“Siena is the embodiment of a medieval city,” writes Unesco, which inscribed it into its World Heritage list in 1995. “The whole city of Siena, built around the Piazza del Campo, was devised as a work of art that blends into the surrounding landscape.” The buildings were designed to fit into the overall planned urban fabric and also to form a whole...

L’emergenza Covid stravolge un sistema culturale e economico che vale più di 700 milioni: è quello alimentato dalle Università americane che hanno sede e programmi di studio in Italia, più di 160 istituti basati soprattutto a Roma (una sessantina) e Firenze (una cinquantina) che accolgono ogni anno circa 35mila studenti stranieri e danno lavoro a 1...

Together with my partner, I run a small guest house in our own home, in a popular tourist town in the Chianti area of Tuscany. I've been here for 30 years. This year we're in dire straits as we have no income for the foreseeable future. The area of Chianti, and its three main towns in particular, live and die by tourism. Due to the coronavirus outb...

Regarded as one of the world's most dangerous sports, Calcio Storico Fiorentino, or 'historic Florentine football," dates back to 16th century Florence. A combination of football and rugby, it was a pastime for wealthy aristocrats and even popes, such as Clement Ⅶ, Leo Ⅺ, and Urban Ⅴ Ⅲ who participated in this violent game. A bit of history Althoug...

Are we the ones really preserving art through conservation or is it a mutual relationship where art preserves us as well? The concept of displaying art in hospitals may seem to be a modern idea, but humanists truthfully believed that art and beauty possessed intrinsic healing powers for both the body and the soul. A great example is the oval depict...

A borgo with a fascinating history, Capalbio, which over the years has achieved a national reputation derived from the excellent attendance of politicians, intellectuals, journalists and personalities of the showbiz, who have elected as “buen ritiro” the historic center and the countryside of Capalbio, by virtue of the beauty and quiet privacy of t...

For centuries, porcelain was an exotic material imported from China, as its composition and manufacturing techniques remained unknown in Europe. From 1585 to 1610, Francesco I de' Medici financed the production of a pseudo-porcelain in Florence, intended for court use and for diplomatic gifts. The true formula, however, remained unknown until 1710,...

The Palio of Siena, often described as the toughest horse race in the world, will not be run this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, the mayor of the Tuscan city said on Thursday. The bareback race, where riders and horses have to charge three times around Siena’s main, mediaeval square, is held twice a year, on July 2 and Aug. 16. It was la...

Tuscan cuisine is loved and  appreciated all over the world. Cooking and baking in Tuscany is still a huge part of everyday life, I’m pleased to report. Having lived in a block of 12 apartments, I know that food, preparation and cooking continues to be a priority, in particular with the older generation. I’ve seen women return early in the morning...

 The director of Italy's Uffizi Galleries is predicting a boom in visitors after coronavirus restrictions end, judging by what happened after previous emergencies closed down one of the world’s most popular museums. Museum director Eike Schmidt recalled that after the Arno River flooded Florence in 1966 and shuttered the museum, the number of visit...