Its distinguished history and traditions give Florence a special aura of nobility. In fact, there is not a single period in Italian history when the City of the Lily did not play a pivotal role, not to mention the glory and prosperity achieved by Florentine society, trade and culture in the Italian Renaissance.
This is why – despite having just 500,000 inhabitants – Florence welcomes over nine million guests every year, and is famed as the place in the world with the absolute highest concentration of artworks.
Florence Country Life wants to give visitors an opportunity to gain a wider and deeper understanding of the area by taking them through the Florentine countryside to the famous vineyard-carpeted hills of the Chianti Classico region.
Our exclusive horseback riding tours in the vicinity of Florence offer the perfect opportunity to sample Tuscan culinary products, to taste fine Chianti in traditional farms of ancient wine-making tradition, and of course to relax by the pool of noble Tuscan villas nestled in the manicured Tuscan landscape.
"Messer Dante, what you ate! You have committed a certain sin of gluttony!"
Dante watched the completely empty plates of his companions and replied:
"And you are dogs, because you ate meat and bones"
Lorenzo the Magnificent commissioned the young Michelangelo to realize the head of an old faun. The sculptor created the faun with his mouth open, so as to show the tongue and teeth. The Magnificent, for making fun of him, made him observe that the old men don’t usually have such a perfect set of teeth. Michelangelo broke a tooth of the faun and drilled its gum. Lorenzo was surprised by the speed and ease of mind of the young. He decided to become his protector.
An old woman of Florence, who needed a mortar, turned to all the main marble workers, who refused to engage in such a vile work and told her to turn to Michelangelo Buonarroti. Contrarily to his colleagues the artist enjoyed realizing a marble mortar finely chiseled, a true masterpiece. He did not want compensation but he asked the old woman to turn to the same marble cutters to get achieve a suitable pestle in a mortar. The old woman told him that the masons who she had addressed to were dismayed to see that work of so admirable workmanship, to the point of not being able to create an equally beautiful pestle.
Leonardo was a convinced vegetarian and had a deep love for animals. He even was used to go around in the markets to free the birds from cages that were ready to be sold. A contemporary of him, the Tuscan navigator Andrea Corsali, said of him that "he does not eat anything that has blood".
To Leonardo the phrase "The day will he be thought a crime to kill an animal as a time to kill a man” is attributed.
Leonardo was the first person to observe the growth rings of trees and to understand that, by counting them, you can determine the age of a plant. From this observation a new science has born in recent years, dendroclimatology, studying climates of the past thanks to particular traces left by nature in the tree rings.
"When you laugh you let yourself go, you are naked, you discover. When one laughs, you see a piece of his soul. When you laugh you are moving, you are shaking, you are shaking like a tree and leaving visible things of yourself onto the ground, things that other can see and maybe will grasp. The greedy and those who have nothing to offer, in fact, do not laugh “.
"Poetry is not outside yourself, it's inside yourself. Don’t ask me again what potry is, take a look in the mirror, poetry is you!"