Category Archives: Florence

When Pages Come to Life: 5 Popular Works of Literature Set in Italy

As a global center of culture and the arts, it is no surprise that many works of literature have been set in Italy. Since we’ve previously talked about Roman landmarks captured on film, it’s now time to look at Italy as featured in famous works of literature. Rome from Angels and Demons Dan Brown’s popular mystery-thriller, Angels and Demons, is extensively set in the eternal city of Rome. And there’s no reason that it wouldn’t be set there. As one of the oldest cities in the world, Rome’s iconic structures have stood for more than two thousand years.Despite being constantly inhabited, most of the ruins from Ancient Rome have stayed in pristine condition. On top of that, the city is home to around 900 churches, making it an ideal place for a pilgrimage.The most famous of these churches are the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, the Basilica of Saint Paul […]

7 Masterpieces of Italian Art You Have to See Before You Die

With so many works of art found across Italy, even an art aficionado can get overwhelmed. But even if you’re just an average Joe with a general interest in art, you’ll get to appreciate the wealth of beauty Italian art has to offer. Here are 7 masterpieces that you should not miss when you start your journey across the country: Arch of Constantine (AD 315) The Forum, Rome Erected to commemorate the victory of Constantine I at the Battle of Milvian Bridge, the Arch of Constantine is the last existing triumphal arch in Rome. It is considered the most impressive surviving civic monument from Rome, as the design of many monuments and buildings worldwide are influenced by its style. These include everything from the façade of the Union Station in Washington DC to the Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang. The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli (c. 1486) Uffizi Gallery, […]

Italy Travel: Why a Dolce Vita Tour is the Best Value for Your Money

Italy Travel: Why a Dolce Vita Tour is the Best Value for Your Money Italy is an incredibly diverse place, which is probably why a lot of people keep coming back to it. There’s always something new to see every time! It is one of Europe’s most visited countries, attracting almost 48 million people in 2013. If you are a new traveler coming in from America to discover this wonderful country, we highly recommend Tour Italy Now’s Dolce Vita Tour. Starting at only $1254, the tour takes visitors on an 8-day tour of some of the most well-known cities and towns in the country. These include Rome, Assisi, Siena, Florence, Pisa (optional) Bologna, Padova, Venice, and Montepulciano. Here’s a short introduction of the each of the places you will be visiting when you take this tour: Rome – Rome is Italy’s capital and the home of more than 2.6 million […]

Looking for the Best Cities in Italy for Nightlife

Best Cities in Italy for Nightlife     Nightlife in Italy varies according to season. Outdoor entertainment is popular from the May to September months, when the weather is hot enough to allow for it, then close down when autumn arrives and remain so for the duration of the winter season. Many nightclubs operate two versions to accommodate the changing seasons as well, with one catering to the summer and the other for the winter. Tourists fill up the clubs in the beach towns in the summer months. Rimini and Riccione on the eastern coast particularly come to mind. Across the country in Tuscany, Forte de’Marmi also has an excellent reputation for nighttime fun and activity. Any city and town that has a close proximity to the sea comes alive in the summer. Milan There are tons of nightclubs in Milan that can be confidently counted as the best in […]

Four Italian Film Festivals in Autumn You Shouldn’t Miss

Four Italian Film Festivals in Autumn You Shouldn’t Miss Italy during the autumn months is a wonderful place to be. The rolling landscapes will be taking on the golden colors of fall, and the temperatures are dropping to a comfortable range compared to the heat of the summer months. Not to mention, food will also be in abundance as the harvest season arrives, and there will be a large number of food festivals happening within the country at this time. And what’s one of the best things to do while enjoying delicious food and snacks? Watch a movie, of course. Not a lot of people may be aware of the fact that autumn is also the season for theater and cinema in Italy, as the climate encourages people to seek entertainment indoors instead. Hence, a lot of cultural events also abound during these months, and some of the most prominent […]

Bandierai degli Uffizi of Florence: Raising the Flags High

About the Bandierai degli Uffizi If you have ever been to Italy and managed to attend a major event such as the Palio horse races in Siena, or perhaps the colorful Historic Football (or Calcio Storico) in Florence, then you may have had the pleasure of also witnessing the costumed processions that precede the main events. The procession is normally composed of locals in period costumes, marching down the main road while beating drums, waving heraldic flags, and performing colorful stunts. These men are known as the Bandierai, or “flag-wavers”, and what they do is considered an art form that requires years of training to perfect. While there are many such groups throughout the country of Italy, the biggest and one of the oldest of these groups is the Bandierai degli Uffizi of Florence who officially represent their home city, and hold performances during important celebrations, giving people the chance […]

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 […]