Two Italian love stories inspire those with troubles in the romance department to pour out their hearts in letters to the ladies involved…
Florence, Ravenna, and Dante’s Bones
Dante is often considered Italy’s greatest poet, and the city of Florence is proud to say he was born there. And you could be forgiven for thinking he was buried there too if you’ve seen the beautiful tomb in Santa Croce, bearing his name and likeness…
A Poet and a Puppet: Pinocchio and Dante Museum in Florence
Dante and Pinocchio: Italy’s great poet and its favorite puppet both played a part in establishing Italian as Italy’s language and uniting the country
Florentine Last Suppers
When someone mentions the Last Supper, you probably think of the famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci. But da Vinci wasn’t the only one to
The Devil’s Wind: Florentine Legend of the Rifrullo del Diavolo
Is there a devilish wind blowing around the Florence cathedral?…
Michelangelo’s Graffiti and a Peeing Lion: Two Curiosities From Florence
Two Florentine curiosities worth looking for…
Stendhal Syndrome: Having an Art Attack in Florence, Italy
It seems that taking in too much art in Florence, Italy can be bad for your health…
Befana: Italy’s Good, January Witch
On the 6th of January, Italian children await a very witchy-looking old lady called La Befana…
In fourteenth-century Florence, opulent dress was outlawed. But Florentine ladies continually changed their fashions to keep them just barely legal…
Unusual Punishment in the New Market
In Florence’s New Market (the same one where the bronze pig resides) you can find leather good and all kinds of souvenirs. But be careful about going there if you have any outstanding bills. This is where people were once punished for failing to settle their debts.
The Bronze Pig of Florence
Il Porcellino, as the Italians call him, means “the little pig”. However the bronze porker fountain sitting at the side of the New Market, or Mercato Nuovo, is really a wild boar, or a cinghiale in Italian. He supposedly brings good luck when visitors rub his snout and put a coin in his mouth.
Carnival Time in Venice, Italy
Carnival celebrations take place around the world, but when we think of elegant masks and beautiful costumes, we think of Venice…
Dante’s Neighbor, but for 715 Years
When I was in Florence, I lived in Dante Alighieri’s neighborhood. For those of you who might be a little rusty on your Italian poetic
Dante’s Stone: Rock of Inspiration
In the early nineteenth century, when many English poets visited or lived in Florence, the stone marking the location of his favourite seat was just about the only tribute to Dante in Florence.
Home for the Holidays
In the car on the way from Florence to Nice I was quite worried about whether I would be able to start speaking French again.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of our American friends. I hope everyone has a long list of things to be thankful for today. We are going
Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide: A Poem
Let your Conscience be your Guide I enter the shop and my breath is taken away By the beautiful Italian ceramics In a variety of
Speed Dating with Grammar
After 7 weeks in Italian classes (9 if you count the 2 when I was here in May) I have been presented with just about
Palazzo Vecchio, Sailing Tortoises, and a UFO
You might be surprised to know that inside the medieval Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall (and museum) of Florence that there are 100 sailing tortoises
Do you speak Italian?
Before I came to Italy I spoke English and French. Now after five weeks in an Italian course, I am afraid that I can’t yet
Always something happening in Florence
Saturday was the traditional wine harvest ceremony in Florence and I watched the preparations at the Duomo. Two white cows were unloaded, washed and decorated
Does Wine Loosen the Tongue?
We start each day with two hours of grammar. This is a fast moving class, as we learn a new grammatical concept almost every day.
A Boost of Confidence
When I saw the crowd gathered in front of the building I suspected that I was in the right place. Had it been in England,
Angelic Discussion – If this ceiling could talk… A Poem
The little angel on the frescoed ceiling of our Florentine apartment must have seen a lot over the years…
I would love to have a video of our class, it must be hilarious. We are one step above absolute beginner level with a very