Florence Blog

Find here all the interesting news, tips and thoughts about Florence. Reading this page should give you an idea what to see, where to go and eat in Florence. And some info on the lovely apartment you are about to rent!

Shopping Experience in Florence

Posted by on May 3, 2012 in blog | 1 comment

My husband and I stayed in Florence for a while and we decided to do some shopping. No matter where I go, shopping is definitely part of my traveling experience. I always enjoy finding something I really love for my wardrobe as well as for gifts to bring back home. Of course shopping is closely related to being familiar with the place I am visiting.

We were looking for interesting, original and typical stores in Florence, the city we were staying in. We are long-term Tuscany lovers who already know these places very well, and we were willing to explore further and discover new products and new shopping experiences.

Why do I think shopping is so beautiful in Tuscany? Because of the great variety and high quality of products you can find there. and also because the love for craftsmanship and excellence is part of their culture.
But most of all, because no matter how much you think you know a place, there will always be something new to discover.

We contacted Cristina, a personal shopper, and she provided a very nice service, making it so easy for us to find exactly what we were looking for. Part of the amazement is realizing that there is so much more than you expected to find in terms of quality, beauty and artisan personal experience.

Tuscan housewares, silver and antiques are very popular worldwide, and they are just a small portion of a shopping experience in Florence. I learned that Florence is also the city of Pitti Immagine, the Florence Fashion Week, and Polimoda, and that many young fashion designers live and work here. It was interesting to discover that Florence is not only a place for art and museums, but also a well known place for high level shopping tours.

Our personal shopper helped us avoid the most common tourist traps you can fall into when purchasing abroad. I especially enjoyed meeting craftsmen and artists who love communicating the history of their land. It is all about creating connections and sharing informations. The atmosphere of trust and reliance that this generated made feel really satisfied of my choices!

So, if you are staying in Florence and are willing to spend some time shopping, I recommend visiting this web site: www.cfpersonalshopping.com

Why Tuscany Is Perfect for a Cycling Holiday

Posted by on Apr 30, 2012 in blog | 0 comments

In a region that is famous for having so many world renowned tourist attractions set in such an aesthetically stunning landscape, planning a trip to Tuscany can be problematic and difficult, particularly if there are multiple people involved with varying agendas. That’s what makes this such an ideal place for a cycling holiday, increasing your ability to scoot around and take in the maximum amount of Tuscany in a short time period. It is also a great option as a return trip to Tuscany, as you will likely have completed many of the initial tourist tick boxes and instead be keen to immerse yourself deeper in the countryside.

As Tuscany is a hilly region it is a cycling location that many keen cyclists will eagerly enjoy and you will certainly feel as though you are keeping yourself fit. For tourists who don’t regularly think of cycling holidays, it is still a viable option, particularly with a half-decent mountain bike and you can always retreat to city tours or along rivers and the coast. What’s more, there are few better places around the world to stop off and enjoy the view, and you can cover ground a lot more easily than hiking.

If you are looking to explore the cities, then cycling tours are a practical way to get around. Florence is an excellent option with various bike tours available that take you to the best known sights as well as lesser visited locations that the tour guide will illuminate with his/her expert knowledge. These tours can leave in the morning and evening, and are often only a couple of hours long, fitting in nicely between mealtimes in a region that leads the way in culinary delights. Touring the city in this way quickens your pace and allows you to cover greater distances, factoring in narrow winding lanes and backstreets where Italian culture thrives.

As a bike tour can be a one off feature to your holiday, if you’ve spent 3 days solid sightseeing in Florence then an additional arranged excursion on a day trip to a surrounding area can be refreshing. One option is Chianti, whereby tour companies will whisk you out of Florence by bus and then take you on a tour of the countryside past rolling hills, castles and vineyards, and as they are a day trip they often include a traditional Tuscan lunch, perfect for the appetite you will have worked up.

For the more adventurous and those looking to go it alone then head to the Mugello territory, which is a famed mountainous region in Tuscany with a range of cities and villages including Campiano, Scarperia, Barberino di Mugello, Sant’Agata and Borgo San Lorenzo. As well as the mountains, the hills, medieval villages, valley and river Sieve create a place where cyclists thrive, from mountain bikers to road cyclists it is a location that offers something for everyone. The mountain, valley and river landscape creates a range of hilly and flat cycle paths to build your itinerary around so you don’t need to worry about varying levels of expertise and fitness within your group. It is therefore for good reason that the Tour of Italy, Giro d’Italia (Cycle Touring) passes through this region.

Author Bio: Matt combines his passion for travelling and cycling with blogging and has just got back from his holidays to Portugal. He has arranged a cycle tour next year and is keenly anticipating his Hayes & Jarvis Thailand holidays

Walking in Chianti

Posted by on Apr 26, 2012 in blog | 0 comments

Chianti as a region is known for the wine which has adopted its name.

For years people have been consuming bottle after bottle of the famous red and saluting the Tuscan hillsides on which the famous grape is grown. If you are partial to a glass or two of Chianti and seldom stray further from your nearest supermarket or off license you will find that you miss much on the wonderful surroundings of Chianti and the rest of Tuscany.

The Lamole Ring Walk, often thought of as one of the best walks within the region, it stretches up into the high eastern ridges of Chianti, serving all those who make the pilgrimage with panoramic views which ever direction you look. One of the features of this walk is really the unspoilt nature of the countryside; long winding footpaths, lined with blackberry bushes, ancient stone roads which contemptuously attack the suspension of anyone who drives through. This is quintessential Tuscany through and through.

The pinnacle (very literally) of walks in the Lamole area is the summit of Monte San Michele which stands 892m high. From here you really have the best views the region has to offer, prospecting the vineyards stretching off into the distances and looking back on the chestnut woods and pastures that lead the way up to Monte San Michele.

For the best walking experience in Chianti, many prefer to start off in the market town of Greve, located in the center of Chianti. This idyllic town contains much of the local flavor you’d expect as well as a unique funnel-shaped piazza lined with interesting shops. The surrounding hills provide more stunning views of the area as well as enchanting vineyard walks.

Of course walking through Chianti provides one of the best opportunities of sampling some of the best wines from the area. Dotted throughout the beautiful Tuscan landscape are vineyards and their respective wineries. You can take a wine tasting tour at most of these (although pre-booking is often required) where you can taste the array of different reds as well as fill up on the local Italian cuisine.

Walking holidays in Chianti can take many forms, you can book to go on planned excursions with pre-arranged itineraries and professional guides who are experts in the area. Because of the bus routes in Tuscany you are also never far from the start of another stunning route, so if you want to take a day out from a stay in Florence, it couldn’t be easier.

For those who want to visit more frequently, then sometimes a hotel may seem far too limiting. Those who want to explore within the area at their own pace would benefit from buying timeshare in Italy, the most popular area of which, being in Tuscany.

One of the most stunning areas of natural beauty in Italy is packaged hand-in-hand with one of the best regions for fine wines and cuisine you could find. Chianti, Tuscany could not be a better destination for those looking to stretch their legs and go exploring.

C Green is a passionate walker and has spent much time holidaying in some of the most beautiful scenery he can find; walking up and down peaks and soaking up all the views he can manage. When he isn’t wearing his walking boots he writes for different travel websites including Travel & Leisure Group, trusted timeshare resellers.

Pisa Tower Posing

Posted by on Mar 19, 2012 in blog | 0 comments

Monument posing is widespread all over. People grabbing the sun and the tip of the Eiffel tower are quite popular.

One of the most popular, however, is Pisa tower, with classic pictures of people using perspective to make believe they are holding the leaning tower. So it happens that if you go to Miracle Square on any given day of the week, you will find storms of people in weird positions trying to get their smart memento on camera. The thing is, the sight of a bunch of people stretching their hands up in the air and their butt out as if they were pushing does not look smart at all, it’s actually plain funny to watch!

But some other people wanted to outsmart the latter classic kind of Pisa Tower posers, and put their body to new uses in order to amuse themselves and friends. I gathered all the best ones I could find on Google image search, so here they are in one gallery for you! Have a laugh!

[slideshow id=34 w=500 h=500]

Exploring Northern Tuscany

Posted by on Mar 3, 2012 in blog | 0 comments

Tuscany is one of the most sought-after destinations in Europe—the Tuscan countryside beckons with its rolling hills, Italian cypress, olive groves, vineyards and fields of sunflowers and lavender. Photos of old stone buildings and red-tile roof villas invite us to visualize ourselves seated outdoors sipping wine and breathing in the sweet fragrance of wisteria that hangs overhead. It could be said that life in Tuscany is best enjoyed slowly.

One region that lends itself well to the experience of country life is the Tuscan Province of Lucca. There you’ll find small towns, such as Montecarlo and Altopascio, laced with farmhouses and villas available for weekly and monthly rental.

Establishing your base in the Province of Lucca also makes it easy to travel to the historical cities of Florence, Pistoia, Pisa and the lesser-known walled City of Lucca. Lucca is a well-kept secret, but if you can carve out a day to visit, you’ll soon fall in love with its antiquated charm. Because this fortress city has no single monumental sight to attract tourists, many travelers skip visiting it, but Lucca is well worth your time and attention.

Along with Romanesque churches on almost every corner, it offers the allure and magic of simpler times when people strolled the cobblestone streets to get to the local market and children played soccer in open, shady piazzas. Lucca’s intact Renaissance walls keep the traffic and stresses of the modern world out while preserving the Lucchesis’ beautifully preserved architecture and simpler way of life, which is still evident today.

It’s not necessary to rent a car while staying in the Province of Lucca, since travel by train makes it convenient to get from place to place throughout the province and beyond. Not only will Italy’s state train system, Trenitalia, take you to the walled City of Lucca, but the train travels both to other small towns and major cities. With the entry of a few pieces of information on your computer or smart phone, you can connect to Trenitalia’s daily schedule and make your plans to visit other places, including the major historical cities of Florence, Pisa, and even Siena further to the south. The seaside town of Viareggio and the famous area of Cinque Terre, a remote piece of the Italian Riviera, are also accessible via train.

It’s impossible to fully appreciate in a week or two all that Tuscany has to offer, or even everything that a single province provides. La dolce vita takes time! You might just find that instead of being a tourist for a brief amount of time, you want to settle in and become one of the locals for a while.

If you do decide to follow your heart, staying in Italy for more than a couple of weeks will take some advance planning, of course. You won’t need to apply for a visa in advance for stays under 90 days, but you ought to forward your mail, and be sure you have online banking and proper medical insurance. To help fund your extended sojourn, consider putting some of your valuables in storage and renting out your home in the U.S., to pay for your villa in the Tuscan countryside. That way, instead of hearing about the beauty of the changing Tuscan landscape throughout the four seasons, you can experience it for yourself. Buon viaggio!

Kenneth McCall is director of IT for storage.com. In this role he builds the systems that help customers find the best self storage units for their needs. Through Kenneth’s and his team’s work, customers can find self storage in Santa Clarita and other cities. In his spare time, Kenneth likes to bike and participate in outdoor activities.

Would You Sell Your Couch to Travel to Florence?

Posted by on Feb 27, 2012 in blog | 0 comments

Another inspiring story involving Tuscany and Florence. If you need to give your life a boost, this lovely guest post by Bianca Gignac who runs an Italian travel blog and she will point you in the right direction.

I landed in Florence with a broken heart and a black cloud over my head.

The year had been a mess. A complete downer. My boyfriend had dumped me like day old bread and I took it terribly. He had been the centre of my universe for 7 years. It was my first big heartbreak. I was 25.
Florence changed my life. Florence jolted me out of my fog. Florence told me, “It was going to be alright”.

I remember the exact moment she whispered it to me. I hadn’t slept for days; canceled flights and too many stopovers made it impossible. It was my first full day in Italy. I woke that morning to the piercing sound of motorini outside my room. It was loud — incredibly loud. And hot — stifling hot. I went to my window and opened the green wooden shutters and looked onto the street below. There were people swarming the sidewalks and miniature cars pushing their way through the narrow streets. I poked my head out the window further. The air was filled with dust and the heavy stink of the latest Italian garbage strike. But the streets were alive. The light was rose coloured. And it was all very different from what I was used to. This differentness soaked inside of me. That exact street scene lit up something amazing inside me. That nasty dark cloud of post-break up loathing lifted. It blew straight away! I knew, in that instance, that I was going to be alright.

It was an epiphany; a clear message given to me by this magical city that would be my home for the next month. I felt like I had won the lottery. Florence was the medicine I needed but didn’t know how to administer.
I really had won the lottery. It was the lottery of school bursaries and scholarships to study Italian language at a local school. My university in Canada even gave me money to assist in travel expenses, which was great as I was broke. I had put the gears in motion to come to Italy and it all fell so quickly and beautifully into place that I spontaneously jumped into my Italian summer. I had wanted to come for over five years. I was thrilled.

I landed in Florence by myself. Did I say that I was heartbroken? I was. But do you know what is salve to the soul when you are down in the dumps? Italians! Especially when you don’t know what they are saying — like I did. All you hear is “bella” this and “ciao” that and everything sounds so lovely and exciting even if, in reality, the men are just complaining about their team losing the match and the women are just complaining about how much ironing they have. But you don’t understand a thing! You just walk around in your bubble thinking that the sound is pure poetry. And the lack of familiarity lifted my spirits. The language barrier never seemed like a burden, just a sing-song sound while I lost myself in the streets and in my own thoughts.

I did very little studying that summer. I was having too much fun to study. And that was coming from someone previously preoccupied with high marks; but I knew I just needed a break from the constant pursuit of academia. In fact, I failed every test I wrote in Italian class. I couldn’t get it. I couldn’t conjugate a verb if you paid me in gelato. I was hopeless but too stubborn to quit. Most of my classmates quit over that month.

Full immersion is brutal! I attended my daily classes but what I looked forward to was the nights full of friends, aperitivi, dinners, and lots of laughter. Being a foreign student in Florence is akin to living in a nightclub for a month. You only go out in the daylight hours to eat food. And go to school. Then you return to the dark caves of clubs and parties and hanging out on the Duomo steps at dusk. It was something I never did at home. But in Florence at 25, it was just what the doctor ordered: a strong prescription of fun. A strong dose of fun was salve for my cynical soul. I washed the pill of fun down with laughter after nightfall. I followed it up with teaspoonful of watching the sunrise after dancing the night away.

Travel is the kind of experience that rattles your cage. It strips you down, it builds you up. Travel is a drug that haunts you and makes you crave your next fix. We metaphorically use the travel drug to cure boredom, stagnancy, marriage difficulties, mid-life crises and twenty something angst. You don’t need to travel to be cured. But you better do something else to lift your fog. You need to re-light your fire somehow.

Do I think Italy is a country worth visiting in your lifetime? Yes, absolutely and without a doubt. I have actually made it part of my life’s work: I help you travel to Italy. Ten years later I am a very different woman from the one looking out the green shutters of my Florence apartment. I also have a completely different relationship with Italy. It is less rose coloured. It is more evolved and useful.

Travel is still my sermon. Why buy a new car when you could buy a flight to Rome? Why take the kids to Disneyland when you could take them to Venice? Would you sell your couch to travel to Florence? When will you absorb the powerful medicine of travel? Do you have what it takes to take control of your dreams? What are you willing to give up? What are you willing to get?

When will you travel to Italy?

Bianca helps people travel to Italy and plans itineraries for the Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera. You can find her at Italian Fix.

New Yorker finds Happiness in Tuscany

Posted by on Feb 21, 2012 in blog | 1 comment

This a guest post from Paul Costa, a successful expat in Tuscany. His beautiful story compelled me to creating a new category dedicated to all those that left their homeland to live the Tuscan dream. Cheers Paul!

Imagine yourself in Tuscany standing on the veranda of a villa on a beautiful sunny day, admiring the rolling hills, and sipping a glass of Chianti.

Paul Costa, owner of Tuscan Tour Guide, has been living this dream on the outskirts of Florence and Pisa since 2005. As a tour guide he helps travelers live the “Tuscan Dream”.
Paul was born and raised in New York, but as a child he spent several years in Tuscany when his parents began a business there. Years went by and Paul was your average New Yorker, but he always remembered the beauty of the Tuscan hills. When Paul graduated from SUNY Stony Brook in 1999 with a degree in Italian Renaissance Art History, he began teaching Italian in a local school district. But in his heart he heard Tuscany calling. He wanted to share his knowledge of art and culture standing in front of Michelangelo’s David rather then showing slides of David in a classroom. So he sold everything, moved from New York to a town outside of Pisa, and pursued his dream. Now he “teaches” tourists instead of middle school students.

As the “Tuscan Tour Guide”, Paul has brought countless wine lovers to the heart of the Tuscan wine country, and in the process he has become a connoisseur of Tuscan wines, including Chianti, Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Super Tuscan, and Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Demand for these tours was so great that Paul began an annual Tuscany Wine Tour, which takes place during the last week of September so that oenophiles can witness one of the most important parts of wine making: the harvest.

In addition to the wine tours, Paul provides historical and/or thematic full-day, half-day, and weekly tours of important Tuscan and Italian tourist destinations and locations important to Tuscany’s history. While planning each tour Paul discusses Etruscan-history, Roman and Renaissance art-history, archeology, culture, cuisine and wine, designing each trip to suit the expectations of each couple, family, or large group, and allowing them to discover the many hidden treasures found throughout Tuscany. Paul operates tours 12 months a year and he oversees all itineraries.

Passengers from Carnival, Royal Caribbean & Norwegian Cruise Lines have rated Paul and Tuscan Tour Guide on sites such as CruiseCritic.com and TripAdvisor. His outgoing and fun personality has brought him customers such as Gordon Getty, Billy Costa (Boston’s Radio KISS 108 & TV NECN host) as well as thousands of tourists from many English speaking countries of the world.
Follow Paul on Twitter @tuscantourguide or visit his site for great free information www.tuscantourguide.com

Tennis Holidays in Tuscany

Posted by on Feb 18, 2012 in blog | 0 comments

This is a guest post from Laura Hamilton of www.tuscanytennis.com

Wonderful food and wine, sun-drenched rolling hills, an abundance of culture and more than a hint of romance. Probably all the things that immediately spring to mind when you think of Tuscany.
Well, have you ever thought of improving your back-hand while you’re there?

Tennis aficionados, imagine the steady thwack, thwack of the ball on glorious, brick red, clay courts. A couple of hours of that in the morning and you’ve really earned your pasta and a drop or two of Chianti.

I guess many have drifted away from the ‘lie and fry’ beach holidays. Not that they weren’t good while they lasted. But nowadays, many want to pack more in, they want more ‘take-home value’.
Tuscany undoubtedly gives that and to be able to play tennis and be coached at a high level in such a fabulous setting just notches it all up a level.

You wouldn’t want a tennis boot camp in Tuscany of course, as you need time to savor all the region has to offer. And for those non-tennis players in your party, they need to know that they won’t be abandoned.

So, how about this for a set-up? Stay in a beautiful, rustic villa with its own pool, if you choose. Spend the morning on court at either a private members’ club outside the atmospheric, medieval city of Lucca or at the prestigious Matchball Academy, which sits just above and within easy distance of Florence. Get some really serious, quality coaching from some of the highest qualified maestros in the UK and then tuck into a well deserved lunch before either lounging by the pool or taking in some of the sights. Conscience free indulgence, it doesn’t get any better than that.

Ian Campbell, along with his business partner Laura Middleton, has been organizing these holidays for nearly twenty years now and they have a loyal following. They both know Tuscany like the back of their hands and speak fluent Italian, always on hand for advice and recommendations. Many guests have returned for up to 14 years on the trot, taking their families from tots playing with spongy-balls to hulking great teens bursting strings.
There are so many wonderful things about Tuscany, now you can add tennis to your list.

A Traveller’s Guide to Grosseto, Tuscany

Posted by on Feb 16, 2012 in blog | 0 comments

If you’re looking to experience the beauty of the Italian countryside while taking in the illustrious history of Tuscany, then a trip to Grosseto might be in your future.

Grosseto offers both the atmosphere of a small Italian city and the fresh air and incredible landscapes of the Tuscan countryside. It lies just 14 kilometers from the breathtaking Tyrrhenian Sea and is considered by many seasoned travelers to be one of the best locations for who wants more than just the typical Italian holiday. Read on to learn more about Grosseto, accommodation options including hotels and Italian villas, and why it may be just right for your itinerary.

Until the 12th century, Grosseto was one of Tuscany’s most important cities. While others declined, Grosseto continued to grow and prosper. In the 13th century, after being taken over by the Republic of Siena, the city turned into a military fortress, of which there are still remnants today. In the mid-1500s, Grosseto’s environment began to settle, although by that time it had been reduced to a minor city. It was reconstructed, but the old stronghold walls remain as a testament to the city’s history. Today it has a population of just over 80,000 people, and is home to some of Tuscany’s most beautiful architectural sites.

The most popular tourist attraction in Grosseto is the Medicean Walls. These walls were constructed in the 1500s to replace the old, damaged stronghold walls from previous centuries. Today the Walls are a public park, and are often filled with both citizens and tourists alike milling about and taking in the fresh air.

The Grosseto Cathedral is the main other popular attraction for visitors. Taking nearly three centuries to complete due to regional conflicts with the Sienese, the Cathedral is a striking example of Roman architecture, and is dedicated to Saint Lawrence. Both of these sights are must-sees for anybody visiting Grosseto.

One of Grosseto’s best attractions is the Museo Archeologico e d’Arte della Maremma (the Museum of Archaeology and Art of Maremma). The museum is housed in Grosseto’s former courthouse, which is also a stunning piece of Italian architecture. Within the museum, you can explore the cultural history of the Maremma region of Tuscany. It has a collection of over 5,000 prehistoric Roman and Etruscan relics, and is organized in such a way that as you move through the museum, you see the relics evolve over time. The museum is a testament not only to Grosseto, but also to its surrounding towns and, indeed, Italy as a whole.

As far as eating and drinking, there is of course no shortage of delicious cuisine available in Grosseto. You can certainly find popular chain restaurants around, but your trip to Grosseto would not be complete without tasting the region’s wonderful dishes and specialty breads and cheeses. A particularly popular bread is “schiaccia con cipolle e acciughe“, a mouthful to say but certainly worth it! This bread is oven-baked and stuffed with onions and European anchovies. Or if that’s a bit much for your tastes, Grosseto’s normal oven-baked bread is served with dipping oil that is a real treat. And since you’re in Tuscany, there are numerous wineries and vineyards to tour, and thousands of different wines to taste!

Grosseto is local to the 4-mile beach called the Marina di Alberese. This is a relatively wild and empty beach stretch by Italian standards. Sports are frequently played on the beach such as beach tennis and swimming contests. The water quality is very good and ideal for diving.

Accommodations in Grosseto can range from a small bed and breakfast to fully furnished Italian villas! Tuscany villas receive a lot of acclaim and are great choices if you plan to stay for a while. Regular hotels are also plentiful, as are agrotourism opportunities, which allow you to experience life on an Italian farm. Depending on your personal tastes, you’re sure to find a wonderful place to stay, which will make your trip to Grosseto all the more memorable.

Pistoia in Italy, City of Art and Culture in Tuscany

Posted by on Feb 7, 2012 in blog | 0 comments

Tuscany is one of the most popular tourist regions of the globe, with arguably the greatest cultural heritage in the world. It was the epicenter of the renaissance and has 6 UNESCO World heritage sites, with a lot of beautiful weather to boast about as well.

Here I will concentrate on Pistoia, Italy. It is a city in the region of Tuscany and the capital of a province by the same name. Pistoia is crossed by the “Ombrone Pistoiese”, a tributary of the River Arno. Pistoia has an interesting history being a Roman town in the 6th century and then it was ruled by the Lombards. In that era, Pistoia was a defensive stronghold known as the seat of ‘Castaldia’.

It is seen as a charming medieval city with its city walls still very much intact today. It’s advisable after reading this article to view a few videos online to learn more about Pistoia through the unique perspective that watching a travel video can offer.

Pistoia contains many religious buildings showing its strong connection with Roman Catholicism which has been such a big part of Italian culture for many centuries. Pistoia is a center close to the majority of the tourist hubs across Tuscany, so this makes it a great place to stay if you have a desire to explore most of Tuscany throughout your holiday. The majority of Tuscany’s tourist centers are within 30 minutes by car or train travel, including Florence, only around 20 minutes away from Pistoia.

Pistoia contains many museums such as the Marino Marini foundation and the popular Piazza Della Sala. Its monuments have made it a popular city to explore even with all that Tuscany has to offer. Four kilometers from Pistoia lies the amazing Zoological Garden which is one of the best in all of Italy.

The city has a traditional-style market that offers an enjoyable cultural experience for visitors. The Pistoia market is an ideal place to meet up and mingle with many of the locals whilst also grabbing a bargain or two!
There is a famous sculpture in Pistoia called “the Moon in the well” which was created by Florentine artist Gianni Ruffi. If you wonder around the city centre of Pistoia you are likely to see the “moon in the well” named so because of the metallic looking moon that looks as if it is coming out of the well. It is a famous sculpture that is supposed to relate to a legend that the moon once fell in Pistoia in the 15th Century.

Pistoia, along with Prato and Florence, are members of the SMAC (Metropolitan system for contemporary art). For years SMAC has been organizing exhibitions of artwork, an example being the Centro di Palazzo Fabroni Arti Visive contemporanee.

Pistoia in Italy, due to schemes like the SMAC and its traditional history, has become one of the centers of art and culture. The city is also seen as a site of contemporary art across Europe with influential artists like Ruffi placing his work in the city center of town.

This city is a great place to visit and offers a real contrast for visitors. There is a rich mix of a traditional medieval style village with all the modern day contemporary aspects alongside. All of this means that when you are planning a trip to Tuscany you should make time for a trip to Pistoia. Also, make you sure you pack your video camera to take some travel videos of Pistoia, Italy and gather ever-lasting memories of a fantastic place.