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FINE ARTS AND
CULTURE ACADEMY

Stenterello: a Florentine Carnival mask

In Naples there is the famous Pulcinella, in Venice there is Colombina and in Bergamo there are Arlecchino and Brighella; but even Florence has its traditional carnival mask! It is called Stenterello, and owes its name to its puny and haggard appearance, that of a man who seems to have,...

Romantic Florence: Ippolito and Dianora

Florence also has its own Romeo and Juliet, but they are called Ippolito and Dianora (or Lionora). The story is told in a novella of the fifteenth century, Istorietta amorosa fra Leonora de ’Bardi e Ippolito Buondelmonti, that most attribute to the pen of Leon Battista Alberti. It is about...

That vandal, Michelangelo Buonarroti

On the wall of Palazzo Vecchio, behind the statue of Hercules and Cacus by Baccio Bandinelli, you will notice, if you look closely, the face of a man engraved in stone. According to the legend, Michelangelo Buonarroti himself is the author of this artwork. Michelangelo was an excellent artist, but...

The mistery of the Medici coat of arms

A golden shield with five red balls, and a blue one decorated with three golden lilies. You must have seen it everywhere in Florence, since it is the Medici coat of arms. The Medici blazon underwent inexplicable changes during most of the fifteenth century, in particular in regards to the...

Florentine curiosities: traces of ancient units of measurement

The meter is an object that we all have at home, to which we do not give much importance; often forgotten at the bottom of a drawer under the batteries and the rolls of adhesive tape. We certainly cannot consider it a luxury item. But what if we told you...

Florence Fortezza da Basso

The Fortezza da Basso, or fortress of San Giovanni Battista, today the main Florentine exhibition venue, has a long history, which began after the experience of the siege of 1529. At the time, Duke Alessandro de’ Medici commissioned to the artists and architects Pier Francesco da Viterbo and Antonio da...

Florence curiosities: the upside down balcony

Florence is well-stocked with oddities, just look around while walking down the street to catch some of them. One of these, which strikes the eye of the most attentive ones, is the balcony located in Borgo Ognissanti, at number 12. It certainly stands out: all the architectural elements that compose...

Recipes of the tradition: Panforte

One of the most typical desserts made in Tuscany - in Siena to be exact - is panforte. A spicy and sweet cake that is consumed during the Christmas period along with the well-known panettone. This dessert has very ancient origins, it is the direct descendant of the pan melato,...

The doors of the Baptistery of Florence restored, brought together at last

Finally, after 30 years of restoration, the 3 monumental doors of the Baptistery of Saint John have been brought together on display at the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo. The first restoration work on the portals, carried out by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, began in 1990 with the removal of...

Inside Magritte's mysterious world

After Klimt, Monet, Van Gogh and Leonardo, it is René Magritte's turn to invade the baroque spaces of the church of Santo Stefano al Ponte. The multimedia exhibition dedicated to the Belgian artist, master of surrealism, will last until March 1st: Inside Magritte, conceived by Crossmedia Group and Hepco, directed...

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