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Christine Contrada

    Christine Contrada earned a Ph.D. in Italian Renaissance history from Stony Brook University in New York. She has long taught European history with a focus on Italian history and culture. During the pandemic summer, Dr. Contrada ran the entire 1,185 km length of Italy virtually putting sneakers to pavement from Saratoga to Montauk Point.

    Articles by the author

    ART + CULTURE

    Margaret Fuller and her last months in Florence

    The Atlantic Ocean pounding the sandy shore of Fire Island, New York during hurricane season is unpredictable at best and ferocious at worst. It claimed the life of one of ...

    ART + CULTURE

    Canto per canto: Conversations with Dante in our time

    To mark the septcentennial of Dante Alighieri’s death, the Dante Society of America is spearheading an ambitious podcast series that highlights the myriad ways in which the ‘Divine Comedy’ continues ...

    ART + CULTURE

    Garibaldi Meucci Museum: a Staten Island tribute

    In New York City, it is easy to find oneself rambling through a forest overgrown with forgotten history. Buried in that vast wood, far from Florence and tucked away in ...

    ART + CULTURE

    Medici: The Magnificent Season Three | analysis

    The series presents itself with enough historical truth to be just shy of historical fiction.

    COMMUNITY

    It’s in the blood: my road to Italian citizenship

    There are multiple paths to Italian citizenship, but only one is a birthright.     Jus sanguinis, or “right of blood”, is Italian citizenship that is passed to children, grandchildren, ...

    ART + CULTURE

    Rificolona: traditions and where to celebrate in 2020

    As summer begins its slow wane, it offers a particularly poignant stage for the pulse of the city to reset and reflect. On September 7, Florentines usually flood into piazza ...

    ART + CULTURE

    The Medici and their guards at the Uffizi Gallery

    While the eyes of the world are fixated on the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, 2019 also marks the 500th anniversary of the birth of Cosimo I de’ ...

    ART + CULTURE

    “The Innocents of Florence”: film review

    "The Innocents of Florence" asks us to reconsider why the cradle of renaissance civilization offered a cradle to its abandoned babies. It was not humanitarianism, but it was humanism.

    Lifestyle

    “Medici: The Magnificent”: fact and fiction

    While watching season two of “Medici: Masters of Florence”, consider this: one should not assume magnificence, even if historical legacy does.

    ART + CULTURE

    In a dark wood: Palagio di Parte Guelfa

    At this time of year more than any other, Florence invites us to be cognizant of the complexities lurking in the liminal, transitional spaces that illuminate the city’s countless historical ...

    ART + CULTURE

    A piece of the Laurentian Library in London

    Florence’s Laurentian Library, commissioned in 1523 by Pope Clement VII to celebrate his family’s political and ecclesiastical ascension to power, continues to be the home of numerous remarkable manuscripts. One ...

    ART + CULTURE

    Horses in the lemon house

    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 ...

    ART + CULTURE

    Anatomical drawings: Da Vinci great but not infallible

    The inaccuracies of Da Vinci's anatomical drawings should not overshadow the boldness of his efforts. Rather, they should serve to highlight that his studies were only in their infancy.

    ART + CULTURE

    The Silver Caesars

    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 ...

    ART + CULTURE

    Milton and Galileo

    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. ...

    ART + CULTURE

    Crimes and punishments in piazza Beccaria

    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 ...

    ART + CULTURE

    King Arthur, Excalibur and Tuscany

    But why is Arthur’s story so well known while Tuscany’s own Excalibur legend less so? Tuscany’s tale is a different story that falls into medieval lore.

    ART + CULTURE

    Early modern women artists take center stage

    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 ...

    ART + CULTURE

    The Decameron done over

    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 ...

    COMMUNITY

    “The Young Pope”: post-truth and documented history

    What “The Young Pope” does so well is that it offers a visceral whirlwind of intrigue, which unexpectedly turns notions of good and evil on its head.

    ART + CULTURE

    What “Masters of Florence” gets wrong

    The "Masters of Florence" series is more soap opera than truth, with the Medici family intoxicatingly powerful and downright sexy at every turn.

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