Florence art guide

The Crusca Academy

Castello Villa
Castello Villa,
the centre of the Crusca Academy


This is the most famous linguistic Academy in Italy hosted in Villa di Castello, founded in the second half of the 16th century by a group of fun loving scholars: they used to meet under the name of the Brigade of the Crusconi and make jokes about the excessive seriousness of some of the erudites they knew. The Academy became more serious in 1583, when Leonardo Salviati, nicknamed "Infarinato" (covered in flour), became a member. The aim of the group became that of protecting the Florentine "vulgar" dialect (Dante's "vulgata") according to 14th century criterions. A rule was passed that each member should be given a name that had something to do with bran (this was why Salviati chose "Infarinato" as a nickname), and "the finest flower will pick it up" was adopted as its motto. Its next project was the creation of a dictionary of the Italian language. The first edition was printed in 1612. The editions that followed were enlarged to include words used in the common language all over Italy as well as those of 14th century Tuscany. Today the Academy hosts philological studies while a project is under way to create a new and larger dictionary that will also include technical terms.

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