• Boboli Gardens - Tuscan Countryside - Florence, Italy

  • Piazzele Michelangelo - Sunset Through the Storm - Florence, Italy-2

  • cropped-Ponte-Vecchio-at-Night-Florence-Italy.jpg

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At my “neighborhood” piazza, Santa Maria Novella, everything is coming up roses! Two years ago the city put in these rose bed boarders in the grassy areas of the piazza. Previously it had been dry with a little grass and a lot of dirt. They added a sprinkler system, the roses and some ugly little fence borders that seem to be necessary to keep folks out of the grass beds.
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The roses are the type that blooms all summer and into the fall and are a variegated color with a strong perfume. They really make a spectacle with the beautiful pink and green façade of the church!

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“That’s Prato” is a new program started by the Prato Board of Tourism to increase awareness and tourism in the Prato area. They have created six itineraries that are being offered to the public free of charge. The itineraries last from 9 in the morning until 6 in the evening. Buses are provided to pick up the groups free of charge to travel to the destinations on the itinerary. They tour is accompanied by both an English and Italian speaking guide.
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We took the tour called When There were the Etruscans. We started the day in Prato at the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, then went out into the countryside to visit Etruscan tombs that were built 700 years B.C.! They were amazing.
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We spent some time in the small town of Artimino and visited the Archeological museum there which has archeological findings from the tombs as well as other artifacts found In Etruscan dwellings.
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Afterwards, we went to Carmignano to visit the parish church of St. Michaels were the Pontormo (Jacopo Carucci) painting hangs, The Visitation. You might have been lucky enough, as I was to see this painting at Palazzo Strozzi at the exhibit of Pontormo and Russo Florentine. Seeing a painting in its original location is outstanding.
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Check the “That’s Prato” website for upcoming itineraries. The current listing is through July, but they plan to have other offerings in the Fall through November.

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The latest exhibit at Palazzo Strozzi features over 50 bronze Hellenistic statues and it’s incredible! It started on March 21 and runs through June 21, but the great news for some is that it will move to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles on July 28-November 1 and then to Washington D.C. from December 6 to March 16, 2016. It is really worth seeing!
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These 50 bronze statues from the 4th to the 1st centuries B.C. showcase the artistic achievements of that time. The sculptures were found in a variety of places and there are maps indicating where each one was found and which museum it is currently located in. Most of the sculptures were found in the sea rather than on dry land and this group of sculptures has never been seen together before, giving a unique opportunity to contrast and compare the various works.
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Palazzo Strozzi is always a treat to visit and this exhibit was no exception. The museum is opened from 10-8 every day except Thursdays and it is opened until 11 on Thursday evenings. The cost of the exhibit is 10 euro. Before or after have a glass of wine, or a coffee in the Apollo Café’. The cheesecake is nice too!
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Some of these photos are mine, but the photos of the sculptures are a part of the Palazzo Strozzi press kit.