Hidden behind the five hundred-year-old facade of Palazzo Galli Tassi is Numeroventi, an arts space uniting the threads of Florence’s creative past and present. And you can stay there too.
Numeroventi combines an artist residency, coworking space, exhibition space and apartments. It’s the brainchild of Martino di Napoli Rampolla and Alessandro Modestino Ricciardelli, who enlisted Openhouse Magazine editor Andrew Trotter to design the interiors – a blend of Renaissance splendour and Scandinavian minimalism.
Rampolla and Trotter met at a drinks party in Barcelona, when the former approached the latter for advice on redecorating his grandmother’s apartment. Their conversation was the spark for the evolving Numeroventi project.
At the heart of the venture is the artist residency, and since Numeroventi’s launch in spring 2016, it has welcomed established and emerging artists to create work within its centuries-old walls. Kathy H Zhou, Anna Rose, Muriel Parra and Natalia Criado have all stayed and exhibited, working alongside local Florentine artists to create multi-disciplinary installations.
‘We ask the artists to interact with the space, challenging them to create something we are all stimulated by and that matters in terms of visual relevance,’ says Rampolla. ‘What is really special about Florence right now is the creative community of people that choose our city to reinvent themselves. It feels like everyone is just waiting for an excuse to create something new, and that makes our work really enjoyable.’
But it’s not just for artists; visitors to Florence can book in too, soaking up the creative energy over lunch or staying the night in one of the sunlit apartments filled with vintage European furniture, sourced by Trotter from Italy, France, Spain and the UK.
Working in a historic building, within a historic city, has its delights and its challenges. ‘Walking out of Numeroventi you see the Duomo in all its majesty. I get goose bumps every time,’ says Rampolla. ‘But it’s true that we will never be a contemporary city. Whether we like or not there is a lot of Florentine spirit in everything we do – we just try to make it a bit less predictable.’