In Florence violet is always in fashion

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For the Florentines, the “Fiorentina,” the city’s soccer team, is much more than a simple passion, it’s a faith.lacurvapibelladelmondo4

Florence is the birthplace of football in Italy. It is where the sport took shape and gained the name “calcio”

The team is called “Viola” due to the color of its jerseys; originally, however, the team’s colors were white and red, like the city’s coat-of-arms: the fleur–de–lis.

Fiorentina's old shirts

Fiorentina’s old shirts

But why that color violet ?  There’s no official explanation, but rather two theories:  the most widely–known says that the color violet was the result of a mistake in washing the white–red jerseys.

The second theory, more centered on Florentine tradition, instead maintains that violet was chosen because of its close associations with the City of Florence.  In fact, history remind us that the Roman founders gave the city its name because the hills and meadows surrounding it were covered with irises, violet–colored flowers. Continua a leggere

Florence like Montecarlo, a thrilling Grand Prix

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As the Grand Prix in Montecarlo, Mercedes, Ferrari, Bugatti and Maserati have hurtled through the avenues of the city amid a part of the enthusiastic crowd, admiring the courage of the drivers who at high speed, without fear, brushed by trees and sidewalks.  Impossible?

Now yes, but not in 1933 and in 1937.1937: the departure

Very few know that in Florence there were two races run on street circuits which put drivers’ courage to the test and also….that of the public at the side of the street.

1933: the poster

1933: the poster

The races inside the city were then customary and as now, gathered enthusiasts around them excited to see the best drivers of the era flash by a few centimeters away.

1933: in the direction of Piazzale Michelangelo

1933: in the direction of Piazzale Michelangelo

Florence was not an exception, and before moving the races  onto tracks outside the city  (Mugello road circuit) or onto dedicated tracks (Mugello racetrack), these racing heroes were allowed to distinguish themselves in undertakings which even today evoke feelings just listening to them being told. Continua a leggere

Exclusive gossip: Dante despered ! why she didn’t personally tell him engagement news ?

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Dante Alighieri is heartbroken over Beatrice’s engagement to Mone de’ Bardi, and “The Florence Diary” has learned EXCLUSIVELY why the Florentine noblewoman didn’t tell his former love about his engagement before the news inevitably broke!

Dante and Beatrice painting by Henry Holiday (1884)

We’re kidding, but the story of platonic love between Dante Alighieri and Beatrice Portinari was much more than a gossip where fantasy and reality were mixed.

But we have a certainty, that the love of Dante was true love and that Beatrice was really very nice even by the standards of today’s beauty. Continua a leggere

it’s Panzanella’s time !

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Summer has arrived in Florence, well kind of, so it is time to make a great dish to help stay cool.

After having eaten ribollita all winter, we want to invite you into the world of panzanella, another famous dish from Tuscany’s traditional peasant cooking (“cucina povera”).

Panzanella is as summery as it gets, with its few, simple ingredients making the perfect lightweight accompaniment to your hot summer days.Panzanella

Panzanella is a bread salad that was perfected by the farmers in the Tuscan countryside. Panzanella born on the fields of Tuscany grown with passion.  Living a hard life, the farmers produced this amazing and fresh salad from the ground. Continua a leggere

The aliens returned to Florence, but also they have to pay the tourist tax…

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Not today, but sixty years ago, exactly October 27, 1954.

What happened ? The  Fiorentina team was playing against its local rival Pistoiese, ten-thousand fans were watching the match, but suddenly the stadium fell eerily silent, then a roar went up from the crowd. The spectators were no longer watching the match, but were looking up at the sky, fingers pointing. The players stopped playing.

old sketch of the objects drawn by Silvio Neri.

old sketch of the objects drawn by Silvio Neri.

“I remember clearly seeing this incredible sight. They were moving very fast and then they just stopped. It all lasted a couple of minutes. I would like to describe them as being like Cuban cigars. They just reminded me of Cuban cigars, in the way they looked.” says one of the players present on that occasion, in an interview with BBC and another player continues to narrate “”I remember everything from A to Z, while we were playing the match everything came to a stop because everybody was looking up at the sky intensely. Continua a leggere

Henry Moore at Florence forever

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A city is the sum total of everything it contains, buildings, works of art, and people, but sometimes it is also the sum  of that which existed there even if only briefly, but whose memory endures for so long and so forcefully that it becomes an indelible part of the city, as if it still existed.

1972 exhibition of Moore's work in Florence

1972 exhibition of Moore’s work in Florence

The remembrance of Henry Moore exhibition at Forte Belvedere in 1972 is one of these occasions.

There were 289 exhibits and a crowd of 345,000 visitors came to see them during the four and a half months that the show was open. The closure of the exhibition was postponed by a week so that Moore could show Prime Minister Edward Heath round personally. This exhibition set the standard for all subsequent shows. Continua a leggere

The Ponte Santa Trinita inspired the George Clooney’s movie “the monuments man”

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Robert Morse Edsel loves Italy an Florence particularly.
But, who is Robert Morse Edsel ?

The Monuments Men

The Monuments Men

He is an American businessman and author. He has written three non-fiction books: Rescuing Da Vinci (2006), Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History (2007); and Saving Italy, chronicling the recovery of artwork stolen by Nazi Germany during World War II.

A film based on his book, The Monuments Men, directed by and starring Academy Award winner George Clooney, was released in February 2014.

The Ponte Santa Trinita (pic by Sailko)

The Ponte Santa Trinita (pic by Sailko)

Where the idea came to write “the monuments men” (An World War II platoon is tasked to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their owners) ? Continua a leggere