Florence

San Gimignano: Gelato and Towers in the Tuscan Countryside

San Gimignano: Gelato and Towers in the Tuscan Countryside

♥ San Gimignano is an old, walled Italian hill town in Tuscany surrounded by numerous vineyards and cypresses. ♣ ♣ Centuries ago, during a period of conflict and intense rivalry, San Gimignano’s prominent families tried to outdo each other by building houses of ever increasing […]

Fiesole

Fiesole

♣ ♣ On the hills just above Florence lies the quiet comune of Fiesole. It is famous for its ruins, Roman and Etruscan; for Fra Angelico, who took his vows there as a friar of the Dominican Order; for Monte Ceceri, where Leonardo da Vinci […]

The Last Medici

The Last Medici

♥ ♥ The 18th of February marks the anniversary of the death of Anna Maria Luisa de Medici, the last of Florence’s ultra powerful Medici dynasty. She left the family’s entire art collection to Florence under the condition that none of it be ever taken out […]

Art at the Uffizi

Art at the Uffizi

♥ ♥ I’ll be happily plebeian till the day I die but I learned to appreciate art (and museums) more once I realized it was okay to approach them with less than total reverence. Before, there were paintings or sculptures that I just couldn’t bring […]

The Architectural Wonder That Started as a Group Project Gone Wrong

The Architectural Wonder That Started as a Group Project Gone Wrong

As group projects do.  ♥  ♥  As you probably know, the dome of the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore — perhaps the most famous landmark in Florence — was built in the early 1400’s by Filippo Brunelleschi. What you may not know is that, […]

Where to Stay in Florence: Hostel Gallo d’Oro

Where to Stay in Florence: Hostel Gallo d’Oro

Clean, colorful, close enough to the center, buffet breakfast plus free snacks practically 24/7, all for €22 a day. You can do much worse than Hostel Gallo d’Oro. One of my favorite things about my hostel: there's always some food in the kitchen. The room/bed rate comes […]

The Country Between Rome and Florence

The Country Between Rome and Florence

Scenes from the train ride to my final destination last February: . . . . . Details: Departure station: Roma Termini Arrival station: Firenze S. M. Novella Train: Frecciarossa 9420 Seat: 1A (choose this seat if you don’t want anyone sitting beside you) Cost: 24.90 € […]

San Miniato al Monte

San Miniato al Monte

♥ ♥ The Abbazia di San Miniato al Monte stands on top of a hill overlooking Florence, just a short walk above the Piazzale Michelangelo. Both are popular points from which to catch panoramic views of the city, but while the latter is sometimes described […]