Life in Italy

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THINGS TO DO

Borgo Santissimi Apostoli

It's late summer, unseasonably hot, and I'm amidst the clamoring crowds walking toward Ponte Vecchio on via Por Santa Maria. It's dusk, and for some reason the sun seems to strike harder upon going down. I need a refuge. Instead of following the map-wielding, chatty crowds,

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Journey to the stars

Palazzo Strozzi, in the heart of Florence’s historic centre, is getting a reputation for bringing innovation to Florence, and its programming for families is no exception. Beginning with the current exhibit, Galileo: Images of the Universe from Antiquity to the Telescope, which runs through August 30, Palazzo Strozzi

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Hands up!

Bottega dei Ragazzi and The Florentine continue their partnership, offering fun English language art workshops for children on the last weekend of each month. These sessions are based on the principle of ‘learning through doing' and reflect the old traditions of Renaissance workshops. Skilled teaching staff from the Istituto

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Bottega dei Ragazzi

Bottega dei Ragazzi and The Florentine will be working together again in February to offer fun, English-language art workshops for children during the last weekend of the month. These workshops are based on the principle of ‘learning through doing' and reflect the traditions of Renaissance workshops. Skilled staff

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On top of the dome, with Pippo

When you think of the story of Brunelleschi's dome of Florence cathedral, you think of complicated construction machinery and mind-boggling mathematical calculations, don't you? Well, you're right. The story is rife with math and machines. But, it's also spiced with plenty of anecdotes, the kind

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Bottega dei ragazzi

How many times have you heard your out-of-town friends say, ‘Florence is such a lovely city, but where are all the kids?' It does sometimes seem like the Renaissance city is completely devoid of children as families have begun to move out of the center and into

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Delight in the details

‘This little pig went to market…’ is the premise of Nancy Shroyer Howard’s engaging Mischief in Tuscany: Running Wild in a Famous Painting. When a Cinta Senese pig with an ...

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Flights of fancy

Fiera, a new children’s book written by Annamaria Sbisa and illustrated by Michela Petoletti, brings to life the beauty and whimsy of Ferragamo’s silk scarves and introduces young readers to Florence.   Six playful creatures are aboard a hot air balloon sailing with no evident destination,

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The legend of La Befana

Traditionally the children of Italy anxiously await a visit from another figure, La Befana, hanging up their stockings on January 6, the Feast of Epiphany, rather than Christmas Eve.

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Picture this!

Once upon a time there was a grandmother who loved Italy. She wanted her young grandson to learn to love its culture and people as she did. So she bought him two books: Everyday Life in Ancient Rome and Everyday Life in the Renaissance. Back home she had a closer

THINGS TO DO

An insider’s Tuscany

More than 7 million tourists pile into Florence each year, so it stands to reason that this small city suffers from serious overcrowding. Add severe traffic problems and the resulting levels of noise and pollution, and it’s not surprising that many visitors opt for accommodation that is situated

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Back to the future

It is no secret that Italians are leaving bigger cities in search of a slower paced rural lifestyle. The current revival of small towns throughout Italy is allowing people to rediscover the beauty and  benefits of a more simple and traditional way of living. Tourism is also following the

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Italian girls are easy too?!

Italian customs and culture you may not have known.

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June in tuscany

June is a magical month in Tuscany.  The nights are alive with a thousand noises, lights, and scents.  This atmosphere is well caught in the Pfeiffer-Everett film of A Midsummer Night?s Dream, shot in Italy.  June is the month of midsummer, when Tuscan days are

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May in Tuscany

Bright and early on a May morning, somewhere in the Tuscan countryside, a little band of children is gathering. Along the country lanes, they knock at the door of every farmhouse and stand and sing their repertoire of May-time songs, all about cuckoos and spring flowers and boys and

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Italian street numbering

The often confusing letters and numbers spotted on streets in Italy are made clear(er) with this handy explanation.

ART + CULTURE

Exceptional and influential women in early modern Florence

Situated on the south side of the River Arno is a building that requires little introduction: Palazzo Pitti. The majestic yet forbidding façade has contributed to its reputation as one ...

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