Antonio Cipolla’s grand elliptical staircase within what was the headquarters of Italy’s first national bank when it was built in 1869 appears to defy gravity at Florence’s Banca d’Italia, swirling mysteriously upwards to the stained-glass lantern. Starring on the February cover, it’s one of those iconic gems that entices in photographs, yet poses bigger questions in person. How does it stay up? How did the architect design such a dazzling feat of engineering?
This month, Alessandra Petrucci, the president of the University of Florence, takes the time to explain her vision of an “inclusive and welcoming university for all” ahead of the centenary celebration of the modern higher education institution as well as explaining what people can expect from the reopening of natural science museum La Specola on February 21. Community events are revving up this February with the return of Black History Month Florence, the introduction of Florence Novel Writing Month and top musical events at The British Institute. Plus, if you’re feeling in need of company, embrace one of Florence’s “third spaces” or family-friendly cafès.
Regardless of whether you are celebrating Valentine’s, Galentine’s or just fancy some indulgence, we take you on a tour of Tuscany’s Chocolate Valley where artisan producers get creative with bean-to-bar confectionery.