Monthly Archives: January 2011

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.) … Continue reading

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From Rags to Riches: Carnivale in Italy (including traditional Italian Carnivale sweet recipe)

Italy’s greatest festival, Carnivale, in 2011 falls on March 8. The date changes annually due to the celebration falling 40 days before Easter. But in true Italian style, there is much fanfare in the leadup. In fact, Carnevale events usually … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Florence’s Accademia Museum – what is it and who’s in it?

Florence’s famous Accademia delle Arti del Disegno (Academy of Arts and Design), commonly referred to as simply the Accademia, is home to one of Italy’s much loved heroes, David. Carved by Michelangelo after he won a competition for the marble, … Continue reading

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DRUNKEN PASTA: Recipes, rules and regulations of Italy’s most loved food item – with a twist!

  It’s no secret that Italians love their food and wine. In Italian culture, it is tradition that food and alcohol are consumed together. That’s why, for example, pre-dinner drinks (known as ‘aperativo’) involve a drink served with nibbles. In … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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: … Continue reading

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