Plautilla Nelli: Florence's First Woman Artist

After centuries of masculine domination, Italy's most important museums are starting to show their feminine side in both boardrooms and exhibition halls. Women have been named to head a number of the country's leading galleries in recent years, beginning with Cecilie Hollberg at the Accademia in Florence and Sylvain Bellenger at Naples' Capodimonte Museum in 2015, and more recently, Barbara Jatta ,who this year became the first woman chosen by a pope to direct the Vatican Museums.

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By Plautilla Nelli - Advancing Women Artists Foundation 2014-02-07 07:30:08, Public Domain, Link(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

In addition to taking the helm in managing Italy's struggling state museums, women have also begun to take center stage as artists in both special exhibitions and permanent collections. A major retrospective dedicated to Artemisia Gentileschi, the greatest female artist of the Baroque age, has been one of the most successful exhibitions in Rome since it opened in December, and Eike Schmidt, director of the Uffizi Galleries in Florence, has made good on his promise to highlight more works by female artists with “Plautilla Nelli: Convent Art and Devotion in the Footsteps of Savonarola”, dedicated to Florence’s first-known female Renaissance painter, open now until June 4th.

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Coming Soon: Switzerland!

Our love affair with Italy began in the quiet (and, at the time, virtually unknown) region of Umbria. We had been visiting regularly since 2000, and by 2004 had become specialized in creating unique trips focused on the history, culture, and cuisine in our lovely corner of the Bel Paese. Soon, however, our custom travel itineraries expanded to include all of Italy, as we searched out the best destinations, accommodations, and experiences from Sicily to the Dolomites in order to craft unforgettable trips for our travelers.

switzerland-cr-maria-landers(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

After more than a decade spent perfecting our on-the-ground expertise in Italy, we've decided to widen our scope to include Switzerland! We've had many clients request that we add a visit to Switzerland to their Italian itinerary, so we've been using our Italian, German, and French language skills- Maria is perfecting her Römisch - and working hard on expanding our knowledge of all things Swiss.

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Prosecco: Italy's Beloved Bubbly

With all due respect to the French, the world's favorite bubbly is now officially Italian.

cartizze-prosecco-cr-brian-dore(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

After centuries of living in the shadow of Champagne, Italy's sparkling Prosecco has taken the globe by storm, outselling its French rival by a few million bottles and gaining such popularity in the UK that suppliers almost ran out in 2016. Champagne may have a corner on glamour, but the DOC and DOCG Prosecco has become universally beloved as an “everyday” bubbly, with an affordable price that belies its excellent quality and long history, and a crisp taste that makes it versatile enough to be used as a mixer, paired with savory dishes, or poured for a dessert toast.

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