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The Treasure Rooms: the Marvels of Collectors in Florence’s Museums

October 11, 2011 by Lourdes Flores

From September 29, 2011 to April 15, 2012
Palazzo Medici Riccardi – Museo Stibbert – Museo Bardini – Museo Horne – Museo Salvatore Romano – Palazzo Davanzati – Fondazione Salvatore Romano – Museo Bandini – Museo Casa Rodolfo Siviero

Florence’s network of “Small Great Museums” has set a pretty spectacular offer for visitors to Florence over the next 6 months that will give visitors the chance to see a great deal of treasures off the beaten path for most visitors to Florence. Each museum has its special collection, many of them the personal collections of antiques collectors from the 19th century, the treasures they decided to keep instead of selling or auctioning around the world. These collections now are part of small, separate museums such as the Horne, Bardini and Stibbert – all named after the collectors themselves.

From now until April 15, the museums are showing off their collections with a special focus on the Florentine artistic craftsmanship and the golden era of when private antiques collectors in Florence were very active.

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Grapes and Wine, the Protagonists of September

September 22, 2011 by Cristina Romeo

Grapes and wine are the stars of many events planned these last few days of September in Tuscany.
The grape harvest is almost complete throughout the region, so it now the moment to celebrate the end of the harvest and taste the new, good wine from this harvest, but not only.

The Bacco Artigiano and the Carro Matto

In the village of Rufina, just 20km from Florence, the traditional Bacco Artigiano, an event dedicated to wine and local crafts, will be taking place from today Sept. 22 through Sunday the 25th. There will be music, wine tastings and local food products.

On Saturday 24 the “Carro Matto” (literally Crazy Cart) leaves from Rufina to reach Florence. At 3pm, accompanied by a historical procession, the cart will start from Piazza Duomo and arrive in Piazza della Signoria. Here, with a symbolic cerimony, the new wine will be presented to the government of Palazzo Vecchio.
The cart, pulled by 2 powerful oxen, carries an original pyramid built with over 1500 stacked flasks of wine.

Look at some nice pictures of the carro matto !

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Just a bit Easier (and Cheaper) to Visit Monuments in Piazza Duomo

September 1, 2011 by Lourdes Flores

The Opera del Duomo, the body that owns and manages the religious buildings in Piazza del Duomo, including the cathedral, the climb up the bell tower and the cupola, entrance into the Baptistery, the crypt under the cathedral and the beautiful Opera del Duomo Museum introduced a few weeks ago a various combination tickets to make it just a bit easier to visit these monuments.

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Monteriggioni, the Siege

August 29, 2011 by Lourdes Flores

We have lots of pictures to share with all of our readers – from Monteriggioni to Filetto to Montepulciano!

Here is the first set: the Monteriggioni Medieval festival that takes place over two long weekends in July. The festival is perfect for families since there is entertainment and games for children as well as chance to dress up as knights or ladies. Then there are jugglers, puppet shows, minstrels, music, small farm animals which can be petted and more!

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The Medieval Market of Filetto

August 8, 2011 by Stefano

Filetto Main Street

If you also find yourself in Lunigiana between the 11th and 15th of August, make
your way to the Medieval fair in Filetto!

The area of Lunigiana has so much to offer, as we had ourselves discovered a year ago when we
first started exploring this area staying a few days in the countryside near Aulla.

At that time we visited the small charming village of Filetto, easy to reach near Villafranca in
Lunigiana. We discovered only afterward that a medieval fair is held every year in the small
medieval center, the “first and largest in Lunigiana”… and anyone who has read our past posts,
we particularly love to attend these events.

Checking out the program on the official website we
are excited to see that there are many attractions and entertainment planned… so the fair looks
very promising!

In particular, everyday at 20.30 you can enjoy a special dinner with medieval dishes prepared for the festival. The dinner is a fixed menu at 38 euros per person, you have to reserve ahead by phone by calling either 320.020.8059 or 347.076.4935. The menu looks very interesting, definitely merits to be tried out!

We contacted the fair organizers to request a few more details and they’ve underlined the wish
to have all participants dressed in medieval clothes. We see that as an excellent sign of passion
toward the organization of the event. It is not strictly required, but we will try our best to fit in as well in our medieval clothes – we’ll let’ you know how it turns out!

Hope to see you there! :-)

Main Square in Filetto

Filetto in Lunigiana

Calici di Stelle Tuscany 2011

August 4, 2011 by Elena

Calici di Stelle Tuscany 2011

If you love wine and would like to pass a beautiful summer evening next week, remember that Wednesday, August 10, 2011 is generally known as the day of falling stars, which falls on the day of San Lorenzo. For this special night, many towns across Tuscany have dedicated a special night called “Calici di Stelle” to celebrate the region’s great wines!

Organized by the Wine Tourism Movement, Calici di Stelle offers many extraordinary events in many piazzas across Italy, from Sicily to Piedmont. This year Calici di Stelle is in fact dedicated to the anniversary of the 150 years anniversary of the Unification of Italy.

Tuscany has a record number of towns and villages participating in the manifestation, with over 30 municipalities organizing tastings of wine and other typical products, meetings, art exhibitions, shows, historical parades, concerts, and fireworks.

Amongst the many Tuscan cities participating in the event is Castellina in Chianti, Castiglione d’Orcia, Colle di Val d’Elsa, Gaiole in Chianti, Greve in Chianti, Montepulciano, San Gimignano, Siena, and Vinci, all renowned for their fine wine production.

Wine will be the absolute protagonist in one of the most suggestive and evocative nights of the year, when you will have the possibility to admire San Lorenzo’s falling stars, the “tears” of the saint according to the legend, in the good company of exquisite wine.

A magic summer night when all your dreams will come true!

The complete list of all the Tuscan and Italian cities participating in the event is available on the official website of the National Association “Città del Vino”.

Livorno and Effetto Venezia 2011

July 25, 2011 by Cristina Romeo

La terrazza Mascagni a Livorno

Livorno is preparing to live “Effetto Venezia“, a traditional big event organized in the characteristic city district named “Venice” and which comes this year to its 26th edition, completely inspired to France.

For ten days, from July 29 to August 7, 2011, will take place all kinds of events, from special guided tours, theater performances,concerts, exhibitions and street performances played in the Venice neighborhood, transformed for the occasion on this year in a large district of Paris.

Saturday, July 30 will be a “Notte Bianca” or “White Night” and main museums, churches and shops are open till late at night. At the Darsena Nuova in the port of Livorno at 1030pm you can also assist to the “Palio dell’ Antenna”, an exciting race of the four rowing boats representing the main city neighborhoods.

“Effetto Venezia” is with no doubt a wonderful opportunity to visit Livorno and appreciate one of his most characteristic districts!

The complete event program is available on the official website of the Effetto Venezia (only in Italian).

The Renaissance of Colle di Val d’Elsa

July 12, 2011 by Stefano

Cannon at the door of Colle Val d'Elsa Castle

The first edition of the Renaissance Fair at Colle Val d’Elsa! Our impressions

Anyone who has read our blog for a while probably has already understood we love to go to medieval festivals and that we often return to the ones held in Monteriggioni, Volterra and Roccatederighi in Tuscany. When we found out there would be a similar festival in Colle Val d’Elsa this year, right away we marked it on our calendars. This past Sunday, July 3, the entire Discover Tuscany made their way to Colle to go to “The Renaissance of Colle between 1479 and 1592”.

The dates the event’s official title refers to are important for Colle: the first marks the year Florence conceeded Colle citizenship in exchange for their fedelty against the Sienese enemy (1479) and the other was when Colle was proclaimed a diocese, marking it a city to all effects (1592).

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Renaissance Festival 2011 in Colle Val d ‘Elsa

June 28, 2011 by Cristina Romeo

The beautiful town of Colle Val d ‘Elsa situated between Florence and Siena is completing the final preparations to take you back in time this upcoming weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday July 2 and 3, 2011 the medieval village will host “The Renaissance of Colle – History, Festivals and Battles between 1479 and 1592”.

During the two days, starting at 5pm up until midnight all streets, squares, shops and public places in Colle Val d ‘Elsa will become the setting for the celebration of the Renaissance, one of the city’s most important historical periods.

It will be an unique opportunity to see Colle Val d’ Elsa come alive with characters in Renaissance dress, skillful jugglers, fabulous musicians, street performers and actors entertaining and engaging the public from later afternoon until midnight.

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Historical Parade in Florence

June 27, 2011 by Lourdes Flores

We’d like to share our shots from the parade in historical costume that made its way through Florence’s historical center on Friday in celebration of St. John the Baptist, Florence’s patron saint. The parade made its way to Piazza Santa Croce, accompanying the players of the Blue team from Santa Croce and the White team from San Frediano that were disputing the final match. The Blue team won – here are some newspaper shots of the game and of the victory celebrations.

The parade is a bright and colorful affair, with soldiers, guards, nobles and ladies in their fine clothes, drummers, cannons, flag throwers and much more! We love the colors, hope you enjoy the pictures if you weren’t able to see them in person yet!

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