Author: Rose Mackworth-Young

July 18, 2018

5 curious facts about Florence

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.
October 2, 2014

Fleeing a murder

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,
September 11, 2014

A killer at the window

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
April 3, 2014

Men to look up to

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
February 27, 2014

Artist’s best friend

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
January 30, 2014

Florence’s Statue of Liberty

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
January 16, 2014

Frozen in stone

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
December 12, 2013

Best winter exhibits in Florence and Tuscany

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

Chilling in the Cascine

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

Top 10 Events – from Dec 12 to 31

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