HALLOWEEN IN FLORENCE: WHAT TO SEE, EAT, AND DO.

Founded by the Romans in 59 BCE, it is no surprise that witches and ghosts have made their mark during Florence’s long history. Several years ago, Halloween was virtually unheard of- much less celebrated- in Italy. Fortunately, this is no longer the case.    WHAT TO SEE:  Hotel / Pensione Burchianti: This 17th century building contains beautiful frescoes …

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 …

In the Heart of Santo Spirito

Photo by Scott MacLeod Liddle What Greenwich Village is for New York and Soho is for London, Santo Spirito is for Florence. As part of the district of Oltrarno, this neighborhood is the most typical and genuine in the city center. Less frequented by tourists, Santo Spirito is a seemingly tranquil area whose narrow side roads …

Discovering Piazza della Signoria

Photo by Matthew Hutchinson (Flickr user) Walking into Piazza della Signoria, where does one look first? David, Perseus, Neptune and Hercules all vie for attention. Practically an open-air sculpture museum, the piazza boasts a colorful and violent history. Savonarola was burnt to death in 1498 and a mob once ate a man alive in the …

Appreciating the Slow Pace of Italy

The cafes are packed with people enjoying hot cappuccinos and fresh croissants as they discuss the day ahead. The people of Florence are always relaxed, in no rush to go anywhere. Initially this pace may seem frustrating. How is it possible to get to work, to class, to dinner, to the library on time if …