Gardens of Florence #12: Serre Torrigiani

Gardens of Florence #12: Serre Torrigiani

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It is a real privilege to visit the Torrigiani garden and greenhouse (serre) in Florence. Linked to the Serre Torrigiani greenhouse, Vieri Torrigiani Malaspina has always devotedly taken care of the garden. You can see this is his real passion when he talks about its charms to visitors. “I was born in this garden and I have spent here and in the country side all my entire life. I graduated as Agrarian Engineering in Florence and in the seventies I expanded the existing small plant nursery to exploit it as a company, besides taking care of the garden for me and my family,” comments Vieri while I think to myself, “What a marvellous thing to have grown up here.” Torrigiani is one of the oldest aristocratic families of Florence. The first fashion show linked to the Pitti fashion events took place in this location.

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“Heroes – Bowie by Sukita.” Photo exhibition at Palazzo Medici-Riccardi

“Heroes – Bowie by Sukita.” Photo exhibition at Palazzo Medici-Riccardi

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The retrospective Heroes – Bowie by Sukita, curated by ONO Arte Contemporanea, features the pop icon David Bowie through the eyes and lens of the undisputed master of Japanese photography, Masayoshi Sukita. From March 30 to June 28, 2019, at the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi (via Cavour 3) the show presents 60 large-format photographs, including the iconic photos that illustrated the cover of the album HEROES, and photographs belonging to Sukita personal archive which document the friendship, that started in the 1970s, between the pop-rock legend and the photographer. With this exhibition, Florence pays tribute to Bowie and fuses, once again, the historical with the contemporary.

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Brands made in Florence #1: Stefano Bemer, the perfect pair of men shoes

Brands made in Florence #1: Stefano Bemer, the perfect pair of men shoes

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Stefano Bemer opened his made-to-measure men shoes store in the vicinity of San Frediano, Florence, around 35 years ago. After his decease in 2012, the brand was handed over to Tommaso Melani, director of the Scuola di Cuoio (leather school). Today located in a former chapel of San Niccolò (via di S. Niccolò 2), the firm currently supports Bemer’s initial idea to create perfect and unique footwear. Bemer handles 800 customers of which some order only one pair in their lifetime whilst others buy eight pairs a year. For this reason, they keep the wood prototypes used to create the final leather shoes.

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7 best and most distinguished libraries in Florence

7 best and most distinguished libraries in Florence

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Following the steps of German photographer Candida Höfer, who exceptionally portrayed the soul of libraries in solitude, same images in Florence reveal the splendour of the Marucelliana Library, born in the middle of the XVIII century after donation by the abbot Francesco Marucelli; the Biblioteca dell’Accademia della Crusca, placed within the Medici villa of Castello, as the largest library of linguistics and history of the Italian language; the Medicea Laurenziana Library designed by Michelangelo (holds its infamous Mannerist staircase) in the cloister of the basilica of San Lorenzo; the National Library of Florence, which also offers a free guided tour in Italian and English on Saturdays at 11:30 a.m.; the Biblioteca Riccardiana, stablished in 1600 and managed today by the Accademia della Crusca, it has also been described as “a unique example of what a patrician library in an aristocratic place (at Palazzo Medici-Riccardi) looked like;” the Biblioteca Moreniana (at Palazzo Medici-Riccardi as well), founded in the 18th century and composed of the collections of Domenico Moreni, and specialized in material on the history of Florence and Tuscany; and the modern library in the Novoli campus of the University of Florence (UniFi).…

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“Capodanno Fiorentino:” Florence on March 25 celebrates the Florentine New Year

“Capodanno Fiorentino:” Florence on March 25 celebrates the Florentine New Year

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Florence on March 25 celebrates the ancient Florentine New Year with some events open to all. On this day, the Catholic Church celebrates the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and, in honor of the Virgin, from the Middle Ages up until 1750 this date decreed the beginning of the civil year in Florence.…

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Florence literary walk

Florence literary walk

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Searching for the ideal of beauty in all its artistic manifestations or for an oasis to feel safe from hostility, artists, writers, architects, filmmakers, designers, historians and intellectuals, in general, had historically made of Florence their home. In just one hour, it is possible to discover all the places where some of the most outstanding writers of recent times lived.…

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“Carlo Cantini. Between realism and imagination,” photo exhibition at Villa Bardini, Florence

“Carlo Cantini. Between realism and imagination,” photo exhibition at Villa Bardini, Florence

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From the artistic to the bucolic; from fashion photography to everyday documentary snapshots, this is the artistic journey of Carlo Cantini, a contemporary Florentine photographer and one of the best Italian photographers of the 20th century. On display until March 17 at Villa Bardini, Carlo Cantini. Between Realism and Imagination exhibits seventy photographs, inspired by Berengo Gardin and Mario Giacomelli, which document some of Florence’s most significant events of the last fifty years of the past century. His photographs document Florentine streets and countryside everyday scenes. Besides that, Cantini´s work is connected to the Pitti fashion shows, theater, contemporary art, enchanted gardens and allegorical nymphs, classical nude paying tribute to sculpture, and architecture. All in all, Cantini´s œuvre is a constant search for equilibrium between realism and imagination.

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“Verrocchio, Master of Leonardo,” retrospective at Palazzo Strozzi

“Verrocchio, Master of Leonardo,” retrospective at Palazzo Strozzi

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The first comprehensive retrospective devoted to Andrea del Verrocchio (1435-1488) will be on display in Florence from March 9 to July 14 at Palazzo Strozzi, with an accompanying presentation at the Museo Nazionale del Bargello. Verrocchio, Master of Leonardo brings together masterpieces by Verrocchio from collections around the world, contextualized by works from his forefathers and peers, as well as by the pupils he worked intensively with, including Leonardo da Vinci, Pietro Perugino, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Sandro Botticelli.

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Carnival of Viareggio, magic and fantasy on the Tuscan coast

Carnival of Viareggio, magic and fantasy on the Tuscan coast

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“Have you ever been to Viareggio carnival? Is it worth?”
“It’s a little decadent … It makes me sad.”
“Interesting, you just convinced me, I’ll go!”

Although not as popular as the Venetian, the Carnival of Viareggio is one of the most important and acclaimed in Italy. I am from Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, where the carnival is the most outstanding festivity. It is the first big celebration of the year and involves a huge exhibition of colour, fervour, and frenzy and that is why, probably, it drives me to discover other facets and versions of the same event. It is said that “diversity is equal to cultural richness.”

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A “panino” at La Prosciutteria …?

A “panino” at La Prosciutteria …?

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“Vero maiale! (Real pork!)” is the motto of this narrow but elongated place where cured hams hang from the ceiling and young and cheerful waiters cater in foreign languages to locals and travellers. La Prosciutteria is located in Via dei Neri 54r, one of the most vibrant streets of the historic centre (between Palazzo Vecchio and Santa Croce), with plenty of cafes, bars, restaurants, ice cream shops and stores. They provide with regional artisan products such as wines, oils and jams, as well as merchandising. Undoubtedly, the best is the Tuscan glass of house wine for only 2.5 euros, which accompanied by a panino with prosciutto, pecorino cheese and olive pâté costs 7 euros. Try to avoid lunch time (1-3pm) as it becomes too packed. In addition to panini they sell cheese and sausage on wood boards. Self-service basis.
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