And then we went out to see the stars..

In the year of the 750th anniversary of the birth of Dante Alighieri, who is forever remembered as a great poet, with his Divine Comedy and for deeply intriguing the genius Galileo, leading him to hold two memorable lessons on the geography and structure of Dante's Inferno at the Ancient Florentine Academy founded by the Medici family in 1462 from which emerged the relevant scaling laws and the first study of material properties. (more…)

Pienza, the Utopian City

The town of Pienza was founded by Enea Silvio Piccolomini, born on 18 October 1405 to a noble Sienese Family, which had over the years fallen on hard times, and for political reasons fled Siena to seek refuge in the city of Corsignano, in Val D'Orcia. Enea was born in this small village where there was a small Romanesque Church and a Praetorian Place. Once Enea reached adulthood he moved to the city of Siena where he began his law studies, thanks to which he found his first job as a lawyer for Cardinal Capranica, who brought him to Basel. It was in this new role that his Repulican personality came to light, and from there he began a diplomatic career that took him around Europe, coming into contact with very different cultures and civilizations. (more…)

San Giovanni D’Asso Treasure: by the discovery of the treasure of the Goths to the Holy Valley

The municipality of San Giovanni d'Asso can be defined as the natural border between the Valdichiana and the Maremma areas. Located in the southern part of the province of Siena, about 15 minutes from Montalcino, it is characterized by urban settlements and architectural works of art, which perfectly blend into the natural surrounding environment of prominent farm homes and Romanesque churches surrounded by uninterrupted rows of Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino vineyards. (more…)

The Noeplatonic Academy of Lorenzo the Magnificent

The Platonic Academy in Florence was a driving force of Neoplatonism during the Renaissance period. The Platonic Academy was founded in Florence, Villa Medici at Careggi, in 1462 by Marsilio Ficino, following the orders of Cosimo de Medici. A group of philosophers, writers, and artists worked together to reopen the ancient Athenian Academy of Plato. Among the leading proponents of the Neoplatonic academy in addition to Ficino, were Pico della Mirandola, Poliziano, Nicholas Cusano, Leon Battista Alberti, Cristoforo Landino, and the most important members of the Medici family, Giuliano de Medici and Lorenzo the Magnificent. (more…)

The Hot Springs of Val D’Orcia: parking areas, conceived and designed already in Roman times, where to relax body and mind

Bagno Vignoni - Bagni di San Filippo - San Casciano dei Bagni - Terme di Petriolo Bagno Vignoni is a small hamlet part of the municipality of San Quirico d'Orcia, in the province of Siena, less than 20 km from Montalcino. The villiage is in the heart of Tuscany, in the Natural Park of Val d'Orcia and is one of the most famous spas in the area. These natural hot springs, which attract many people, have been used since the time of the Romans for thermal purposes, thanks to its proximity to Via Francigena, which was the main artery for the pilgrimage to Rome. (more…)

Papesse Palace and Galileo Galilei

A short walk from Piazza del Campo is Piccolomi Palace also known as the Papesse Palace in honor of Caterina Piccolomini, the sister of Pope Pius Il, born Enea Silvio Piccolomini, founder of Pienza. Following the project of Bernardo Rossellino, the favorite architect of the Pope, the work began in 1469. The project was to build a three floor harmonious and elegant palace of Renaissance architecture. The ground floor is characterized by the embossing technique, while the upper floors are characterized by large mullioned windows divided with stringcourse. (more…)

The Crete Senesi: lunar landscapes in the land of Brunello

If you close your eyes and imagine a Tuscan landscape, what immediately comes to mind are the lush rolling hills, perhaps dotted with proud cypress trees all in a row, an explosion of yellow sunflowers in the fields and majestic farmhouses that rule the countryside. The southeast area of Tuscany is decidedly out of the ordinary. Winding roads, clay deserts, badlands and "biancane" land formations make for a landscape that is often described as lunar or desert-like. (more…)

The Crete Senesi Truffle

Before getting to the real description of the truffle and its legends, I would like to debunk some myths, which continue to be diffused despite the popularity of this exceptional delicacy. Truffle is NOT a tuber, NOR a relative of the potato, NOR a disease of the soil. It is NOT EVEN a parasite fungus, but IT IS a symbiont fungus (definition below). (more…)

Symbols of power: Arrigo Vll and Buonconvento

Henry Vll (Valenciennes 1275 Buonconvento, August 24, 1313) was the son of Count Henry VI of Luxembourg and Beatrice of Avesnes. He was raised in the French court and was connected to it because of cultural and political bonds. In 1292, he married Margaret of Brabant with whom he had three children. He was elected King of Germany in 1308, in spite of opposition by the King of France, Phillip the Fair, who hoped to crown his own brother Charles of Valois. Henry Vll, commonly known as Arrigo (more…)