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Tag Archives: Florence

Five Food Festivals in Tuscany You Shouldn’t Miss

Five Food Festivals in Tuscany You Shouldn’t Miss Italian cuisine is well-known and well-loved the entire world over, and true to form, the Italians love celebrating with food, and celebrating their food! After all, who doesn’t love a good taste meal or snack? So listen up, foodies! If you’re planning to drop by the region of Tuscany sometime this August, make sure to mark calendars for the five food festivals in Tuscany that any foodie shouldn’t miss! What: Fish & Chips Festival Where: Barga When: July 26 to August 16 If you’re up for a bit of British food while in Tuscany, head over to the medieval town of Barga where the local Scottish population holds their annual summer food festival! Known locally as Sagra del Pesce e Patate (literally “Fish and Potatoes Festival”) the event features the iconic British snack, served with some tomato salad, and of course, a [...]

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 [...]

The Art Enthusiast’s Guide to Touring Italy

It’s pretty common knowledge that Italy is one of the world’s top travel destinations from an art appreciation perspective. This entire country is virtually an open air art museum: ancient ruins, natural beauty, stunning architecture and icons of Christendom pop up everywhere you look. If you’re looking to soak up history, culture and art all in one place, look no further than this amazing Southern European nation. Italy is never lacking in artistic attractions. In fact, the Vatican museums alone have enough treasures to literally keep you occupied for months if you take the time to look at the pieces for just a minute each. If you add in all the historical sites, churches, galleries and buildings in other Italian cities, you can stay in the country for years and still not see everything its artists have to offer. Of course, the key to getting a fulfilling art appreciation experience [...]

The Traveler’s Guide to Touring Italy by Train

Whenever the name Italy is mentioned, most people would automatically think of Rome and the sovereign Vatican City within it. To a certain degree, it can’t be helped. The Eternal City and the Holy See are some of the world’s greatest travel destinations. However, Italy has a lot of other great locales that you shouldn’t miss when you’re there for a Vacation. Places like Florence, Venice, Tuscany and Milan all have their unique charms, culture, food and art that are distinct from the rest of Italy.

Festa di San Giovanni Battista in Florence

On the 24th of June the city  celebrates it’s patron saint, San Giovanni Battista, who english speakers know as St. John the Baptist, with the Festa di San Giovanni Battista in Florence.  This saint has long been connected with the city of Florence and has been celebrated since the 13th century. The entire day is filled with festivities, beginning with an early morning mass in the Baptistery of the main cathedral – Duomo, The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. Next is a procession that begins at the Palazzo Vecchio, made up of the cities political leaders and representatives from each of the cities historic districts and members of the Society of Saint John the Baptist, carrying silk flags, to The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore.   When the procession reaches the Duomo, votive offerings are made to the holy relic of Saint John the Baptist which is brought through [...]

How to Tour Italy on a Budget

Even with the Euro crisis, the European currency is strong against the U.S. Dollar.  Here are some of Tour Italy Now’s best tips on how to tour Italy on a budget. Eating and drinking Picnics are a great way to practice some Italian, eat like the locals and relax in a pretty, green space. Find a local market, or alimentari – grocery store and stock up on cold meats and cheese sliced to order and fresh bread and local fruits and head to a park for your foraged feast. Pizza and gelato are both delicious and inexpensive.  A pizza is rarely more than 10 euros a person and even the smallest scoop of gelato is a pretty generous serving size.  During the day look for pizza a taglia, pizza by the slice or tramazzini filled triangle shaped sandwiches. At restaurants, look for the Menu de Giorno.  This is often a [...]

Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

  The Maggio Musicale Fiorentino is an annual opera and arts festival held in Florence at two exciting venues; The historic Teatro Communale and the brand new Teatro dell’Opera di Firenze.  This year the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino festival will take place from the 2nd of May to the 25th of June. The first Maggio Musicale Fiorentino was held in 1933 and was created by conductor Vittorio Gui.   Gui wished to revive little known and neglected operas and present them to public in a visually dramatic way. The very first performance was of Guiseppe Verdi’s now iconic opera, Nabucco.  The first festival was a huge success and with little interruption has now become an highly anticipated annual event. It has expanded to now include not just opera but classical musical performances and ballet. Always attracting some of the most well known names and personalities the 2013 festival is no different.  [...]