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Lifestyle

War of the Worlds

Lightning never strikes in the same place twice. Or does it? George Orwells visionary 1898 sci-fi novel has had many incarnation famously on radio by Orson Welles, on film in 1953, and on TV and in comics- and now in Steven Spielbergs contemporary American version with man of the

Lifestyle

Behind the scenes at The Palio

The famously insular little city of Siena is a fascinating place full of beautiful buildings and artistic treasures; it is also home to one of Italy’s most glorious squares, the fan-shaped Piazza del Campo which provides the theatrical backdrop to the annual Palio. Millions of tourists descend

Lifestyle

The Medici Festival at Artimino

In an old film with a young Vittorio Gasman, the charming Medici Villa of One Hundred Chimneys in Artimino was used to represent the Gonzaga residence located in Mantova. In reality, the villa is in Artimo, in the heart of Tuscany, within the Commune of Carmignano, amidst the hills between

Lifestyle

War of the Worlds

Lightning never strikes in the same place twice. Or does it? George Orwells visionary 1898 sci-fi novel has had many incarnation famously on radio by Orson Welles, on film in 1953, and on TV and in comics- and now in Steven Spielbergs contemporary American version with man of the

Lifestyle

Modigliani

How do you make love to a cube? is the question at the centre of the rivalry between the Italian painter (he of the long necks) Amedeo Modigliani, and Pablo Picasso, reigning divo of the Parisian avant-garde circa 1919, and the question is one about style as well as

Lifestyle

Last Days

Smells like teen spirit? Maybe not. In the same way that Gus va Sants movie Elephant was and was not about Columbine, so his Last Days is and is not about late Nirvana frontman and rock icon Kurt Cobain. With his now characteristic doubling-back on itself spiral narrative, van

Lifestyle

Million Dollar Baby

Famous winner of four Oscars (including Best Picture) Clint Eastwoods latest film is already established as an American classic. Set in the world of womens boxing, but hardly just about that, this is a masterpiece, pure and simple, deep and true (Roger Ebert). Another chance to see probably the best

Lifestyle

Calcio Storico: Florentine football in Livery

Imagine Florence during the Renaissance, but not in the full splendour that you see in the tourist guides. Imagine it in the bloody grip of its enemies. On the 17th of February 1520, the Florentines were suffering famine and pestilence, they were under the threat of excommunication from the Church,

Lifestyle

Bikes in Florence

You don’t ever own a bicycle in Florence; you just look after it for a while for the bike thieves, the better the bike, the less time you have to look after it. A bicycle shop-owner once told me that there aren’t any second-hand

Lifestyle

Keep cool on a tuscan holiday

We all adore the sunshine!, In particular, sun-deprived northern Europeans and North Americans love to holiday in a hot country. Here are a few friendly tips from ?northerners? who have made a life-study of how to keep cool in the midday sun! They apply to you,

Lifestyle

Part III: Doesn’t thet view make you horny?

Italian men pat themselves on the back for having gotten the art of courting down, and not without good reason - they are, after all, known for their dexterity in this department across the globe., Meanwhile, in an effort to stay open-minded, you’ve finally put your dry, independent-

Lifestyle

Million Dollar Baby

Famous winner of four Oscars (including Best Picture) Clint Eastwoods latest film is already established as an American classic. Set in the world of womens boxing, but hardly just about that, this is a masterpiece, pure and simple, deep and true (Roger Ebert). Another chance to see probably the best

Lifestyle

Sin City

Retro-futuristic comic book urban decadence makes a brilliant reappearance in Robert Rodriguez and Frank Millers own Sin City graphic novels. Using almost literally Millers story board for the film, and retaining the graphic imagery and colouration of the original, as well as the narrative style and sentimental characterization, the

Lifestyle

Batman Begins

A guy who dresses up like a bat clearly has issues. Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney have all had the privilege, but Christian Bale has more issues than most hes less camp, more convincing in this earnest Batman prequel, as possibly the best Bruce Wayne since

Lifestyle

Sideways

Do you remember fun? One of the best American movies in years, and already assured of classic status alongside the likes of Woody Allens trenchant comedies of manners, Alexander Paynes Sideways as garnered widespread acclaim. A bittersweet journey of self discovery in the Californian winelands and homage to the culture

Lifestyle

The Florence Dance Festival

Florence is a city of movement—a city of dance. From the Renaissance sculptures and frescos that adorn churches and piazzas featuring men and women in elegant positions of comportment, to the Italian use of gesture and the intricate, cobble-stoned street maneuverings of car, moped and pedestrian, Florence

Lifestyle

Export antiques out of Italy

Sending contemporary artworks out of Italy is complex, but exporting antiques and artworks of authors no longer living can be literally impossible. In 1939, Law 1089 was passed to inhibit the criminal act of illegally removing antiques from Italian territory and to regulate the liberal circulation of cultural goods. The

Lifestyle

Part II: Foreign girls are easy

I like to ask Florentines what they think about the fact that their city is so overrun by tourists and foreign students. I reckon that if it gets to me, a foreigner myself and so without much of a leg to stand on, then it must really wear on the

Lifestyle

Sideways

Do you remember fun? One of the best American movies in years, and already assured of classic status alongside the likes of Woody Allens trenchant comedies of manners, Alexander Paynes Sideways as garnered widespread acclaim. A bittersweet journey of self discovery in the Californian winelands and homage to the culture

Lifestyle

Bend It Like Beckham

A big hit in 2002, Gurinder Chadhas feel-good comedy reworks in a sports environment, and with less seriousness, some of the ethnic differences that are the particular concern of Non Resident Indian directors like Chadha herself (Bhaji on the Beach; Bride and Prejudice), and Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding) and

Lifestyle

Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith

How and why did Anakin Skywalker desert the Jedi and go over to the dark side to become Darth Vader? This is the issue central to the third prequel in the Star Wars saga, the one that links to George Lucas original mid-sequence space opera from 1977. And while

Lifestyle

Kingdom of Heaven

Sir Ridley Scott is no stranger to the period epic genre (most successfully with Gladiator) and in this, his latest Crusader blockbuster, his peculiar skill at choreographing violence and brutality, and graphically depicting Hell on earth, is unleashed to dramatic effect (its amazing what slow motion can do!). A material

Lifestyle

The Mannerist Movement

Florence may hold the world’s best concentration of Renaissance art, but there is another movement overshadowed by the Renaissance that Florence keeps well hidden. Tucked away in churches around the city are jewels of the Mannerist movement, masterpieces that most people will unknowingly miss in favour of lining

Lifestyle

Part I: The Art of the Chase

We’re all very well aware of the reputation Italian men carry worldwide. Who knows out of what mixture of reality and cultural myth the image has been propagated – though it would probably make an interesting sociology dissertation topic, but no woman could plead oblivious to the archetype

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