Monsummano Terme, the town

In the middle of Monsummano’s main square is the Basilica di Fonte Nuova built on the express wishes of Grand Duke Ferdinando I at the beginning of the 1600s and surrounded on three sides by a large portico frescoed by Giovanni Mannozzi. Over the centuries the basilica has been enriched with a series of buildings of considerable artistic value which make it worthy of a visit. Its noteworthy organ was built from 1608 to 1614 by master Francesco di Niccolò Palmieri.

The Osteria dei Pellegrini, now seat of the Museo della Città e del Territorio, was built in the seventeenth century in the same square.
Inaugurated in 1998 after lengthy restoration work as a ‘mirror of the people and their history’ it was awarded a special mention at the European Museum Awards in 2001. It is an important part of the Valdinièvole’s Museum System and subdivided into a great many sections each of which focuses on a different historical era. Villa Renatico Martini, residence of literary figure and politician Ferdinando Martini who died here, is an attractive example of the eclectic taste of+ the late Tuscan nineteenth century.

Just outside the town centre in the Renatico area, in 2000 the villa was made seat of MAC,N Contemporary and Twentieth Century Art Gallery and contains a permanent collection of graphic art, painting and sculpture by twentieth century and contemporary artists. It is also an exhibition venue for temporary art exhibitions and conferences.

A visit to the Casa Giusti Museum (Giuseppe Giusti was a Monsummano born Risorgimento poet) is a chance to rediscover the romantic climate of a minor aristocratic family in the early years of the nineteenth century in decorations, ideal landscapes and allegorical scenes painted on the walls. Monsummano Terme is particularly active in organising, in its museums, temporary exhibitions, conferences, workshops for adults and school children and meetings with poets and writers. Perhaps not everyone knows that Yves Montand is the nom d’art of Monsummano born Ivo Livi. The town’s theatre has recently been called after him. It has a more than 300 seat capacity and offers a full programme of important prose performances every year.

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