Author: Alexandra Lawrence

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
March 12, 2009

An interview with James Bradburne

After having worked in Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and other cities in North America, what is your take on Florence? Is it a cosmopolitan city?   Florence is the most extraordinary city I have ever lived in. I say this for two main reasons. First, for its size: it is so
February 26, 2009

More than mimosa

On March 8, we mark International Women's Day, a day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In an effort to celebrate this event, we gathered a panel of some our professional women friends in the Anglo community (see box)

An interview with British Consul Moira Macfarlane

The British economy is undoubtedly going through a difficult period lately; how has this affected tourism to Tuscany?   The UK is in the same situation as everyone else-no one knows what the future will hold and tourism is increasingly more expensive. However, the British have always travelled and I don’t expect that to change. […]
February 12, 2009

The Sermon of Saint John the Baptist returns to life

What do a 33,600 euro bottle of wine and a restored bronze pharisee have in common? The answer is Friends of Florence. When Friends member Michael Corliss paid an astronomical sum for a nine-liter bottle of Ornellaia at a Christie's auction in November 2007, he knew his
January 15, 2009

NEW Florentine Renaissance

  A local woman once remarked to us, ‘Believe it or not, it’s not easy being from Florence. While sharing our city’s beauty with millions of visitors from around the world we begin to feel that we, as Florentines, are invisible.’ Perhaps now is the moment to face the truth in that statement. Many of […]
December 11, 2008

Around the David

The year 2004 marked the 500th anniversary of the year in which Michelangelo's David was completed and placed in the Piazza della Signoria. To honor the occasion, the Accademia Gallery, current home of the masterpiece, organized a program of conferences and events, including exhibits, publications and restored works of
November 27, 2008

An interview with Caterina Bellandi

Pronto, Alexandra? Sono Milano25. I'm on my way to your office, why don't you come down and we'll do the interview in my cab?'   Most people living in Florence are familiar with the white PT Cruiser decorated with flowers, driven by a woman sporting a huge
October 30, 2008

An interview with Michael Tucker & Jill Eikenberry

Michael Tucker and Jill Eikenberry are best known for their Emmy-nominated roles on the long-running television hit, LA Law. Married for 35 years, the two now divide their time between stage acting in Manhattan and their stone rustico in the Umbrian countryside. Currently starring in off-Broadway musical


The ballots have been marked and mailed. The air is crackling with expectation. Americans abroad in Tuscany are being asked one question and one question only: Who did you vote for?   It has been a wild ride, complete with a primary season that threatened to eclipse the actual election.
October 16, 2008

Proserpina’s cry

Picture the scene: Florence, 2002. Palazzo Serristori. Antonio Natali, director of the Uffizi Gallery, notices something wrapped in plastic and rolled around a lamppost. He calls over restoration expert Muriel Vervat and together they unroll it, discovering that it is a painting, its colors obscured by  thick, dark mold.