Alexandra Lawrence is an expert on the language and art of Italy. Based in Florence, she is a lecturer of literature, art history and contemporary Italian cultural studies. Alexandra is currently offering a six-week guided reading of Dante’s Divine Comedy, in addition to other Dante-related courses, which you can learn more about at www.formasideris.it.
T.S. Eliot famously said, “Dante and Shakespeare divide the modern world between them; there is no third.” While Dante is still rigorously read in Italian schools, most English-speaking countries limit themselves to a ...
Betty Soldi’s mother was sure of one thing: her little girls were not going into the family business of making fireworks. Not just any old family company, the Pirotecnica Soldi had been producing handmade fireworks since 1869, even the display for the Scoppio del Carro, Florence’s
There was a raging Twitter debate recently about the magnetizing force of the Impressionists: can there be too much of a good thing? Does the world really need another Impressionists exhibition? Though an affirmative case for both could certainly be made, it seems that the collective interest in the most
Entering the Tribune in the 1580s, visitors must have felt as if they had been dropped into a giant treasure chest that had opened suddenly and surprisingly just for their benefit. The sumptuous octagonal room located in the Uffizi's eastern corridor was topped by a cupola with golden ribs
‘Briaco come un tegolo: Literally, as drunk as a roof tile (which gets soaking in the rain!). In American English, to be drunk as a skunk. Example: ‘Ieri sera ...
Discreto: Adjective to describe a good-looking person. Example: ‘Certo che i' su ragazzo lè proprio discreto! Beata lei!' (‘Her boyfriend sure is good looking! Lucky girl!') Biscotto della salute: Literally, ‘health biscuit.' This is what Florentines call the ubiquitous fetta biscottata, most
Financial industry woes. Credit crisis. Doomsday prophesies. Sound familiar? While some of the elements may seem straight out of today's newspapers (or iPad apps, as the case may be), the exhibit Money and Beauty: Bankers, Botticelli and the Bonfire of the Vanities now at Palazzo Strozzi takes us back
Wondering how to celebrate Christmas and entertain the babies while school's out and the holidays are upon us? Luckily, Florence is positively overflowing with Christmas cheer. So much so that I've compiled my top 10 for making the holidays as fun and easy as possible. 1. Capture