Soccer is the greatest passion of the Italians. In every small town throughout the peninsula there is a soccer team. Soccer is played in the courtyards of buildings, in those of churches, and still today, in small towns, even on the street. Every child in Italy is born with a ball between his feet and a team to cheer for. Soccer is the national spo...

Renaissance Humanism lastingly stamped Florentine culture, heard in the balance and rationality of its music. Composers discussed include Luca Marenzio, who was patronized by the Medici. What Makes It Italian? Discovering Regional Characteristics in Music is a music listening and discussion group that meets online on the Zoom platform and is open t...

Fall season travel in post-lockdown Europe has both benefits and disadvantages. One benefit is fewer crowds. A downside is the ubiquitous need to wear masks indoors and on public transport, especially during still warm weather. On September 7th, Italy’s Ministry of Health issued a month-long prolongation of earlier travel restrictions related to Co...

In 1482, Leonardo da Vinci left his hometown of Florence for a new opportunity. He had managed to gain employment at the court of Milan, where Ludovico Sforza “Il Moro” reigned as the de facto duke. There, Leonardo painted one of his most remarkable portraits, a likeness of a teenaged girl named Cecilia Gallerani, who was Ludovico’s favorite mistre...

While museums in America may be forced to ditch TikTok as the US government plans to block downloads of the app starting on Sunday, data from Italy’s Uffizi Galleries suggests the Chinese video sharing platform is a powerful tool for attracting younger visitors. Since moving onto multiple social media channels, including TikTok, during the lockdown...

When you walk in Florence you are always fascinated by this city, because it was the cradle of famous people, Italian literature and art. Florence is full of museums, galleries and places that will leave you breathless for their history and their beauty. Towards the middle of the 16th century, there was a need to display the works of art in a priva...

Sometimes, the most rewarding surprises are found in a city’s ‘minor’ sights. Florence has plenty of world-famous sights everybody flocks to, and we understand why, but we also like to make the case for the lesser-known spots, which often reveal a lot about a place in original ways. That’s the case for these five little-known or little-visited muse...

I was a bookish and kind of nerdy 15-year-old in suburban Pennsylvania when a cataclysmic flood made a muddy mess of Florence in 1966. The stories and photos in the National Geographic and Life magazines that arrived in my parents’ mailbox transported me there in my adolescent imagination. When I viewed a black-and-white documentary on PBS, directe...

For Americans, this summer has been filled with a strong dose of travel FOMO. While we can understand the remaining need for travel restrictions, travel lovers’ Instagram feeds are still filled with Europeans jetsetting across the continent to near-empty destinations. Places like the French Riviera and Italian coast haven’t been this crowd free in...

‘Florence is a very noir city,” a film-maker once told me 10 years ago, on learning that I wrote thrillers set there. (The sixth in my Florentine detective series, The Viper, is out now.) We were looking down on lovely Piazza Santa Croce, scene of a thousand years of bloody jousts and tournaments and the staggeringly violent Florentine football, Ca...