Leonardo Museum Marks a Decade

The Machines of Leonardo da Vinci Museum is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Inaugurated by Gabriele Niccolai in 2005, the exhibit showcases Niccolai’s collection of interactive models built from Leonardo’s da Vinci’s designs. With 52 of its 300-plus handmade models on display, the Niccolai Collection is the largest private collection of Leonardo’s machines in …

Unmasking Carnevale

Unmasking Carnevale The history of a mischievous tradition Children wear masks and carry streamers, streets are lined with confetti and fried sweets are sold everywhere. In Italy, all this means that the time for Carnevale has arrived. The world Carnevale derives from carnem and levare, which in Latin mean the ‘removal of meat’, a strange-sounding …

Pico della Mirandola

Count Giovanni Pico della Mirandola lent his name to a Florentine saying: “You have the mind of Pico della Mirandola”. This means “you are very bright”. We would probably say someone was as clever as Einstein. Pico was born, in body, on the February 24, 1463 in Mirandola, Province of Modena, the youngest of the …

Origins of the Vespa

Photo by rromer Vespa scooters are an integral part of Italian society and have been a strong cultural icon since they exploded onto the market almost 60 years ago. The Piaggio Company in Pontedera, near Pisa, manufactured the first Vespa scooter in 1946 to address the need for a low cost transportation solution in post-war Italy, …

History of San Gimignano

According to legend, San Gimignano was founded by two young patrician brothers who escaped from Rome and built the town’s first two castles in 63 B.C.: the Castle of Mucchio and the Castle of Silvia would later become the groundwork of San Gimignano. The town grew principally in the first three centuries of the Millennium, …

Volterra Wall “Possibly from Roman Amphitheater”

An 80-meter-long elliptical-shaped wall discovered in the Tuscan city of Volterra could have originally been part of a Roman amphitheater, Tuscany Governor Enrico Rossi said last month together with Volterra Mayor Marco Buselli and Tuscany’s Archaeological Heritage Superintendent Andrea Pessina. They also said that the discovery, which occurred during the excavations near the city’s Diana’s …

Not to be missed

  The reopening of the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo – 29 October This museum was closed for several months for restoration purposes, the museum’s reopening is a long-awaited event. The numbers alone are impressive – 750 works of art, 25 rooms over three floors, with a total of 6,000 square meters. This space is used …

Medici tapestries

The Medici tapestries return ‘home’ after 133 years. The tapestries depict the stories of Joseph and were completed by the greatest artists of the Renaissance. Designed and commissioned for the Hall of the 13th century Palazzo Vecchio to Cosimo I de Medici, they were exhibited for the last time together during the unification of Italy. …

Uffizi, Accademia, and Bargello Museums Open Saturday Evenings

Uffizi, Accademia, and Bargello Museums Open Saturday Evenings Until Dec. 19 by Marine Le Canne   Florence’s three most important museums, the Uffizi, Accademia, and Bargello, will be opening their doors every Saturday 7 p.m. until 11 p.m.evening until Dec. 19. While the Galleria degli Uffizi and the Galleria dell’Accademia will simply be prolonging their …