Florence In Ecstasy

Lee Foust The founding principle of every moral system I can think of is the sacredness of life. To love oth- ers as we love ourselves and to hold all life on Earth inviolable is the bedrock of both our secular ethics and religious moralities. Unfortu- nately, the biological conditions of existence on this planet …

A Florentine St. Patrick’s Day

An Irish festivity that Florence is preparing to celebrate. It is St. Patrick’s Day, a very special occa- sion to connect locals with the in- creasing foreign community, prev- alently English speaking, living in or just visiting the city. But do Florentines, and generally Italians, really celebrate this festivity in the proper way? Well, the …

The Dark Side of Venice

Lee Foust Even the most casual tourist senses, beneath the romantic lapping of the waves against the bridges and landings along its canals, that there’s something death- ly about Venice. Is it because most mythologies locate the land of the dead across a body of water? Or maybe because Venice’s narrow, ill-lit passages are so …

Three Florentine Love Stories

Thomas Ricciotti 1) One of the most scandalous and debated illicit love affairs that oc- curred in Florence was that be- tween the Grand Duke Francesco I de’ Medici and Bianca Cappello during the sixteenth century. Let’s see what happens when a rich, powerful, married man falls for a poor, beautiful girl married to an- …

Learning Love from Dante

  Thomas Ricciotti Dante was just 9-years-old when he first glimpsed Beatrice. The historic fact, crucial to Dante’s personal and artistic life, happened at a May Day party at Beatrice’s father’s house. Dante fell in love instantly, al- though on that occasion he did not speak to Beatrice. “From that timeforward, love fully governed my …

The Politics of Exclusion in Early Renaissance Florence

Gabriela Dragnea Horvath Fabrizio Ricciardelli belongs to a new generation of Italian historians whose expertise in medieval Latin and Italian is doubled by the knowledge of English and whose archive research is often presented in international conferences. 

His recent book, The Politics of Exclusion in Early Renaissance Florence, published by the Belgian Brepols in the …

Space Club Founder Dies

Carlo Caldini, the architect who founded the historic Florentine Space Club, died last month. He was 76 years old. Space has a history that spans over 40 years, beginning in February 1969, in the midst of the electrifying hippy ‘underground’ music, when Caldini, together with Mario Bolognesi and Fabrizio Fiumi, had the idea to create …