Four Shades of Ponte Santa Trinita

“If you know just one bridge in Florence, know the Ponte Vecchio. If you know two bridges in Florence, make the second the Ponte Santa Trinita.” — Florence for Free May 3, 2018 Crossing the Ponte Vecchio, as most visitors to Florence will likely do at some point, one cannot escape the graceful majesty of its neighbor,…

Art History Appreciation

Art is much more powerful when it jumps from the pages of a book and you can enjoy it face to face. We found Masaccio’s masterpiece, The Holy Trinity, sitting quietly inside Florence’s Santa Maria Novella church, a peaceful and cool oasis from a crowded summer day in the city. This work is considered “one…

A Home for the Italian Language

On the outskirts of Florence sits Villa di Castello, country home of Cosimo I de’ Medici (1519-1574), Grand Duke of Tuscany.  Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus and Primavera once adorned the walls of the villa, and Castello’s elaborate garden — renowned throughout Europe — influenced other famous gardens including Florence’s Boboli Gardens. Villa di Castello has seen…

Churches of Florence: A Love Story, Part Two

“I never weary of great churches. It is my favorite kind of mountain scenery. Mankind was never so happily inspired as when it made a cathedral.” — Robert Louis Stevenson Like many who have fallen for Italy, I too never weary of churches. I am not shy in professing my love of all things Duomo, but, a dire…

Churches of Florence: A Love Story, Part One

“I never weary of great churches. It is my favorite kind of mountain scenery. Mankind was never so happily inspired as when it made a cathedral.” — Robert Louis Stevenson Like many who have fallen for Italy, I too never weary of churches. I am not shy in professing my love of all things Duomo, but, a dire…

Leaving Love Notes in Florence

In the narrow cobbled streets just off via del Corso winding through Dante’s Florence, there is an unassuming stone church tucked neatly into the facade of ancient buildings. It is the Chiesa di Santa Margherita dei Cerchi, dating back to 1032 and named for the 12th century Cerchi Family. Although the plaque below identifies it as…