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3 Good Reasons to be in Florence on this September 8th

August 29, 2012 by Cristina Romeo

Florence Dome

On September 8th in Italy we celebrate the Nativity of the Virgin Mary and if you are in or around Florence on that day, you certainly can’t miss these special events organized in the city.

The Florence Cathedral, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, will be regularly open and offers to visitors the incredible chance to visit the terrace of the Duomo at no cost. Here you can enjoy a very special panoramic view over the city and its surroundings. You’ll climb up at 32 meters high and can walk along the terrace around the base of the Cathedral’s cupola getting a 270° view of Florence.

On the feast day of the Virgin Mary, the magnificent and just restored Porta del Paradiso (Gates of Paradise) by Lorenzo Ghiberti will also be presented to the public. After 27 years of meticulous restoration, the door originally located on the east side of the Baptistery of Florence, will be at last displayed under a glass case in the Museum of Santa Maria del Fiore (better known as the Opera del Duomo Museum) and shown to all visitors.

Last but not least, in the evening in the Cathedral the great Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will perform a unique concert with sacred pieces, accompanied, among others, by the Chorus of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.
The concert is open to the public and free, but only with reservation and subject to availability. For information and reservations, you can call the 055.26524222 (we’ll try to be there, too!).

I remind you that, due to tradition, on the evening of September 7th the historic center of Florence is filled with colorful paper lanterns on the occasion of the Festival of Rificolona. If you’re planning to participate in (and I would recommend it!) or want to learn more about this event, read this article.

If you’re going to visit Florence soon, book your stay on we’ve selected for you the best accommodations in Florence and its surroundings.

Enjoy September in Florence!

Montecarlo’s Wine Festival Coming Up

August 28, 2012 by Chiara Ricci

September in Tuscany is harvest time, which means experiencing local parties, festivals, music, cultural and traditional exhibitions, all aimed to promote local habits and those villages where they take place…but mainly it’s wine time!

Obviously, it couldn’t be any different! If grape harvest is the subject of our interest, wine is nothing other than the fruity protagonist of this typical Tuscan digression, even if local food specialties that usually come with it don’t seem to be less important, going by their international success!!!

If I’d match the word wine with the name of Montecarlo, what immediately comes to mind?

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Ceramics and Passion in Siena

August 24, 2012 by Stefano
La ceramista Sonia Staccioli

Ceramist Sonia Staccioli at work in her workshop

We were taking a stroll near the Duomo of Siena on a warm evening this past July, trying to decide whether we had enough time to go visit the Opera del Duomo museum or rather to relax and enjoy an ice cream, when our attention was caught by a young ceramist painting a dish on the threshold of one of the many (so it seemed) ceramics shops in Siena.

We were about to take a picture of her and the beautiful ceramics when we saw the sign which said: “NO PHOTO (as I don’t eat with photos)”. So we just kept admiring as she continued to work in respectful silence and watched the design take shape under her short, decisive brush strokes.

We then also notice a second sign that I find funny and certainly want to take a picture of that says Made in China Siena, so I interrupt her to ask if I may take the photo, thus marking the occasion to start chatting.

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Uncovered Pavement in Siena’s Duomo

August 21, 2012 by Lourdes Flores

From August 18 through October 24, the extraordinary pavement within the Duomo of Siena will be completely uncovered, considered one of the masterpieces of Italian Gothic

If you’re visiting Siena, one of the the “must-see” places you need to visit is the cathedral, or Duomo, of Siena. Many arrive to Piazza del Duomo and admire the rich decorations on the facade and the colors of the marble used to create this splendor and don’t usually go inside…why?

Maybe because of lack of time or maybe because you have to pay to go in, but let us assure you, the time and entry fee to see the inside the Duomo is definitely worth it and we’ll tell you why:

The Duomo’s PAVEMENT and the Piccolomini Library!

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What to do on August 15?

August 9, 2012 by Lourdes Flores

For all those coming to Tuscany next week, you probably already know that August 15 is a national holiday. While many places will be closed (don’t worry, most restaurants will be open), there are still lots of options for what to do on that day… particularly if you are in a Tuscany city such as Florence, Siena, Arezzo or Pisa or even along the coast.

Aside from relaxing by the pool at your holiday farmhouse or villa or going to the beach, consider that many museums will be open! Which just gives you that much more choices about what to do on that day, particularly if you are in Florence or Siena (for the Palio the next day) or Pisa or Arezzo.

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Enjoy a special night at the Uffizi Gallery, Accademia and Bargello Museum

August 7, 2012 by Cristina Romeo

Would you like to spend a special evening in some of the most famous Italian museums?

If you’re in Florence this summer, you can take advantage of a special initiative called “3 Extraordinary Hours” and take a special night tour at the three best city museums: the Uffizi Gallery, the Accademia and the Bargello Museum!
On every Tuesday evening, these three museums are offering special openings to visitors for 3 hours beyond normal hours, from 7pm to 10pm.

The Uffizi Gallery will be open every Tuesday until September 25th until 10pm. The entrance ticket costs 11€ and includes admission to the exhibition “Golden Rays” .

At the Accademia Gallery, the special opening on Tuesday lasts until September 30th. Here you can also visit, in addition to the museum, the exhibition “Art Returns Art” and at 7pm and 8.30pm free guided tours to the museum are offered. Entry ticket costs 11€ (5.50€ reduced).
Special Notice! At the Accademia, you can enter for free on Thursday evenings, read more about that here >>

At the Bargello Museum the evenings are even more tempting!
Every Tuesday until October, the museum will be open until 10pm and here visitors can enjoy a very enjoyable aperitivo, as before dinner cocktails are known in Italy. You can enjoy visiting several of the rooms during the evening, the museum is closed and only open to the guests partaking of the event. Entry ticket costs 12€.
Reservation is recommended and can be made by calling the Florence Museums office at 055294883.
Read our post about the Aperitivo ad Arte at the Bargello>> for more info.

Enjoy art in Florence this Summer!

Visiting Tuscany in a Day

August 2, 2012 by joturnbull

It is hard to visit Tuscany in a day. You will not be able to see everything, but for those who are short on time, a day tour is one of the best ways to see the highlights of the Tuscan countryside. I took one that was recommended by my hostel, New Ostel in Florence, called myTour and their “Tuscany in a Day: Pisa, San Gimignano & Siena” tour. I also did their walking tour of Florence, which you can read about here.

We met at 8:00am outside Florence’s SMN train station where our tour guide picked us up. There were about 40 of us on the tour and we arrived back in Florence at 8:00pm so overall a 12 hour tour that seeks to show you the highlights of the region.

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Special Openings, Guided tour, Free Entry: Summer at the Academy Gallery!

July 27, 2012 by Sara Turini

The Accademia Gallery is famous all over the world for hosting some of the most important artworks by Michelangelo Buonarroti: the statue of David, the statues of Prisoners and the St.Matthew.

Within the gallery you also find many other works of art from the Renaissace, religious works in the Gothic style and the “Gipsoteca Bartolini”, a room which hosts sculptures in plaster dating back to the 19th-century and the new Department of Musical Instruments, an important collection of instruments that belonged to the Medici and the Lorraine families.

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Discovering the Uffizi Gallery!

July 26, 2012 by Sara Turini

Last week we visited one of the most beautiful museum in the world: the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

Since the museum hosts a very important quantity of artworks we decided to take a guide to deepen the history of the museum and to discover something new about Florence.

Actually we didn’t want to miss any of the main masterpieces within the museum! The Uffizi can easily become a labyrinth if you don’t know where to go and what to see. Of course a labyrinth in which one gladly get lost!

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Aperitivo ad Arte moves to the Bargello Museum

July 19, 2012 by Sara Turini

You might have heard of the splendid initiative called Aperitivo ad Arte this summer taking place at the Uffizi Gallery on Thursdays in which you can enjoy an exclusive aperitivo or drinks on the panoramic terrace of the Uffizi while visiting the new Blue Rooms dedicated to foreign artists within the museum.

The Uffizi and its aperitivo are about to go on holiday throughout August. Fortunately, the museum administration has found another suggestive location to open up for the month: the National Museum of Bargello!

For the month of August, September and October, the Bargello will also be offering the chance for cocktails within a special setting. Starting on the 1st of August and continuing every Tuesday throughout October 9, the initiative allows you to enjoy an evening out at the museum where you can both savor your drinks while getting the chance to visit the museum’s room dedicated to Michelangelo and to other Renaissance artists and the current exhibition, Fabulae Pictae Miti e storie nelle maioliche del Rinascimento when the museum is closed to normal visitors.

You can reserve a spot (recommended) by calling the following number: 055.294883

Buon Aperitivo ad Arte to all!