Christine Contrada earned a Ph.D. in Italian Renaissance history from Stony Brook University in New York. She has taught Italian history and culture for over a decade. You can read about her adventures at www.wiselyawayward.com.
Horses were frequently represented in the cultural production of pre-modern Western societies. Paradoxically, because they are so common, the horse is an easy image to dismiss in favor of the exploration of more exotic themes, which explains why the horse often becomes an invisible beast of burden. The telling message of a modern Italian idiom […]
While place cards marking empty spaces is a typical sight in the museums of Florence, taking a stroll through the Bargello might cause one to wonder if they had missed a Michelangelo fire sale. A significant sampling of the great Renaissance artist’s works have been loaned to a major international exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum […]
Viale Giovanni Milton is a modern street tucked against the Mugnone brook beyond piazza Liberta where the memory of John Milton is far removed from the historic center of Florence. Here, the English poet is out of sight—and out of mind. The fear that strikes while crossing the viale is not due to the threat […]
It was a midday Italian scorcher in piazza Beccaria and I was sitting on a bench which was leaving griddle marks on my backside. I had fought a passive aggressive war for those six inches of stone bench, and I wasn’t about to give them up. On those scorching summer days when Florence rather marvelously—and […]
Although historical memory has often been less than kind to early modern women artists in Florence, over recent months the ladies in question have re-emerged to take center stage in the city on more than one occasion. The Advancing Women Artists Foundation continues its tireless quest to raise money for key restoration projects, Plautilla Nelli’s […]
Written by Christine Contrada When the spring sun comes out in Florence, be a rebel. Leave the cell phone and the selfie stick at home and arm thyself instead with witty tales from an old master. Boccaccio, along with Petrarch and Dante, is a prong in the triple crown of Florentine literary giants. His […]