Famous expats

ART + CULTURE

ART + CULTURE

Anna Grigorievna Snitkina: the second Mrs Dostoevsky

The writerly couple lived in Florence in the 1860s on the run from creditors.

ART + CULTURE

James Jackson Jarves

Visionary art collector and writer

ART + CULTURE

Austen Henry Layard

Excavator and politician

ART + CULTURE

Mary McCarthy

Mary McCarthy’s 'The Stones of Florence' (1959) still has much to offer.

ART + CULTURE

Isabella Stewart Gardner

Isabella Stewart Gardner spent over one million dollars between 1894 and 1903 building her collection of over 40 old masters’ paintings.

ART + CULTURE

The Queen of Naples buried in Florence

Maria Annunziata Carolina Bonaparte, the youngest sister of Napoleon Bonaparte and Queen of Naples, was buried in the San Salvi Church.

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 ...

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

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

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 ...

ART + CULTURE

Howard Pyle

Recognised as the father of American illustration, Howard Pyle forever changed the way we think of our heroes through his vivid, often dramatic black-and-white and colour drawings and paintings, in ...

ART + CULTURE

Andrei Tarkovsky

At number 91 via San Niccolò in the elegant, almost secretive Florentine neighbourhood of the same name, there is a plaque in Italian dedicated to one of the world’s greatest ...

ART + CULTURE

Aby Warburg

The Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg, a centre for cultural studies now housed at the Warburg Institute in London, is one of the most extraordinary libraries in the world. There is no ...

ART + CULTURE

James Lorimer and Josephine Graham

Every year, on December 8, a holiday for the feast day of the Immaculate Conception, celebrations in piazza Duomo officially begin the festive season in Florence. The mayor, Dario Nardella, ...

ART + CULTURE

Frederick Hartt

Eminent Italian Renaissance scholar, author and professor of art history Frederick Hartt visited Florence many times during his life, but on two particular occasions he came to help the city ...

ART + CULTURE

Alfred Guillaume Gabriel d’Orsay

Foppish dandy Eustace Tilley, with his exaggerated top hat, morning coat and high-collared shirt who scrutinises a pretty butterfly through his monocle, has been the mascot of The New Yorker ...

ART + CULTURE

Rose Elizabeth Cleveland

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Bagni di Lucca, a spa town not far from Lucca, was much loved by foreigners, some of whom were passing through, while others settled there permanently. The English Cemetery there holds the remains of many interesting and illustrious expats. If you go, look

ART + CULTURE

Johann Joachim Winckelmann

For German art historian and archaeologist Johann Joachim Winckelmann, the Italian dream did not end in the way it should have. On June 8, 1768, while returning to Rome from a trip to Munich and Vienna, where the Empress Maria Theresa had honoured him, the 48-year-old stopped at

ART + CULTURE

Benjamin Ingham

ph. Davide d’Amico Long considered by many consumers as, at best, cooking wine or grandma’s secret tipple, Marsala, the famous Sicilian fortified wine, is finally undergoing a ‘renaissance.’ Perfect for ...

ART + CULTURE

Maria (Maja) Einstein

The famous German scientist and father of the theory of relativity, Albert Einstein, was two years older than his only sibling, his sister, Maria. Known to family and friends as ...

ART + CULTURE

Nicholas Steno

Visitors of all ages, from all over the world, make their way to the basilica of San Lorenzo, heading for the chapel in the right transept. It contains the late-Roman sarcophagus of Danish doctor, anatomist, geologist, naturalist and bishop Nicholas Steno (in Danish, Niels Stensen), beatified by Pope John

ART + CULTURE

Queen Helen of Romania

In 1933, Villa Sparta, situated on the hillside leading up to Fiesole, just behind the San Domenico convent, became home to a royal refugee: exiled Queen Helen of Romania. She soon set to work lavishly embellishing the rooms of the fifteenth-century villa, and, in 1935, employed British garden designer

ART + CULTURE

Lord Henry Somerset

Over the centuries, Florence has been the home to many wealthy and illustrious expatriates. But it has also been the home to some disputable foreign rogues and fugitives from the law. Between 1879 and 1932, one such ‘wanted’ man sought refuge there. His name was Lord Henry Somerset,

ART + CULTURE

John Pope-Hennessy

A plaque affixed to the wall outside via dei Bardi 28 simply states that there, ‘in palazzo Canigiani, the English art historian and honorary citizen of Florence, Sir John Pope-Hennessy (1913–94), lived and died.’  There is so much more to his story than that

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