A great addition to the Valdarno area south of Florence is the new sculpture museum, Il Cassero, just a 15 minutes drive (or a short train ride) away from Figline Valdarno, in the historic centre of the medieval town of Montevarchi.
Sculpture seems to be a very “accessible” art form for people of all ages – we (a group of 5 friends & colleagues) certainly each had our favourites that we either liked or could relate to in each of the rooms of this 500 strong collection of 18th and 19th Century sculpture. It was fun to explain to each other what we particularly liked and why – for example, one of them looked like a Shrek version of me & when I pointed this out, my friends agreed totally amid peals of laughter. With 4 floors of different rooms of sculptures, presented in a contemporary fashion within this beautiful medieval building, there really is something for everyone.
Given that sight accounts only for 40% of our enjoyment of sculptures and touch 60%, the fact that we had the opportunity to touch many of the sculptures, definitely enhanced our appreciation of the talent behind their creation. Also the feel of the different materials used from bronze to marble, wood to plaster cast and terracotta to pottery – being able to touch and feel the difference, made the experience all the richer.
There are guided tours in English on Thursday & Sunday mornings at no extra cost and they also run all sorts of special events and evenings, including wine and local produce tasting, together with the Slow Food movement. Children are also a big part of their focus, as there are special Storytelling tours and a memory game for very young children.
The basic price to enter the museum is incredibly cheap at €3, free for those under 6 and over 65 and only €1 up to age of 18. Special events or tours are aimed at small groups or families and are priced accordingly.
Definitely to be recommended for all art lovers, but also for everyone as a great way to spend a few hours on a wet day, or even as an interesting stop on the way to the shopping hub of Montevarchi or on Thursday when there is the weekly market.