Ricerca personalizzata

The Uffizi Gallery

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This is probably the most famous museum in the world. Its collection of Primitive and Renaissance paintings comprises several universally acclaimed masterpieces of all time, including works by Giotto, Simone Martini, Piero della Francesca, Fra Beato Angelico, Lippi, Botticelli, Mantegna, Correggio, Leonardo da Vinci, Raffaelo, Michelangelo and Caravaggio. The German, Dutch and Flemish masters are also present in the Uffizi museum with important paintings by Dürer, Rembrandt and Rubens.

The Uffizi Gallery is located on the upper floor of the big building planned by Giorgio Vasari from 1560, which housed the administrative offices of the Tuscan State. The Gallery was created by Francesco I, and then enriched and enlarged by other members of the Medici family, who were great collectors of paintings, sculpture and arts in general. The collection was then rearranged and enlarged by the Lorraine Grand-dukes, who succeeded the Medici family, and finally by the Italian State.

The building also houses other relevant collections: the Contini Bonacossi Collection and the Collection of Prints and Drawings (Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi).The Vasari Corridor, the raised passageway connecting the Uffizi with Pitti Palace, was also built by Giorgio Vasari in 1565: the Corridor is hung with an important collection of 17th-century paintings and the famous collection of self-portraits of artists.

Full price 6,50 €
Reduced 3,25 €
Free admission for people under 18 or over 65, students and teachers of faculties of architecture, cultural heritage conservation, educational sciences, or of Fine Arts Academy, tour guides.

Opening hours:
Open Tuesday to Sunday 8,15 – 18,50Closed Monday, New Year’s Day, May 1st and Christmas Day.
For Booking: +39(055) 294883
Booking charge: 4 €

Double Portrait of Federico da Montefeltro and his wife, by Piero della Francesca
Self-Portrait, by Raphael

The Head of Medusa, by Caravaggio

The Birth of Venus, by Botticelli

Bacchus, by Caravaggio
Here are two nice videos that I found on Youtube which show the Uffizi tour :-)

Shopping in Florence

I suggest you an interesting tour in the centre of Florence. Obviously it does not include everything the city has to offer, but is a good starting point for anyone wanting to explore one of the world's shopping capitals.

For luxury shopping the place to start is Via Tornabuoni, one of the most elegant streets of the city, where you can find all the big shopping brands (Gucci, Prada, Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana…). Chic purchases can also be made in nearby Via della Vigna Nuova.

Many traditional Florentine shops of historic status can be found in the city centre: in Via dei Fossi, Via Maggio and the streets around them you can find some wonderful antiques’ shops, and sure the well known jewellery shops on Ponte Vecchio.

One of Florence's most typical shopping areas is the Oltrarno, right after Ponte Vecchio, in the Santo Spirito historical zone. Here you can find small shops, craft studios and laboratories producing wood products, jewellery, lamps, metal vases, but also the typical Florentine straw hats and many other original items.

In the place where is the Church of Santo Spirito (and has the same name), a national and ethnic craft fair is held on the second Sunday of every month. In San Frediano, another zone in the Oltrarno, are some laboratories which produce Florence's greatest and most traditional craft products: fabrics for furnishings, decorated silverware, hand-made shoes and glass objects with a classic antique designs.

Florence is also famous for the manufacturing of leather goods: bags, shoes, gloves, clothing items. The leather shops are mainly located in the Santa Croce area.

Markets of Florence

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What about spending some time hanging around the stalls of a market to breathe the genuine atmosphere of a city?
In Florence there are a lot of markets where you can buy almost everything; here is a list of the main markets, the ones that are strongly recommended if you’re planning to visit the city.
Florence is famous for leather products, and sure for meat, cheese and food in general; you can find all those things at the market at very reasonable prices.

Market of San Lorenzo
In front of the church of san Lorenzo, in piazza San Lorenzo and via dell’Ariento, this is the main market of the city. Outside you can find clothing, leather shoes, belts, bags, souvenirs, and more. Inside de building there are the food stalls, selling meat, vegetables, fruit, cheeses… Always very crowded.
Opened from Tuesday to Saturday, externally all day long, inside from 7 to 14.

Market of Sant’Ambrogio
In piazza Sant’Ambrogio, this is the right place if you’re looking for the best food at the best price in Florence! Less crowded than San Lorenzo, here you find less tourists and more locals; in this market there is also the restaurant Rocco, where you can stop for a tasty traditional Tuscany lunch. Outside the market some stalls sells clothing, house ware, books, dvds, and more.
Opened every day except Sunday, from 7 to 14.

Le Cascine Market
In the biggest park of the city, Le Cascine, on the Arno riverside, every Tuesday morning a very big market takes place: food, clothing, house and kitchen ware, collectibles, vintage stuff, you can find almost everything here! Don’t forget to take a walk in the park after shopping ;-)

Flea Market- Piazza dei Ciompi
In Piazza dei Ciompi, opened every day except Sunday, from 9 to 19, there’s the flea market of Florence. The stalls sell furniture, books, comics, records, prints, paintings collectibles, jewels, old coins and much more. This market is really charming, with its retro atmosphere!

Palazzo Strozzi

Palazzo Strozzi has been built during a long time and various architects planned it: the result is an harmonic and perfect example of reinassance palace, the most regular, homogenous and symmetrical one, in a time which the symmetry and the regularity of shapes were very appreciated gifts. This palace was the house of the Strozzi family, an important dynasty of rich florentine bankers, who built this magnificent building to demonstrate its own wealth, to use it as personal residence, but also for its own transactions and businesses.

The private house is placed on the two superior plans, while on the ground floor, around the inner court, there were shops and banks: the court was opened the public and it was shaped like a real public city square, an extension in the private space of the public city.

Externally the Palace is solid and compact: a facade in solid stone, with a “bugnato” surface with large sketched blocks, with regular windows, diversified for level: square small and to the ground floor, double lancet windows closed in an arc to the superior floors.
Even in the inner court, in the rooms and in the plant, we can see the perfect symmetry.
The inner court is just so beautiful, it’s easy to imagine it full of people busy with business in their daily lives, walking in the rooms and stepping up the big elegant stairs.

Today Palazzo Strozzi is an important museum with international expositions of paintings sculptures, architecture, which periodically change.
The Palace is in the historical centre of Florence, easily reachable by bus or with a 5 minutes walk from Santa Maria Novella Station.

Tuscany Recipe: Summer Farro Salad - Emmer Salad

Monday, December 29, 2008

A fresh tuscany recipe, perfect for summer, easy to prepare and still tasty the day after :-)
This is the basic original recipe, but you can add other ingredients: peppers, olives, zucchine...


500 gr of emmer (farro)
500 gr of ripe red tomatoes
2 onions
a bunch of basil
extravirgin olive oil


Wash emmer, than put it in a big pan and fill with water. Add 2 spoons of salt and make it boil: then cook for 30 minutes (or as specified in the instructions on the pack).
Chop tomatoes and onions into small pieces, then chop the asil with your hands. Put everything in a big bowl, add the emmer.
Season with oil, salt and pepper to your choice, mix and refigerate before serving.

Tuscany Recipe: Panzanella

Sunday, December 28, 2008

This is a fresh, tasty, summer recipe: a bread salad, very easy to cook, and it can be prepared even a couple of days before is eaten ;-)

400 g of day-old country bread (best one is tuscany unsalty bread)
8 red, ripe tomatoes
2 red onions
1 cucumber
a bunch of fresh basil
extra-virgin olive oil
red-wine vinegar


Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes, then place the cubes in a bowl with water; squeeze them with your hands, put in a large bowl, and crumble it with your fingers.
Cut the cucumber and tomatoes into small pieces, cut the onions into thin slices, then add all to the bread.
Chop the basil and add to the bread, then season with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix gently and place in the frige until serve.