Blog (in English) (11)

Bianca and Francesco: their marriage and the mystery of their death

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They disliked the opulence of their Court and its power intrigues. They loved simple things such as good food, country life and hunting: Bianca and Francesco loved each other tenderly and passionately, and wished to be left alone. Although their relationship was under everyone’s eyes, “He” was Francesco de’ Medici, or Francesco I the Grand…

A french man the court of the Medici

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Jean de Boulogne, also known as ‘Giambologna’. Jean de Boulogne, known as Giambologna, was born in the Flanders and died in Florence on 13th August 1608. His love for art took him first to Antwerp and then to Rome, where he met Michelangelo. His works are scattered around Florence. The itinerary to see them all…

Can you guess where tennis was born?

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According to many, referring maybe to our haughtiness, “Florentines always claim to come first…” Whatever your views on the subject, you may as well consider that the game of tennis, in its modern version, was born in Florence, too! As an old saying goes: “give him them inch, they’ll take a mile…” In the 14th…

The Arrival of Summer, in Santa Maria del Fiore

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Florence Cathedral’s gnomon, whose name derives from Greek and stands for “indicator,” worked smoothly until the beginning of the 1500s, when, following the concern of any collapse of the Brunelleschi Dome, it started being used to monitor the stability of the church. Three centuries later, in 1754 Leonardo Ximenes (Jesuit priest and mathematician at the…

THE 100th GIRO D’ITALIA pays tribute to Gino Bartali

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Gino Bartali, one of the most renowned Italian cyclist, also known as “Ginettaccio” The 100th Giro d’Italia starts next 17th May from Ponte to Ema, where Gino Bartali was born. On 7th August 1908, a headline on the La Gazzetta dello Sport announced that the newspaper would sponsor the first Giro d’Italia, scheduled for the following…

Forty years with Zà Zà

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It was 7th April 1977 … “Life begins at 40,” they say … and they also say “A tavola non si invecchia” (“At the table you don’t get old”): they are true and confirmed by numerous researches. Serenity, maturity and Mediterranean diet are the best recipe for a long and healthy life. What does this…

Sweet Carnival

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“È berlingaccio quel giovedì, che va innanzi al giorno del carnesciale, che i Lombardi chiamano la giobbia grassa.” (Benedetto Varchi) According to Benedetto Varchi’s quote, the day before Carnival, Shrove Thursday, is known as “berlingaccio”. The people of Lombardy call it “la Giobbia grassa”: For the Ancient Greeks and the Romans, the Dionysian festivities were…

Cenacoli in Florence

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The world’s most famous cenacle (or “cenacolo” on Italian, a name defining the last supper of Jesus and his disciples, a favorite subject with painters) is definitely the “Last Supper” by Leonardo Da Vinci in Milan, but also Florence is rich in works devoted to the dinner between Jesus and his apostles. Many of them…

La Quaresima (Lent)

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40 Days of fasting, from Ash Wednesday to Easter Friday. The Quaresima (Lent) commemorates the 40 days of fasting of Jesus. During Lent, Christians commit to giving up certain foods. Excluding animal fats, the list of foods allowed during Lent used to include bread, polenta with vegetable soups, ravioli with herbs, and fresh or dried…

The ‘Melodrama’ (the Opera)

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“Acting while singing” was born in Florence in 1580 In the past recent years, Elio, the frontman of “Le storie tese” (an eclectic, mocking, humorous, multi-genre Italian band) has reminded us that the Opera was born in Italy, or rather, in Florence. Unlike other musical genres and forms, the Opera (or “melodrama”) has a specific…