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Gerrit van Honthorst at the Uffizi Gallery

February 27, 2015 by Lourdes Flores

Gerrit van Honthorst, “The Happy Fiddler”, 1623, on loan from Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum

The first exhibit of Florence’s rich program “Art for a Year” recently opened at the Uffizi Gallery and I had a chance to go see it on the first day. Gerrit van Honthorst, known as Gherardo delle Notti in Italy, was a Dutch Golden Age painter with the exhibit centered around his time in Italy in the early 17th century.

While I had seen his work at the Uffizi Gallery in the past (they are toward the end of the museum’s route), I have to admit that by the time I generally reach these rooms I am tired and ready to leave the museum. If you’re going to visit the Uffizi this will likely also happen to you, so I am asking you to plan ahead of time to leave yourself at least half an hour of “energy” to stop and go into the temporary exhibitions rooms and see the works by this artist, it is worth it!

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Ingress #Shonin in Florence

February 26, 2015 by Lourdes Flores


Were you in Florence last Saturday and noticed groups of people walking around dressed in either blue or green and wondered who they were? As we had anticipated and shared, Ingress by Niantic Labs @Google arrived in Florence in the form of an “anomoly” called Shonin. The two factions signed in and then headed on to Piazza Santa Croce for a group photo before the competition to “control Florence” begun.

We joined in the fun, playing for the Enlightened camp (the green team) and enjoyed walking around taking over and attacking portals. With over 2000 players from 17 countries, it was truly an international event in Florence.

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San Gimignano’s ‘900. Una Donazione

February 25, 2015 by Lourdes Flores

Renato Gattuso, Untitled (two corn husks), 1965,

Need a break from the medieval and Renaissance religious icons at churches and museums? Then head to San Gimignano, one of the most representative villages of Medieval architecture in Tuscany to discover contemporary works of art.

San Gimignano surprisingly has attracted many contemporary artists over the last half-century and now is home to the Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art “Raffaele De Garda”. The Gallery’s core of permanent works all come from top Italian artists that answered the city’s call for donations over the last 40 years. It also annually hosts temporary exhibitions dedicated to contemporary work, including photography and sculpture.

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The first match of Calcio Storico Fiorentino ever, the Battle of the Siege

February 16, 2015 by Lourdes Flores

Calcio Storico Fiorentino – Match of the Siege of Florence

The Calcio Storico Fiorentino is a throwback to past times. It is played in costume (sort of) and the game of soccer/rugby/wrestling is played with the rules from the 16th century in Florence. Lots of things go, and it can get quite violent. In Florence, the main matches are always played in June, you can read more about it here.

In honor of the first match ever played on the 17th of February in 1530, a true historical reenactment of this first match will take place tomorrow in Piazza Santa Croce, 485 years after.

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A Dream of Contemporary Art

January 13, 2015 by Lourdes Flores

We have highlighted some of this artist’s work before, sharing his “mash-up” creations on our Instagram and Facebook. His name is Andrea, known as “@pomo_fi” on Instagram, and you can get a chance to see some of his incredible unique works of contemporary art for a few more days at the Merlino Bottega d’Arte at Le Murate, and if you fall in love with one of his unique masterpieces, buy one to take home! The show ends January 17, but if you can’t make it, you can still see more of his work through his Instagram profile.  You can also read a recent interview between our own Elena from Florence with Flair and Andrea here.

I went to take a peek yesterday, here’s Andrea in front of one of my favorites (“Through the Stars”) and a few more I particularly liked.

Free Museums the First Sunday of Every Month

January 2, 2015 by Lourdes Flores

David at the Accademia Gallery

Welcome to 2015 and our first post of the year!! We start off reminding everyone of the possibility of enjoying free admittance at your favorite museums this year…

In case you missed the news back in July 2014, every first Sunday of the month all State-run museums in Italy are free! For everyone!! All over Italy, not just Tuscany.

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Visit Florence on Instagram: The Best Shots from 2014

December 29, 2014 by Cristina Romeo

In 2014, Visit Florence used Instagram to share Florence through the most beautiful pictures made each day in the city, sharing our team’s own photos as well as those by the many visitors who spend a few days in the city and by local insiders, citizens living Florence every day who still portray it in new and unusual ways.

Our project http://instagram.com/visit_florence counts over 11.000 followers, a wonderful success we celebrate and share with our readers who might not be on IG with the most beautiful images that have accompanied us this past year.

With these 12 shots of Florence, we virtually toast with all of you the end of 2014 and, of course, wish to inspire you in the new year ahead! Continue to follow us and tag your photos #visitflorence so that we can share them with everyone ;-).

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A Year of Dream Shots on Instagram for Discover Tuscany

December 29, 2014 by Cristina Romeo

To celebrate the end of 2014, we’re gathering some of the best pictures that our staff and our followers have shared on Instagram using the hashtag #discovertuscany.

In less than a year, our Discover Tuscany account on Instagram has published over 500 stunning images of Tuscany, showing the many beautiful places of our region, from the worldwide famous cities to the more hidden or unknown corners.

We’ve collected 12 shots that were published on http://instagram.com/discovertuscany/ which received the most “likes” and comments, images that have made all of us dream and remained in our hearts. We share them here to inspire you on your travels to Tuscany in 2015 – see you soon!

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Art for a Year: Firenze 2015, Un Anno ad Arte

December 23, 2014 by Lourdes Flores

View of a port, from the Cocarelli Codex. A port from northern Italy or Black sea at the end of the 14th c. Watercolor-painted scroll from the National Museum of the Bargello

A new year is almost here, a new year of more art than you knew existed in Florence to discover!
Florence is home to priceless treasures and masterpieces and you’re likely already including several in your itinerary.

In addition to a museum’s permanent collection, most of the major state museums in Florence organize major temporary exhibits throughout the year. You’ll thus get a chance to see a collection of works from across Italy and the world come together under a specific theme or for a single artist.

For 2015, there are 8 major exhibits planned across the State museums in Florence. This is not an extensive list of all of the other exhibits organized in the city and smaller museums but we’ll write about those later on. You can always check what is currently on in our articles on exhibitions in Tuscany and for Florence here.

Without further ado, here is a preview into the exhibitions that will be held in 2015 at the Uffizi Gallery, Accademia Gallery, Bargello, and Palazzo Pitti museums – the Palatine Gallery, the Gallery of Modern Art and Silver Museum.

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InContrada, A Chance to Go Inside the Contradas in Siena

November 25, 2014 by Lourdes Flores
Palio in Costume

The Palio in Historical Costumes - Photo credit Giulia Brogi

One of the first things that comes to mind when one thinks of Siena is the Palio.

The Palio horse race is run twice every year, on July 2nd and August 16th, around the Piazza del Campo.
All of Siena comes out to participate and celebrate on those days, hoping for a victory to show off and rub at their “enemy” contrada for the rest of the year. There are many tourists that come to see and experience the atmosphere in Siena on the days of the Palio, and visitors are welcome. But one of the most important things to remember about the Palio is that it is NOT a tourist event and that it is not a show put on for outsiders. It is an event around which Sienese build their entire life around, year in and year out. A Siena citizen is born into and baptized into a Contrada and they are members for life! There are rival Contradas as well as alliances between Contradas (something we will try to explain further in an upcoming article) and these influence your life – if you’re a citizen of Siena, of course!

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