Tip: Validate your ticket!

This morning I was going by bus to Fiesole (number 7 from piazza San Marco) when I noticed a small group of tourists arguing with the driver. They got a fine because they have done one of the most common mistakes that tourists usually do in Italy: not to validate their tickets when get on buses or trains.

With ordinary train tickets (on fast trains like le frecce or italo is not required) you have to validate them before boarding. Look for a green and white validation machine in the station to stamp your ticket. The ticket is good for six hours after validating. If you can’t find the machine or the machine isn’t working jump on the train (you do not want to miss it!) and look for the conductor, asking him to validate your ticket. TIP: If you can’t find the conductor you can write the name of your boarding station (i.e. Santa Maria Novella, Florence) and the time. Now your ticket can’t be use twice, so if the conductor will come to punched your tickets you will explain that you miss the validation machine (because it was late or because the machine wasn’t working) but you validate the ticket yourself, this can prevent you from getting a fine!

Next time we will speak about different kind of Florence public bus tickets!

Have a nice journey!


Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino. Diverging Paths of Mannerism in Florence

pontormo_rosso fiorentino

Palazzo Strozzi will be hosting from 8 March to 20 July 2014 a major exhibition entitled Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino. Diverging Paths of Mannerism, devoted to the work of Pontormo and of Rosso Fiorentino, the two painters who were without question the most original and unconventional adepts of the new way of interpreting art in that season of the Italian Cinquecento which Giorgio Vasari called the ‘modern manner’.

Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino trained under Andrea del Sarto while maintaining a strongly independent approach and enormous freedom of expression. Pontormo, always a favourite with the Medici, was a painter open to stylistic variety and to a renewal of the traditional approach to composition. Rosso Fiorentino, on the other hand, was more tightly bound to tradition, yet at the same time he was fully capable of flights of originality and innovation, influenced also by Cabalistic literature and esoteric works.

Mirroring the precepts underlying the Bronzino exhibition, this exhibition opted for a broad and multifaceted overview of the two great painters’ masterpieces, according priority to the formal splendour and lofty poetry of Pontormo and of Rosso Fiorentino so that the exhibition appeals in its clarity not only to the specialist but also to a wider audience thanks to themed sections set out in chronological order.
A unique and unrepeatable event bringing together for the very first time a selection of masterpieces by the two artists in Italian and foreign collections, many of them specially restored for the occasion.

The exhibition Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino. Diverging Paths of Mannerism in Palazzo Strozzi celebrates two of Tuscany’s most outstanding and most original artists.

For further information contact us!

“Etruscan Enchantment” in Cortona. An exhibition not to be missed!


The MAEC (Museum of the Etruscan  Accademy and the city of Cortona) will narrate in the exhibit Etruscan SeductionFrom the Secrets of Holkman Hall to the Wonders of the British Museum (March 22th > July 31st, 2014) the secular contribution of the Anglo-Saxon people to the rediscovering of the Etruscan population, thanks to their strong attraction for Tuscany.

At the beginning, the exhibit deals with the Grand Tour of Thomas Cooke and how he was seduced by the magnificent Etruscan findings, that he came into contact with during his journey, exhibited in galleries and private collections of the time, especially in Florence and Rome.

At the end of his educational experience in Italy, he decided to finance, in 1726, the publication of the manuscript De Etruria Regali by Dempster, who a century earlier had been the first to narrate the history of the Etruscan people, enriching the text with updates and tables and creating the first “handbook of Etruscology” ante litteram, that held the summa of the knowledge of Etruscan Archeology at the time.

The origin of the exhibit has been the recent finding of the preparatory drawings and copper plates used for the printing of the De Etruria Regali, that has induced the management of the MAEC to get in touch with Holkham Hall, the noble mansion built by Thomas Coke, where still now the original manuscript by Dempster is preserved and with the British Museum, that houses one of the most complete collections of Etruscan findings in the world.

In the exhibit, set up inside MAEC’s exhibition areas, in Palazzo Casali, 50 pieces, consisting of drawings and paintings, lent by Holkham Hall, 60 extraordinary Etruscan findings conceded for the first time by the British Museum and coming from Cortona, Arezzo e Falterona, Prato, Chiusi, Perugia, Orvieto, Bolsena and Vulci; and finally 40 Etruscan art works from Italian Istitutes and Museums, among which the Haranguer from the National Archeological Museum of Florence and the Putto Graziani from the Vatican Museums will be exhibited.

Contact us for further information and enjoy the Etruscan!

The Carnival of Foiano in Arezzo. Tuscany, obviously!

The Carnival of Foiano della Chiana is a carnival event yearly held in the tuscan city of Foiano della Chiana, in Tuscany nearby the beautiful city of Arezzo. It is one of the most famous carnivals in Italy, even the oldest, starting in 1539.

One of the massive, brightly colored floats from the 2006 Carnival.

This carnival takes all year to prepare for, and it’s as important to Foiano as the Palio is to Siena.

The festival is derived from medieval propitiatory rituals meant to appease the townspeople and create a joyous atmosphere to bring in the new year.

The population of Foiano is subdvided into four cantieri (districts): the oldest are the “Azzurri” (azures) and the “Rustici” (rustics), that were created in 1933, and “Bombolo” (plump), which was born in 1934; the youngest cantiere are the “Nottambuli” (night owls), formed in 1961.

Other three cantieri, the “Pacifici” (peacefuls), “Cuccioli” (puppies) and “Vitelloni” (big calfs) disappeared during the 1940s-1950s.

The cantieri compete in making a float, inspired to a free subject.

Initially, the floats were town carriages and carri matti where lupine, chestnuts and salt cod would be thrown out to the crowd as a treat. The floats are now made of papier-machè and they have allegorical or political subjects, sometimes featuring political or actuality events, famous people or popular culture.

The floats are judged by a jury, composed by a sculptor, a painter, a journalist, a scenographer and an art critic. The Cantiere that made the most voted float wins the “Coppa del Carnevale” (Carnival Cup).

An effigy of Giocondo, King of the Carnival is made from straw and rags, and is burned in the main square as a form of collective purification for the people of Foiano. Before the burning, a testament of the year’s events is read aloud like an epilogue for the past year and a prologue to the new starting year.

We look forward to the next year to enjoy the Carnival of Foiano with us!

Benvenuto Brunello!

brunelloEvery year in February the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino organizes an event called BENVENUTO BRUNELLO.

On this occasion the new wines on the market since the beginning or the new year are presented to the press and the stars  assigned to the new vintage are announced.
Today and tomorrow the Brunello Festival is open to the public.
We are going there to visit ine of the many Brunello Wine Producer. Stay tuned!

ps: after 20 days of rain finally the sun!!!