Co-Author of The Medici Dynasty Show

"What will they see, in the future, when they visit here? When they walk the streets, they will see our crest on the buildings, our sculptures standing proudly. Inside, they will see the paintings, the jewellery, all the beauty that we created by supporting so many artists. They will know that the music they hear was born from our patronage, the sounds of a piano first heard in our palace. They will walk through a city whose soul is our very soul." 

Art. Money. Sex. Scandal. It's 1737 and the artistic fate of Florence rests in the hands of the Medici family's final two heirs - as one lays dying. What will become of the city's artistic heritage? And...who were the Medici to decide? Discover the answers in The Medici Dynasty Show.

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Art/Earth/Tech: Changing Worlds

Generations Of Family And Changing Worlds - for Openhouse Magazine

A red van waits, filled with wild flowers, a bright contrast between the granary with its smooth mountain of harvested wheat and the old barn whose doors, slightly open, reveal a wooden table laden with flowers and sculptures where people come together to share food, ideas, and their lives. We are glimpsing into the rituals of La Chéraille, a farm passed down through four generations of family that now shares more than its produce, but also a taste of daily life in connection with nature. It is the host of The Gathering by Art/Earth/Tech, an organisation formed between friends and based here in the south of Paris.

Website Content - Numeroventi Design Residency

A chance to focus

If you work in a creative field, the pressures of career can take you further and further from where you began. Numeroventi is a place for artists, designers, and creatives from all fields to escape their daily routine and focus on one particular project in a supported environment.

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Housed across three floors of Palazzo Galli Tassi, our studio apartments and working spaces are flooded in natural light. The mix of private and co-working spaces means that each resident benefits from both the atmosphere of concentration, as well as a natural and informal way to meet like-minded people and exchange ideas.

 

Read more at the Numeroventi website

A New Golden Age for Florence: Thanks to Cosimo I

This was the ambitious goal of Cosimo I, who became leader of Florence in 1537. He didn’t know it yet, but his rule would mark the beginning of two hundred years of powerful Medici rule (ending in 1737). This sprawling dynasty wasn’t created single handedly. In 1539, Cosimo married Eleonora di Toledo, daughter to the Spanish viceroy of Naples, and together they had eleven children – seven sons and four daughters. As well as being the great love of his life, Eleonora brought with her an enormous dowry which she used well to advance her husband’s status and position. You can read more about her life and their marriage here.

Medici Coat of Arms – Order of the Knights of San Stefano – Pisa

Medici Coat of Arms – Order of the Knights of San Stefano – Pisa

Cosimo became more powerful than any Medici before him. With his youth came a healthy dose of arrogance and ambition; he was determined to make the Florentine court as grand as any in Europe. Perhaps this youthful ego is precisely what made him such a good leader, he was unafraid of bold decisions and choosing his own vision over others. He is remembered as a remarkable leader who stabilised Florence. When he came to power, the governing structures of Florence were a mess. There were many rival claims to power that created constant battles between families, and an ongoing struggle between the Republic and the Medici. Cosimo was not shy about trampling over challenges to his authority. He removed all competition for power, abolishing the Republic’s institutions to ensure the stable and consistent rule by his own family line. There were mixed feelings about this – some praised the stability he brought, while others saw him as a tyrant.

Read more at The Medici Dynasty website

Politics, Power, and Persuasion: Meet Cosimo I de' Medici

His father ordered him thrown out of a window as a baby to see if he was brave. It was the first of many tests that Cosimo I would pass with flying colours. Cosimo I de’ Medici was born in Palazzo Salviati on June 12th 1519, an only child like his father Lodovico de’ Medici, a strong and fierce condottiero (mercenary) known as Giovanni of the Black Bands. Giovanni worked for Pope Leo X and they were so close that it was for Leo that Cosimo was given his name. When Cosimo was born, Leo X stood as Godfather and sent the orders that the child be named Cosimo, “to revive the memory of the wisest, the bravest, and most prudent man yet born to the house of Medici.”

Cosimo I de’ Medici 1519 – 1574

Cosimo I de’ Medici 1519 – 1574

While Giovanni was away for Cosimo’s actual birth, the story goes that when he returned, he stood beneath a window of the Salviati Palazzo where Maria was holding her son in her arms. “Buttami Cosimino!” he cried to her. “Throw him to me!” Who knows what she must have thought, but he insisted and so she dropped her baby out of the window where he fell into to waiting arms of his father below. Giovanni was proud, declaring to all who would listen that his son had neither cried nor struggled, proof of his great courage. “You’ll be a prince,” he allegedly said, which became true enough. He is famously known as the second Duke of Florence and the first Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Read More at The Medici Dynasty Website

A Florence rape survivor speaks out: Guilty verdict by the highest court in Rome

I am sitting in a quiet room in the countryside, my windows open to a morning of fog with a slight chill on the air. I returned here last night after spending time with friends, and although I could leave here and easily find other people on the property to talk to, I’m choosing to remain in this room where the silence is only broken by the sound of the birds, and my company is a garden spider who visits at night that I’ve affectionately named Shakespeare. I am here because in this space it is only myself, and for this moment, the story that has just come to an end is mine and mine alone. I’m not ready yet to share it. At 20.24 yesterday evening my lawyer called to give me the news: the condemnation and sentence for the man who raped me in Florence during May 2013 had finally been confirmed by the highest court in Rome.

This is the first time in over four years that I am finally allowed to speak, the first moment in which my voice might be permitted in the public arena without risk of damaging my case. When you are raped, yours is the least told story, while others voices grow louder and louder, spinning tales and reasons and theories and lies that weave together into a fabric of falsehood that so many people truly believe. As victims, we are helpless against the onslaught of public opinion, gagged until such a time as a legal process may finally allow us some voice. As mine is finally freed, two more young women are losing theirs as a case is built against the Carabinieri accused of violating them.

Read more at The Florentine website

Gelato Season: Don’t thank God, thank Catherine de’ Medici

I spent the next couple of hours either walking around with a gelato in my hand or on my knees in church asking to be forgiven for the sin of gluttony.

― Mark Leslie, Beyond The Pasta: Recipes, Language and Life with an Italian Family

Featured image credit © Gianluca Biscalchin

Featured image credit © Gianluca Biscalchin

You will be judged, believe me. Watched as you scan the gelato counter. What you put in your cup or cone tells who you are, like the choice of cup or cone itself. This is no time to revisit the chocolate, or the fondant, like so many winters past. It is Springtime! Time to delight in whimsy, in rose petal, in Brazilian fruits, pineapple, ginger, mint, lemon with sage, flavours that burst with spice and sass and liven up the warming days. I was just waylaid by a creamy number in Piazza della Passera named the Monna Lisa, (their spelling), heavy with spice, sweet with raisins, and an unexpected crunch of nuts. I wonder what that says about me?

Your gelato is your status symbol, and no one knew this better than Catherine de’ Medici. It was she who introduced gelato, served to the courts in France as a means of impressing the nobility with this novel Florentine delicacy. But who created the recipe?

Read more at The Medici Dynasty Website

Website Copy for Notte Fatata

At Notte Fatata, inspired pieces are hand made in Italy making every day bespoke and unique.

Savio Firmino design is coveted worldwide for its virtuosity, beauty, and prestige.

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Respect for tradition and state of the art techniques: these are the cornerstones of Savio Firmino’s production.

Every collection is the result of innovation combined with the skilful work of master artisans, ensuring the finest pieces adorn and enhance aristocratic homes. Quality, experience, and an attention to detail born from the ancient traditions of artigiani in Florence mean that every piece made in Italy is to be savoured for life.

A Savio Firmino creation is distinct, stylish, and recognised everywhere by those who appreciate luxury and authenticity.

Read more at the Notte Fatata website

The Flesh in My Life - Ghostwriter for Memoir

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"The Flesh in My Life is the best tasting auto-biography you can get.

Vince has sixty recipes in his book. Each one is tried and tested deliciousness, and crucial in demonstrating the role that food has played in Vince Garreffa’s life… and emphasising his theme that food and its sharing is life itself.

Vince Garreffa’s story gives hope to all. His family had no money, he was a bed wetter into his late teens, was chastised by his folks for not having any discernible talent, and was hopeless at his first job. Even after discovering his love of the butchers life (and finding the wife of his dreams), Vince had to deal with depression, near-bankruptcy, and suicidal thoughts.

The story of how Vince Garreffa met and dealt with each hurdle is a beauty. It’s told in a straight forward fashion. He’s not pretending to be Tim Winton here – there’s hardly a metaphor in sight. Just a grateful and humble sixty year old man taking stock, and setting down his tale.

Oh, and the secret to those amazing Garlic Prawns ? It involves two pans, but you’ll have to buy this book to find out the rest – proceeds go to Lifeline." 

Buy the book here or here