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Was This The Real Mona Lisa?

Was This The Real Mona Lisa? Aug 14th, 2013 at 10:30AM: Wikimedia Commons Scientists in Florence are examining the bones of a 16th century nun they think served as the model for the Mona Lisa. Lisa Gherardini Del Giocondo was the wife of a wealthy merchant and is rumored to have been the model for Leonardo da Vinci's famous portrait. She was a famed beauty in her time and lived across the street from the famous artist and inventor. When her husband...

American Tourist Snaps Finger Off Priceless Florentine Statue

American Tourist Snaps Finger Off Priceless Florentine Statue Aug 6th, 2013 at 12:30PM: sailko, Wikimedia An American tourist who says he was "measuring" the finger of a 600-year-old statue of the Virgin Mary ended up accidently snapping off the statue's pinky. Staff at the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in Florence, Italy are outraged. Although the statue is a cast of the original, repairs will be complex and costly. Timothy Verdun, an American expat and art historian who works with...

Got Granita? Savoring A Summertime Sweet In Italy

Got Granita? Savoring A Summertime Sweet In Italy Jun 18th, 2013 at 12:00PM: Chris, Flickr It will officially be summer in just a few days, and who doesn't associate long, hot days with ice cream? Or, depending upon your preferences, lactose-digesting capabilities, and what part of the world you're in, gelato, sorbet, paletas, kulfi, faloodeh, bur bur cha cha or other sweet, frozen treats served around the world. Gelato is obviously past its tipping point in the U.S,...

Inside The Urban Underground: Exploration Gets Personal

Inside The Urban Underground: Exploration Gets Personal Aug 30th, 2012 at 11:00AM: New Yorker Steve Duncan was so desperate to pass his college math class, he crawled through a tunnel to finish it. A computer assignment was due the next day and the software to finish was inside a building closed for the night. In a moment of desperation, Steve came up with a crazy plan: he could sneak inside. Having heard from a classmate about a collection of well-known tunnels...

A Reluctant Artist Finds His Way In Florence

A Reluctant Artist Finds His Way In Florence Jul 30th, 2012 at 11:00AM: To say that I'm a reluctant traveler would be to vastly undersell the case. When asked to take a trip out of town my gut reaction is to blurt out WHY? as if I were being threatened with banishment for committing some wrong. So when my parents asked me and my girlfriend to join them in Florence for a week and I agreed, everyone was taken aback...myself included. My girlfriend is a planner....

Video Of The Day: Florence Time-Lapse

Jul 11th, 2012 at 6:00PM: Semper Firenze I came across this time-lapse video from a New Year's outing in Florence, Italy, on Vimeo (user MattBen) today. It struck me immediately as dramatic, but also mesmerizing. The time-lapse starts off and ends with slow sounds and visuals. The video climaxes in the middle with chaotic and dissonant music paired with footage of people moving along the streets of Florence...

Photo Of The Day: Locks Of Love

Photo Of The Day: Locks Of Love Jun 21st, 2012 at 6:00PM: Today's Photo of the Day was taken on Paris' Pont des Arts bridge, where it is tradition to write your name and your lover's on a padlock and attach it to the railing to symbolize your unbreakable bond. It's a tradition popular all over the world, from Florence to Taiwan (check out Gadling's gallery from Cologne, Germany. Over the years, many cities have tried to remove the locks or limit new...

Gucci Museum opens in Florence

Gucci Museum opens in Florence Sep 28th, 2011 at 1:30PM: One of the world's most well-known luxury fashion labels, Gucci, this week opened a museum in Florence. While we need very little reason to travel to Italy or to write about anything luxury, this museum seems worth a stop. The opening marks the brand's 90th anniversary and incorporates both the leather goods and clothing that have made the brand so successful. The three-level museum, opened...

New Florence App hits app store (and it's free!)

New Florence App hits app store (and it's free!) Jun 21st, 2011 at 5:00PM: Update! The app is now also available for Android devices. Our old friend and partner-in-crime Leif Pettersen has been busy since his departure from Gadling in 2007. The wayward Lonely Planet author, travel guru and generally affable guy has been bombasting around the planet on various projects, but one in particular recently got our attention at Gadling Labs. Turns out, Pettersen just...

Florence's Hotel L'Orologio - a watch-lover's haven

Florence's Hotel L'Orologio - a watch-lover's haven May 26th, 2011 at 2:00PM: Hotels that literally interpret a theme can be kitschy, fun, cool, or just plain overdone. It's rare they walk the fine line of falling squarely into the luxury category. But, from what we've seen, Florence's Hotel L'Orologio, or Hotel L'O, for short, fits the bill. Part of the boutique Whythebest collection in Italy, the brand's founder, Sandro Fratini, designed the property around his love...

"Mona Lisa model" to be exhumed

May 14th, 2011 at 11:00AM: Scientists are opening the grave of a nun to see if she was the model for Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa. The 16th century tomb of Lisa Gherardini Del Giocondo is being explored in the hopes of finding her skull. With modern facial reconstruction techniques, it's possible to tell what she looked like, and this will confirm or deny a popular theory that she was the model for the famous painting....

New "crumpled" city maps for tourists

New Dec 1st, 2010 at 12:30PM: Milan-based industrial designer Emanuele Pizzolorusso centers on themes of sustainability and durability in his work. A 2008 honors graduate of the Politecnico di Milano, Pizzolorusso's oeuvre includes a waste paper bin made entirely out of recycled paper (designed with Ricardo Nannini and Domenico Orefice) and an award-winning prototype of a map of Rome's fountains. It is Pizzolorusso's...

Top ten hostels in Europe

Top ten hostels in Europe Oct 25th, 2010 at 5:00PM: Staying in a hostel in Europe is a rite of passage for budget-conscious travelers making their way around the continent. This is particularly the case for budget-conscious younger travelers. Here are ten hostels across Europe that either receive particularly high user-review grades or are notorious enough in one or another way to be noteworthy. St. Christopher's at the Winston, Amsterdam,...

In Italy: The Florence meanderings

In Italy: The Florence meanderings Sep 17th, 2010 at 3:30PM: Florence is so much more than a city. The past of this small community on the banks of the Arno is forever intertwined with invention and progress. The Renaissance began here, advancing all forms of intellectual inquiry and creation. The Medici, essentially the world's first modern bankers, built a Florentine empire with a strong patronage for the arts. Once the center of the banking and art...

Photo of the Day (9.1.10)

Photo of the Day (9.1.10) Sep 1st, 2010 at 5:30PM: You can schedule yourself into oblivion when you travel and tick off every major sightseeing spot in your guide, but sometimes it's the quiet moments that are the most memorable. This tranquil scene of Florence at dusk -- shot by Flickr user Justin Delaney -- reminds me that it's important stop and take a good look around every once in a while. After all, isn't that why we travel, anyway? It's...

The best places in the world to smoke a cigar

The best places in the world to smoke a cigar Aug 19th, 2010 at 3:35PM: Smoking a cigar the correct way demands a critical mix of solitude, contemplation, and most important, awareness of surroundings. All other things become subservient to the act of observing and evaluating. With this game plan in play, the smoker's post-ignition environs take on as much importance as the flavor, taste, and draw of the tobacco. Here is one man's list of the top ten places in the...

Sting opens organic farm store in Tuscany

Sting opens organic farm store in Tuscany Aug 10th, 2010 at 5:30PM: Is every little thing he does magic (sorry)? Mother Nature Network announced that Sting and wife Trudie Styler just celebrated the opening of their new farm store, on their 16th century Tuscan estate near Florence. The couple have quietly been producing wine, olive oil, acacia and chestnut honey, and salumi on the 900-acre property for a number of years. Until now, however, the products were only...

Galileo's fingers go on display

Galileo's fingers go on display Jun 9th, 2010 at 1:00PM: Tourists in Florence can now learn more about the city's most famous resident at The Museum of the History of Science, which has just reopened as the Galileo Museum. Galileo (1564-1642) was one of the greatest scientists of the Renaissance. He made significant advances in physics and mathematics and made history when he turned a newfangled gadget called the telescope towards the night sky and...

17 great destinations for romance

17 great destinations for romance May 21st, 2010 at 3:30PM: Some say that romance is a lost art - but it's not. It's just hiding, waiting to be uncovered in some of the most beautiful places around the globe. Whether you are trying to show that special someone that they truly are special, making a proposal, or rekindling the flame you once had with your spouse, setting the stage is your first step to success. Whether you are searching for the perfect...

Say 'arrivederci' to cars in Florence's Piazza Duomo

Say 'arrivederci' to cars in Florence's Piazza Duomo Oct 16th, 2009 at 11:30AM: It's a given -- any visit to the main piazza in Florence means being among a crowd. But thanks to a decision by the city's mayor Matteo Renzi, visitors will soon get a little breather (literally and figuratively). Starting October 25, cars, buses, and even horse-drawn carriages will be banned from the popular nucleus of activity near the Duomo and Baptistry. The reason is to reduce the carbon...

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