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La Divina Bellezza - Discovering Siena

Human @ Forte Belvedere

August 27, 2015 by Lourdes Flores

You still have another month to go enjoy the great views of Florence from the Forte Belvedere and enjoy the temporary exhibition “Human” by Antony Gormly, one of the most acclaimed sculptors working today.

The exhibition “Human” follows after the success of exhibitions by Zhang Huan, which marked the reopening of the Forte di Belvedere in 2013 and Giuseppe Penone in 2014. “Human” brings together over one hundred works by Gormley in the inner rooms of the villa, the bastions, the staircases and the terraces of the Medicean-era fortress, occupying every side of the 16th century fortress and offering extraordinary views over the city and the surrounding hills.

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Siena, the Divinely Beautiful

August 26, 2015 by Lourdes Flores

Have you been to Siena over the past month? Did you go see the spectacular outdoor show “La Divina Bellezza: Discovering Siena” taking place right next to the Duomo about Siena and its history? I can’t recommend it highly enough to everyone I meet and know is planning to go: it is an awesome way, in just 30 minutes, to better understand just a part of the great history that goes a long way to better understanding and viewing the city you come to visit.

While I’m a bit biased and have studied quite a bit of history (because I find it fascinating), the show still managed to impress me.
It is very well done and orchestrated, the music that follows each segment perfect for what the story is telling at that moment. Even if you don’t care much for history, you will still enjoy the show very much!

So what is it precisely? It is:
1. the first time ever in Italy that a city engages the visitor to share some of its past history in a visual show
2. the show takes place directly where a large part of the history it is recounting took place, hundreds of years ago
3. it lets you see the ambition and wealth that guided the hearts of Siena’s citizens hundreds of years ago that created the beauty you can still admire today
4. it gives you an idea of what could have been… and why it wasn’t!

Interested? Then take a look at the video presentation below which gives you an idea of the show — then make your way to Piazza del Duomo and go see it in person, as it is much better!!

The show is also just one of the many events taking place this summer in Siena, which you can see here.

Below are just a few of my pictures taken during the show, as a brief preview to just a few of the beautiful images you will enjoy!!

You still have time to go see it! The show runs twice every night at 9.15pm and 10.15pm until September 30th (except for September 4-6) in Piazza Jacopo della Quercia (next to the Duomo and Museo dell’Opera). Cost is 13 euros. You can buy tickets online at the official site for

La Divina Bellezza or on-site. If you aren’t planning on being in Siena this summer but next year — make note as it will run again in summer 2016 and 2017 ;-).

Bargello Open on Saturday Nights

August 7, 2015 by Lourdes Flores

Only for the month of August, the Bargello Museum will have special openings on Saturday nights from 7pm to 11pm. This is in addition to the special openings announced by the Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery, who have also added special evening openings for the summer and until December.

In particular, the Uffizi and Accademia have added a Tuesday evening opening until September 29th – open longer until 10pm.
Both will also be open on Saturday evenings, until 11pm, until December 19th.
All longer hours are with paid entrance free, with the chance to book online.

New rules to visit the Loggia dei Lanzi in Piazza della Signoria

August 3, 2015 by Cristina Romeo

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For several weeks now, the Loggia dei Lanzi in Piazza della Signoria has no longer been accessible freely, as entrance has been limited to small groups of people at a time.

Why? This change follows the latest episode of vandalism which occurred at the beginning of June, damaging one of the statues housed in the Loggia. This time (and we underline that it is not the first time this has happened), the “victim” has been the statue of the “Rape of Polyxena”, the imposing sculpture by Pio Fedi. Being just the last in a series of acts of vandalism in the last few years, the city decided it was time to try something new.

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3 Great Reasons to Visit Poggio a Caiano Now!

July 23, 2015 by Lourdes Flores

If you’re in Florence or Tuscany from now until October, I suggest you plan to include a visit to the Medici Villa at Poggio a Caiano, just 30 minutes from Florence.

REASON #1: THE VILLA

The very first reason why you should visit the villa is just because it is a Medici villa, one of 12 other villas (and 2 gardens) in Tuscany that were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2013. Poggio a Caiano is from the late 15th-early 16th century, built for Lorenzo de’ Medici. Through the centuries, the villa has been built upon and modernized to be used by the ducal court and royalty, up until the King of Italy when Florence was capital of the new nation. You will find the extraordinary ballroom with frescoes by Andrea del Sarto, Franciabigio and Alessandro Allori awe-inspiring, and see the rooms used by King Vittorio Emanuele II, and the private rooms that Elisa, Napoleon’s sister, loved while using the villa as a summer residence, among other treasures. You can read more about the villa’s history and what you can see inside on our article here.

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Support New Projects for the Botanical Garden and Orti Dipinti

July 22, 2015 by Cristina Romeo

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Last September 2014, a violent storm caused severe damages throughout Florence, particularly at the beautiful Botanical Garden, also known as the “Giardino dei Semplici”, which is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world.
The Garden was closed for several months, the time needed to make important restoration works that required, of course, also a significant economic effort.

In order to help the garden reopen, PlanBee, the first Italian platform for crowd-founding for “green” projects created by Treedom, launched an important fundraising campaign (VisitFlorence was a media partner for the campaign) to support the project “Color the Giardino dei Semplici” for the redevelopment of four areas of the Botanical Garden. Thanks to the contributions collected many colorful shrubs, Japanese hydrangeas and azaleas were planted which all visitors can enjoy today!
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The Monteriggioni Medieval Festival

July 3, 2015 by Lourdes Flores

The small, medieval walled town of Monteriggioni near Siena every July organizes one of the best medieval fairs in all of Italy. We love traveling “back in time”, especially when it is in such a beautiful, and time appropriate, setting as is this small fortified village set upon a hill.

Monteriggioni, di Torri si Incorona – which means, Monteriggioni, Crowned by Towers, perfectly describes this charming town whose walls still stand, with its 14 towers still standing (although a few no longer rise taller than the walls). This year, in its 25th year, the medieval festival has been organized over 3 weekends: June 27-28, with a medieval tournament taking place below the castle (which we reminded you of last Friday but couldn’t go to :( ) and the two weekends of July 3-4-5 and July 10-11-12, with the medieval fair inside the castle and each weekend having a different theme. The first, the Sacred, the second, the Profane.

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Magnificent – A fascinating digital artwork on display in Florence

July 2, 2015 by Cristina Romeo

magnificent

Magnificent – the incredible story of the Beauty that revolutionized the world is the new video exhibition staged in the Sala d’Arme in Palazzo Vecchio, inaugurated last May and running until October 31st, 2015.

Magnificent is a fascinating story, visually and audibly, of the history of Florence through salient episodes and important personalities that marked the destiny of the city and not only. We went last week and truly enjoyed the show!

The narrative voice of Andrea Bocelli accompanies the spectacular projections made by Felice Limosani, who has reworked with digital techniques some famous frescoes, paintings and sculptures that allow the visitor to take a trip back in time through the main places of art and culture in the city. Read the rest of this entry »

La Divina Bellezza – Discovering the Divine Beauty of Siena

June 30, 2015 by Lourdes Flores

This summer, visitors to Siena will have the opportunity to experience a spectacular, colorful, sensory display that will immerse you in the rich history of Siena, to when it was the center of the world, when much of the beauty you can still see today in Siena was created.

In practical terms, the Opera del Duomo of Siena along with the municipality of Siena have come together to create a very interesting video mapping project. In collaboration with Filmmaster Events and Opera Gruppo Civita (both members of IEN, the Italian Entertainment Network), every summer evening starting July 24 you can head to the piazza next to the Duomo to experience “Divina Bellezza, Discovering Siena” as it is projected on the sides of the monuments in that square, bringing them and and story to life.

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Bargello Celebrates 150 years

June 19, 2015 by Lourdes Flores

On June 22, 1865, the Bargello National Museum became the first national museum in Italy after its unification. This Monday, June 22, 2015 will thus mark its 150th birthday for the Bargello and as a celebration of sorts, the “Montanina” bell in its bell tower will once again ring after 15 years of silence at 11am, 12pm, 1pm and 2pm.

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