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Day of Celebration at Florence’s Botanical Gardens May 21st

May 20, 2015 by Lourdes Flores

Tomorrow, May 21st, is a full day of celebration at the Giardino dei Semplici, Florence’s wonderful Botanical Gardens. The official reopening of the gardens will be celebrated from 10am with interesting guided tours, demonstrations of the various plants, seeds and more growing within the garden, music and even bubbles to delight children and adults alike!

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On our way to Elba!

May 20, 2015 by Lourdes Flores

We’re preparing our departure for Elba! We were there this past September, and we’ve been invited back for 3 full days of fun and learning as part of a blog tour sponsored by, a new portal dedicated to every aspect about visiting the island. The organized tour is to share with us both new and trusted local services that offer services to visitors, from restaurants to hotels and hiking trails and local shopping.

Joining us on this trip is Georgette from, Sophie from, Valentina from, Ilaria from and Alessandro M. from The tour is being organized by the lovely ladies from the team – you can check out more info on who’s participating here:

We will be based in Marina di Campo from May 21st through the 24th and a full program is planned. We want you to come “along” with us on this adventure so follow us on Instagram here and on Twitter here and Facebook here. We hope to learn lots of invaluable tips and suggestions to then write about and share with you upon our return to make your summer on Elba in Tuscany fantastic!

Stay tuned and visit #Elba with us and #ElbaMyLove on #MyElbaTour15!

The World Burger Tour is coming to Florence!

May 15, 2015 by Lourdes Flores

If you’re getting hungry and want a break from Tuscan cuisine, then search out Hard Rock Cafe‘s “street truck” next week for free tastings of the diner’s classics as part of the World Burger Tour!

From the Hard Rock Burger, Hard Rock Cheese Burger and Hard Rock Bacon Cheese Burger to the Legendary Burger and Tupelo and Fries… all will be prepared on the spot as street food, giving you a chance to enjoy freshly-made, street food sized burgers accompanied by a Pepsi or Nastro Azzurro (sponsors of the tour) and classic rock music, as is the Hard Rock Cafe style. You’ll also get the chance to participate in social contests to win great prizes, including one-of-a-kind Hard Rock Cafe gadgets.

The World Burger Tour by Hard Rock Cafe International arrives in Florence with an “Ape” Piaggio Classic Rock, the classic Italian 3-wheeled mini truck dressed up as a food truck, and to locations across town from May 18th through the 24th.

Arriving in Florence after a successful stop in Rome, the Ape Piaggio Classic Rock is crossing Italy offering everyone a taste of classic Hard Rock dishes. The international journey this May is making its way across Europe and Italy. After Munich and Berlin, the truck arrived in Rome and will be arriving to Florence next before moving on to Venice and then on to Bruxelles, Copenhagen, Edinburg, Madrid and Prague.

Where can you find the Ape Piaggio Classic in Florence? Here are the planned stops, each with different programs planned:

  • Monday, May 18 from 5pm to 7pm at the “Santa Maria Novella” train station
  • Tuesday, May 19 from 12:30 to 2:30pm at the Istituto Professionale “Bernardo Buontalenti” on Via dei Bruni, 6
  • Wednesday, May 20 from 12:30 at the “I Gigli” shopping center, entrance Corte Lunga – until supplies run out
  • Thursday, May 21 from 12:30 at the “I Gigli” shopping center, entrance Corte Lunga – until supplies run out
  • Friday, May 22 from 12.30 to 2.30pm at the Istituto professionale “Bernardo Buontalenti” on Via San Bartolo a Cintoia 19/A and from 8.30 to 11.00pm at the Harley Davidson Speed Shop on Via Pratese 99
  • Saturday, May 23 from 5.30 to 7:30pm at the Athenaeum Musicale Fiorentino on via Attavante 5.
  • Sunday, May 24 from 11.30am to 1.30pm at the “Santa Maria Novella” train station

Follow updates on the World Burger Tour in Florence on Facebook: and if you love the Hard Rock Cafe in Florence, make sure to follow their Facebook page for details on live music concerts, special Happy Hour deals and upcoming events!


Blue Night this Saturday in Florence

May 8, 2015 by Lourdes Flores

The European Union was born on May 9th, 1950. In it’s 6th year, Florence celebrates this date with a special night of cultural entertainment, exhibitions, performances and more. This year it is a particularly interesting event as it isn’t just one night but runs over 5 days!

There are over 50 shows on the program, among interactive laboratories, art circus exhibitions, live cooking shows, theatrical performances, cinema, photography, live concerts and more. The events will also go beyond the walls of Le Murate in various locations across the city to give more space to people as the program is within the 3rd edition of the Festival of Europe.

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Momenting the Memento: 2015 IFFTI Conference in Florence

May 7, 2015 by Lourdes Flores

Ou Ning – Moleskine Notebook

Coming up in Florence this May 2015 is a very interesting, 5 day international conference hosted by Polimoda, the international fashion marketing and design school based here in Florence. While it is a fashion school and an international foundation of fashion tech institutes behind the conference, the 5 day project is spreading across all of Florence and being hosted in Palazzo Vecchio, within the Santa Croce Opera, the National Central Library, Palazzo Strozzi and Odeon Cinehall. The international project seeks to discuss the cultural value of the fashion world and the future of fashion education in an interdisciplinary dialog between contemporary art and culture.

Here’s a pretty awesome video presenting the conference, the first time it is being hosted in Italy in the over 20 years of the foundation:
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Siena Cathedral Pavement Uncovered for EXPO 2015

April 29, 2015 by Lourdes Flores

The wonderful pavement of the Siena cathedral is for the most part visible, with short rails protecting it from the passage of feet (recent protection as you can tell it is worn down in many parts). The major scenes, however, are right in front of the altar and to the sides and these are covered for most of the year, protected from the pews sitting atop. You get the chance to see these parts only for a few months every year, but this year, Italy is hosting the World Expo in Milan!

As we wrote about recently, it isn’t just Milan that is preparing for the start of EXPO 2015 – all of Italy is. The Expo starts in 2 days and will run until the end of October. The theme for Expo is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” which makes it about sustainable food practices. As the home country of thousands of quality food products, including wine, extra virgin olive oil, cheeses, cold cuts and much more, every region of Italy will be present at Expo as well as hosting numerous events connected to the Expo’s theme.

In Siena, the cathedral has decided to participate by “revealing” its pavement for the entire month of July, in addition to the normal months when it will be uncovered this year (which is from August 18 – October 27). The main protagonist in this case will be the scene of “Moses who releases water from the rock”, created by Domenico Beccafumi and which sits right in front of the main altar in the cathedral. Water is a symbol of the source of life and thus connects to the Expo’s theme quite perfectly.

Will you be in Italy this year during Expo and planning to attend the world exhibition? Tuscany has many events planned in connection to Expo, we will keep highlighting them through the next several months.

Halls 2-7 Reopen at the Uffizi

April 27, 2015 by Lourdes Flores

I had the chance to go see the new rooms 2-7 which reopened at the Uffizi Gallery last week and I have to say the museum has done a wonderful job. First, we have to recognize that the decision to close several rooms at a time is not easy, it does cause many mumblings and grumblings from people who arrive and find rooms they were interested in visiting closed. Where possible, main works of art are moved and remain temporarily visible during renovation work but not all “fit” into those rooms. The alternative is closing the entire museum to finish renovations quicker but for Italy and Florence, this is really not even a thinkable possibility!

View of the recently reopened Hall 2 with the three “Majesties” by Giotto, Cimabue and Duccio di Boninsegna

During the last 9 months, the three “majesties” in Hall 2 by Giotto, Cimabue and Duccio da Buoninsegna and the “Incoronation of the Virgin” by Lorenzo di Monaco in Hall 6 were not moved at all. An entire protective structure with a special air system was built around each of the four works of art which helped monitor their state while works were carried out all around them. New lighting and air conditioning systems were installed, with sun roofs all getting new unbreakable panes and modern technology to better control both natural and artificial lighting. Many of the works of art benefit from being seen in natural light, I really appreciated seeing again many works with the new lighting, as two main works with a green background which makes them stand out more.

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The White Night on April 30th will be Black

April 22, 2015 by Lourdes Flores

White Night in Florence 2015

While the official calendar has yet to be released, we do know that this year’s edition of “white night“, a cultural marathon of special events running from the evening of April 30th and running through the night on to the 1st of May, will have the “Black Night” as theme with MUSIC at its heart.

Early events in the evening should include several activities for families with children, events taking place in unused city buildings and in spaces that are not well-known in order for people to “discover” them. For now, we do know that these museums will have special openings for the evening and through May 1st so that you can start preparing your evening’s plan of attack (these two with fre entrance):
Bargello – from 8pm to midnight
Medici Chapels – from 8pm to midnight

On Friday, May 1st, you can visit:
the Boboli Gardens, Silver Museum and Costume Gallery at the Pitti Palace and the Bardini Garden – from 8:15am to 6:30pm (paid entrance)
Bargello – from 8:15am to 1:50pm (paid entrance)
Palazzo Davanzati – from 8:15am to 1:50pm (paid entrance)
Orsanmichele Church – from 10am to 5pm (free)
Andrea del Sarto Last Supper – from 8:15am to 1:50pm (free)
The Medici Villas of La Petraia (8:15am-6:30pm), the garden at the villa in Castello (8:15am-6:30pm), the villa at Poggio a Caiano (8:15am-6:30pm) and the villa in Cerreto Guidi (9am-6pm) (free).

Noticeably absent from the list of special openings is the Uffizi and Accademia museums, whose staff were not available to work on May 1st, which we should remember is Labor Day. If we have the chance to spend the night and day outside and enjoying it, it is due to the hard work of those who will work on that day to make sure we can be entertained and fed.

The official site for White Night in Florence should be updated soon, we will keep you updated!

UPDATE 28/04/15: The program for the night is ONLINE – check it out here:

Special Openings on Easter Sunday and Monday in Florence

April 1, 2015 by Lourdes Flores

Easter is this Sunday and the city of Florence expects to welcome thousands of visitors, particularly as many are drawn to come witness the Scoppio del Carro, the Explosion of the Cart, in Piazza del Duomo.

If you’re in town this weekend, know ahead of time it will be a busy weekend and expects crowds, particularly on Easter Sunday when all State and city museums offer free entrance (not because it is Easter but because it is the first Sunday of the month, a new initiative this year by the Italian Ministry of Culture and Tourism to draw more people to explore Italy’s cultural treasures). This means that no advance pre-booking is available for State museums and everyone will have to be patient in any lines that form.

There is lots to do over the long weekend: here are some of ideas for Easter in Florence (if you’re elsewhere in the region, here are some for Easter in Tuscany). If you’re interested in visiting museums on Easter Sunday, ALL museums that are generally open on Sundays WILL BE OPEN. So just check here the museums you want to visit and check their opening times.

Exceptionally for the holiday weekend, there are a few that are usually closed on Mondays which will be open this Monday, and a few others which will be closed on Easter. Check the full list below!

Special Openings on Easter Monday, April, 6th:
Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery – from 8.15am to 6:50pm
Boboli Gardens, Silver Museum, Costume Gallery at the Pitti Palace – from 8.15am to 6:30pm
San Marco Museum – from 8.15am to 4.50pm
Bargello – from 8.15 to 4.50pm

If you wish to pre-book tickets for these museums, you can do so online at

These will also be open on Easter Monday:
Brancacci Chapel (1-4.15pm)
Bigallo Museum (9.30am-12.30pm)

These museums are usually open on Mondays and will thus be also open on April 6th (with free entrance, as they normally are):
Orsanmichele Museum (10am to 5pm)
The Medici Villas – La Petraia (8.15am-6.30pm), Poggio a Caiano (8.15am-6.30pm) and Cerreto Guidi (9am-6pm).
The Last Suppers – Ognissanti (9am-12pm) and Sant’Apollonia (8.15am-1.50pm)
Chiostro dello Scalzo (8.15am-1.50pm).

These churches/attractions will be closed on Easter, April 5th:
Baptistery and Giotto’s bell tower
Basilica of Santa Croce
Basilica of San Lorenzo
Bardini Museum
San Marco museum
Last Supper  at Sant’ Apollonia
Chiostro dello Scalzo
Casa Buonarroti
Galileo Science Museum

Finally, these main museums will be closed on April 6th:
Medici Chapels
Palazzo Davanzati
Pitti – Porcelain museum
Opificio delle Pietre Dure
Stibbert Museum
Horne Museum

Special events at Florence’s museums for EXPO Milan 2015

March 31, 2015 by Cristina Romeo


Italy is preparing to host EXPO Milan 2015, the World Expo which will be held in Milan from May 1st through October 31st, 2015 and is, without a doubt, the most important national event of the year.
The EXPO 2015 is dedicated to the issues of food and nutrition and will transform Milan into a grand showcase for six months where over 140 countries from around the world will have the opportunity to present their food and gastronomic excellences and discuss the issues food and environmental sustainability.

Florence, like many other Italian cities, will also participate in EXPO Milan 2015 by sending several artworks from its museums to be displayed in Milan, Monza and Verona and, at the same time, hold a series of local events that will take place in the city throughout the period of the exposition including a 3D dome and a temporary mall with the aim of attracting an additional million visitors to the city during Expo 2015.

Anyone who has the opportunity to visit Florence between May and October 2015 will have the double chance to participate in the EXPO events: attend the ones held in the city as well as go to the Universal Exhibition in Milan, organized in the north-west part of the city (Milan and Florence are well connected by train, in just an hour and 40 minutes).

The Expo 2015 events in Florence include the I_Dome (opening April 30 in the courtyard of Palazzo Vecchio), the Houses of Excellence (May 1 to October 31), Culinary Suppers (May 28, June 11+26, July 16, September 10+24, October 1+15), and the Bread Festival (June 20 to September 30, in and around Orsanmichele).

The state museums of Florence, on the occasion of EXPO 2015, are planning special exhibitions and projects related to the themes of the Exposition. Here are the main ones:
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