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florencenews

Lifestyle

Heavenly voices

The agony and the ecstasy of Holy Week and Easter have given rise to some of the most inspired musical masterpieces of our heritage. At this resonant time in the Church year, the extremes of human existence – suffering and consolation, darkness and light, death and rebirth - are laid bare

Lifestyle

Timeless genius

All over the city from banners, to billboards, to the back of your bus ticket you see the bas-relief sculpture of a graceful Gabriel who delivers his urgent message to the Virgin Mary and simultaneously announces a remarkable exhibition of Florence’s nearly-forgotten Renaissance master: Arnolfo di

Lifestyle

Four seasons make grand entrance

Florence has more than its fair share of palazzi. These once opulent residences of the wealthy and noble have been transformed to accommodate the evolving needs of a crowded destination city and now serve as museums, offices, rental apartments, hotels  and retail spaces.  Expensive to maintain and renovate

Lifestyle

Parole di Piazza

Athletes at this year’s Winter Olympics may have been surprised to find that the coveted medals they had come to the Apennines to compete for were missing their golden centers. The Olympic officials who had commissioned the new medal design said that the hole was no mistake - it

Lifestyle

Walking into history,

Think of the viali, the belt of roads cinching in Florence north of the Arno. Now shut your eyes, mentally replace them with the old city walls, wipe away the modern architecture in the surrounding area, and you’re seeing Florence as it appeared from the 14th to the

Lifestyle

Pickpocket Prevention

Florence is a relatively safe place, but as in every big city, petty crime such as pick pocketing and bag snatching is quite common, even though statistics show that reported incidents of pick pocketing in Italy have decreased by 11.4% over the last 8 years and bag snatching has

Lifestyle

An Equestrian Dream Come True in Florence

Whether it be shopping at the Tuesday morning market, taking a run along the river, swimming at the public pool or frequenting the discotecas, you may have spent time in Florence’s largest public park, il Parco delle Cascine.  This massive park, more than 290 acres, is about

Lifestyle

An insider’s Tuscany

In spite of an abundance of twinkling white lights, a fair showing of tasteful decorations and a token Mercato di Natale in Piazza Santa Croce, Florence is not  most people’s fantasy Christmas destination. Buy the presents here and move on. If you are after a good dose

Lifestyle

Where Santa shops in Italy: unique holiday gift ideas,

It’s that time of year again, which I am sure more than a few of us have a love-hate relationship with: Christmas. Receiving presents is of course the best bit, but having to get other people’s presents can be stressful and time consuming, especially when

Lifestyle

Gli Innocenti: progeny of the not-so-innocent Medici?

Just a short walk from the hustle and bustle of the Duomo, past the Galleria dell’ Accademia where Michelangelo’s David watches triumphantly, and very nakedly, over throngs of tourists, there quietly waits another Brunelleschi masterpiece, the ‘Spedale degli Innocenti in Piazza Santissima Annunziata. With its classical

Lifestyle

The turkey dazzles Renaissance Florentines

Remember Giambologna’s turkey in the Bargello? Did you ever wonder if that sixteenth-century Florentine bronze sculpture had anything to do with the roasted and stuffed bird that you gobble up at Thanksgiving and Christmas? With the bird that Benjamin Franklin had wanted to put on the American

Lifestyle

The Florentine’s top 10 list

10 The Price of Leisure   You’ve just finished your morning cappuccino at a quaint café near the Ponte Vecchio, you go to pay for it and are shocked to discover  that you’ve been charged 5 Euro. No, they’re not ripping you

Lifestyle

Having art for dinner

A few metres from the Bargello – to be precise, at Via del Proconsolo 16r – stands a fine building, once the home of the Guild of Judges and Notaries, and now the property of an art-loving enthusiast who is also a gastronomic entrepreneur. The result is that

Lifestyle

A review of JK Place

Unlike most people, I am usually filled with a sense of dread by the thought of a few days in Italy. Not because I have anything against its people or their magnificent country, but because in my profession a three-day trip to Italy usually equates to a huge amount

Lifestyle

Life beyond Edison

I like Edison as much as the next person.  Indeed, when I first arrived in Florence, I jokingly referred to it as my second home.  It was where I checked my e-mail, had my morning cappuccino, went to the loo, did my Italian homework, and wrote in

Lifestyle

American Pie the Italian Way

Catering to those tourists, students, and expatriates craving an American fix, a ‘culinary’ comfort from home, purveyors of distinctly American food have found a niche in Florence. Although New York style Chinese takeout has yet to hit the scene, imported peanut butter, fresh blueberry muffins, Campbell’s

Lifestyle

Slow food,

It almost sounds like the beginning of a novel: a group of friends sharing a bottle of wine and talking about the opening of a McDonald’s restaurant at the foot of the Spanish Steps in Rome. About how this could be the end of the treasured, ancient Italian

Lifestyle

The joys of practical home maintenance

If you rent an apartment here, one of the things you will quickly discover is the Italian mode of home electricity.  You’ll probably want to plug in your computer right away or charge up your cell phone.  You’ll find that you need to buy

Lifestyle

Stealing Beauty

More than a century ago, the glory of the Florentine artistic sights and the breath-taking views of the city and its surroundings were being caught on canvas, in sketchbooks, and in the diaries of foreign travellers during their grand tours of Italy. Their descriptions still remain, attesting to the

Lifestyle

An afternoon walk through the Oltrarno

On the hillside behind Palazzo Pitti are the magnificent Boboli Gardens, which are among the most beautiful and best-preserved gardens in Italy. Our second stroll in search of discovery in the wonderful and unusual city of Florence begins from these gardens of paradise, laid out in the 16th century

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

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

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

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