Art in Tuscany: your guide to Tuscan art, Italy

Pisa Leaning Tower re-opens doors after a long makeover

La Toscana: Art, History and Culture, Arts, English, Newsletter archive, Pisa

For a few days now, people visiting Piazza del Duomo in Pisa have stared at the amazing sight before their eyes: more gleaming than usual, now more than ever it deserves the expression Piazza dei Miracoli(literally Squares of Miracles) that the well-known Italian writer Gabriele D’Annunzio created for describing the wonderful contrast of the white monuments against the bright green grass. And [...]

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Mona Lisa

La Toscana: Arts, Florence, Tuscan characters

Her smile is the most famous and profound smile in the world. So mysterious that she has been the cause of literally rivers of spilled ink, in a quest to prove the more risky theories which have tried to identify this famous model. Obviously, we are talking about the acclaimed portrait of the Monna Lisa, [...]


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The Synagogue of Florence

La Toscana: Arts, Churches and monasteries, Florence

Florence has a Jewish community whose origins date back to the Roman era when there were several Jews living in houses near the Ponte Vecchio. We know that in 1396, there was a bank opened in the centre which made loans; an activity which has only been officially authorized by the government since about 1430. [...]

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The Garzoni Villa: A Fairytale in Green

La Toscana: Arts, Villas and gardens

Collodi, situated near to Pescia, is known worldwide for its park which, dedicated to the treasured story of Pinocchio, is fairytale land for children everywhere. However, more often than not, the parents of the many children which flock to these gardens throughout year are dragged here against their will by their children, crazed fans of [...]

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Gioconda’s Landscape

La Toscana: Arts

Did you ever seen Monnalisa (or Gioconda), the famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci, exposed in the Louvre Museum in Paris? If you don’t remember it take a look at the Louvre website, at her picture. Mona Lisa, the woman in the portrait, was born in Greve in Chianti, in the palace of Vignamaggio, and [...]

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Ilaria del Carretto in Lucca

La Toscana: Arts, Churches and monasteries, English, Lucca, Tuscan characters

The San Martino Church in Lucca is a true Romanesque masterpiece, with its beautifully carved grey and marble front facade, which is actually a great porch and its ample bell tower which leans ever so gently against the church. This stunning facade, made up of a series of columns, is perforated like lace and projects [...]

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Filippo Lippi

La Toscana: Arts, Florence, Tuscan characters

A painter. A brilliant artist. A story of Filippo Lippi (1406 – 1469). It’s too much to be one of the first to understand the revolutionary capacity of Masaccio, who died young and single at just 27 years old. The little survivors make faith in the convent of Carmine in Florence, and the so-called Madonna [...]

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Virgin Mary Sculpted by Lightening

La Toscana: Arts, Churches and monasteries, Legends and misteries

According to an old legend, there once lived a shepherd who used to graze his sheep on the woodland hills of the Amiata. To pass the many hours he spent alone up in the hills, he spent much of his time carving a large branch that he had found nearby. His inspiration perhaps coming from [...]

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Pisa City of Medieval Art

La Toscana: Art, History and Culture, Arts, Pisa

  For art lovers, from the medieval period in particular, a visit to Pisa on a trip to Tuscany is almost obligatory. Pisa underwent tremendous economic development during the Medieval times, and there are still many buildings, in the city and the neighbouring areas, that bear witness to the beauty and success Pisa has seen [...]

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Prato: city of commerce and textiles and civic pride

La Toscana: Arts

Prato is a busy town near Florence that could be described as having two faces. It is a densely populated industrial centre, capital of the province of Prato, and imbued with the spirit of modernity and hard work. But it also conserves its ancient orgins which are evidenced in its architecture and strutture. Gothic churches, [...]

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La Toscana: Arts, English, Siena

Siena is a special city and is unique in the sense that its historical centre is located away from the newer part of the city. Enclosed and isolated by its red walls, it is not accessible by car, a factor which has helped it to maintain its charm throughout the centuries. Siena is divided into [...]

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Villa Demidoff of Pratolino

La Toscana: Arts, Florence, Villas and gardens

Take one melancholy prince, Francesco I de’ Medici, interested in natural sciences and art, and eager to create splendid surroundings for his beloved Bianca Cappello, for whom, it was rumoured, he once killed a man. Add the exhuberant and multi-faceted genius, Bernardo Buontalenti, architect, engineer, inventor of machines, fireworks, set design, fountains and many other [...]

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