Photographs at Forte Belvedere

The pop visionary David La Chapelle opened his photographic exhibit last week at the Forte Belvedere and the evening was unfortunately marked by a tragic event: Veronica Locatelli, 37 years old, suffered a fatal 8 meter fall from one of the bastions of the fortress. A tragic incident for which we wish to express condolences to the Locatelli family. The fortress was closed for a few days after the accident.

If you will be in Florence between now and October 16, you can visit the extraordinary exhibit of over 100 photographs that present and critique a consumerist, individualist America. A student of Andy Warhol, La Chapelle worked for magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair and the New York Times Magazine. He has also been sought after for provocative portraits by celebrities, including Madonna, Naomi Campbell, David Bowie and Paris Hilton.

The exhibit illustrates La Chapelle’s decision to turn his work into art. You can read more at The entrance fee to the exhibit is 8 euros.

About Lourdes Flores

An American living in Florence for over 10 years, Lourdes continues to explore and discover new places in Tuscany with the eyes of a tourist but with the experience of living in Italy. She shares her experiences on this blog and website, particularly offering lots of travel planning help on the Forum!

  • Armando

    We are returning to Florence in Jan of 2018 and would like to spend a few days in the Chianti area. Its seems that many hotels & spas etc. are not open at this time of year?, and also getting around would require a car? Do you know what the weather is really like at this time of year?

  • Weather can be a bit chilly, you do require a jacket/coat and to dress in layers. Hat, scarf, gloves are also a nice plus to have.
    Many hotels and spas are open year round – but some take advantage and take some time off in this period since it is the low season. You will most definitely find some closed, but not all – just take a look and contact them ahead of time. Those that are closed now will likely be so next year too. But if you find them open now, it’s likely they’ll be open next year too in the same period.

  • Jane Afford

    Hi, My friend and I are interested in exploring Tuscany but all the hotels advertise romantic holidays in double rooms. Can you recommend any providing twin rooms not based on guests being a couple?

  • Most hotels have double rooms with two twin beds — and either leave them separate or join them depending on request.
    So, if in doubt, contact the hotel you like and ask them whether they can have two twin beds for the room!

  • Esteban Gambaro

    hi , i am leaving to milan june 3rd , for a week, i am going with wife and 2 kids 6 and 10 yo, like to be doing agriturismo and visit some towns in tuscany area, renting a car in milan for a week , please advise where i can get a nice agriturismo kid friendly
    thank you

  • From LA, you need to fly into a big European city and then take smaller plane to either Florence or to Pisa. Not many fly directly from US to Pisa but search and see if you find something that works. You really do need a car to get to Monteriggioni and to see the smaller towns in Tuscany.
    I suggest you use Google Maps to see the route between any town you choose as your base and the lake area. The easiest will be if you rent a car and drive.

  • Kathy

    I’ve never driven in Europe & was afraid that was the best way to see Monteriggioni. Thank you for your information!

  • Kathy

    How much time should we spend in Monteriggioni? Is one full day enough or should we stay longer?

  • Yes, the small towns in the countryside are much easier to visit with your own car.

  • Actually, I think all you need is about 2-3 hours max, depending on whether you plan to eat a lunch or dinner there to make it longer. Monteriggioni is TINY with like 3 streets. Climbing the wall and going a bit around is fun, visiting the church and walking around… but after that, you can move on. Given limited time, I recommend Monteriggioni as a stop going to or from Siena. Siena definitely merits an entire full day there!

  • Elizabeth Low

    Hi Lourdes, I am visiting Tuscany with my mom, but we both can’t drive. Would this make it difficult to see the countryside? We especially want to see Cinque Terre too!

  • Hi ELizabeth,
    Yes, some parts of countryside will be difficult to see or explore without a car but that isn’t a problem, you could always join in a small/medium size group tour that will drive you around into Chianti or hills so you get a chance to see the countryside too. Take a look at the many tours here:
    You can most definitely do Cinque Terre from Tuscany by train easily, no need to drive there. From Florence or Pisa, you catch a train there although you could also do it with a group tour, if you want to go with others but drawback is you have schedule to follow. Otherwise,the train is better for having more time and exploring on your own schedule.

  • lisa

    Hi Lourdes,
    I am celebrating my 50th this year and am coming to Italy wit three friends. From the 14th of September to the 17th we will be staying in Rome. On the 17th we will be heading to Tuscany until we leave on the 22nd. Do you have any recommendations for where to ground ourselves in Tuscany to optimize our stay there? I have read and heard so many different opinions, but you seem like a pro so I prefer to ask you. We will have a car and would like to rent a villa (with a pool, preferably) and travel daily from there. We would also like to take a cooking class while we are there if you have any suggestions. Thank you in advance. Any info will be greatly appreciated to make this trip as special as possible. Lisa

  • Matt I

    Hi! We are planning to visit Italy in early August with our 6 month old baby. We are flying into Milan but planning to take a train right down to Florence to explore the Tuscany region. Any recommended itineraries for 5 days in the Tuscany region that are somewhat baby friendly as well? Thank you!

  • Do you want to use Florence as your base for the 5 days? You can use bus and train to move around and in addition to Florence (dedicate 2 full days to the town) visit Pisa, Siena and Arezzo on the other days. I wouldn’t suggest trying to add anything else, August can be warm and with a small baby you’ll want to remain flexible and slow to adjust to baby’s needs. Strollers are easy to take on regional trains so you should do okay. Get to Siena with bus, that way you’ll also see the Chianti countryside along the way and get right into town (train station is further from the sights).

  • Are you looking for a villa to have for yourselves or one shared with others? A B&B set up or more like an apartment? Each with private room or shared? The options are many, that’s why I ask. Take a look at these, which have a variety of different setups for you and your friends:

  • I do think a car would make it better for you to get around and to Monteriggioni, there isn’t a good bus connection there and back that will let you move easily from there. It would be more practical to you fly into Florence since most tours start from near the main SMN train station. There are a lot of vespa tours, take a look:
    If you have a car, it will be easier to get back to Florence to get the high speed trains to Milan.

  • Kathy

    Grazie mille, Lourdes. We have rented a car to drive to Monteriggioni. Also, signed up for a Tuscany Vespa tour. Looking forward to visiting beautiful Florence once again!

  • Wonderful! 🙂 Enjoy Tuscany!

  • Rachael Pinter

    Hi Lourdes, I am travelling with my two sons (25 and 23) and we are driving. I’d like to find a place where we can easily walk to the centre (20 mins or so) and that has parking (and not hard to drive to) and which we can also easily drive out of for days in the country! Any suggestions?

  • Do you mean center of Florence? There are many places outside of the center that do have parking, easy to get to that don’t require getting near the ZTL – take a look here: