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Category Archives: Florence

Italy Shopping! Four Things to Buy on Your Vacation in Florence

Excited for your upcoming trip to Italy? Finally getting that Italian vacation you’ve been dreaming of? If that’s the case, then there’s a very high probability that one of your stops will be in the picturesque city of Florence. Considered as one of the most beautiful cities in the Tuscan region and the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, this city has much to offer. We’re not just talking about art, culture, and history, but it also has a plethora options when it comes to shopping! You heard it right! Florence has tons of boutiques, stores, open-air markets, and artisan shops, so the opportunities for a good shopping spree are endless. However, no self-respecting shopping champion would leave such a special place like Florence without picking up a fitting souvenir, right? While we associate Murano with glassware, and Burano with lace, Florence, too, has its quintessential goods. So if it really [...]

Maggio Musicale Fiorentino: A Springtime Extravaganza

Florence, the birthplace of the European Renaissance, thrived between the 14th and 17th centuries as a center of trade, finance, architecture, and the arts. At the height of its power and influence, it became one of the wealthiest cities of all time, and its rulers built some of the grandest churches, palaces, and museums in Europe. Today, these Florentine wonders are still being enjoyed by millions of people who come to Florence to pay homage to the culture and heritage of a city that has left an enduring legacy for the world. But aside from renowned paintings, sculptures, and monuments, Florence today also serves host to a festival which aims to preserve and nurture opera music, an inheritance from the Renaissance era and one of Florence’s greatest contribution to the arts. First staged in 1933 through the patronage of conductor Vittorio Gui, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino festival is known for [...]

Beyond Art: Other Attractions to Experience in Florence

Whenever travel to Italy is mentioned, it is almost inevitable to include the city of Florence in the discussion. Declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982, and ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Florence is the capital of the lush region of Tuscany and is considered as the birthplace of the Renaissance. It was also a center of trade during medieval times, and to this day, it remains a major economic center. As one can expect from a city that is steeped in culture and history, almost every street and every corner boasts a historical building or a work of art (because even the door knockers here are sights to behold). However, other than your usual tour of galleries and museums, there are still a myriad other interesting places to see and things to do in beautiful Firenze. Here is [...]

Enchanted by Florence’s Museums

Ever since I watched the lush and romantic film version of E. M Forster ‘s classic tale of Italian adventure and young love, I, like the chaperoned heroine Lucy Honeychurch “longed to wake up in Florence and fling wide the windows and lean out into the sunshine”. I have been lucky enough to visit the splendid city of Florence and succumb to its so aptly described “pernicious charms” a number of times over the years since I first was enamoured with those beautiful words. Young ladies are no longer chaperoned by maiden aunts and Baedekers have been discarded for smart phone apps and Kindle e-guides, but Florence is a city that still enchants the modern traveler with age-old charms. My favorite place to start is in the Loggia in the stately Piazza della Signoria. The sculptures that sit underneath curved arches cover centuries of artistic history from the Roman to [...]

Shopping in Florence

Florence, the cradle of the renaissance, the city of art and architecture, the Medici’s and Da Vinci, is also a great place to shop.  Tour Italy Now shares some of our favorite boutiques and artisan workshops to go shopping in Florence. Lorenzo Villoresi Lorenzo Villoresi is an Italian perfumer who creates some of the most sought after scents in the world.  Working out of his family’s 16th century palazzo across the river river Arno from the center of Florence Inspired by travels to the middle east  and his Tuscan home, the ready to wear fragrances, cradles and home items have notes of black pepper and coriander as well as wild lavender and fennel.  For something truly unique and extravagant you can have a scent created just for you. There is a small Academy of the Art of Perfume in the palazzo; The world’s first interactive Atelier, dedicated to Essences and [...]

Off the beaten path in Florence

Once you see the main sights, like Brunelleschi’s dome and the statue of David at the Accademia, you might be ready for some lesser known museums and sites that are off the beaten path in Florence. Here we share some of our favorite places you may not have heard of in this cradle of the Renaissance.  Museo Stefano Bardini This museum, located across the Arno river is a peaceful haven away from lines and crowds. A recent renovation had brought the museum back to the way it’s original founder had intended. Stefano Bardini was known as one of the great art dealers of the 19th century.  He donated the palazzo and his collection to the city of Florence. The artwork is organized by size and subject on incredibly beautiful blue walls. The Museo Casa Rodolfo Siviero,  Love international intrigue and incredible art?  This is the museum for you. The Museo Casa Rodolfo [...]

Free Sparkling Water in Florence, Seriously Refreshing

If anyone knows that Italians are hospitable, it’s Tour Italy Now readers. Here’s a news story that demonstrates anew the bottomless hospitality of Italians: The City of Florence has opened its newest sparkling water fountain, the ninth in the city. This one is located at the Piazza della Signoria, one of Florence’s most popular tourist spots. So yes… Free Sparkling Water in Florence! The move is not just about hospitality, it’s about the environment. Italy is trying to come up with ways to reduce the number of water bottles being used by tourists and citizens every year because they choose bottled water over tap water. To encourage everyone to drink non-bottled water, Venice has introduced sparkling water fountains. There is free sparkling water in Cinque Terre National Park and more sparkling water fountains are coming to Florence. Italy is also trying to spruce up its plain old non-sparkling water fountains, [...]

Jersey Shore in Italy

WARNING: Jersey Shore in Italy! This post may make you not want to go on a tour of Italy this spring! It’s happening, the Jersey Shore is headed to Florence to start taping Season Four next week. They were slated to go this week, but delayed their arrival so as not to get caught up in the hoopla of Berlusconi’s visit later this week. Whatever you think of the cast of Jersey Shore — and yes we absolutely know several cast members are not Italian — on some levels it is a win-win for Italy, and especially Florence, for the obvious reason that millions of Americans are going to be seeing the beauty of Italy when they tune it to see what sort of mischief these kids from Jersey get into during their Italy tour. I am also wondering if this MTV tour of Italy isn’t going to be an [...]

Two Art Exhibits in Florence | Palazzo Strozzi

Tour Italy Now wanted to highlight two exhibits underway at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. Picasso, Miro and Dali: Angry Young Men runs through July 17. Yes, these are three Spaniards, but their influence touched Italy, too. A show of emerging Italy artists is also underway. Here’s how the Tuscany’s Regional Tourism website described the two exhibits: Palazzo Strozzi starts spring this year with a veritable crowd-puller focusing on the earlier of renowned artists like Picasso, Mirò, and Dalì. The show, Picasso, Mirò, and Dalì: Angry Young Men, (Picasso, Mirò, Dalì. Giovani e arrabbiati) runs from March 12 to July 17, 2011 at Palazzo Strozzi. It features over 60 works from these young Spanish artists’ early years. Always in Palazzo Strozzi, the Strozzina Centre of Contemporary Culture will host Emerging Talents , a show highlighting the works of 16 young Italian artists, aged 25 to 35, including Alessandro Ceresoli, Valentino Diego, [...]