Murder, romance and revenge: the Renaissance city has seen it all throughout the centuries. Here are 5 curious facts about Florence that will make your hair stand on end.
While the English presence in Florence during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is well known, British aristocrats settled here many centuries earlier, fleeing from turbulent times in their homeland. The scandalous murder of archbishop Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170, supposedly on the request of King Henry II,
Strolling along via dei Servi, you might not glance twice at a walled-in window on the corner of via del Pucci. Behind it, however, lies a Renaissance tale of conspiracy and revenge. The window is part of Palazzo Pucci, former home of the Pucci family. When Pandolfo Pucci was
We may think we know Florence well, but how often do we look up? For example, have you ever noticed the collection of busts on the façade of a palazzo in borgo degli Albizi? If you have not, it is probably because most of them are high up
With your back to the Baptistery, look closely at the lowest frieze on the bell tower, at the relief depicting a shepherd and his dog tending a flock of sheep. According to legend, this is not just any dog: it is Giotto’s childhood companion. The dog would watch
Atop playwright Giovanni Battista Niccolini’s tomb in the basilica of Santa Croce is a statue remarkably similar to New York’s Statue of Liberty. Both depict a woman in neoclassical robes with a crown of rays, standing on a broken chain, her right arm uplifted. Pio
High up on the bell tower of Santa Maria Maggiore, the stone head of a woman, known as Berta, juts out bizarrely from the rough façade. The story goes that on September 16, 1327, Cecco d’Ascoli, a doctor, astrologer and teacher, was being led to
Have you ever wondered what a pyramid is doing in the Cascine? Just off viale degli Olmi, which runs the length of the park, this mysterious structure was once an ice house. Built in 1796 by Grand Duke Ferdinando III’s architect Giuseppe Manetti, it was used to store
Our events listing keeps you up-to-date on the latest and greatest in culture, music and other English-friendly entertainment. This is a selection of the best events in Florence and Tuscany. EMPOLI/Pontormo and his following Until March 2, 2014 Various locations in Empoli This
Here is a wrap up of the exhibits you might have missed, many of which are closing in January. So why not shelter from the biting wind in the warmth of a museum and catch these gems before they finish? The Renaissance from Florence to Paris Until December
Following recent changes to Italian legislation, which introduced greater protective and preventive measures in the fight against domestic violence to women, Tuscany marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25 with a series of public events, plays, meetings, films and thousands of red shoes. &
Our events listing keeps you up-to-date on the latest and greatest in culture, music and other English-friendly entertainment. This is a selection of the best events in ...
Looking for the multi-ethnic heart of Florence? Want to see the city from a different point of view? Walk Florence with guides from the Ukraine, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nigeria, Somalia, Brazil and Russia. On these guided walks hosted by Firenze Migranda, hear about how immigrants from different
Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat and Tuscany is teeming with seasonal celebrations. From charity markets to concerts, nativity scenes to ice-skating, there is no shortage of events to put on your calendar and in your diary in anticipation of the festive, chilly days ahead.
How many times have you walked past the sundial outside the Galileo Museum in piazza dei Giudici without giving it a second glance? Merging contemporary art and ancient science, the sundial indicates the time, date and direction. It can even orient stargazers to the night sky. Built in 2007,
Our events listing keeps you up-to-date on the latest and greatest in culture, music and other English-friendly entertainment. This is a selection of the best events in Florence ...
The statue of Ferdinando I, astride his horse in piazza Santissima Annunziata, is a familiar sight. But take a closer look at the base of the statue. On the bronze plaque at the rear of the statue is a curious circle of bees, all facing the queen in the centre:
A world of film comes to Florence each autumn, with hundreds of movies, shorts and documentaries from around the globe during the 50 Days of International Cinema festival. Most of the films are either in English or with English subtitles, so forget fresh air and exercise as the cold nights
Our events listing keeps you up-to-date on the latest and greatest in culture, music and other English-friendly entertainment. This is a selection of the best events in Florence and Tuscany . FILM/Cinema e Donne October 24–30 Odeon Cinema, piazza Strozzi, Florence A film
Have you ever been buffeted by the strong gusts of wind that tear through piazza del Duomo? An old legend claims that this is no ordinary wind, but the work of the devil himself. Many centuries ago, a cleric was preaching to a crowd in the piazza, on the
Any place as steeped in history as Florence (and Tuscany, for that matter) is bound to have its share of ghosts. Here are a few of the city’s best-known stories of restless souls. Poisoned and parted One of Florence’s greatest love stories revolves around
Zipping through piazza Santa Croce on my bike before the crowds arrive, I remember that I need to detour via the Ferragamo museum to find out about their upcoming children’s tours for my events listing in the paper—perfect: I’ll cycle along the Arno to
Birgitte Brøndsted fell in love with Italy when she visited for the first time at age 14. Later, she tried living in Paris and Madrid as well as her home city of Copenhagen, but Italy kept pulling her back for periods of both work and study. Eventually, it
Our events listing keeps you up-to-date on the latest and greatest in culture, music and other English-friendly entertainment. This is a selection of the best events in Florence and Tuscany. BOOK/Santa Croce in Pink October 10, 5.30pm Sala del Cenacolo, church of Santa