The Colossal Coliseum – the who, what, when, where and why of Rome’s most impressive building

Everyone can recognise Rome’s magnificent Coliseum – even if they can’t spell it at first go. (On the spelling front, you do get two chances however, as Rome’s spectacular architectural wonder can also be spelled ‘Colosseum’, and in Italian, Colosseo.) Whilst you’ve probably seen images of the Coliseum from many different angles, heights and exposures, […]

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The Monstrous George Clooney? Italy’s beloved adopted son to star in new film, The Monster of Florence

From 1968 to 1985, 16 people were savagely killed in Tuscany. The killer became known as the ‘Monster of Florence’, owing to the horrendous way in which the young victims were treated. Several films, television series, documentaries and numerous books – not to mention years’ worth of chatter amongst Italians – has concerned Florence’s most […]

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Pinzimonio – the easiest Italian recipe ever!

We at Artviva Walking tours love Italy and its culture, its extraordinary history, its Renaissance art, and all the rich culture of this wonderful country we are lucky enough to call home. One thing that is often discussed in our office in Florence (aside from our walking tours in Rome, Venice, Florence and beyond) is […]

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Things to do in Tuscany: Fishing (and the joys of learning Italian) – including Italian seafood recipe

‘Why do we have so much fish juice and no other juice variety left?’, asked the new-comer to Florence in her still-a-little-rough Italian who had found a job working in a coffee shop in Florence’s city centre. ‘Fish juice?’, her colleagues questioned. ‘Yes, this succo di pesce – I have never sold even one bottle!’ […]

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Tuscan cooking: the wisdom of sage

One thing common to most Tuscan homes – be they quaint Tuscan cottages, elegant Tuscan villas, balconied brick homes in a Tuscan village, or a Tuscan farmhouse – is the herbs that you are likely to find growing in the lovely Tuscan gardens.   Arguably the most utilized herbs in Tuscan cooking are sage (salvia) […]

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Uffizi Gallery – what it is, what’s in it (and how do you pronounce it)?

The Uffizi Gallery, in the historical centre of Florence, houses what is one of the world’s greatest collections of Renaissance art. Pronounced something like ‘oo-fit-zee’, the building was originally constructed by Cosimo I dei Medici (1519-1574) who was living in the Palazzo Vecchio in the Piazza Signoria. He decided to construct the Uffizi Gallery next […]

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When S stands for Bussola – a delicious Venetian cookie recipe by Tessa Kiros

One Sunday afternoon, some of us Artviva Walking Tours office staff gathered for some cooking in Tuscany. We made delicious Venician biscuits (cookies) using a recipe from Artviva’s good friend Tessa Kiros. Tessa Kiros writes in her fabulous cookbook, ‘Venezia: food & dreams’, that these delicious and simple-to-make cookies will stay fresh for ages because […]

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