Chianti, Casks and Irises

Perfumes as offerings to the gods to create pleasing scents have been known since the time of ancient Egypt and Greece. Centuries later floral fragrances, flower parts and by products like orris root kept barrels of beer fresh in Germany and casks of wine aromatic in France. But no one took a greater interest in …

Florence’s Once Abandoned Orphan

You do know that the 17 foot statue in Florence's Piazza della Signoria is an imposter, a body double of Michelangelo's David. The original "Davida" is safely housed under a doomed rotunda in Florence's Accademia Gallery safe from the elements and the city's roosting pigeons. After all, he's been through a lot and the somewhat …

Italian Selfies

Did you know that the Uffizi Gallery in Florence has one of the largest collections of portraits in the world? Lining the walls of the Vasari Corridor, the hidden elevated  walkway that links Palazzo Vecchio to the Pitti Palace, are paintings by, among others, Tintoretto, Giordano, Rubens, Rembrandt, Corot, Larsson and Chagall. Uffizi curators hope to make the longest single passageway …

Wedding Planners of the Renaissance Create Una Stravaganza

It's June, the traditional month for weddings. Historically, June has always been the most popular month for tying the knot. Nice summer weather, in-season flowers and the higher number of outdoor venues make it an attractive month for a party.  Wedding planners are busy with the details, dates and unexpected family drama that need to be handled to …