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Relaxing Tuscany: natural thermal baths

discover tuscany, thermal baths tuscnay, tuscan hot springs, relax in tuscnay, tuscan holidaysComing to Tuscany can be quite exhausting: visiting churches and museums, sightseeing cities, wandering around the countryside for a wine tasting in Chianti or a concert in a medieval village…

But coming to our region on holidays means that no one would likely get back home tired, right?

discover tuscany, thermal baths tuscnay, tuscan hot springs, relax in tuscnay, tuscan holidaysA good way to relax and enjoy a lazy day away from the crowds of tourists and rushing queues should be to drive off to one of Tuscan natural hot springs.

Our region is really rich in hot natural springs bubbling out of the ground, whose waters are filled with minerals and are used for their curative properties since ancient times.

 

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The best thing is that you can also choose to take a few days off to relax treating yourselves, as many hot springs are used by spa hotels and medical centres; but you can also decide to enjoy the pleasure of discovering one of the wild hot springs peppering the untamed countryside.

 

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Our Institute offers a variety of cultural activities and programs to discover the beauties of Tuscany, among which our wine tasting tours, our program of excursions and many other things!

Find out more on www.galilei.it or write us at info@galilei.it

 

 

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Interesting facts about Florentine people and places: watch “Firenze a Ufo”!

Florentine people are well known to be funny and entertaining, always very proud of their wonderful city (easy to understand why!) and full of stories an anecdotes. If you are interested in discovering more about Florentine people and typical places (including historic local shops) take a look at this interesting Youtube channel called Firenze a Ufo, where a group of guys will take you around introducing some famous Florentine people, places and facts.

The program is entirely in Italian but can be a very good exercise for intermediate learners as no difficult words are spoken and the accent is mild, very well understandable. This program is interesting even for Italians, since the facts and stories told are usually not known by everyone and are very interesting to discover!

Episode n. 10 covers the story of one of the most well known “panineria” of the town: All’Antico Vinaio, located in Via de’ Neri. Tourists and locals queue sometimes for over a half hour to get one of their famous schiacciata ripiena (stuffed focaccias). Just watching this interview I feel hungry already! It’s a real must visit when you come to Florence.

Enjoy this program and if you want to discover more about this amazing city, take a look at our Guided Tours of Florence, as well as to our Art History Courses and the Italian Language Courses by Istituto Galilei in Florence!

 

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ACF Fiorentina

Today we would like to share with you a few knowledges on one of Florence’s heart activites… football matches! And in Florence there’s only one name associated with it…Fiorentina!

ACF Fiorentina, more commonly known simply as Fiorentina, is the Italian football club based in the city of Florence.

The football club was founded on August 29th, 1926 by the Marquis Luigi Ridolfi Vay da Verrazzano and, even if today it is associated with the purple colour, back at its origins the team wore white and red clothes which are the historical colours of Florentine mayorship.

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Being the city’s football team, the Fiorentina uses the Florentine lily as symbol on its uniforms: a red lily on white field in a diamond-shaped hemblem put on the left side of the shirt, where the heart is 😉

Fiorentina also have an anthem titled “Canzone Viola” but which is better known as “O’ Fiorentina” since its origins in the 30’s.

The first fans of the Tuscan team printed a flyer with the lyrics of this song, and distributed it to the fans at the stadium during a match and, doing so, it soon became the official anthem of Fiorentina, that you can hear by clicking here below –

If you’d like to go to the stadium once in Florence, remember that our school can provide you the tickets for the matches at Artemio Franchi’s stadium!

So..what are you waiting for? Come and discover Florence with us! Check-out all news and offers on www.galilei.it or write us at info@galilei.it for further information or requests!

 

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Wintertime in Florence

Italy, Tuscany, Florence – most of the people use to travel these places in summertime. But why not breaking the rules and take advantage of the winter season?

wintertime in florence, discover florence, events in florence, christmas in florenceA vacation in Florence before, during or after the holiday season gives you the opportunity to experience the cradle of the Renaissance from a different point of view. You will be able to visit the cities’ most beautiful places with smaller crowds and no noisy clutter.

This season is perfect for everybody who wants to combine a language or culture course with a relaxing stay in Tuscany. You might take courses in the morning and enjoy the afternoon strolling/walking around the streets, markets and or simply a warm Cappuccino in a café.

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And what if you could relish all this taking advantage of our special offers during the winter season? We are specialized in one-to-one and small group courses (max. 4 persons) organized for 4, 6 or 8 hours per day.

All our courses are completely customizable so that you will be able to choose both the beginning date and the length of the period of study. We also offer courses including lunch or dinner with the teacher – the best way to enjoy Italian dishes while practicing your newly acquired knowledges.

For those who work, our weekend crash courses are the best solution as our school is open all year round and offers the highest degree of custom-tailored solutions to suit our students’ needs.
Furthermore we offer at our Institute courses of Cooking, Art History, History of Florence, Drawing & Painting, Italian Literature and Photography as well as guided visits to the museums and churches of Florence.  Indeed the winter season is the perfect time to treat yourself with non-crowded museum visits, taking all your time to admire the renaissance masterpieces.

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Besides the astonishing variety of museums, churches and places to visit, the city offers typical seasonal attractions like the traditional Christmas market in Piazza Santa Croce and, for those who would covet more dynamic activities, the seasonal ice-skating rink is set to put the final touch on the Florentine winter wonderland atmosphere.
Just send us your request and it will be our pleasure for us to organize for you a winter stay in one of the most beautiful cities of the world.
We remain at your full disposal for any further information or enquiry at info@galilei.it

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Julia Roberts hits Florence: discover Giardino Bardini

Florence is a well-known spot for many Hollywood stars who hit our amazing town both for business, as Sir Anthony Hopkins did for the Hannibal shooting, as well as for fun like Hugh Jackman and Will Smith did last summer.

This time Florence has had the honour to host Julia Roberts, who got in town for the shooting of the last Calzedonia commercial (that you can see here below) portraying a real woman during a journey, discovering herself through places and meetings:

http://youtu.be/yx9G3Eio-9U

The Florentine shot of the commercial shows you an amazing and quite un-known garden in Florence: Giardino Bardini

The Bardini Garden is a garden of Florence, located in the Oltrarno neighborhood. It covers a wide area from the hilly slopes of Piazzale Michelangelo to the Arno, and its origins date back to the XIII Century.

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The garden was restored in depth since 2000, thanks to the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, through the Foundation monumental parks Bardini and Peyron, which lasted nearly five years, with the reintroduction of fruit trees, plants and other ornaments.

The restoration, which has seen the care also of the statues and buildings, has allowed the recent reopening of the park, which, although it is not run by the Superintendent of museums of Florence, has been associated with the Boboli Gardens, thanks to a single ticket.

Should you like to explore the marvellous and enchanting beauties hiding in the Bardini Garden, why not choosing one of our guided visits tours of the town? Let one of our Art history experts lead you to discover all the amazing spots the town has to offer!
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Italian painters: Antonio Mancini

Antonio Mancini is one of the best known Italian painters belonging to the Verismo movement. Being a Verista, he took his main inspiration from the streets of the Italian cities, mainly Naples. His most recurrent subjects vary from poor children, street artists, circus performers.

His portraits are honest and direct, they give a strong image of the figure depicted. The Saltimbanco makes us feel the hard condition of this poor boy, struggling to survive as a performer in poverty.

 

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His talent was famous around Europe back then, and he became a good friend of the English painter John Singer Sargent, who really appreciated his works. Mancini painted Sargent in various occasions.

 

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Despite suffering of an extremely bad mental breakdown, Mancini could become successful. His paintings are exposed in Rome, London, Paris, and New York.

Are you interested in painting? Take one of our Drawing & Painting Courses in Florence an develop your own style!

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Italian slang: “Avere sale in zucca”

This expression is very funny. You may think it could have something to do with eating or cooking, since you can translate it literally as “Having salt in the pumpkin” but it has nothing to do with pumpkins!

 

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In Italian, the word “zucca” – pumpkin – is used to talk about the head, because of the rounded shape of the vegetable. “Avere sale in zucca” means having some “salt” in the head, being smart. It’s a nice expression that Italians, especially in Tuscany, love to use!

Would you like to learn more about Italian language? With our Italian courses you can have a fully customized program focusing on the subjects you prefer!

 

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Italian recipes: lentil soup

Winter is almost here, days are getting colder…so what’s best than a warm, hearty lentil soup to warm up our heart? An easy and homey classic, that you will prepare just in 40 minutes!

lentil soup

Ingredients (for 2 people)

120g lentils
20g onion
20g carrot20g celery
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp tomato concentrate
1 sage leaf
3 slices of bread (thick)
salt, pepper

 

Directions

Peel the carrot, celery and onion, chop them finely. Put the olive oil in a pot and fry the vegetables for a few minutes. Add the tomato concentrate and the lentils, mix well. Cover with water, add the sage leaf and cook on low heat for about 30/40 minutes adding, if needed, more hot water. When the soup is cooked, add salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the bread slices into small cubes and fry them in a pan with a bit of oil.

Pour the soup in the bowls and top it with the fried bread cubes, extra virgin olive oil and black pepper.

Cooking healthy food is easy and fun! And with our Italian cooking courses you will learn the secrets of our cuisine and surprise your family and friends 🙂

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Italian slang: “Avere le batterie scariche”

Friday morning, and outside is raining.

You had to make a real effort to come out of the bed, get dressed and start heading to work. Even coffee seems not to be helpful. You definitely need some rest! Why? Because you have “le batterie scariche“: your battery has run out! That’s what Italians say when they feel tired, exhausted, either mentally or physically.

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Who doesn’t feel like this on a Friday morning? Luckily, the weekend is very close and you will have plenty of time to relax and have fun! Florence is wonderful in all seasons, and in Autumn it becomes very romantic. So just go out, have a walk and you will feel recharged for the new coming week 🙂

Want to learn more about Italian slang? It’s so much fun! Take a look at our Italian language courses. We can create a tailor-made program for you that includes specific parts of the language that you would like to improve!