Discover Tuscany’s Blog: exploring Tuscany and all its hidden corners…

Find your Hotel in Tuscany


Sergio Staino, Between Satire and Dreams

April 18, 2014 by Lourdes Flores

Sergio Staino

If you’re in Siena soon, take an hour or two to enjoy the large museum complex of Santa Maria della Scala, right across from Siena’a cathedral. The museum is large and offers 7 permanent itineraries through the ancient hospital.
Read more about the entire museum complex here.

Right now and up to November 3, 2014, if you visit the complex you’ll also get a chance to study and admire the temporary exhibition dedicated to Sergio Staino, the first personal anthology dedicated to the nationally known artist, called “Sergio Staino: Between Satire and Dreams”.

Keep reading »

Special Openings for Easter in Florence

April 17, 2014 by Lourdes Flores

Easter in Florence - Scoppio del Carro

Easter is this weekend, are you ready to see the Scoppio del Carro in Florence?

The weekend will be a busy one for Florence and seeing the various posts on our forum and comments asking what is open or closed over the long weekend (as Easter Monday, or Pasquetta as it is called in Italy, is also a national holiday), here’s an update with all of the information you need!

Many churches will be busy with extra services, so expect many to be closed or to just limit visiting times from today, Holy Thursday.

Keep reading »

“Happy” Pharrell Williams video conquests Tuscany

March 27, 2014 by Cristina Romeo

The song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams and its video have become an international success which has inspired and started off an interesting viral phenomenon.

In the original video shot in Los Angeles, more than 400 people appear throughout various locations in the city and include many ordinary citizens. The Happy song is cheerful and captivating and this has inspired many amateur videos of people filming their own version in cities around the world across 90 countries.

The bug has also arrived in Tuscany! We found 5 fun videos filmed in five different cities of Tuscany we thought it would be fun to share:


Happy in Siena


We are Happy from Prato

We are Happy from Campi Bisenzio

9 Special Art Exhibitions to Visit in Florence in 2014

March 25, 2014 by Cristina Romeo

In 2014 the Polo Museale Fiorentino offers another “A Year of Art”, the series of exhibitions organized at the main city museums, from the Uffizi to the Accademia.

This year 9 exhibitions are scheduled and will be hosted in 6 of Florence’s museums.

This is the program of exhibitions throughout the year to help you plan your upcoming visit:

Once in a Lifetime: Treasures from the Archives and Libraries of Florence

At the GALLERIA PALATINA from January 28 through April 27, 2014
133 treasures found in the manuscripts, drawings and books from over 30 institutions and citizens are gathered together for the very first time, some never having been shown to the public.
An example of the treasures on display: an edition of Vasari’s “Lives” from 1568, a page with sketches by Michelangelo Buonarroti, the original signed law abolishing the death penalty in Tuscany by Peter Leopold of Lorraine.

The Room of the Muses: Baroque paintings from Francesco Molinari Pradelli Collections

At the UFFIZI GALLERY from February 11 through May 11, 2014
An exhibition with a wide selection of paintings belonging to Collection Pradelli Molinari, the famous conductor of the 1900s who throughout the course of his life collected works he liked and, in particular, works from the Italian seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Continue reading>>

Inside Hidden Palaces and Gardens

March 21, 2014 by Lourdes Flores

Every spring, the Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI) offers the chance to enter into several of the sites they manage not generally open to the public for a weekend. This spring that weekend is this one, March 22 and 23!

Not ALL of the FAI sites open, and many of them are not known even by local residents. Many include palaces that today house universities, schools, banks or other activities. Wherever you might be in Tuscany this weekend – check this list to see what is open near you in Tuscany!

Special guided visits to the Medici Villa Poggio a Caiano

March 14, 2014 by Lourdes Flores

A very unique occasion to the visit the Villa Medicea in Poggio a Caiano this month has just opened up, with special openings and visits to the monumental apartments and Still-Life Museum.

The visits will be offered the next 3 weekends:
March 15 and 16
March 23 and 23
March 29 and 30

Keep reading »

Special openings of the Limonaia in the Boboli Gardens

March 11, 2014 by Cristina Romeo

Limonaia Boboli

The Boboli Gardens, the beautiful park and open air museum that embraces the Pitti Palace, offers the chance to admire the fascinating Limonaia, the building where the citrus plants grown in the garden are stored during the colder season.

The citrus plants in the Boboli Gardens have a great botanical and historical value, since they are all descended from the cultivars of Medici times and are therefore very rare varieties.

Citrus plants at the Boboli Gardens

In the colder months, from October to May, the citrus plants are sheltered in the Limonaia, which is usually closed to the public, but it is open exceptionally several mornings this March and April.

Read the full article >>

The Beauty of “Slow Art”

March 10, 2014 by Lourdes Flores

People looking at art / photo flickr @ PhilRoader

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
- Henry David Thoreau

Our daily lives are surrounded by beauty, but we often forget to stop and appreciate all that surrounds us.

In Florence, Tuscany and all across the world, a global all-volunteer event started in 2010 called “Slow Art Day” with the aim of slowing down for one day of the year to visit a local museum with the idea to really look at art and to do it slowly…. As anyone who has visited a museum in Italy knows, there is so much to see so we often LOOK at a painting or sculpture WAY TOO FAST in order to just see more on our packed itineraries.


This year, Slow Art Day is April 12, 2014.


1. Sign up for one of the venues. Participation is free! There are 3 in Florence and one in Chianti so far… see below for list.
2. Show up on Saturday, April 12 at your museum, pay any entry fees and then on your own, look slowly at 5 pieces of art assigned by the host of the event, from 5-10 minutes each. The host should suggest which ones and might offer a map or suggestions but you look on your own.
3. Meet up after for lunch with the event’s host and other participants to discuss what you saw!


Tuscany is hosting 4 venues, with 3 just in Florence (there are only 6 so far in all of Italy). To participate, all you need to do is sign up through the links below. Participation is free, all you need to do is pay any museum entry fees and your own lunch ;-) .

The places to visit in Florence are:
- The Uffizi Gallery – by licensed tour guide Elena Fulceri, who also writes for our guide on Florence.
- The Basilica of Santa Croce – hosted by Paola Vojnovic who works at the church
- The exhibit dedicated to “Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino” at Palazzo Strozzi – hosted by the excellent education department

If you’re in Greve in Chianti, head to La Macina di San Cresci for a very special visit among vineyards and olive orchards near the medieval hamlet of Montefioralle.

Try the experience of looking at a work of art slowly and let us in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter how it went, what you discovered trying #slowart!

The Obamas in Tuscany: What should they visit?

March 7, 2014 by Lourdes Flores

President Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle will be in Italy on March 27.

Enrico Rossi, the governor of Tuscany, has written on his blog that he intends to invite the Obamas to visit Tuscany and has launched a poll #ObamainToscana to help him choose the special places he will propose to be part of their visit.

“Which places shouldn’t be missing in the US President’s Visit to Tuscany”?
The poll is open to everyone (even if it is only in Italian) with many choices, as to be expected from a land this rich in natural and cultural attractions.

Right now, it seems that the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and Piazza del Campo in Siena are definitely considered a “must” among the places to visit in the “Art and Culture” theme, while the Parco della Maremma is winning in the “Sport and Nature” section of the poll and San Gimignano and Pitigliano are prevailing in the “Enogastronomia and Slow Tourism” section.

If you wish to participate in Mr. Rossi’s survey, you can do so on this page:

We already did and hope that the President and Michelle will accept the governor’s invitation and – despite the very short visit – will come to visit a few of the treasures Tuscany has to offer… maybe even staying an extra day!

Celebrating Women and Last of Carnival this Weekend

March 5, 2014 by Lourdes Flores

Spring is in the air and we hope it remains so for the next few weeks until the official arrival of spring.

To celebrate International Women’s Day this Saturday, March 8, Florence will open its city-run museums (click to see full list) to women offering FREE ENTRY (only the Brancacci chapel and the tower in Palazzo Vecchio require reservations, which are free for everyone; reserve at or by calling 055 2768224).

The weekend also marks the last days of Carnival celebrations and floats across Tuscany: in Vernio and Arezzo on Saturday and in Viareggio and Bientina (near Pontedera, PI) on Sunday.

This weekend celebrate the women in your life and have some fun before the 40 days of Lent start! In Italy, tradition calls for giving women a sprig of yellow mimosa on “festa della donna”, but you can certainly also celebrate with a special dinner out or a glittery gift to wear to party for Carnival this weekend!