Palazzo Guadagni, aperitif deluxe in Florence

Palazzo Guadagni, aperitif deluxe in Florence

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Rooftop views are unparalleled in Florence, proof of it is the rooftop garden bar at the Hotel Palazzo Guadagni. This ancient palace in the Oltrarno area has a privileged view from the loggia, which turns the palazzo’s terrace garden bar into a marvellous setting for having a red wine or a cocktail in Florence. It is a novel space neither overly exploited nor well known in Florence yet, thus you can take an aperitif as a local and without the need of a previous reservation. The views, the atmosphere and the service are simply unique and it is the perfect spot to amaze dates and visitors.…

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Cappella Brancacci, the Sistine Chapel of Florence

Cappella Brancacci, the Sistine Chapel of Florence

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Beyond the streets crowded by the omnipresent tourists looking for Florentine gems from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, there are less exploited corners of great historical and artistic richness as the Brancacci Chapel, also known as the «Sistine Chapel of the first Renaissance». The paintings on the walls are among the most popular and influential frescoes at the time. They are distributed in two horizontal levels along the chapel, which is part of the Carmine church and convent, founded in Florence in the mid-thirteenth century by a group of Carmelite monks from Pisa. Located in Piazza del Carmine (Florence-Oltrarno), the Cappella Brancacci is one of the oldest monumental buildings in Florence. The frescoes illustrating the life of Saint Peter are masterpieces by Masaccio and Masolino, painted between 1425 and 1427, just in the early years of the Florentine Renaissance. Later on, Filippino Lippi was called to complete Masaccio’s chapel decoration, which had been left unfinished due to Masaccio’s death in 1428.

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History of art according to Florence or the Renaissance chapter at high school

History of art according to Florence or the Renaissance chapter at high school

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History of art was, without a doubt, my favourite subject at high school. By then, Italy was for me a distant and unknown country, it seemed so far as in another planet, and I did not even know what Tuscany meant or where in the map Florence was. At the age of 17, everything seemed so phantasmagorical and unreal … How rare, the unpredictable ways to which life sometimes leads. Especially, to those who try to escape from routine. I then loved the art history classes taught by María Luisa, always conducted in the dark. During those hours, I felt invisible and safe (at that time, my face was plagued by acne). We contemplated slides explained with genuine devotion by the teacher, and took notes of things that I thought I would never see on site. María Luisa inoculated me with the love for art and subtly with a passion for Florentine wonders. Today, 24 years later, I do not even remember her surname.

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Galleria Frilli, the legendary studio and sculpture gallery of Florence

Galleria Frilli, the legendary studio and sculpture gallery of Florence

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Founded in 1860, the family run Gallery-Studio Frilli quickly achieved international recognition for its marble replicas of classical, Renaissance and neoclassical sculptures. Indeed, walking through its comfortable rooms one feels in a Renaissance theme park. The sculptures seem just about to talk. Conceived with the purpose of decorating ostentatious residences in Europe, America and Asia, Frilli has the largest collection of models derived directly from the original pieces, museums and monuments from the Western world. That is why the works are considered real replicas and not mere copies. The family also created the bronze replicas at Lorenzo Ghiberti´s Gates of Paradise in the baptistery of Florence. Perfect for an LSD trip.
Galleria Frilli -Via dei Fossi, 26, 50123 Florence FI 

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Berlin vs. Florence: a perfect binomial?

Berlin vs. Florence: a perfect binomial?

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I have always been keen on extremes. I consider myself excessive and I have never been able to recognise the so-called «medium term», so linked in my opinion to mediocrity rather than moderation. I would never describe myself as a restrained person, neither in my actions, nor in my passions, nor in my thoughts or feelings. A bit cyclothymic, too, as I sense everything with absolute bipolar intensity. Although apparently Berlin and Florence do not have much to do with each other, they are two cities of extremes, thus matching each other. In multiple ways, the two cities stand for the avant-garde as well as for Classicism, so it is with contemporary art in Berlin and the Renaissance of Florence. The modernity of the German capital and the Tuscan tradition; the spiritual chaos of Berlin and the delicacy of Florence; Berlin decadence and the Florentine refinement; the debauchery in Berlin and the Florentine composure. To mention just a few aspects …

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Florence: passion and enthusiasm

Florence: passion and enthusiasm

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All passion springs from enthusiasm. Florence rescued me from neglecting feelings, an attitude that (I do not recall exactly when) came from falling lost in Berlin. Florence meant a safe net to avoid the death of the soul and helped me arise from that terrible fall. In the Tuscan capital a revolution took place inside of me. Indeed, a Renaissance. Thus, I now live here with all naturalness, feeling calm and relaxed. In Florence the days do not seem so endless, there is always something to do, even if it’s just a walk among Renaissance treasures, only to come back home later relieved. To enjoy Florence, one must be Epicurean, aesthete and eclectic. To this city, where the vicissitudes of my destiny have brought me, I will definitely elaborate a whole dictionary of affectionate expressions, because I haven´t yet met any Italian who speaks well, and with true love, about their country.

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Fra Angelico’s frescoes: the treasure of the San Marco Museum

Fra Angelico’s frescoes: the treasure of the San Marco Museum

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This museum occupies an extensive area of the Dominican monastery of San Marco and still retains its original atmosphere. Founded in 1436 and designed by the architect Michelozzo, the monastery played an important role in the religious and cultural life of Florence. The fame of the museum is mainly due to the paintings of Beato Angelico (Blessed angelic one), one of the most representative painters of the Renaissance who embellished with its frescoes various rooms of the building, most remarkably the cells of the monks. A wonder to view also here:
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Alternatives to the “Stendhal syndrome:” Museum House Vasari or the artist who gave name to the Renaissance

Alternatives to the “Stendhal syndrome:” Museum House Vasari or the artist who gave name to the Renaissance

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Vasari bought this garden house in Arezzo in 1541. In the last century some Tuscan artists turned the place into a small museum dedicated to Mannerism. This site is today an illustrious example of an artist’s house in which Giorgio Vasari, the first art historian of our era, celebrated his thoughts and his art. Its rooms are profusely decorated with frescoes and embellished with Mannerist paintings, revealing the supreme expression of 16th century Italian art. After completing his architectural works, Vasari dedicated himself to the pictorial decoration between 1542 and 1568, thus these rooms praise the artist’s role through biblical, mythological themes and numerous allegories to the astonishment of any visitor. The main rooms are substantially unchanged. The original furniture does not remain.
Casa Vasari – Via XX Settembre 55 – 52100 Arezzo

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Museo degli Innocenti: one of the earliest examples of Renaissance architecture

Museo degli Innocenti: one of the earliest examples of Renaissance architecture

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The Ospedale degli Innocenti was a children’s orphanage designed by Filippo Brunelleschi in 1419. Following a long period of renewal, the new Museum degli Innocenti has finally opened to the public in June 2016. It verses on the theme of welcoming and caring for children, telling the visitor about the essence of the institution during six centuries, through historic documents as well as its artistic heritage. The lower level narrates the history and evolution of the Institute of the Innocents through the biographies and personal memories of the «Nocentini» (the children hosted here); the ground floor focuses on the architectural approach, describing also the evolution of the old hospital. Finally, but most importantly, the second floor houses a gallery with Renaissance treasures by Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Bartolomeo di Giovanni, Piero di Cosimo, Neri di Bicci, Luca della Robbia and Andrea and Giovanni del Biondo. The terrace-café of the Quattrocento open to the public crowns the building.
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This is Georgette, our «Girl in Florence»

This is Georgette, our «Girl in Florence»

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Girl in Florence is a cheerful and friendly girl, always willing to exchange her expert opinions about the city to expats. This Texan with Mexican roots lived in Los Angeles before moving to Florence ten years ago. Georgette has more than 26,000 followers on Facebook and over 58,000 on Instagram. She is considered by the online magazine Ilreporter.it as one of the three most influential bloggers in Florence. Georgette wants to prove, further than being known as an ancient city anchored in the Renaissance, how the capital of Tuscany is full of other proposals. She absolutely loves San Frediano. Thus, is the author of a recent article featured by Lonely Planet proclaiming it the coolest neighbourhood in the world, due to its mix of old trades with trendy restaurants and bars. Georgette captures in every article the essence of the city. Her texts show knowledge and, at the same time, the surprise and the charm of those who experience things for the first time, always with an agile and dynamic style, indeed entertaining. The blog Girl in Florence is her «passion project» since 2012.

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