florence thanks to the commitment of Leonardo Ferragamo, one of the sons of Salvatore and the current chairman of the company. The choice of the name derives from the strategic position in which these hotels are located, in the centre of Florence “lungo le rive del fiume Arno” (along the along the banks of the River Arno).

In order to offer a unique experience to its guests, Ferragamo family opted to combine the typical Florentine excellence of its feedstock with another important Italian flagship, art.


Past exhibition at Gallery Art Hotel, Florence. Courtesy of Gallery Art Hotel.


Thanks to the collaboration with the Italian architect Michele Bönan, Lungarno hotel hosts a collection of 400 paintings realized by artists who have written the history of the visual arts during the 1900. This collection is structured among four different itineraries, one of each focused on a specific theme:

  1. Top five: the first and maybe more attractive itinerary is based on the friendship, born in 1917 in Rome and then developed in Florence, between Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau.
  2. Bueno: Antonio Bueno was born in Berlin in 1918, and he started his artistic education in Genève, following the steps of his brother. The nine artworks presented at the Collection, represent a period in which the artist has been permeated by Fernando Botero’s influence.
  3. Venturi: Venturino Venturi was born in 1918 in Loro Ciuffenna, a small village close to Arezzo. Being his father an anti-fascist, he and his family were forced to emigrate abroad, where he started his artistic formation that concluded in Florence, at the Academy of Fine Arts; he has always been convinced of the fact that his paintings had a sort of their own spirituality
  4. Pop Art: this section offers an itinerary designed to provide an overview of the birth of modern advertising through four significant figures: Jules Cheret, Lucio Venna, Raol Shultz and Adolfo Natalini.


Loris Cecchini, Waterbones, Gallery Art Hotel, Florence. Courtesy of Gallery Art Hotel.


Born as a continuum of the first venue, Gallery Art Hotel presents an original installation realized by the Italian artists Loris Cecchini, looked after by Centro Pecci, called “Waterbones”. It is composed by thousands of little steels’ forms connected to the idea of growth and cellular group. This site-specific installation has been precisely conceived for this hotel, and it was carried out thanks to a combination of digital planning and industrial production.

Furthermore, this hotel hosts every year a temporary exhibition which deals with a specific theme; the lastest was “On the Cotton Road”, a journey through Senegal and its workers in the cotton fields - still on view in the Hotel hall.

This trip has been recorded by the self-taught photographer Maurissia Mbaye. As a product of multiculturalism and having being raised in a very politically active family, she needs to understand, investigate and fight social inequalities and to share them among the whole public, and for this reason, she decided to collaborate with the designer Henri Philippe Maidou and to set up this exhibition in the hall of the hotel; indeed, once you get into it, 23 black and white photos are displayed on the walls, pulled together with coloured reproductions of the traditional Senegalese dresses. 


Maurissia Mbaye, On the cotton road, exhibition’s detail. Courtesy of Gallery Art Hotel.


Cover image: Maurissia Mbaye, On the cotton road, exhibition’s detail. Courtesy of Gallery Art Hotel.

Written by Elena Parcianello