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

    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 ...

    FOOD + WINE

    Capon for Christmas

    Many will remember the story of Renzo in Alessandro Manzoni’s The Betrothed, who sets off to visit the lawyer Azzeccagarbugli in order to seek advice about resolving the situation regarding ...

    ART + CULTURE

    Angelo de Gubernatis

    Florence hides many unexpected jewels, but they take time for the visitor to find, visit and savour. One of these is the Indian Museum, an anthropology and ethnology section of ...

    ART + CULTURE

    Sylvano Bussotti

    For five days between September 20 and 25, as part of Estate Fiorentina, several major Florentine cultural organisations will celebrate the 90th birthday of Sylvano Bussotti, one of the city’s ...

    ART + CULTURE

    Enrico Magnani Pescia handmade paper

    Note it in your diary today so you won’t miss this unique upcoming event. From September 16 to 19, the 27th edition of the Artigianato e Palazzo exhibition will be ...

    ART + CULTURE

    Francesco Carletti

    The son of Antonio Carletti and his wife Lucrezia Macinghi, Francesco Carletti was born in Florence in either 1573 or 1574. His father was a descendant of an old merchant ...

    COMMUNITY

    St. Mark’s English Church

    To encourage trade through the port of Livorno, Grand Duke Ferdinand I de’ Medici passed an edict in 1595 that allowed freedom of religion to all merchants. Soon, an English ...

    ART + CULTURE

    The Busatti Family: weavers since 1842

    A friend telephoned me a month ago and said, “I’m coming by to take you to see a real piece of industrial archaeology”. He did that and so much more. ...

    ART + CULTURE

    Elvira Gemignani Puccini

    On November 29, 1924, aged 65, the Italian composer Giacomo Puccini died of a heart attack as a result of radiation treatment he was undergoing for throat cancer at the ...

    ART + CULTURE

    The Buffalo Soldiers

    Bob Marley wrote “Buffalo Soldier” with Noel “King Sporty” Williams, but the song was released by Bob Marley and the Wailers in 1983, two years after the singer-songwriter’s death. It ...

    ART + CULTURE

    Felix Le Monnier

    The court case lasted almost 20 years and created a sensation at the time because it involved one of Italy’s most beloved authors and a prestigious French publisher, who had ...

    ART + CULTURE

    The Christmas wreath

    Every year, the first thing I do when preparing for the festive season is to hang a circular Christmas wreath on my front door. I used to make my own ...

    ART + CULTURE

    Rose Montmasson

    When in via della Scala, take a moment to pause outside number 50 and look at the plaque on the wall. It translates into English: In this palace which was ...

    ART + CULTURE

    Barsene “Baldissera” Conti

    On May 15, 1896, a small, slender woman with a baby in her arms lay down across the tram track in Brozzi, a town on the outskirts of Florence. Her ...

    ART + CULTURE

    Historic quarantine in Livorno

    When William Magee Seton left New York on board the  sailing ship “Sheperdess” on October 2, 1803, he could not have imagined he would never return to his homeland. Born ...

    THINGS TO DO

    Balena Baths in Viareggio

    Locals have called it “la Passeggiata”, or the promenade, since 1902 when it was inaugurated in Viareggio, the seaside town called the “pearl of Versilia” in the province of Lucca. ...

    ART + CULTURE

    The Tuscan tre lire stamp

    Looking for ways to pass the time before the gradual ending of the lockdown, I pulled down from the shelf one of the volumes of my old stamp collection, which ...

    ART + CULTURE

    Prince Paul of Yugoslavia

    From April 21 to 24, 1969, Sotheby’s of London held its first auction in Italy. At the request of Prince Paul of Yugoslavia, it sold important Italian and French furniture, ...

    ART + CULTURE

    Gioachino Rossini

    In 1829, at the peak of his superstar fame as the composer of more than 40 operas including L’Italiana in Algeri, La Cenerentola, La gazza ladra, La donna del lago, ...

    ART + CULTURE

    Edgar Degas and his Italian family

    One of the earliest masterpieces by the 19th-century French impressionist artist and collector Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas, who later adopted the simplified version of his name, Edgar Degas (1834–1917), hangs in ...

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