The best ice-cream in the heart of Tuscany

The best ice-cream in the heart of Tuscany Are you ready to taste the best ice cream in Italy?  Tuscany is the undisputed champion of the Ice Cream Olympics.  All you have to decide is which gelateria to try first from the dozens on offer.  Here are our tips on where to find an ice cream experience with […]

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The Chiantigiana Road – A journey through time

The Chiantigiana Road – A journey through time  Famous in the word over for its wine cellars, vines and uncontaminated landscape, the Chianti area welcomes thousands of visitors every day. Chianti has it all; a rich history spanning centuries, hidden art treasures and an authentic culinary tradition that is unrivalled anywhere in Italy, or indeed […]

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The legend of the Loggia del Porcellino… and The Stone of Shame

The fountain of the Porcellino (the little pig) is visited by tourists and locals alike looking for good luck. It is situated in the Loggia del Mercato Nuovo, which was built around the middle of the sixteenth century in the city centre, a short walk from the Ponte Vecchio. The market originally sold silks and […]

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Leonardo’s Adoration of the Magi returns to the Uffizi

The “unfinished” masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci, The Adoration of the Magi, has returned to the Uffizi gallery. In 2011, the painting was taken to the Opificio delle Pietre Dure (the highly-specialised institute for art restoration and preservation) for urgent restoration work. The painting’s surface had suffered serious deterioration and its original colours were badly […]

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Lo scoppio del carro – a Florentine Easter tradition

Easter Sunday is celebrated in Florence in a unique way.  The Scoppio del Carro is a tradition that goes back 350 years.  The first ceremony involving a decorated cart, or “Brindellone”, was documented in 1622.  The cart, which is 2 or 3 storeys high, is pulled through Florence by two oxen decorated with wreaths of flowers and herbs, to the […]

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The true story of Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria

Piazza della Signoria, without doubt one of the most beautiful city squares in the world, is an open-air art gallery in the middle of Florence.  Arriving from Via dei Calzaioli, you are immediately struck by the majesty of Palazzo Vecchio. The palazzo, Florence’s Town Hall, was designed by Arnolfo di Cambio and was constructed between 1299 […]

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Super Tuscan Wines: a tale of Tuscan rebellion

Super Tuscan wines: Tuscany is a region where the wildest dreams of wine lovers come true.  Wine has been made in Tuscany since the time of the Etruscans, perhaps even earlier, and the full-bodied history of the region has been poured into its wine.  Today, Tuscan wines, and in particular Chianti wines, are justifiably among the most […]

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The genius of Bill Viola: Video Art at Palazzo Strozzi

  An exhibition of Bill Viola’s video art opens on 10th March at Palazzo Strozzi (10th March to 23rd July).  The unique works of the New York artist, who was born in 1951, do not fit easily into conventional categories.  Viola works with rather than against the public, his art is for everyone, for the layman as much as for […]

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A cake for Carnival: Florentine ‘schiacciata’

Carnival seems to have arrived in Tuscany during the Middle Ages and for a time was celebrated in Florence in a rather alarming way.  Instead of throwing coloured squares of paper at one another, as in other towns, the young men of the city would throw stones, with consequences that were at times serious. This tradition […]

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Historical Florentine Football

For the Florentine people the sport is deeply entwined with their past, a living past with a beating heart, and a soul.  Florentines had an intense sense of belonging not only to their city but to a quarter of their city, each with its own colours, flags and traditions. Florentine football is played by two teams […]

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