Three Desperate Loves

Florentine history as an archive for passion and betrayal   Thomas Ricciotti   1) One of the most scandalous and debated illicit love affair that occurred in Florence was that between 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 …

Lucca

by Marine Le Canne Located about an hour to the west of Florence, Lucca is a town filled with Tuscan charm and perfect for a day trip. Lucca is at the bottom of the Apuan Alps, so there is much diversity in the terrain surrounding the city. Those who visit Lucca will find that its …

Space Presents Caramello, the Wednesday of Italian and International Students

Just in time for a new batch of study-abroad students, Space is hosting Caramello, the “sweet university night” — as the organizers define it — of every Wednesday for Italian, European and American students. Caramello presents themed nights and, often, also fashion shows. Entry before 12:30 a.m. is only one euro. The ground floor, which …

Spring Flowers and Social Change

As you stroll the streets of Florence this Saturday, March 8, you will no doubt notice the presence of fluffy yellow mimosa flowers everywhere – pinned to lapels, carried in bouquets and decorating table-tops. The mimosa flower has become the symbolic gift to offer to Italian women on this day, International Women’s Day, known to …

Easter Fires

Not 1000 years but almost. Precisely, 919. Yes, because the Explosion of the Cart, the folk tradition of Florence when on Easter Sunday a cart packed full of fireworks is lit providing a 20-minute pyrotechnical spectacle that symbolizes the distribution to the whole city of the benedict fire, has its origins in the First Crusade, …

In Memory of ‘The’ Florentine Woman

The Medici government had lasted more than 300 years when it finished with an act of extraordinary importance: the testament that Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici, better known as the Electress Palatine, signed in 1743. Anna Maria Luisa De’ Medici is without any doubt the most important woman in the history of Florence. She had …

MURDER IN THE DUOMO:

April 26, 1478: Try to picture yourself as a Florentine attending Easter Mass on a bright Sunday morning. The cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is packed with worshipers. People bow their heads in respect as the priest raises the wine-filled chalice towards heaven for the holy act of transubstantiation. In that moment, Giuliano de’ …

THE LUSO-FLORENTINE CONNECTION

The humanistic movement that swept across Europe during the 15th century manifested itself brilliantly in Florence thanks to progressive, wealthy patrons like the Medici. Not surprisingly, the “Renaissance City” became the epicenter of art and culture, thus capturing the attention of European rulers. As a Luso-American enamored of Florence, the Luso-Florentine connection is of particular …