“I consistently convey to my students: within each of us, a small yet enchanting artistic potential patiently awaits discovery in the most fitting manner.”
“The responsibility of educators is to rouse that magic within their students, leading them on a quest for authentic art and talent while imparting the joy of learning. Teachers are tasked not only with conveying technical expertise but also with nurturing each individual’s imagination, fantasy, and cultural awareness, fostering the pursuit of genuine art and talent.”
Accademia Riaci Honorary President,
Raymond Riaci, founder.
The rich heritage of traditional craftsmanship and the flourishing arts in Tuscany, particularly in Florence, venerates the Renaissance era as the true gem of artistic brilliance. The city’s production activities thrived through the workshops and studios of skilled craftsmen, propelling Florence to its status as Italy’s artistic capital during that epoch. The synergy between craftsmen and merchants resulted in the city’s glory and immense fortune.
These craftsmen, often goldsmiths, produced magnificent artistic objects for baptisteries in their studios. Maestro Benvenuto Cellini, an exemplary figure, imparted his superior sculpting techniques for marble statues to his apprentices. The crafts commissioned by Maestro Cellini have endured for centuries as masterpieces of art, embodying the enduring legacy of Florence’s rich traditions in craftsmanship, including gold and jewelry production, sculpture, and painting.
In 1983, Maestro Raymond Riaci founded Accademia Riaci with a compelling vision. His goal was not only to teach artistic techniques but also to imbue young artists with the lively spirit and atmosphere of the Renaissance. Accademia Riaci became a treasure trove of traditional art and irreplaceable techniques. The academy’s teachings, enriched with techniques unique to its curriculum, aim to foster imagination and fantasy in each student.
What began as a modest art studio has evolved into a vibrant institution, with a passionate team of teachers, representing the best Italian artists in Florence. The academy remains committed to the founder and Honorary President’s vision of tradition and spirit. With a diverse student body from over 50 countries, Accademia Riaci inspires individuals in the fields of Design, Crafts, Fine Arts, Italian Language, and Italian Culinary Arts, carrying forth the legacy of artistic pursuit and global inspiration.
Accademia Riaci School Group
About the City of Florence
Wavy mountains and captivating coastlines; gentle hills adorned with vineyards and olive trees paint an enchanting, picturesque pastoral scene in Tuscany that has fascinated travelers since ancient times. Florence, situated in the heart of this beautiful region, boasts a rich tapestry of cultural treasures. The streets of Florence are adorned with numerous precious legacies, seamlessly blending the ambiance of its past and present. As travelers explore, they are momentarily transported into a segment of history, experiencing the timeless allure of this remarkable city.
History of Florence
Tuscany, originally inhabited by a culturally rich tribe considered the ancestors of today’s Italian people, flourished between the 10th and 8th centuries B.C. By the 11th century A.D., Florence underwent a transformative journey, evolving into one of the most significant city-states, shaped by the occupation of the Roman Empire and the subsequent ancient German invasion. During this period, pivotal artistic movements unfolded, laying the groundwork for the emergence of Artistic Giants in the 13th century, including renowned figures such as Cimabue, Giotto, and Dante.
In the early 12th century, Florence transitioned into a self-governed commune, and by the 14th century, inspired by realism and a burgeoning human-centered spirit, its inhabitants began to question the norms of the medieval Christian world. This intellectual shift significantly contributed to the decline of the absolute authority and power of the papacy. As a consequence, the Renaissance movements found their initial roots in Florence, becoming a nurturing ground for some of the greatest artists and geniuses of all time. During this period, the city experienced an age of unparalleled prosperity and peace under the political leadership of the Medici family.
While Florence briefly transitioned into a republic state between 1494, the Medici family swiftly reclaimed power. In 1570, Cosimo I was appointed as the first Grand Duke of Tuscany, marking the onset of the city’s ‘Golden Age.’ However, this era was short-lived, as the throne passed to Prince Lorraine of Austria following the demise of the last Medici family member.
In 1860, during the ‘Risorgimento’ movement that swept across Italy, the initial unification of the country took place under the reign of Vittorio Emanuele II. Florence assumed the role of Italy’s capital city for a period of five years, starting in 1865 and lasting until 1870.
However, even after the unification movement and fueled by the strong sense of ‘campanilismo’ (pride for one’s hometown), Florence remained steadfast in defending and preserving its rich culture and unique traditions. Just like in other regions of Italy, Florentines are particularly renowned for their pride in their city. Chronicler Dino Compani, a contemporary of Dante, extolled his homeland, stating, ‘The air is fresh, the manners and hospitality of the residents are extraordinary, women are beautiful, well dressed, and the residential homes are especially beautiful.’