How to visit the Gori Collection

La Cabane eclatée aux 4 salles by Daniel Buren
La Cabane eclatée aux 4 salles by Daniel Buren
La Cabane eclatée aux 4 salles by Daniel Buren
La Cabane eclatée aux 4 salles by Daniel Buren

During the summer, you can visit Guiliano Gori’s art collection at Fattoria di Celle. The property stretches over 70 acres of diverse rolling landscape. The artworks are all site-specific and thus take on a different feel than other collections in sculpture parks. Each artwork is integrated into the landscape by the artist. The ditches, bridges, fields, and groves become part of the artwork. Your approach down a rocky path or pass a pond is poetry to your experience. Some (like Celle Sculpture) are so well integrated that I believe I could have walked right passed them.

I visited with my family and loved the experience. Here are a few basic tips for taking your children to see this expansive private collection.

The Sky Hole by Bukichi Inoue
The Sky Hole by Bukichi Inoue
The Sky Hole by Bukichi Inoue
The Sky Hole by Bukichi Inoue

When we first drove up to the collection, we also drove right passed the entrance. Instead of looking for a sign reading “Gori Collection,” look for the large orange Alberto Burri sculpture. This marks the beginning of the driveway. Traversing up hill, continue pass the main house until you find an olive grove that doubles as a parking lot. Before visiting, you need to schedule an appointment and join one of the free, guided tours.

Fattoria di Celle is less than an hour from Florence and home to art collector Giuliano Gori. The over 70 acres are beautifully composed with historic buildings, a 19th century park designed by architect Giovanni Gambini, and olive groves.  Just over thirty years ago, Gori invited 10 artists to make new site-specific artworks on the property. Starting with these first commissions, he has collected over forty eight impressive artworks. Each are well documented on the Gori Collection website.

 

Venus by Robert Morris
Venus by Robert Morris
The Fallen and the Saved by Robert Morris
The Fallen and the Saved by Robert Morris

As the tour gathers outside the main house, make sure you have plenty of water and snacks. This tour is a four hour hike. Our small, english speaking tour was led by a kind, college student from the University of Virginia. She kept everyone moving together at a healthy clip, while she introduced us to most of the collection.

We used our stroller and framed back-pack child carrier to make it the whole way with our 3 year old and 4 year old children. Our stroller is a lightweight, all terrain stroller. A heavy duty jogger would have been nice, but it did the job. I would not recommend trying to hike this with an umbrella stroller. Most of the paths were gravel, but there are definitely some areas that were too rugged for a stroller. It worked fine for us because the stroller was mainly to give our oldest a break intermittently. He simply walked the rugged trails and steeper inclines.

The diversity of the landscape and artworks kept the trek fresh and interesting. As well as the anticipation of another of the seven water fountains created by Hossein Golba.  It wasn’t easy to walk this rolling landscape with kids, but it was worth the extra energy. The works by Robert Morris, Dennis Oppenheim, Daniel Buren, and Bukichi Inoue are outstanding and amongst a long list of recognizable names in the collection.

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I’m writing a few posts about the Gori Collection on my site, Lines-Between, because I am so impressed with their children’s tours and picture book about the park by Stefania Gori. I am also researching our two favorite artworks from the collection, one of which brought my child to tears when he found out the tour was moving on. I hope we will be able to experience that again. All other tears were warded off with my large stash of lollipops. I wish I could recommend a great restaurant in Pistoria, a visit to Il Giardino Volante, or a trek on this pedestrian bridge, but our children were asleep (knocked out & drueling) in the car before we hit the bottom of the driveway.

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