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

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    Virtual Uffizi in Milan

      From Giotto to Caravaggio, more than 1,000 masterworks from Florence’s Uffizi Gallery are currently on virtual display in Milan.   Organized in collaboration with the city of Milan, the ...


    Procacci takes its truffle to Milan

    Florence’s venerable delicatessen in via Tornabuoni, Procacci, has opened a new outpost.    Located in one of Milan’s trendiest areas, at corso Garibaldi 79, the new shop offers ample seating ...


    Will there be enough for everyone?

    It is estimated that the world’s human population will reach almost 10 billion by 2050—a 40 percent increase that will double global food demand. With dwindling natural resources, worsened by the negative effects of climate change, the challenge of producing enough food to feed the entire


    Tuscany wows the world

    The May 1 opening celebrations for the Universal Fair in Milan were the official welcome for the millions expected to visit the city and Italy over the next six months. ...


    Jellyfish on the Arno

    Watch out, Florentines: there’s a jellyfish on the banks of the Arno near the San Niccolò bridge. But this sea creature won’t sting. It’s the Jellyfish Barge—a ‘floating, self-sufficient cultivation module,’ according to its creators at Florence-based


    The power of pavilions

    The Eiffel Tower. The Seattle Space Needle. Seville’s Puente del Alamillo. These and other structures built for World’s Fairs are among the most iconic on the planet. The Universal Exposition has long been a place for architects to display their boldest ideas, play with cutting-edge


    Milan denied Leonardo’s Annunciation

    Relations between the City of Milan and the director of the Uffizi Gallery, Antonio Natali, went sour in February following an unsuccessful request to borrow an early work by Leonardo da Vinci, the Annunciation (circa 1472), for what is expected to be the largest exhibition to date focused on the


    A taste of Tuscany… In Milan

    Since the world will be coming to Milan from May to October for the Universal Fair, why not take Tuscany there to meet it? Regional officials recently announced that the Tuscan Region will make the most of this rare opportunity to showcase il buon vivere toscano—particularly the region&


    I_Dome for Expo 2015

    The city of Florence is gearing up for next year?s Universal Exhibition in Milan with a host of events and special projects aimed at attracting some of the 20 million visitors the international fair is expected to draw from May to October. The centerpiece of the city?s promotional


    You are what you eat

    With food and nutrition a major theme of next year?s Universal Exposition in Milan, The Florentine is running a series of articles related to a variety of issues surrounding food, including sustainability and biodiversity, food security, transparency and safety, science and technology in the food supply chain and consumption


    Art at its heart

    Italy counts more masterworks and UNESCO World Heritage sites than any other country in the world, so what would next year?s Universal Exposition in Milan be if it didn?t have art at its heart? Organisers of Expo 2015, the international fair that runs May 1 to October 31


    Fourth-most studied

    Already a popular choice in countries like Germany and the United States, the study of Italian has been growing globally, especially in Eastern Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and Asian countries such as China and Vietnam.   1.5 million people studied Italian in 2013, according to new data presented


    See Milan in NYC

    A new crowdfunding campaign has brought for the first time a selection of original artworks from Milan's 600-year-old cathedral across the Atlantic. Hosted at Eataly, the Italian speciality food store in Manhattan, the exhibition, entitled Eataly per Duomo, features a collection of pinnacles, gargoyles and statues that


    No love for Libeskind

    Many residents in Como have given a ‘thumbs down’ to plans for a towering 16.5-metre-high monument designed by internationally renowned American architect Daniel Libeskind.   The contemporary artwork, entitled ‘The Life Electric,’ which Libeskind is donating to the city, is a tribute to


    Cabbie controversy

    Over the past year, taxi associations in Italy?s biggest cities have joined their European counterparts in protesting the Silicon Valley-based company, Uber, which links clients to a car rental with driver service through an app available on smartphones. Taxi associations argue that Uber is not bound by the


    Food for the future

    Italy?s business capital is gearing up to host the Universal Exhibition (Expo) fair in 2015, running from May 1 to October 31. Under the central theme, Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, the Milan Expo in 2015 (@ExpoMilan2015) is expected to draw some 20 million visitors according to organizers,


    Big Brera

    Officials in Milan are one step closer to completing one of the city’s most long-awaited cultural endeavors, the Grande Brera project, which will create a cultural complex to exhibit the vast collection of the renowned Pinacoteca di Brera.   In addition to renovating the Pinacoteca di Brera


    Letters from the editors

    Dear readers and friends,   As many of you may already know, I will be on maternity leave as of this issue. Unfortunately, my leave from The Florentine will not ...


    Lest we forget

    Twenty years ago, on May 27, 1993, at about 1am, an explosion echoed throughout the city of Florence, from a car bomb intended to damage the Uffizi Gallery.  The deadly explosives were placed in the white Fiat Fiorino van, which had been stolen from via della Scala the evening


    From prison to house of freedom

    It’s the first of its kind in the world: the RFK International House of Human Rights recently unveiled by local officials at the Le Murate complex will truly bring the world to Florence. Opened and managed by the Robert F. Kennedy Centre of Justice and Human Rights Europe (


    It’s a governissimo!

    More than 60 days since the February general elections, in which no party came out a real winner, Italy finally swore in a new coalition government.   The new government, headed by 45-year-old Enrico Letta, deputy of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), was put in place on


    The Mud Angel Series: Sylvia Behrman

    One does not often meet a Mud Angel, the many foreign students and Italians who came to Florence to help dig out the city, as well as salvage books, manuscripts and works of art, after Florence’s devastating flood of November 1966. Although some still live here, most are

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