In Issue Nº8 we take residence in two historic homes, Hollenegg in Gras and Numeroventi in Florence. We dine with Alexandre Gauthier, then take a trip down to meet the monks of Convent of La Tourette by Le Corbusier, and sit down with Nes Creative in their New York gallery.
There has never been such a place in Florence. Artists and visitors have flown
in and out of the cradle of the Renaissance for centuries, without a place to mingle together with locals that is quite like Numeroventi. Deep inside Palazzo Galli Tassi, the modern world collides with history in an elegant display of artistry, shared living and collaborative creation.
Built on the foundation of merchant houses in the early 16th century, Palazzo Galli Tassi has hosted an array of distinguished figures throughout its history, beginning with Baccio Valori, a fierce military man and politician who served as the city’s governor before his beheading.
Then in 1623, the noble Galli Tassi family bought the building. Preparing for his son’s wedding, the patriarch of the house expanded the property and decorated its interiors, adorning the ceilings with sumptuous baroque frescoes. After their ownership, the palazzo held numerous governmental institutions until it was purchased by Girolamo Pagliano, a theatre patron and pharmacist who passed it down from generation to generation and finally into the hands of Martino di Napoli Rampolla, one of the founders of Numeroventi.
An artist residency, co-working and exhibition spaces, with apartments for visitors of the birthplace of the Renaissance.
Martino, returning from the metropolitan capitals of Europe, felt a distinct lack of contemporary culture in his native city, although it certainly did not lack artists. Florence, due to its aesthetic elegance typically attracts creative individuals who seek to regenerate their inspiration from history, functioning like a lighthouse for those adrift at sea. But Martino noticed that these artist, after confronting such grandeur, were often afflicted with a false sense of inadequacy, with the wrongful belief that they couldn’t contribute, which resulted in the absence of a recognisable modern community.
This city needs a space he concluded, that unifies the past and present, a harbour where the imagination can flourish. From this necessity, Numeroventi was born.
Despite his determination, Martino could never have manifested his vision alone. He spent a considerable amount of the year abroad; he worked at his family’s vineyards in Chianti; and he’d grown slightly estranged from Florence. He had to counterbalance his lofty ambitions with practical knowledge, to ground his ideas in the city itself. In other words, he had to find a partner. Luckily, a mutual friend suggested that Martino have coffee with Alessandro Ricciardelli, a venue manager who became his partner and without whom the project wouldn’t have been possible.
In the spring of 2016, they established Numeroventi: an artist residency, co-working and exhibition spaces, with apartments for visitors of the birthplace of the Renaissance. With interiors designed by Andrew Trotter, these apartments feature vintage furniture from all across Europe and have been re-imagined, simplicity and sophistication, which allows natural light to flood the high-ceilinged rooms. To facilitate human interaction and connection they also share a collective kitchen where friends and family frequently come to eat dinner, drink wine, and discuss future projects. Here, after a day of adventure in The City of Lilies the guests feel soothed instantly, breathing a spontaneous sigh of relief from the bustle and the sweltering heat.
Undoubtedly the distinctive characteristic of Numeroventi’s unique identity is its artist residency.
Ever since its launch, Martino and Alessandro have invited established and emerging artists to stay in an apartment and create, selecting them solely by the ways in which that specific artist and their work correlates with Numeroventi’s vision. Anna Rose, Marisa Garreffa, Natalia Criado, Lorenzo Brinati and currently Albert Moya have all participated and exhibited in the space, for which Numeroventi organized celebratory events. Each had an eclectic group of spectators assembling people of different professions and passions: both Florentines and globetrotters, students and expatriates, highbrow aficionados and carefree bohemians.
Fuelled by their success, Martino’s vision has turned to the future. Within five years he hopes to solidify Numeroventi’s status as a hotel for creative individuals with a full staff of experts, while still retaining its personal touch.