Learning Italian: Italy’s 3 magic words

Travelling to Italy, you may wish to be prepared with a few key words of Italian to get you by. Of course there is ‘Grazie’ (thank you) – making sure to also pronounce the e at the end, like grazi-è, as there are no silent letters in Italian. Same goes for how you say ‘Per […]

Continue Reading

It’s a sign – what to do in Italy

The best way to experience Italy is with the locals. And to do so, there is no better way than to follow the signs. Around cities and small towns, Italians place posters advertising events, markets, concerts, festivals, Renaissance fairs, parades and – some of our favourite events – ‘sagre‘. Sagre – local specialty food festivals […]

Continue Reading

Putting the Mo’ on the Mona Lisa….

Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci, art tours Italy

Mo’ debate has raged about the true identity of Mona Lisa and the meaning behind the painting. (S)he has also inspired a great stache of songs  (lots & lots  of songs!) and several films. But what would Leonardo da Vinci think about seeing his portrait depicted with a tash? It’s actually not the first time that one of the most iconic […]

Continue Reading

Italian Easter Food Traditions – Long lunches & lamb recipes

Most festivals and special occasions in Italy are marked by the preparation of specialty dishes enjoyed at wonderfully set tables around which all the family gather. Preparations can take days, and in the lead up to special feast days walking around Florence, or anywhere in Tuscany for that matter, you can overhear many locals discussing […]

Continue Reading

The night of nights: Seracini and Renzi, Vinci and da Vinci, the US Consol General… and Artviva!

We at Artviva have long been supporters of the project to find the lost da Vinci masterpiece, ‘The Battle of Anghiari’, having worked with da Vinci sleuth Maurizio Seracini himself for some years in promoting his cause. This week we were lucky enough to be invited to a private meeting with Seracini to hear all […]

Continue Reading

New clues in lost Da Vinci saga come to light!

News sites around the world are reporting on the exciting update on the search for the lost Leonardo da Vinci being sought out by our good friend Maurizio Seracini. The Leonardo da Vinci work was started in 1505 and lost soon thereafter. Seracini has been seeking out the work for some 40-years. Titled ‘The Battle […]

Continue Reading

Great Italian Christmas Traditions: Il Presepio

In many parts of Italy, particularly in the south, you will not find a Christmas tree as the symbol of Christmas, but rather a ‘Presepio’ – a nativity scene. One of our wonderful Rome tour guides, Chris, who has a PhD in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Angelicum University, Rome, writes, ‘Originating centuries ago in […]

Continue Reading

Teatro dell’Opera di Firenze: a sneak preview of Florence’s new Opera House

Florence is a cultural hub rich in traditions of art, artistry, fashion, gastronomy, and music. Florence is actually the birthplace of Opera, with the first opera to be performed being Jacopo Peri’s ‘Dafne’, performed in Florence in about 1597. This work has subsequently been lost, but the great musical tradition started in Florence, Italy, continues. […]

Continue Reading