Viewpoint: The River Arno

Looking upstream into a Florence sunrise almost the colour of the city’s beloved football club’s shirt, we are, in one very real sense, looking towards the source of the Renaissance itself… The River Arno divides Florence between the north side, where most of the famous bits are, and the Oltrarno, the ‘other side’, where most […]

Visit this winter wonderland in Florence

Located on the steps of the Basilica Santa Croce, the architectural jewel at the heart of the world famous Piazza Santa Croce, Florence’s annual Christmas market offers a shopping experience like no other. Just moments from the Temple of Italian Glories, the final resting place of Italian icons Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli amongst others, after exploring the […]

Fast Art: The Duke and the Duchess

They are double-sided portraits, painted by Piero della Francesca, who was the court painter at the court of Urbino These portraits of the Duke and Duchess of Urbino are amongst the most famous portraits in 15th century Italian art. Why? Because they are revolutionary in their depiction and fascinating in their symbolism. They are double-sided […]

The Forgotten Garden, Florence

Beyond the palazzo… now, rising elegantly up the slope was a series of manicured terraces, and a grand stairway climbing with them Oltrarno means ‘beyond the Arno’, and refers to the part of Florence south of the river. Although you can find many famous sights there – the Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens, and Piazzale Michelangelo […]

5 Piazzas you just have to visit

Piazzas hold a special place at the heart of Italian life and Italy boasts some stunning examples. With so many it’s tricky to choose one, but we’ve narrowed down five favourites… 1. Piazza san Marco, Venice Famously dubbed “the finest drawing room in Europe” by Napoleon, Piazza San Marco is, quite simply, breathtaking. Even during […]

The Angel of the Uffizi

Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici knew her family’s vast artistic collection was of immeasurable value to Florence Consider Mantua. Ruled by the powerful Gonzaga family for nearly four centuries, it became a famous centre of culture and art, particularly while Isabella d’Este was Marchesa there. She was a patron of the greatest artists of her […]

Italia Icons – Michelangelo

It is perhaps the most famous statue in the world and a preeminent icon of the Renaissance, and of the city that produced the Renaissance… Michelangelo’s David was first commissioned in 1466, though not to the artist who completed it. (He wasn’t even born until 1475). The commission originally went to one Agostino di Duccio, […]

Top Reads this month

Dreaming of long walks in the Tuscan countryside? Don’t know where to go next with your summer recipes?  We look at Florentine cuisine and the use of garlic, we survey a photographic overview of Italy, and we go to the Apennines, Lake Garda, Venice – and even Australia… Florentine: The true cuisine of florence Emiko […]