Florence is honestly full of gorgeous historic palaces which amaze you with their glimpses into how people once lived – well, the wealthy people anyway. Palazzo Strozzi has the added attraction of being a modern arts center as well as an historic palace.
The Strozzi family was important during Renaissance times being as wealthy as the powerful Medici family. One of the Strozzi started the first public library during the 15th century, and another married a daughter of the Medici family but then partook in an uprising against the rule of the Medici and ended up in exile in Venice plotting to take power in Florence one day. Their grand Florentine palace stayed in the hands of the family until the early 20th century when they sold it to a corporation. The Italian state acquired it in 1999.
These days the Strozzi Palace hosts excellent exhibitions of both historic and modern art. A current exhibition is called Money and Beauty: Bankers, Botticelli and the Bonfire of the Vanities. Next year they will feature the art of Americans in Florence and American Impressionism, and later in the year Italian Art during the 1930s, the era of Mussolini and Italian Fascism. A permanent exhibition tells the story of the palace itself.
On Sundays they have family days with activities for children, on Tuesdays they host free movie nights and the second Thursday of each month they hold lectures, arts activities, forums etc. Every Thursday night the palazzo is open late, until 11pm. Members of the Strozzi family still live in Florence; they must be proud that their family’s legacy is still so important to the arts of the city.