As an artist and art historian, it was only a matter of time before I would call Florence my second home. Like many artists before me, Florence stole my heart and has never let it go. In meeting both locals and non-locals here over the past 10 years, however, I realised that Ireland is not associated with the visual arts and few had heard of the wealth of Irish talent in that area. I decided to do something about that misperception, to educate people about Irish visual artists, figures other than world-famous writers such as James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, William Butler Yeats, Oscar Wilde and Seamus Heaney. In the process, my research revealed that Ireland has had numerous links with Italy through the ages, in commerce, gastronomy and as a finishing school for many Irish artists.