In 2010, Fiesole celebrates the centenary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s stay in Fiesole and the influence of his organic architecture on the Florentine School. There will be two exhibits, publications, and conferences. This is certainly of interest to expats who will find that the American architect enjoyed long walks (with his lover, but let’s ignore that for now, see below) in the fields of Fiesole and that the “organic architecuture” for which he is famous draws a lot from this moment. (For an interesting online book about this stay, see here). Of his stay his journals record these walks and the meals of roast goose, sweet wine, and creme caramel. Yup, boh!

Villino Belvedere in Fiesole, where FLW was guest. Photo:

The first exhibition on the calendar, curated by architects Roberta Bencini and Paolo Bulletti, will open on Thursday, June 17 (until the end of August). The exhibition aims to examine some of the works designed after 1910, to present drawings and documents, some of which will be displayed in Italy for the first time, and to analyze the influence that Wright’s stay in Fiesole had on his architecture.

The exhibition will gather, among others, drawings that Wright did during his stay in Fiesole for a house that was never built (on loan from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation of Scottsdale (Arizona) and the University of Utah Library.)

While in Italy, Wright was a guest at Villino Belvedere in Via Verdi (now Montececeri). The plaimetric configuration of this house inspired the design and creation of the famed Taliesin in Wisconsin (see photo): the architecture adapts to the lie of the land and vice versa.

The exhibit will be hosted in the rooms of the Archaeological Museum in Fiesole, and there will be a catalogue dedicated to the project that Wright developed during his stay in Fiesole and the reflections of this experience on his subsequent work, curated by Paolo Bulletti.

Another exhibition dedicated to the architect is planned for the second half of the year, and is to focus on works created or designed on the hill of Fiesole by some of the greatest exponents of the so-called “Florentine school” of architecture from the post-war era influenced by Wright’s work, including: Rolando Pagnini, Leonardo Ricci, Leonardo Savioli, Franco Bonaiuti and Giovanni Michelucci. All architects who rejected the fascination of organic architecture following a sensibility linked to their cultural and architectural education and the specificity of the places. The aim is to enhance the modern and contemporary artistic and cultural heritage of the territory of Fiesole.


Something tells me that this exhibit will focus on the architecture rather than the artist’s personal life with his lover Mamah Cheney, but should you be so inclined you ought to read the really trashy novel “Loving Frank”, which I found to be sometimes frustrating thanks to the spineless women it portrays, but delightful nonetheless.


Location: Archaeological Museum, Fiesole

Sala Costantini, Via Portigiani, 9 – Fiesole
June 17 – August 30
Opening hours 10:00 – 19:00 daily
Entrance fee: 5 euros (reduced: 3 euros)

General Information

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