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heritage

ART + CULTURE

Galleria Romanelli: a visit to the past

When walking down the narrow street of borgo San Frediano with small shops on each side, it is easy to miss the beauty that is hiding in the shadows of ...

ART + CULTURE

Palazzo Budini Gattai: Waiting for love

Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai stands on a corner of the Santissima Annunziata square. And there's an incredible love story behind the partially open shutter.

ART + CULTURE

Gatecrashing: Florence’s old gates

My family have a framed map of Florence in the bathroom. I think my Dad gave it to me a few years ago, and I gratefully gave it back to ...

NEWS

New lighting for Florence’s monuments

The bronze David at piazzale Michelangelo, the Badia Fiorentina bell tower and the facade of the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella all now boast new permanent lighting. The update was ...

THINGS TO DO

If Dante were here now: a self-guided tour of Florence

Retracing Dante’s steps means setting off on a unique journey into the art, history, culture and spirituality of Florence in the mid-1300s. In this self-guided tour of Dante’s Florence, we ...

ART + CULTURE

Permanence, functionality and delight in Florentine architecture

When thinking about three iconic Florentine buildings that best exemplify its architecture, these words come to mind, which were used by the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius to set the standard ...

ART + CULTURE

Other bridges are available

Venice has the Rialto, Florence has the Ponte Vecchio. The bridge that famously survived the war is surely the sight most snapped in all the city. Yet perversely, of the ...

ART + CULTURE

Medici: The Magnificent Season Three | analysis

The series presents itself with enough historical truth to be just shy of historical fiction.

NEWS

Ramps revamped

The restoration of Giuseppe Poggi's ramps, which began in July 2018, proved to be one of the most complicated in the last 50 years in Florence.

ART + CULTURE

A step inside the Antico Setificio Fiorentino

The easiest mistake to make when first setting foot in the Antico Setificio Fiorentino, Florence’s only surviving silk mill, is equating it with a museum, or any place that exists ...

ART + CULTURE

The Russian church

You are approaching the Russian church when you glimpse one central onion-shaped dome and four smaller ones with turquoise, green and white majolica.

ART + CULTURE

The National Central Library: after the flood

When Italian president Giuseppe Saragat arrived at Florence’s National Central Library in the wake of the 1966 flood, it is reported that the Biblioteca’s director Emanuele Casamassima did not mince ...

ART + CULTURE

Happy Birthday Italy

On June 2, 2016, Italy celebrates the birth of the Italian Republic seven decades ago. After 85 years under the Savoy monarchy, which had supported Mussolini’s fascist regime that led ...

ART + CULTURE

The Florentine diamond

Every gem has its own history, but some have a fascinating story, often involving mystery and mayhem. This is certainly true of a diamond that found its way to Europe in the 15th century. Of Indian origin, the very large almond-shaped stone was pale yellow with hints of green.

ART + CULTURE

A 500-year-young typeface: Optima

Humanism encompassed that particular time in history, in the fifteenth century, which placed people at the centre of the world. Even the art of writing boasts humanist characters: letters that were invented with the idea of recovering a style from the past to breathe new life into it in the

ART + CULTURE

The singing Orpheus fountain

After living in Florence for a certain amount of time it is easy to become a little blasé, thinking you’ve seen and done it all. What a mistake! Just when you least expect it, you stumble on a gem that has been right under your nose for

ART + CULTURE

Piazza della Passera: past to present

Slightly off the tourist trail, yet only a stone’s throw away from piazza Pitti, if you were to turn right onto via dello Sprone, after a few steps you would find yourself standing in the charming piazza della Passera. Although one of Florence’s smallest squares, it

ART + CULTURE

The Brunelleschi arch

Filmmaker David Battistella moved to Florence from Canada in 2011 to pursue his dream: writing and producing a feature film based on Ross King’s 2000 book Brunelleschi‘s Dome, about the ...

ART + CULTURE

The Medici balls

The Medici family has always been associated with balls. Six of them to be exact. Their family emblem, five red balls (palle, in Italian) and one blue, on a gold shield, decorate numerous buildings all over Florence and Tuscany-any palazzo, church or monument to which the Medici had connections

ART + CULTURE

The Virgin Mary’s belt

There is much more to Prato, a town about 10 kilometres north of Florence, than its textile industry, almond biscuits and modern art museum. For instance, at 6 pm each Christmas Day, it is the site of one of Italy's most unusual religious ceremonies. The main cathedral, which is

ART + CULTURE

World War II in Italy

April 25 marked the 66th anniversary of Italian liberation from fascism. This year, the national holiday fell on pasquetta, the day after Easter, marking rebirths both religious and national. On ...

ART + CULTURE

The Italian Risorgimento: A timeline

The process of Italian unification was the result of nearly 60 years of events, daring action and revolutionary ideas. Here is a timeline of the key moments leading to and ...

ART + CULTURE

Turin > Florence > Rome

As Italy celebrated 150 years of unification, Tuscans recognize this anniversary as a significant milestone for the region, but especially for Florence. Although Tuscany and Florence are known as being ...

ART + CULTURE

Orsanmichele, the church that guilds built

Built by the city guilds, which encompassed both civil and religious functions, Orsanmichele was constructed in 1336, on the site of San Michele monastery’s kitchen garden. Originally a grain market, ...

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