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

Fascism in Florence

Not long ago, news was abound about a proposed museum of Fascism in Benito Mussolini’s hometown, Predappio, just across the border with Emilia-Romagna. The outcry was immediate, with concerns of ...

ART + CULTURE

A less rosy Renaissance: grim Florence

Remove your Renaissance rose-coloured glasses and consider some of these grim yet intriguing sites from Florence’s prettiest period.

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

What “Masters of Florence” gets wrong

The "Masters of Florence" series is more soap opera than truth, with the Medici family intoxicatingly powerful and downright sexy at every turn.

ART + CULTURE

The National Central Library: after the flood

More than one million books, periodicals and journals were damaged on November 4, 1966 at 6.50am.

ART + CULTURE

Vespasiano da Bisticci

Who was Vespiano da Bisticci? Meet the famous medieval book dealer who became the close friend of Cosimo the Elder.

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.

THINGS TO DO

Explore Sammezzano Castle

They say that each of us dies three deaths: the moment when your heart stops, when you are buried and the last time someone says your name. The name of ...

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

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, ...

THINGS TO DO

Venice unmasked

I got lost on my last trip to Venice.  It makes no difference that it was my twentieth trip to La Serenissima in half as many years, or that I can, on a very good day, navigate its infinite bridges and narrow calli without a second thought.  During

ART + CULTURE

Florence as a capital city 1865-1870

The political situation arising from the decision to move the capital to Florence.

LIGHT MODE
DARK MODE