Category: Tuscany

Ai Weiwei’s ‘Libero’ at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence

LEGO Girolamo Savonarola by Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei is one of the best and most provocative artists working in the world today. Now Italians and visitors to Italy will have a chance to see the Chinese artists’s works up close in an exhibition at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence.

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The Best Ever In-Depth Video of Siena’s Palio

Leocorno Horse Blessed Before Palio

Inspiration always seems to find me when I’m not looking and that is exactly what happened as I settled in to watch a few minutes of television last night. Lucky for me, I clicked over to Kenny Mayne’s Wider World of Sports, a show on ESPN that puts sports into a cultural context. One of …

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My September 11th in Florence

Every year, as we approach the anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, I think back to what I was doing that day. In fact, I was in Florence. So this year I thought I would share my recollections of the event from the perspective of a tourist in Italy. This may not …

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Romantic Hotels in Tuscany

Tuscany is, without doubt, one of the foremost locations in the world for your honeymoon. Whether you wish to visit the tiny, romantic, hilltop villages or simply watch the olive groves and cypress trees gently sway in the wind, Tuscany offers some of the most romantic hotels that you are likely to come across and …

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Five Favorites: Art in Tuscany

To many a traveler, Tuscany and art are synonymous. From the architecture to the numerous galleries to those gorgeous, green, and cliché hills, there’s an element of art in every corner of Tuscany.

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Siena 101

On the other side of the Chianti countryside, some 35 miles south of Florence, you will find Siena, a Tuscan town rife with tradition and mood. WHERE: Medieval Siena is best known as the site of the Palio, a twice-yearly, bareback horserace that takes place in the wide, shell-shaped Piazza del Campo. The race, which …

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Six Places to Celebrate Carnival in Italy

It’s Carnival time again in Italy, when Italians prepare to say “goodbye meat!” (Carnevale) by throwing lavish parties and parades before hunkering down for 40 days and nights of denial during the Holy Lenten Season. Many travelers think that Carnevale only takes place in Venice. While Venice has the best known Carnival in Italy, there …

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Three Best Travel Secrets

Coming up with three of my best travel secrets for Italy is no easy task. Alas, I’ve been tagged by Robin Locker at My Mélange to come up with my list, just as she has over at her blog. In fact, since I had difficulty paring down my favorites, I’ve come up with my non-Italy …

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Five Favorites: Lucca

Today I am starting a brand new feature at Italofile called Five Favorites. The segment is a chance for me to invite fellow Italy bloggers and Italophiles to wax poetic about five favorite Italian things, be it characteristics of a town or region or five favorite foods, fashion designers, parks….anything Italy-related.

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Best Places in Italy for Modern Art

Italy’s modern art museums are often overlooked by the masses, who prefer, not surprisingly, to examine the country’s ancient and Renaissance-era treasures. But with the debut of Rome’s new, Zaha Hadid-designed MAXXI Museum, the capital now has a very high profile exhibition space that is itself a work of art. New York Times’ The Moment …

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Vampires in Volterra

The windswept, medieval Tuscan town of Volterra has been in the news a lot lately, thanks to the hype surrounding New Moon, the second book in the teenage vampire series Twilight. Author Stephenie Meyer set a scene between Bella, the heroine, and Edward, her undead lover, in Volterra. And now this small town in western …

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The Scariest Place in Tuscany

Last year saw the release of the book the Monster of Florence, a true tale about a serial killer who terrorized the hills around the Tuscan capital for almost 20 years, from 1968 until 1985. While several men were tried for the heinous crimes, many Italians, crime experts, and the book authors Mario Spezi and …

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The Real Pinocchio

Last November, the New York Review of Books released Carlo Collodi’s The Adventures of Pinocchio under its NYRB Classics imprint. The tale, as reviewed by Tim Parks in the latest issue, is much darker than the Disneyfied version. After the jump is Parks’ full review. As always, I urge you to subscribe to NYRB; they …

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Ramble On: Tuscany Walking Festival

Tuscany, with its beautiful vistas and thousands of hectares of nature preserves and woodlands, offers numerous opportunities for serious hikers and casual trekkers alike. This is the also the thought of the organizers of the Tuscany Walking Festival, a yearly event that happens goes on roughly between the first days of spring until the end …

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Become a Museum Reporter for Tuscany

As we reported last week, Tuscany has a brand new tourism website. We have also now learned that the regional tourism board is considering letting visitors weigh in on the Tuscan museum experience. According to the Florentine, the tourism board will be asking visitors in May to become “museum reporters” as part of the Amico …

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Tuscany’s Great New Tourism Website

While we weren’t paying attention, the Tuscan tourism office launched a lovely new website, complete with destination information, links to hotels and maps, and even a marketplace where you can purchase typical Tuscan wares (wine, ceramics, leather) or advanced tickets to museums. What we’re really loving is the Tuscan tourist board’s embrace of new technologies. …

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Farewell to an Italian Historian

I was hoping that with my first post of the new year I would look forward. Instead, with the passing of Christopher Hibbert, I thought it would be worth it to look back. Until I read Hibbert’s obituary, I didn’t know too much about him, only that he was the author of one of the …

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If Obama Were Tuscan Wine, What Would He Be?

Have you ever wondered what kind of characteristics Sarah Palin or Barack Obama share with Tuscan wine? No? Neither have I. But here’s a fun little post from On the Wine Trail in Italy comparing the U.S. presidential candidates and their surrogates to various Tuscan vintages. I wonder if there’s a corresponding Facebook quiz… Sarah …

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Keeping Up With the Antinori

Italian wine enthusiasts (that includes most of us, right?) may find this past weekend’s 60 Minutes story on Italy’s Antinori family intriguing. Considered one of Italy’s premier winemaking clans, the Antinori have been in the wine business for more than 500 years. Today, even the Antinori daughters are in on the act. To learn more …

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Italian Fashion Designers and Their Hotels

Fashion designers have known for a long time that it’s good to diversify. Not only have Italian fashion houses like Armani, Versace, and Dolce & Gabbana ventured beyond clothing to include perfume, accessories, and restaurants among their branded items, they’ve also gone into the business of designing and/or maintaining luxury hotels and suites. This weekend, …

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