Deirdre Pirro

    Deirdre Pirro, author of Italian Sketches: The Faces of Modern Italy, Famous Expats in Italy and Royals in Florence, published by The Florentine Press, is an international lawyer who lives and works in Florence. Her writing focuses on modern Italy, its people, history and customs. Follow her on Twitter @dp_in_florence or contact her at ddpirro@gmail.com.

    Articles by the author

    ART + CULTURE

    Giovanni da Verrazzano

    In search of the northwest passage

    ART + CULTURE

    Anna Grigorievna Snitkina: the second Mrs Dostoevsky

    The writerly couple lived in Florence in the 1860s on the run from creditors.

    ART + CULTURE

    Fortezza da Basso

    A closer look at five centuries of the fortress' history and the next five years of developments.

    ART + CULTURE

    The Tre Porte palace

    Art Deco architecture and details make this landmark worth a visit.

    ART + CULTURE

    The Buonomini of San Martino

    The task of these 12 men was to collect funds, seek out the needy and distribute the alms.

    ART + CULTURE

    Bianca Cappello and her “camerino”

    Francesco de' Medici's wife once had her own private chamber in the Palazzo Vecchio.

    ART + CULTURE

    How the Pitti Palace came into being

    The massive scale of Luca’s palace would make it the largest private home in the world at that time.

    ART + CULTURE

    Austen Henry Layard

    Excavator and politician

    ART + CULTURE

    The Iron Crown of Lombardy

    On May 26, 1805, Napoleon Bonaparte declared himself as the King of Italy in Milan Cathedral, crowning himself with the Iron Crown of Lombardy.

    ART + CULTURE

    The Questura building

    Florence's police headquarters was once a hospital.

    ART + CULTURE

    Mary McCarthy

    Mary McCarthy’s 'The Stones of Florence' (1959) still has much to offer.

    ART + CULTURE

    Renato Balestra

    A brief history on the iconic Italian fashion designer Renato Balestra and his impact on the world of fashion.

    ART + CULTURE

    Carlo Adolfo Schlatter

    Home-atelier museum Casa Schlatter houses a collection of over 350 Schlatter works and artefacts that are available for public viewing.

    FOOD + WINE

    Rivoire

    An insightful history about hot chocolate and where to find the best cup in Florence.

    ART + CULTURE

    Isabella Stewart Gardner

    Isabella Stewart Gardner spent over one million dollars between 1894 and 1903 building her collection of over 40 old masters’ paintings.

    ART + CULTURE

    The Queen of Naples buried in Florence

    Maria Annunziata Carolina Bonaparte, the youngest sister of Napoleon Bonaparte and Queen of Naples, was buried in the San Salvi Church.

    ART + CULTURE

    Giuseppe Fiorelli

    Summer 2022 brought exciting discoveries in Pompeii, the largest working archaeological site in the world, attracting millions of tourists every year. About 24 kilometers south of Naples, this Ancient Roman ...

    ART + CULTURE

    Margherita Hack

    The centenary of the birth of Margherita Hack, one of Italy’s most illustrious astrophysicists and the first woman to become the director of an astronomy observatory (Trieste, 1964–87), was celebrated ...

    ART + CULTURE

    The Fanciullacci brothers’ ceramics factory in Montelupo Fiorentino

    The history of Montelupo's ceramics factory and the story of the family that were behind the potter's wheel for over a hundred years.

    ART + CULTURE

    The Caccini Garden

    The Caccini Garden, off borgo Pinti, was one of the most beautiful and exotic gardens in Florence at the end of the 16th century.

    ART + CULTURE

    The Bank of Italy in Florence

    The Bank of Italy in Florence is an imposing Neo Renaissance-style building along via dell'Oriuolo that dates to between 1865 and 1869.

    ART + CULTURE

    Amalia Moretti Foggia della Rovere

    Amalia Moretti Foggia della Rovere, aka “Petronilla”, was one of the first woman doctors in Italy as well as a leading journalist.

    ART + CULTURE

    Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark, Queen of Yugoslavia

    On March 20, 1944, a member of the Royal House of Karadjordjevic and the last king of Yugoslavia, Peter II married Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark in a ceremony ...

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