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A New Free Itinerary at Palazzo Medici Riccardi

Friday, August 12th, 2016

Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence has just inaugurated a new itinerary which winds its way through the fragrant orange trees found within its walls. It is a only short path but it will allow everyone free access to admire Michelozzo’s courtyard (also known as the Courtyard of the Columns) and the gardens in the palace.


The courtyard is the heart of Palazzo Medici Riccardi and was constructed in the 1400’s by Michelozzo of Bartolomeo Michelozzi.


It is a very special space and its walls host many unique pieces including the statue of Orpheus who charms Cerberus by Baccio Bandinelli as well as numerous busts, inscriptions and other ancient pieces from the archaeological collection of the Riccardi family. The west wall displays copies of casts for the sculptures that once adorned the ancient facade of the Cathedral and whose originals are preserved in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo.


The gardens of Palazzo Medici Riccardi were created in the 1400’s as a special refuge as well as a space dedicated to celebrations and parties. In fact, it is here, in this hidden corner, that Lorenzo de’ Medici and Clarice Orsini held their wedding in 1469, and then in 1539, there was the wedding reception for the of Cosimo I and Eleonora di Toledo.


Summer at Florence’s Museums: Longer Openings with Special Events

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Performances at the Uffizi on Tuesdays this summer, part of “Uffizi Live”

This summer in Florence, when the temps are quite warm during the day, you can dedicate a part of your evening to culture and art! The Uffizi, Accademia, Bargello and Medici Chapels all are offering extended opening times on different days of the week to offer a chance to visit these popular museums outside of their normal opening times, allowing you to also spread out your day’s activities into later in the day.


The Uffizi, every Tuesday evening until September 27th, will stay open until 10pm. “Uffizi Live“, the cultural festival taking place on these Tuesdays, offers visitors the chance to enjoy the works on exhibit accompanied with other forms of art, from music to theater to dance and other artistic performances. You can see more on the Uffizi Live calendar for August here.

A Michelangelo Week: July 14-21

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016


A Michelangeleque Week” is starting tomorrow, July 14 through July 21, which coincides with the anniversary of his funeral in San Lorenzo on the 14th of July 1564.

The Settimana Michelangiolesca is an annual, multidisciplinary cultural festival, now in its 3rd edition, that is centered around the life and work of Michelangelo Buonarroti. Painter, sculptor, architect and poet. All of his work also reflects the theology, politics and ethics of his time. He was an intellectual, Christian artist who was deeply involved in the political setting of the Florence of the Medici up until 1534, when he left the city to return only after his death. His remains were honored in San Lorenzo, before being buried in Santa Croce.

Through the experience of today’s artists, poets, architects, philosophers and art historians, Michelangelo’s influence and power through the centuries will shine, hopefully making all of us continue to experience new emotions and interpretations of the artist’s genius.


Uffizi Live: Tuesday Evenings at the Museum

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

Company Blu inaugurated the season on the last Tuesday in May with a contemporary dance performance entitled “4 Steps 4 Angel” by Charlotte Zerbey in the Niobe room.

Up until September 27th, the Uffizi Gallery has organized longer openings hours every Tuesday and is holding a Festival of the Performing Arts on these Tuesdays under the name of “Uffizi Live“.

The summer festival is a mix of artistic events that include theater, dance and musical shows and concerts within the Uffizi’s rooms between 7pm and 10pm on these Tuesdays. Visitors will thus have an extra incentive for visiting the museum on these days, having a chance to enjoy the pictorial and sculptural artworks of the museum along with other forms of art. The shows range from traditional performances to more contemporary and experimental shows.

The live performances are included with your normal museum ticket to the Uffizi and should transform a simple visit to the Uffizi into an extra special visit! Check out the program for July below, we’ve included photos from the various shows this past June to give you an idea of what you will find! 🙂


A McDonald’s Right Next to the Duomo?

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016


This week the media and public have learned that the City of Florence has been in talks with the international fast-food chain McDonald’s for a new branch opening right in Piazza Duomo, on the northern side of the cathedral. An uproar has risen on social media, while the city’s mayor, Dario Nardella, has spoken publicly against the opening, throwing his own commissioner into confusion.

Giovanni Bettarini, commissioner for productive activities in the city council, has outlined that the project he has been working on is quite unique, ensuring that the fast-food chain change its usual mode of business and used local suppliers for its offerings. For example, the project outlined use of Tuscan meat for its burgers and other local products (including use of dairy products by Tuscan-based Mukki) and that the business respected all regulations imposed on Florence’s historical center given its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  While talks were already in an advanced stage, now everything is back in the air. To open a new branch under the shade of Brunelleschi’s dome, the international company had already expressed its willingness to design a unique restaurant, not based on its fast-food model but as a sit-down restaurant with wait staff and service at the table, no cash registers with large menus with its burger behind and above them and to redesign a special look for its interior, one that would have included a children’s library hosting cultural events.

For now, the idea of a McDonald’s in Piazza Duomo has the public in an uproar, particularly on social media. What do you think, should we wait and see the entire project to decide whether to give McDonald’s a chance at offering something truly unique for the city of Florence or should we oppose a fast-food chain, particularly the one that represents consumerism at its most extreme, right in Piazza Duomo next to the cathedral, symbol of Florence?

(As quick reminder, there are already 2 McDonald’s nearby in less than 5 minutes walking distance from the Duomo in the historical center, one on Via Cavour heading toward Piazza San Marco and another outside the Santa Maria Novella train station.)

Are you curious about the Grand Opening of the Museum degli Innocenti this month?

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016


Only a few days left before the inauguration of the new Musem Degli Innocenti in Piazza Santissima Annunziata and some information is already leaking out about the exhibition that will officially open on the 23rd of June (to the public the day after).

The new Museum will be arranged on three levels, with more than 1400 mq and there will be 1655 mq dedicated to temporary events and educative activities. Inside there will also be a bookshop specializing in children and a cafeteria.

Eating Your Way Around the World

Saturday, May 28th, 2016


Get ready, I am going to basically photo-bomb you with images of delicious burgers! Because this is the World Burger Tour we are talking about, so what else could I photograph? Drinks to go with them, of course!

I’m a long time resident of Florence and American. So yes, I love a good burger. And I mean a good, high-quality type of burger with meat I know comes from real cows, not some processed thing who-knows-what’s-inside type of burger. For me, the Hard Rock Cafe is where I head to when I get a craving and don’t feel like making it myself. If you’re in Florence for a short while, you might not get this craving but if you want to eat something different from pasta, you might consider heading here for a short break.

The World Burger Tour… what is it? The Hard Rock Cafes around the world all have the Legendary Burger and each one of them has their chefs create their own “Local” Legendary burger inspired by the location they are in. This means that Florence Local has pecorino cheese and salumi inside. On the World Burger Tour, these local burgers go on tour to other cafes. For a limited time, each cafe is offering a chance to taste burgers from across the globe without the need to travel.


Women Artists in Florence: Spotlight on Adriana Pincherle

Monday, May 16th, 2016

Adriana Pincherle, Portrait of Elsa Morante, 1968

If you’ve been to Florence before and wondered where all of the artwork made by WOMEN over the last few centuries is at, you’re not the first one. We are hard pressed to name any well-known female artist from the Renaissance beyond Artemisia Gentileschi (this is one of her most well-known works housed at the Uffizi) because, women were painting, but most of their work remained within the confines of their household. The work of the Advancing Women Artists Foundation (AWAF) has helped find them and little by little given them the attention they deserve. I invite you to go to their website to learn more, as their work is very interesting but today’s post is dedicated to two women, Adriana Pincherle and Eloisa Pacini, who are at the center of a temporary exhibit in Florence right now.


Florence is ready for the First Night of Summer with many Free events

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016


This Saturday, April 30th, Florence will stay up late (but not too late) for the “First Night of Summer” (called the “White Night” until last year), which kicks off the summer-long program “Estate Fiorentina 2016” (Florentine Summer 2016) which will be six months of concerts, shows and events of various kinds taking place across the city.

The “First Night of Summer” will be dedicated to culture and will not be just an opportunity to just be merry around town, as underlined by Florence mayor, Dario Nardella. The first night is an opportunity to take part in quality events offering literature, art and entertainment. All the events will end by 2am and the sale of alcohol is prohibited beyond the time normally allowed.


Museums in Florence: Openings between April 25th and May 2nd

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Jan Fabre – Man Measuring Clouds – Piazza della Signoria

We have two long holiday weekends coming up and you might be wondering what will be open or closed in Florence.
Most restaurants and shops do remain open, seeing as they are the perfect time when lots of people travel and sight-see it wouldn’t make sense to do otherwise. But sometimes, places of culture such as museums are another matter for which you have to plan.

April 25th and May 1st

Monday, April 25th is Liberation Day for Italy. It isn’t celebrated with grand fanfare but it is a national holiday. Expect banks, public offices and schools to be closed. Most museums maintain their normal hours for April 25th, depending on the day of the week it falls on.

May 1st is International Labor Day and, as such, it is a holiday for all workers. Of course, not everyone can really take the day off, essential services have to continue and eating is considered quite essential. You should be able to find places to eat: but if you’re really looking forward to eating at any one particular place, to call ahead and make reservations. Lots of people will be out and about and unless you book or get there early, you might arrive at a place and find no space available.