The House Museum of Giorgio Vasari

This historic palazzo, inhabited by Vasari and enriched by his frescoes, opens its doors to reveal a collection that spans the centuries, offering a deep immersion in the culture of the past. With its roof garden and proximity to our B&B, it is an essential stop for art and history lovers.
Casa Vasari - Home of Vasari - House of Vasari

A few steps from the Church of San Domenico, stands this beautiful two-story building where the noted art historian lived for many years: it is theHouse Museum of Giorgio Vasari. The painter and architect was born in Arezzo itself on July 30, 1511 . The Vasari House Museum also has a delightful roof garden, named by the artist himself in a note related to the purchase, and initially used as a private vegetable garden.

Giorgio Vasari

Giorgio Vasari, born in Arezzo on July 30, 1511, bought in 1541 the house in Via XX Settembre, very close to our B&B in the center of Arezzo and, following Mannerist lines, frescoed it with his collaborators from the following year until 1550, when he married the young Aretine Niccolosa Bacci, daughter of a merchant of great renown.

From a young age, he was introduced into the circle of the Medici court, where he received a humanistic education under the scholar Pierio Valeriano. He attended the workshop of Andrea del Sarto and the drawing academy of Baccio Bandinelli. In Florence, he bonded with Francesco Salviati over their shared love of classical antiquity, and together they visited Rome, studying the works of great masters such as Raphael and Michelangelo.

Artistic and Architectural Contributions

Vasari not only excelled as a Mannerist painter but also as an architect, producing such outstanding works as the Palazzo della Carovana in Pisa and the famous Uffizi complex in Florence. In Venice, in 1541, he had a significant impact in the scenographic realization of Pietro Aretino‘s “Talanta.” This experience as a stage designer and theatrical architect profoundly influenced both his painting and that of his collaborators.

The Lives and the Historical Legatus

Vasari’s contribution to artistic historiography remains unparalleled thanks to “Le Vite de’ più eccellenti pittori, scultori e architettori italiani.” This work, published in 1550 and then reissued in 1568, describes the lives and works of more than 160 artists, becoming a fundamental milestone for those studying Italian Renaissance art.

The Giorgio Vasari House Museum in Arezzo

Vasari deeply loved this magnificent home, now the Giorgio Vasari House Museum, as evidenced by the care he devoted to it over the years. For although his work often led him far from his hometown (especially to nearby Florence and to Rome, in the Papal States), he never failed to collect and collect valuable works of art, paintings and sculptures. These were then relocated within the rooms of the palace.

Following the usual pattern of ancient dwellings, Casa Vasari has a basement, the piano nobile (which was frescoed by Vasari himself) from which one enjoys access to the garden, a second floor intended for servants, and attics.

After expansion in the 19th century it became the private residence of the Pagliacci family, and remained so until the early years of the following century. Shortly before the outbreak of World War I, in 1911 (the anniversary of the fourth centenary of the artist’s birth), the mansion was in fact purchased by the state, which then turned it into a museum. Casa Vasari also houses the Family Archives of Giorgio Vasari. The latter includes the Ricordanze, the Zibaldone and the documents collected in several volumes that make up the Vasari correspondence.

The Rooms of the House Museum

House Museum of Giorgio Vasari is a delight for anyone who loves the incredible artistic period of Mannerism. Characterized mainly by the fine murals and panel paintings made by the Arietine artist, everything in the dwelling speaks of Vasari. As evidence of this we can admire the imposing bust depicting him, positioned overlooking the main staircase.

From this, also designed by the artist, we access the piano nobile. Here there is a succession of wonderful and well-preserved rooms, named after the theme of the decorations present, made precisely by Vasari. Among other things, he himself appears depicted from behind, intent on reading, in the Sala del Camino or the Triumph of Virtue. This is topped by a coffered ceiling with seventeen painted panels and with walls full of allegorical figures, artists’ narratives or landscapes. The same type of decorated ceiling can also be found in the Hall of Abraham (the bridal chamber) and the Chamber of Fame and the Arts; his wife Niccolosa is instead depicted in the Hall of Apollo and the Muses. The Corridor of Ceres or of Dragons leads to the rooms described above. Also of great charm, both pictorial and spiritual, is the Little Chapel.

The Quadreria arranged and set up in the 1950s includes paintings by various artists. Many collaborated with Vasari on the decoration of the Studiolo of Francesco I de’ Medici in the Palazzo Vecchio.

Among the signatures are those of Jacopo Zucchi, Carlo Portelli, Francesco Morandini, Perin del Vaga and several others.

The House Museum of Giorgio Vasari: Useful Information

The House Museum of Giorgio Vasari is open Monday through Saturday, continuously, from 8:30 am to 7:30 pm.Sundays and holidays are observed to be open from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.Closed on Tuesdays.  Visitors are asked to remember that the ticket office always closes half an hour before the end of visiting hours. Reservations are optional. Find the House Museum at 55 Via XX Settembre, very close to the “Pietri Parking Lot” and few minutes walk from the B&B Antiche Mura. The entrance fee is 4 euros, but there are reductions to 2 euros and free admission for determined categories. Occasionally, the Casa Vasari Museum also hosts temporary exhibitions.

A must-see just a stone’s throw from Antiche Mura

In short, the House Museum of Giorgio Vasari is a must-see stop on your nexttour of Arezzo. You can then explore the Old Town  of Arezzo, which is full of notable attractions such as the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Donato. The Duomo stands right next to our Antiche Mura Bed and Breakfast. In addition to the House Museum and the Cathedral you could visit the House of Petrarca , birthplace of the illustrious poet, or to travel even further back in time the ancient Roman Amphitheater. The amphiteater is adjacent to the beautiful State Museum of Medieval and Modern Art.

Among the wonders of Arezzo’s Old Town

These are just some of the possible stops on your tour of Arezzo, explore our site to find out more. The Old Town  of Arezzo is a place that has been alive for millennia and filled with an enormous amount of wonders. We are waiting for you in Antiche Mura!

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