Florence, the City of Flowers

Florence, the City of Flowers

A brief history of Florence The Romans were the founders of Florence. Realizing the importance of a thoroughfare towards the Po plain, Ceasar in 59 B.C. ordered the establishment of a colony on the north bank of the Arno. The foundation is thought to have taken place in the spring, during the Floral Games, or Ludi Florales: hence the name Florentia, which was given to the city. Flora was the goddess of flowers and gardens, and the mother of spring in Roman mythology. Tuscan dialect turned the Latin Florentia into Fiorenza — a name which is to be found on Renaissance frescoes, and…Read more
Siena – History, Art and Saints

Siena – History, Art and Saints

At the time of the Ghibellines, Siena was the rival of Florence. And it might still be, despite the fact that, in 1555, history attached it to the grand duchy of Tuscany, after a memorable siege! It certainly deserves to be thought of as a rival, by virtue of the wealth of its patrimony, the beauty of its monuments, and the charm of its old streets, where so many houses are in fact palaces!  “Burnt Siena”, the color on the painter’s palette, is named after the hills on which Siena is built, and…Read more
For the love of Italy

For the love of Italy

The rise of European civilization owed much to Florence and the province — some would say state — of Tuscany. The art and culture which they generated brought about a new conception of man and the universe, in a land formed by centuries of struggle, as well as by ambitions which drove the sublimation of life to unknown heights.  At the origin of this remarkable accomplishment were the Etruscans, an ethnic group which had probably come from Asia Minor, and whose civilization developed over seven centuries, leaving vestiges which can still be seen…Read more