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Pavement in Duomo di Siena Completely Visible

August 16, 2014 by Lourdes Flores

The magnificent pavement of the Duomo in Siena will once again be completely uncovered from this Monday, August 18 through October 27th, 2014. Described by Vasari as the “most beautiful… grand and magnificent“, major sections of the marble pavement are usually covered to protect them from the feet of the numerous visitors and faithful that visit the cathedral every day.

The pavement mosaics are truly amazing and unique, not just for the techniques used but also for message in many of them, which constantly evoke the search for Knowledge. The possibility to admire the pavement in all its glory is worth alone the trip to Siena, especially if your time is limited but can visit one thing in Siena – this is it!

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Changes at the State Museums in Florence, Tuscany and Italy

July 14, 2014 by Lourdes Flores

Several changes are taking place in the State museums across all of Italy, all recently announced and slowly being implemented starting July 1st. As you plan your travels to Italy you might already have become aware of some of them, but to make it easier for all, we’ve decided to create a post to put them all together and highlight what this means for museums in Florence.

First of all – all museums run by the Italian State in all of Italy will start offering free entrance to everyone on the first Sunday of the month. So check your dates, if you’re around on that weekend you might move around your plans to make it coincide. Just be aware that this will likely mean a very busy day at the museum, as many will try to take advantage of the offering. If you still want to visit, we would suggest you book tickets ahead of time regardless, just paying the online and prebooking frees. For the Uffizi and Accademia Galleries in Florence, we recommend booking online at

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A night to remember Michelangelo

July 14, 2014 by Lourdes Flores

In celebration of the great Michelangelo’s 450th anniversary since his demise, many exhibitions and initiatives are taking place this year. Tonight, the City of Florence, along with the Central Market in San Lorenzo, is hosting a very particular event: the revocation of the funeral rites for Michelangelo Buonarroti.

Michelangelo is today buried in Piazza Santa Croce – he died in Rome on February 18, 1564 but his nephew stole his body in the middle of the night and brought him back to Florence where he was buried in great pomp. This is something the event tonight seeks to re-evoke, the particular drama around his final resting place.

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Hard Rock Rising – On the Road 2014

July 4, 2014 by Lourdes Flores

Love music? And live concerts? Then head to Piazza Santa Maria Novella this Sunday, July 6th for a free music concert! Starting at 6pm, it is sure to be a fun evening with good music and entertainment with your friends and family.

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Music at the Museum in San Gimignano and Pienza

July 3, 2014 by Lourdes Flores

If you’re in the enchanting San Gimignano or the magnificent Pienza this July through early August, I recommend a special evening enjoying “Music at the Museum“!

In San Gimignano, the initiative is taking place within the suggestive museum center that hosts the Archaeological Museum, Gallery of Modern Art and Spezieria di Santa Fina while in Pienza, the event is within the courtyard and gardens of the splendid Renaissance Palazzo Piccolomini.
Art accompanied by the sounds of classical music played by international artists on the violin, cello, flute, guitar and through voice solos pieces from Bach to Puccini.
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Exploring the Origins of Wine

July 2, 2014 by Lourdes Flores

Do you love wine? Would you like to know more about its origins in Europe? A very interesting exhibit is currently hosted at the Palazzo Piccolomini in Pienza called VINUM NOSTRUM which explores the “art, science and myths of wine in ancient Mediterranean cultures” and brings to our attention the cultutal as well as religious importance of the drink through the centuries. Just think of how essential it is to our enjoyment of a good meal, or of convivial sharing with a group of friends?

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Calcio Storico Final Canceled

June 20, 2014 by Lourdes Flores

Florence major, Dario Nardella, has just issued the official cancellation of the Calcio Storico final that was to be played on Tuesday, June 24th. The reasoning is that the tournament was already too highly compromised to have been valid, and tensions have been high all week so there was the fear that the match would not end well on Tuesday, which is supposed to be a day of celebration for all Florentines.

Rumors up until last night had that maybe a symbolic game would still be put on… but the question all week was who was going to play against the Reds of Santa Maria Novella. The problem, in fact, stems from several irregularities at last weekend’s semifinals: the match played on Sunday between the Reds and Greens was suspended after a player from the Green team refused to leave the playing field after being eliminated. It was until only a few days later that it was confirmed that a player from the White team, also eliminated from playing, didn’t leave the field either in Saturday’s game. So did the Whites have a right to play in the final?

Lots of tempers heating up all week, making the air of festivity that is supposed to mark the celebration on June 24th disappear. The condition that the major saw as indispensable if Calcio Storico is supposed to remain part of the day’s festivities. The major remarks he is highly disappointed to have had to make this decision but it was the only choice he had.

We hope that changes can be made to make sure the game remains a fun, local tradition for all – those participating as well as those watching.

Join the GORA music festival in Monteroni d’Arbia

June 16, 2014 by Helle D. Rasmussen

Every Friday and some Saturdays in June and July you will be able to enjoy live music in Monteroni d’Arbia, just 20 kilometers south of Siena.

Arranged by the local music school, the festival offers concerts in all music genres; rock, classic, jazz, funk etc. Most concerts start at 9 pm and are played outdoors in the Giardino Gora at Piazza della Resistenza. Close to the stage there is a small kiosk selling beers, soft drinks and snacks.

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Step back to the Middle Ages in San Gimignano this Weekend

June 13, 2014 by Lourdes Flores

Travel back to the Middle Ages this weekend! Starting tonight at around 6:30pm, the celebrations for the Ferie delle Messi, or Harvest Festival, will take off in Piazza Duomo in San Gimignano and continue all weekend.

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Watching the FIFA World Cup in Tuscany

June 13, 2014 by Lourdes Flores

If you’re in Florence and Tuscany over the next month (until July 13 to be precise), be prepared to be caught up in FIFA World Cup fever! To join in the fun, you can always head to the local pub – most have large screen TVs where you can watch all of the matches. With a pint and snacks in hand and great company, you can cheer on your team!
Italians love calcio, known as football or soccer depending on where you’re from, so all matches will be followed closely.

But for even larger crowds and screens, head to a square or park near you. The World Cup is so popular that you will also find large screens mounted up in the main squares of many of the smaller villages in Tuscany. The entire town and locals from the area turn up to watch the Italy matches together – be prepared!

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