Author: Samantha Vaughn

Samantha Vaughn came to Italy to study museums in grad school and hasn't found any reason to leave yet. After living in various cities across Northern Italy, she finally settled in Tuscany, an ideal place to follow her passion of protecting and celebrating cultural heritage. Between museum visits, she's likely to be found reading in cafes.
March 5, 2019

The Bargello Museum in Florence

A visit to the Bargello Museum is a must for anyone looking to fully understand the Renaissance, home to a vast collection of history’s most renowned sculptures by the likes of Michelangelo and Donatello.
February 21, 2019

Talking with American artist Kiki Smith

Internationally renowned American artist Kiki Smith is at Palazzo Pitti with her exhibition What I Saw on the Road, running until June 2, 2019 in the Andito degli Angiolini, exploring the interplay between humanity, nature and the cosmos. With nearly 30 artworks on display, including twelve innovative jacquard tapestries, Smith challenges our perception of nature […]
February 12, 2019

Don’t call it an exhibition: the “art immersion” experience

Some say the permanent exhibition is dead. A static display unchanged over the centuries, save for the occasional rotating piece, may appear unattractive in comparison to the ever-evolving exhibits and high turnover of innovative concepts offered by the temporary. While the Uffizi’s high-season lines may cast doubts on such a conviction, there’s something happening a […]
January 31, 2019

The AMIR Project in Florence and Fiesole

At the height of tension between the Italian government and the European Union over the steady stream of refugees arriving on the continent, stories abound of a country grappling with the influx of these peoples and their cultures. Social inclusion is a hot subject at this time, which is why a group of museum educators […]
January 25, 2019

Museo Marino Marini revamped

There’s a closely held secret in the heart of Florence, a place worth reverence but known to so few. The Museo Marino Marini is a stone’s throw away from piazza Santa Maria Novella, in the city centre but visited by little more than 7,000 people a year. The museum, dedicated entirely to Italy’s foremost 20th-century […]
January 18, 2019

Talking with the Uffizi’s newest restorers

The Uffizi Galleries recently introduced two new in-house restorers to their team, adding further skills and experience to the Florentine institution. Assisting with restorations in the Gabinetto dei Disegni e delle Stampe is Maurizio Michelozzi, 46, who specializes in paper and parchment conservation, while Flavia Puoti, 33, was brought on board to work with the […]
January 9, 2019

Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence

You’ve likely heard of Palazzo Pitti and you’ve certainly walked by Palazzo Vecchio on your evening strolls through the centre of Florence, but there’s an even older Medici residence in the historic centre of this Renaissance city that’s just as splendid but often overlooked. That would be Palazzo Medici Riccardi, a stone’s throw from the […]
January 2, 2019

Medici Chapels in Florence

Standing majestically behind the Basilica of San Lorenzo, the Medici Chapels are one of the five museums that make up the Bargello Museums, reorganized in 2015 into a single institution, along with the namesake Bargello Museum, Palazzo Davanzati, Casa Martelli and Orsanmichele, so although the Chapels belong to the San Lorenzo complex, it’s a different […]
December 6, 2018

Nativity creativity: presepi around Tuscany

The most magical time of the year sees Christmas lights dangling, trees adorning piazzas and the return of our favourite holiday markets (mulled wine, anyone?) as we scout for presents. The region is especially enchanting at Christmas time, with traditions to be found in every town and hamlet.     Here are a few of […]
December 5, 2018

Leonardo through the looking glass

Artist, mathematician, engineer, scientist, wonderer, thinker: if he were alive now, Leonardo da Vinci might be a modern-day Bill Gates, a Steve Jobs, maybe even an Elon Musk. Ahead of his time and a pusher of the boundaries of human possibility, he was the emblematic Renaissance man, ready to explore every field of study and […]