Author: Brenda Dionisi

Canadian-born with Italian origins, Brenda Dionisi holds a Master's Degree in Textual Competence in Publishing and the Media from the University of Siena for Foreigners and an Honours B.A. from the University of Toronto in Criminology and Italian Studies. Formerly managing editor at TF, she now freelances as journalist and editor for a range of English-language outlets. Follow her on Twitter @brendadionisi and see her on video at
September 23, 2010

Florence’s proposed mosque: Up for debate

The Tuscan region counts approximately 150,000 Muslims, the majority of whom pray in former garages, abandoned factories and apartments. At the end of Ramadan, just days before nearly 5,000 Muslims flocked to Florence's Fortezza da Basso to gather in collective prayer, Izzedine Elzir, the imam of Florence
September 9, 2010

The newsmaker

Florentines know him well, and Italians-as well as the rest of the world-are starting to find out who this young and ambitious politician really is.   When 35-year-old Matteo Renzi was elected mayor of Florence in June 2009, he was nicknamed the ‘boy-scout' candidate
June 3, 2010

An interview with Bill Viola

Born in New York in 1951, Bill Viola is widely recognized as one of the world's leading visual artists. Over the last 35 years, he has created video tapes, architectural video installations, sound spaces and video and electronic music performances, flat panel video pieces, and works for television broadcasts.
May 20, 2010

Florence: all fun and drinks?

The image of the nearly 8,000 American students who come to Florence each year, enrolling in approximately 40 study abroad programs, has become increasingly tarnished over the last few years through incidents that involve excessive drinking and rowdy behaviour in the historic centre. In chronicling the problem, the local
March 11, 2010

Meet the candidates

On March 28 and 29, some 3.5 million Tuscans will go to the polls to elect Tuscany's next regional president. Nine political parties have candidates in these regional elections, giving their support to five presidential candidates.   Tuscany is not the only region going to the polls this
February 25, 2010

Line One: approved

Fifty-two years after the last tram departed in Florence, and after years of controversy over the new public transit system, it seems the city is finally smiling.    When the Sirio tram made its inaugural departure at 6:30am on February 14 from Florence's Via Alamanni Station,
January 28, 2010

Elio Fiorucci

Fashion designer, entrepreneur, talent scout, trendsetter, and among the world's first mass communication gurus: all these terms describe Fiorucci. The focus of the exhibit Elio Fiorucci: Fashion Jeans Inventor Histoire, at Studio Art Centers International (SACI) until February 12, Fiorucci is foremost a fashion visionary. ‘After introducing mini-
December 10, 2009

The illusionists

Trompe l'oeil: ‘Style of representation in which a painted object is intended to deceive the viewer into believing it is the object itself.' (Encyclopedia Britannica)     Trompe l'oeil, also called illusionism, is a virtuoso optical technique that artists have practiced for centuries. Using a wide variety
September 24, 2009

Students get dirty in Florence,

When director of the Lorenzo de' Medici school, Fabrizio Guarducci, asked his American students if they wanted to help locals in a street cleaning initiative in San Lorenzo on September 19, what he was trying to do, in reality, was get a laugh out of them. Much to his surprise,
July 16, 2009


One of the best things about Florence in August is its proximity to Tuscany's beaches, which offer a unique and varied combination of sandy beaches and shaded alpine woods, as well as venues for sport and fun in the sun and a roaring party scene that can easily rival