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Metaphysics in color

‘To become truly immortal, a work of art must escape all human limits’, painter Giorgio de Chirico once said. ‘Logic and common sense only interfere’. The immortality of this late ...

Lifestyle

Where to go granola

Visitors come to Florence eagerly awaiting their first taste of fresh Tuscan cuisine. Visions of rich ribollita, juicy bisteccaalla fiorentina, crunchy crostini toscani and freshly made bruschetta dance through the minds of tourists and locals alike as they think of  typical Tuscan fare.‘Do spelt, soy, or seitan

Lifestyle

The hidden city

After you've seen the world-famous sites in Florence, how do you gain access to artistic treasures closed to the public? Città Nascosta has the answer.   Italy’s artistic patrimony is the world’s largest, but not all of it is on display. In 1994

Lifestyle

Inky ancestors

Imagine if, 100 years from now, a curious resident or visitor to Florence would come across a copy of this very paper you are reading. What would he or she learn about this city during our time? Would any of the subject matter still be relevant? Would the reader smile

Lifestyle

Beyond the surface

Michelangelo. Da Vinci. Caravaggio. Botticelli. These are the artists people generally come to Florence to see. But tucked away outside of the city center is La Tinaia, the birthplace of some of the most world-renowned Art Brut (a term coined by French artist Jean Dubuffet that literally translates to &

Lifestyle

Old home for new art

Florence is home to over 1,200 street tabernacles, many of which date as far back as the 13th century. Adopted from the Roman tradition, the tabernacles served as small, altar-like temples and represented the religious faith of local citizens. During the 15th century, many Florentine guilds and powerful

Lifestyle

Buffalo Bill does the dolce vita

It was 1890. And the whole city flocked to see their show. The scene the Florentines liked the most, according to the reporter for La Nazione, was the attack on the Deadwood Stage by the Indians. For awhile, it seemed as if the ‘Redskins’ would prevail, but then

Lifestyle

On the day you were born

‘On the day you were born the round planet Earth turned toward your morning sky, whirling past darkness, spinning the night into light’     Debra Frasier’s On the Day ...

Lifestyle

Instruments of inspiration

Sometimes I have the urge to tell people patiently waiting in line at the Uffizi to bag it and scoot around the corner to the Instituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza on Piazza dei Giudici, just down the street from the new exit of the Uffizi. It’s

Lifestyle

Stark contrasts

The current exhibit of the photographs by Walker Evans at the Museo Nazionale Alinari della Fotografia offers a view of cultural history largely forgotten by the current generation, for whom the United States has always been a formidable world power. The Great Depression of the 1930s, which lasted the better

Lifestyle

Making connections through theater

‘Theatre is a powerful and unique art form because its essential nature is based on gathering people together to tell stories, hear them, see them and feel them. The stories ...

ART + CULTURE

The night the bridges come falling down

Rumours were rife all over the city. Many said the Anglo-American troops had already reached the outskirts of the city. However, one thing was certain. On the afternoon of August 3, 1944, the German High Command in Florence had the following ordinance displayed on the street corners: Beginning from

Lifestyle

To whom we owe it all

Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici (1667-1743) ought to be one of the most famous and popular Florentines of all times, for it was she who turned Florence into a cultural mecca. With a stroke of her pen, she bequeathed the Medici’s jewels, pictures, sculptures, manuscripts and

Lifestyle

Row, row, row your dragon boat?!

Walking along the Arno, you’re almost as likely to hear the rhythmic beatings of a dragon boat drummer as a motorino’s horn. The sport of dragon boat racing, introduced to the west less than two decades ago, is thriving at Società Canottieri Comunali Firenze, as

Lifestyle

Nestled within a cove

As you wander up Via dei Benci towards Santa Croce, you find a curious little nook just beyond the clattering keyboards of the Internet Train. Descending from the street level entrance into the Fine ArtS Cove, you encounter an unexpected surprise as the space opens up into a contemporary art

Lifestyle

Homage for his hundredth

In a year that marks not only the 100th anniversary of his birth but also the 30 years that have passed since his death, contemporary Italian artists have come together to acknowledge their great common debt owed to director Luchino Visconti. The respect and admiration held for the renowned filmmaker

Lifestyle

When Spain colors Florence

In The Stones of Florence, Mary McCarthy describes Florence in shades of brown, gray and black.  Not so in this fall’s Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino’s updated production of Mozart’s early opera, La Finta Giardinieria.  Jesús Ruiz, Spanish scene designer

Lifestyle

Transforming tradition

The Christmas I’m used to includes fighting over the last ‘perfect’ gift in an over-crowded shop-ping mall and sitting on my Italian-American grandmother’s plastic covered couch watching her decorate her tinsel covered tree. As much of a pain these things are,

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Captured moments 1841-1941

If the cliché holds true that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ then the inaugural exhibit at the new Museo Nazionale Alinari della Fotografia presents a history of Italy during a crucial century that might fill an encyclopaedia if told in words. This special exhibit, entitled

Lifestyle

The trouble with corners

Make believe for a moment that you’re the Medici’s favourite architect Bartolomeo Michelozzo. The year is 1444, and Cosimo the Elder has asked you to design him a new town palace. ‘We,’ says Cosimo, ‘will have our courtyard with columns, arches, archivolts, roundels

Lifestyle

One layer at a time

In a city where people come from all over the world to feast their eyes on the most classic bits of art, hurried tourists and eager students have become quite commonplace. To keep its masterpieces viewable, Florence is constantly in a state of restoration under the watchful eyes of its

Lifestyle

Inside Marini, ouside of time

It would be easy to miss the Marini museum, sandwiched as it is between two of Florence’s busiest and most elegant streets, Via della Vigna and Via della Spada (where shops such as Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, Dolce and Gabbana, Ferré are found). There is nothing to proclaim

Lifestyle

Flick ‘n Flee

It is not often that one witnesses an exhibition curator pushing a large black projection box balanced precariously on bicycle wheels through the streets of Florence. It is also decidedly rare to see the side of the Duomo being appropriated as a make-shift screen for an independent short film.

Lifestyle

A goblet at the doorlet,

Have you ever noticed those small little windows in the walls of the old palazzi in Florence—not really windows at all but more like Lilliputian doors? Miniature copies of their full size counterparts, the main entrances to each palazzo, these tiny doors are made of solid wood, sometimes

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