Monday, March 25, 2019
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All the Leonardo da Vinci art you need


It’s getting closer and closer the 500th anniversary from Da Vinci’s death is just a month and a half away, so we are gonna keep talking about him cause that’s what the whole Da Vinci segment is all about.

Today we’re going to look at some Leonardo da Vinci art, we already talked about his inventions so it’s time to talk about what he was more famous for. The Leonardo da Vinci paintings we’re going to talk about today are some of the most famous Leonardo da Vinci artworks that are known to man, so we have to homage them in our way. We already touched upon the Leonardo da Vinci first painting in are first article on the artist, so we won’t be talking about the Baptism of Christ, but hey don’t worry there are a fair deal of Leonardo da Vinci famous paintings to talk about, and we’re taking 10 of them into account in this post.

His love for art began at a very young age, and thanks to that he was able to start his apprenticeship at the Bottega del Verrocchio, one of the most important schools of art in Florence at the time. That is where he completed the first of the various Leonardo da Vinci works — the aforementioned Baptism of Christ — and also it is in this first painting that we start to see the world famous Leonardo da Vinci art style.

So, how many paintings did Leonardo da Vinci paint? When we talk about paintings he completed 30, or at least 30 are the ones we know about. In this post we’re going to talk about 10 of them.

Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa no doubt this is the Leonardo da Vinci most famous painting. Everyone, young and old, know about this masterpiece, and a lot of people ask themselves why did Leonardo da Vinci paint the Mona Lisa, the answer is simpler than what you could imagine. He was commissioned by Francesco del Giocondo to make a portrait of his wife Lisa Gherardini. Thus the name Mona (Madonna, Madam) Lisa. Now the other question is why do some people call this La Gioconda painting, that is because of her husbands family name. There is no doubt that this the official Leonardo da Vinci signature piece.

Last Supper

The Last Supper painting is one of those that are never gonna be forgotten, even thanks to movies like the Da Vinci Code and endless documentaries, that made sure this piece wouldn’t risk being forgotten. The Leonardo da Vinci Last Supper, was made on request of Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan, as part of the renovations of the Santa Maria Delle Grazie convent in Milan.

Lady with Ermine

One of the only pieces of Leonardo that you can find in Eastern Europe, the Lady with and Ermine portrays Cecilia Gallerani, mistress of the Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza. So yeah, he would have a mistress on the side and commission church frescos to make sure he wasn’t sinning too much. Today, you can find this amazing piece in Poland because it was bought by Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski in 1798, that immediately knew that this was a Da Vinci, even though it still wasn’t attributed to him yet. You really have to know your Leonardo da Vinci drawings to make an investment like that.

Salvator Mundi

The latest addition to the artist’s roster is the Salvator Mundi painting. A Leonardo da Vinci Jesus Painting that had brought a great deal of attention to it after being sold for 450 million dollars at auction in 2017. Now, some say it really isn’t his, but the Louvre of Abu Dhabi paid that much so it better be. Now being that it has just been discovered to be a Leonardo and not a copy, no one is really sure about when it was made, but the most prominent theory is the one that says it was painted for Louis XII of France after he conquered Milan and Genoa. So, good on you da Vinci Salvator Mundi for making it in the high art world.

Vitruvian Man

Not exactly a painting, but rather one of the most prominent  Leonardo da Vinci sketches, the Vitruvian Man was made to have on paper the perfect proportions of man. More of a tutorial for artists than a painting itself, but the precision and mastery of the artist makes the Leonardo da Vinci Vitruvian Man a unique piece that today is recognised by all.

Saint John the Baptist

Considered to be the last Leonardo da Vinci pictures painted by the artist. Finished around 1516, it depicts Saint John the Baptist in a chiaroscuro with a smile that resembles that of the Leonardo da Vinci Mona Lisa, this opened up the debate that both subject are actually Leonardo’s assistant Salai.


We already talked about the first painting Leonardo made under the tutelage of Andrea del Verrocchio, but we didn’t talk about this piece that was completed by the artist while still working in the studio of his master. Completed between 1472 and 1475, it is still unknown if there was also the collaboration of his master in the making of the painting, who knows maybe we’ll find that out sooner or later.

Battle of Anghiari

How are we gonna put this, so yeah we know there is this painting, but no one has actually seen it except those who painted over it. So it was made to commemorate the Battle of Anghiari that took place in 1440, it was a huge painting on one of the walls of the Salone del 500 in Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio, but was then covered by another huge artwork. Some say that it was because Leonardo miscalculated the time it would take for the paint to dry those ruining the painting. But hey you can see some sketches that we are still able to see today.

La Scapigliata

This amazing Late Renaissance painting on wood by Leonardo is no doubt one of my personal favourite that he created. It’s detail in such a simple image leaves shocked every time I see it. It was made in 1508 for the House of Gonzaga in Mantua.

The Virgin and Child with St. Anne

Another beautiful piece of Leonardo that can be found in the Louvre in Paris is The Virgin and Child with St.Anne. The uniqueness of this piece is how when the Louvre started studying the painting itself, it found so many Leonardo Sketches behind it that it was the first time in history where the back of a painting had such a collection art on it.

What to say when Shopping pt.2? The StudentsVille Dictionary


It’s That time of the month again and we can’t leave you in the shop not knowing how to ask some common Italian phrases that you can use when buying Italian clothing. Last month we looked at some of the basics that you’ll need when you’re at the shop looking for some pieces that are going to put you on the super Italian fashion wardrobe. So these Italian phrases are gonna be a life saver when you’re a bit low on cash and want to find out what Italian words and phrases you can use when you’re wondering if something is on sale.

Now get ready to learn all of these tasty Italian phrases for travel that are useful to buy clothes in Italian, and hey why not maybe you can use these common Italian phrases to buy more than just clothes cause really commerce is great to practice your vocabulary

Enjoy our list of basic Italian phrases to use when looking for the best deals and best garbs, it’s the StudentsVille dictionary for the Italian shopping vocabulary.

Sto cercando questo.. – I’m looking for…

Now you’ve found a great piece online and you know that in the city you’re studying you can find the store in question. What to do? Well or you can wait online, or you can run in there with this shopping in Italian language phrase to use in this situation. I mean I know if I want something sometimes I just can’t wait. So, get in there and show them the image and drop them a “Sto cercando questo” and if you’re lucky enough you can try it on. But what shopping phrases in Italian are you going to use to do that. You’ll find out soon.

Posso provare (…..) in vetrina? – Can I try the piece in the window?

Maybe you’re passing by and you didn’t see the piece you love online, but rather while walking down one of the many storefronts you can find in Italian cities. So you’re going to need some shopping in Italy tips to make sure you get the right piece of clothing you saw, you can simply ask “Posso provare il vestito in vetrina?” (vestito is a dress, I don’t know what you want)

Sono in Svendita? – Are they on Sale?

Now you’ve found what you want, and maybe you like to save some cash, I mean who doesn’t? Now that you know how to ask certain items that you fancy, why not ask if they are on sale. That’s real Italian shopping vocabulary, you really can’t say that we aren’t helping you learn Italian words and phrases or learn simple Italian phrases

Dove sono i camerini? – Where can I find the changing rooms?

As promised, now you’ll learn one of those basic Italian phrases that will help you try on all the clothes you want to. The one and only way to try on clothes you want. “Dove solo I Camerini?” The Italian travel phrases to use at the store when you’re almost sure about spending that sweet cash and treating yourself, all while using useful Italian phrases.

Preferisco quello nero – I prefer the black one

Let’s say you find yourself with a very helpful employe, and he/she is bringing you and showing you other clothes that could be of your interest, but you already know which one you want, and especially what colour you want it. Really this is almost one of the most commonly used Italian phrases when it comes to buying clothes in Italy, you’ll see it when you’re here cause everyone has to be super chic, and everyone wears black.

Queste (scarpe) sono scomode – These shoes are uncomfortable

Those Italian phrases to know are no doubt some that you will use during your visit, and they’re all pretty happy go lucky, but what if you want to complain about something, this is one of the basic Italian phrases for travel that you can use when the clothes you’re buy-in are really uncomfortable. You don’t want to be spending cash on stuff you can’t be comfortable in.

Vorrei cambiare questo, per favore – Can I change this?

You’ve bought a whole bunch of things with these simple Italian phrases but now you realise that you bought something that you’ll never wear, so you find yourself going back to the store asking to change the clothes you just bought. This “Vorrei cambiare questo, per favore” will open the discussion you need. Maybe you’ll get cash or store credit that you’ll understand with the employee.

Dove è la cassa? – Where is the cash register?

Finally you decided what you wanted to exchange with the wrongfully bought piece last time, and it’s time to go to the cash register, but you can’t seem to remember. Now you have the info you need to buy clothes in Italy. Enjoy all the phrases to know in Italy when shopping

Some of the best beaches in Italy


With Spring about you can’t start wondering when you’ll be able to visit your first Italian beach for your first summer in Italy, I mean I’m shaking in my boots wondering when I’ll be able to go, even though luckily I’m not too far from one. Anyway, personal stuff aside, today we want to show you some of the best beaches in Italy, and we want you to find other most beautiful beaches in Italy we aren’t talking about in this post so we can all have that deserved relaxation.

Baia dei Turchi, Puglia

A white sand beach tucked away in the natural reserve near Otranto, in Puglia. What else is there to say other than it’s one of the best southern Italy beaches.

Cala Violina, Tuscany

Hidden at the end of a pine forest you can find this unique “cala” in which you’ll find some of the most beautiful waters in all of Tuscany. It’s a bit of a trek, but the payoff is worth it.

Cala Goloritzè, Sardinia

No doubt Sardinia has some of the best Italian beaches, and this is one of the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia Italy, so if you’re wondering about beach holiday in Italy where to go, Sardinia is the place to be.

Capri, Campania

There are probably very few places that compare to Capri, and for sure it is one of the most famous beaches in Italy, the Island in front of Naples is definitely one of the most renown beach cities in Italy. So if you’re looking for the best beaches in Southern Italy, this is one of them.

Le Rochette & Punta Capezzolo, Tuscany

Near Cala Violina, you’ll find this amazing piece of land that is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Italy, so if you’re in the region and are visiting one, you’ll have to visit the other as well. If not what are you going on the hunt for the best beach in Italy for vacation, if you don’t visit both.

San Fruttuoso, Liguria

A small town on the Ligurian coast, you can find this amazing beach town, that has little to do with the classic image of a beach town. You’ll fall in love at first sight. A unique Italy beach vacation in one of the best beaches in Italy. Have fun finding beach hotels Italy in this place cause it is reaaaaalllyyy small, definitely better to visit for the day. And now you know about northern Italy beaches.

Spiaggia di Sansone, Tuscany

On the Island of Elba, you’ll find some of the top beaches in Italy, but we’re only going to show you this one to you because that is going to be a whole new list. The beautiful beaches in Italy Elba edition. Anyway, you have to check it out if you’re willing to take a ferry from Piombino (Livorno). Extra note, in Elba you’ll find one of the many nude beach Italy locations, just not the Spiaggia di Sansone, it’s Acquarilli Beach.

Spiaggia Due Sorelle, Marche

As you can see the Spiaggia Due Sorelle is in a small cala, but a beautiful location. The Marche are one of the least visited areas in Italy, and thanks to that you’ll be able to find a lot of uncontaminated nature. This out of our list is definitely the best of the beaches near Rome Italy, not exactly close, but for the lists sake it is.

Tropea, Calabria

We needed to put in a beach town that had beach resorts in Italy, but we wanted to make sure it had some of the best beaches possible. That is why we’ve picked Tropea, famous for its beaches, and its onions, so enjoy a nice hot day with a salad when you’re there.

Baia delle Zagare, Puglia

We started in Puglia, and we end in Puglia. That is because it has a lot of amazing beaches, probably some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy, so less dilly-dallying, and more going to Puglia when you want some amazing beaches.

The Complete Guide to discover the port city of Genoa, Italy


The majestic port city of Genoa, Italy (Genova in Italian) has been one of the first republics of Italy, dating back to the Renascence. Its power comes to fruition after it defeated Pisa in 1278 in the battle of Meloria, to take over trade on the eastern side of Italy, making it the counterpart to Venice. Its maritime power is seen in it’s Porto Antico, and especially on Via Garibaldi, one of the main streets where the nobles of the time would buy and furnish their Villas.

Useful Links:

Download Genoa Guide pdf ebook

A Genoa Italy tourist attraction would be visiting Palazzo Rosso, Palazzo Bianco, and Palazzo Tursi all in one go, cause you’ll just need one ticket to visit all three. Other interesting things to do in Genoa Italy are visiting the Acquario di Genova, one of Europes biggest aquariums, and its Renzo Piano Biosphere that holds within a precarious natural habitat, you should put on your list a visit to the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, which is said to contain the ashes of John the Baptist, the platter on which Salome served his head, and a bowl that is believed to be the Holy Grail, let us know if you think it could be it – even though I personally believe Indiana Jones has the real one.

Genova, Italy isn’t only famous for its maritime power, or maybe it is? Well it’s definitely one of their major incomes and attractions, keep in mind that Christopher Columbus was raised in Genova and if you want you can see his childhood home near Porta Soprana, there you’ll find a little museum with not much to offer, but a chance to be in the same place as him.

Another important thing about Genova is that it’s Republic would then be taken over by the Savoia, the Savoia would become the reigning family of Italy after the Risorgimento and because Genova was one of their first territories you’ll be able to find the majestic Palazzo Reale near via Balbi, in there you’ll not only be surrounded by beautiful fountains and terraces, but also get a chance to view some amazing artwork by the likes of Van Dyck, that resided in Genova for about 6 years of his career.

Where to stay in Genoa?

Now enough tourist attractions, more about Hotels in Genoa Italy and apartments in Genoa Italy for rent, cause we know you’re here for that at the end of the day. So keep in mind that the city is built all the way to the lower slopes of the Appennini, so always keep in mind that when looking in Genoa Italy real estate for rent where you want to be regarding locations to visit, or where you have to be for your courses. Genoa isn’t very well connected internally, especially now that the tragedy Ponte Morandi has occurred. But again, on a lighter note, Genoa is great for your health being that you’ll walk like crazy.

How to get to Genoa?

Getting to Genoa is not a hassle at all, t is well connected by train and air, plus I mean being one of the main ports in Italy, it also has a lot of ferries and cruises that come to a halt in the city. Now if you want to take the train, the national train service connects the Genoa Italy train station to all of the major cities with its Frecce (Fast trains). Also, you can find some flights to Genoa Italy that’ll land at the Cristoforo Colombo airport. Most flights come in from major European cities, so, unfortunately, you won’t find any directs from out of Europe.

What’s the weather like in Genoa?

For being a city in the Northern part of Italy, Genoa isn’t too bad. Obviously, the humidity is up the roof, because of it being waterfront, but it rains about 70 days a year by average with the weather never going under 0°C even in the winter, so Genoa Italy weather ain’t too bad, keep that in mind while packing up.

Can I rent a car in Genoa?

Many of you come to Genoa for the main attraction that isn’t actually in the city right? You’re on the hunt for the 5 Terre, I mean who isn’t? They are amazing, and probably yo don’t want to have to use public transport and rely on timetables to spend your day, so why not rent a car in Genoa Italy and drive down while visiting the towns. Unfortunately, you won’t find any major car rental in the 5 Terre, but driving back to Genoa won’t belong. So if you want to find a car rental in Genoa Italy, no worries the city has all the major retailers.

Genoa Italy Map

Friday, March 8th Strikes by transport, medical, and school in Italy


Friday, March 8th in most of Italy will be a national strike, organized by the various Unions and the “Non una di meno” feminist group. There are striking against the bad organization in the workplace and the job insecurity in all of the fields, such as public transport, schools and also air transportation.

If you’re in Florence, lucky for you! Ataf didn’t join in the strike, but if you’re planning on traveling somewhere by plane, train or bus, make sure to check the Strike timetable, that we’ll be linking in the article.

The major cities that’ll be suffering from the strike are Milan, Rome, Naples, and Turin. Milan will also have a strike in Linate and Malpensa, it’ll be 4 hours long going on from 10.00 am to 14.00 pm, so if you have a flight around that time be ready to wait. Don’t get in later than scheduled though, because the companies might still enforce check-in times, to create less confusion at the check-in desks. The other cities mentioned will be suffering some tardiness, but they will mostly be related to city transportation and train lines.

Now, let’s say you were planning to go to the seaside this coming weekend, I mean the weather is nice, the sun is out, and even if it isn’t too hot you can still enjoy that sweet sweet Italian weather you’ve been hearing about for so long. What are you going to do? Well, I’ll give you two types of advice — one practical, one personal. Let’s start practical, if you’re leaving on Friday to have a whole weekend at the beach, take a later train and don’t risk the whole mess of an Italian train station during a strike. Now, for personal advice. Don’t go Friday, stay indoors close the windows and cancel out all of the outside noise, because an Italian strike is something the ancient Greeks would write Tragedies about. Leave Saturday nice and early and relax the whole weekend.

Another quite important group that will be striking on the 8th is the medical fields, so unless you’re in an emergency situation or have a serious – as in terminal – illness you won’t be looked after. So, take your paracetamol, and your ibuprofens to survive another day if you’re down with the flu.

Anyway here is the link of the Ministero Delle Infrastrutture e Dei Trasporti with the timetable of the 8th of March strikes.

The Corridoio Vasariano to reopen in 2021…to the public


We finally have a date for the reopening of the Corridoio Vasariano! The secret passageway that links Palazzo Pitti to Palazzo Vecchio, will open again in 2021, after being shut down in 2016 regarding safety issues. So, if you’ve been to Florence before, and you’ve heard about the Corridor, or even where lucky enough to visit it, you would know that the passage was only reservable through private tour companies and also quite exclusive – it would be open only a couple times a year.

For someone that has been living in Florence for a while the chance to see it is a dream. Luckily for all of us, that dream is about to come true, because with the reopening of the Corridoio Vasariano we’ll have the opportunity to visit it like any other museum in the city. No more waiting and finding out when and where to buy the tickets, you can buy them directly there and finish your tour in the Boboli Gardens or in the Uffizi Gallery. Patients though, because you’ll have to wait until 2021.

Historically one of the most important hallways in hisotry, this passageway would make sure the Medici Family could get from their residence, Palazzo Pitti, to work, the Uffizi and Palazzo Vecchio, in all security. Historically they were targeted often by rival families in Florence, just look at the Congiura Dei Pazzi in 1478 where the Pazzi Family attempted to kill Lorenzo il Magnifico and his brother Giuliano de’ Medici, in which the sibling lost his life.

On a lighter note the Corridoio Vasariano, it’s also the main reason why Ponte Vecchio is full of jewellers. Back in the day the bridge was the main butcher’s market, and in 1593 Ferdinando I moved this activity away from it, because the smells were unbearable – they really didn’t have fridges in which they could store stuff those days.

And again thanks to the Corridoio Vasariano, the Allied forces besieging Florence during WWII were able to defeat the Nazi Forces. It was renowned that Nazi’s understood the importance of historically significative landmarks, and to stop the Allied advance they destroyed all the bridges of Florence except the Ponte Vecchio. The Ponte Vecchio at this point was very well defended by the Nazi’s, except for the Corridoio Vasariano because they did not know of it’s existence. So the Partigiani (The Resistance Movement) helped the Americans smuggle soldiers, equipment, and some say even tanks (broken down and built up again on the other side of the Arno).

So we can’t wait for 2021 to come along and go on a tour of the Corridoio Vasariano!!

Movies set in Italy, cause you didn’t have enough reason to visit


Italy is a beautiful country, and we see that not only from travel bloggers and photographers on our IG feeds, we’re also lucky to have all of those movies that take place in Italy, making us want to go there even just to feel the essence of the best movies set in Italy. Anyway, let’s check out some of the best one to date.

Vacanze Romane (1953)

One of the most famous movies filmed in Rome, Vacanze Romane shows all of the best locations of the Eternal City.

A Room with a View (1985)

A unique love story set in the beautiful city of Florence, it is probably the best known out of the American movies filmed in Florence Italy. The view – as you could tell – is amazing, not only in the city but on the surrounding nature as well. No doubt a must know when talking about movies set in Florence Italy.

Talented Mr.Ripley (1999)

A jealousy based thriller with Matt Damon and Jude Law, this suspense masterpiece revolves around Italian Lifestyle and the beauty of it. One of the most esteemed movies set in Venice Italy, you’ll recognize every location it shows in it.

The English Patient (1996)

This cinematic masterpiece is mostly shot in Tuscany. Out of the movies set in Italy on this list, it’s not only shot here but rather one of the international production movies based in Italy entirely.

La Dolce Vita (1960)

Marcello!! AAA Mastroiani, you Italian behemoth. This is no doubt, out of the movies set in Italy the best known Italian movie. The Sweet Life has a myriad of shots showing Rome’s wonders, making also one of the best movies in Rome to ever be made.

Il Postino (1994)

Mario played by Massimo Troisi – this being also his last movie, as he died before the completion of the movie – one of Italy’s most respected comedians and actors is the postman to Pablo Neruda that is exiled in Italy. Not exactly in Naples, it was shot in Procida, but some scenes put this film in the movies shot in Naples Italy category.

Quantum of Solace (2008)

Italian Renaissance, rooftop chase, 007. What else do you want? in Quantum of Solace Mr. Bond runs about the city of Siena chasing bad guys. This being one of the biggest productions when it comes to movies filmed in Siena Italy.

Call me by your name (2017)

The damned love story in Call me by your name will leave you with just a bit of tear in your eyes. Lately, one of the best movies set in Italy you get to see and feel how the small towns in northern Italy felt like in the 80s. No doubt you can’t say you like movies filmed in Italy, without seeing this one.

Star Wars Episode I & II (1999 – 2002)

If by any chance you’re a Star Wars fan, you might be wondering where the hell did they find the setting for Naboo. It’s not CGI and it’s not a studio, most of the interiors and the balconies are from the Reggia di Caserta near Naples.

3 not-to-be-missed places in Florence (if you are a food addict like me)!



So you’ve spent the day soaking up the beautiful culture Florence has to offer but hasn’t all that walking made you hungry?

Well, to the rescue! Ever heard of the Florence Central Market Food (San Lorenzo Market) or the Mercato Centrale (central food market Florence)? It’s in walking distance from Piazza San Marco and Piazza del Duomo and is a lovely place to go for lunch or dinner.

Apartments for rent in Florence Italy monthly quality rentals at honest prices.

The San Lorenzo Central Market in Florence Italy court has two floors; the ground floor being a rustic, old fashioned style market where you can find absolutely everything: dried fruits, pasta, fresh fish and chicken, bread and pastries and locals doing their shopping!
The first floor has been completely revamped and modernized into a gourmet food court with every type of dish available and even has the world famous Eataly restaurant. As much as I love Eataly in Florence, I’m impatiently waiting for the day we finally have an Eataly in London (in Oxford Street from September 2016)!

If you’re as passionate about cooking food as you are about eating it, the San Lorenzo central market Florence Italy food court even has a special section that sells cookbooks so you can have a try at being Italy’s next best chef!

Anyway, check this link out for the best markets in Florence

Florence Central Market Food on Google Maps


If you feel like treating yourself while you’re on holiday, why not stop by the annual Fiera Cioccolato (chocolate festival) in Piazza Santa Maria Novella? 

There are at least 14 stands so you will definitely be spoilt for choice! If the rich chocolate is too much for you to handle after such a rich dinner you can get something small like a Nutella drizzled waffle, just like I did! Even if you visit to buy a chocolately souvenir, we promise you won’t be disappointed! Get there quickly – the last day is Sunday 21st February!
The stalls we recommend are Cioccolateria Cavalsani which sell a variety of solid chocolates, chocolates made with fruit and chocolate mixed with other ingredients such as pralines and hazelnuts. These tend to be solid nuts or blended with the chocolates. They specialize in the use of high-quality raw materials from national territory and no added hydrogenated fats.
The other place we recommend is Stringhetto. They sell a variety of delicious chocolate spreads that are not to be missed! Also, you can find out about the central market chocolate festival that happens once a year.

Find more information here:


The final place that we recommend is Marco Ottaviano il Gelato Gourmet. It’s an ice cream shop run by an amazing husband and wife team. They are dedicated to producing the best quality ice cream possible!
They have over 45 flavours and you can also get a loyalty card which rewards you with some money off your 5th and 10th ice creams. No one cares about the enjoyment of ice cream more than this devoted couple!
Still need convincing? Well, there’s a reason this cute place was voted number 1 out of 176 for desserts in Florence on Tripadvisor and number 1 out of 2,367 for places to eat in Florence!
If that isn’t enough to make you want to run there, we don’t know what is!
Take a look at their website (link below) which was wonderfully made by the Studentsville team), or check out other gelaterias in Florence.

Find more information here:

Articles & Pictures by Anita Lofinmakin* (Bromley College, UK)

*A  few lines about Anita?
“A is for Adventurous
N is for Nosey
I is for Imaginative
T is for Talkative
A is for Amazing!”

Leonardo da Vinci inventions, for those da Vinci debates

Digital Capture

Last week we started our Ode to Leonardo da Vinci with a little biography on one of the brightest minds of the Renaissance, and with his 500th death anniversary coming closer and closer, we’re going to look at some Leonardo da Vinci inventions that where the basis to some items and vehicles that are commonplace in our society. We’ll have to admit that he really never had the chance to put the majority into practice, but the Leonardo da Vinci sketches of inventions are one of the things that answers the question “What was Leonardo da Vinci known for?” & “Why is Leonardo da Vinci famous?”.

The man behind the definition of Renaissance Man, Leonardo da Vinci was well versed in all of the arts, anatomy, and military strategy. The creative process he was so good at, made him experiment as much as possible in the fields that he worked in. So, what did Leonardo da Vinci invent? We’ll discover the most important da Vinci inventions in this Leonardo da Vinci inventions list.

The Diving Suit

If you want to go scuba diving today, you’ll definitely not be using the prototype of this invention. But you can thank the sketches of Leonardo inventions, such as this one because he came up with the idea that one can stay for enough time under-water, if one had an air supply to bring with them. So, next time you’re in some tropical island scuba-diving think about Leonardo da Vinci.

The Parachute

Not the first parachute to exist, but the Leonardo da Vinci parachute was the first one to be tested in modern times and proven to work. It’s amazing that in a time that flight wasn’t common place, except from buildings really, you had someone create something so useful to the future of the human race. This is no doubt one of the Leonardo da Vinci inventions used today.

The Tank

There are a lot of different Leonardo da Vinci facts about his inventions, when it comes to the Tank/Armored vehicle. The idea behind this invention was to create a perfect war machine that would keep its users safe. A conical-shaped vehicle with cannon pointing on the outside, manoeuvrable only by the soldiers inside, thus making it impossible to use on a battlefield. Some say that he purposely made it inoperable, because he knew the potential devastation this weapon could have brought.

The Flying Machine

One of the most talked about things that Leonardo da Vinci invented, if you’ve played Assassin’s Creed you might remember the Venice mission where Ezio uses it. The Flying Machine, opening up the debate on “Did Leonardo da Vinci invent the plane?”. One thing I can say for sure is that he came up with the idea of being able to fly, but realistically he didn’t invent the first plane, he put the basis down.

The Automaton – Robot

The automaton, was the first concept of robotics that ever graced the earth, and Leonardo was the first one to create one, at least for what I personally know. Out of the endless Leonardo da Vinci inventions, this one is the most modern, if we look at the drive of robotics in our modern day. So when the Robot uprising arrives, just think about good old Leo.

The Self Driving Car(t)

Not exactly a self driving car, and not really something he put into practice, but following suit with the robot invention above, I wanted to talk about this invention simply because with all of the self driving cars we see in the making a little wink at Leonardo’s sketch is worth making. Just don’t think about the fact that this cart could only turn right, and you can tell Musk that Leonardo really invented the self-driving car.

Common Italian Phrases while shopping pt.1 – The StudentsVille Dictionary


It’s that time of the month where we give you some great common Italian phrases to use while in this amazing country!

We’ve looked at basic Italian phrases in our previous articles, like Italian phrases for travel that can be useful when looking to use public transportation in the country. We also look at the most commonly used Italian phrases when at restaurants so you can’t leave anything to misinterpretation. So, what Italian phrases are we going to look at today? Today we’re going to look at some Italian shopping vocabulary, that’ll come in handy when you’re on your term abroad. But we will be dividing the shopping segment into 2 parts, today we’re going to start off by shopping in Italian language and some shopping in Italy tips.

Let’s begin by looking at the most common shopping phrases in Italian, in our common Italian phrases monthly date.

Vorrei comprare – I’d like to buy

Once you’re In the shop and you know what you want to get, you can’t sit there and look at every object on sale. Sure, if you’ve got time to spare that is another story, but if you can’t be bothered with the search, you can simply go to one of the store employees and ask them “Vorrei comprare un…” depending on what you want. Let’s keep in on Italian Clothing for today, so hypothetically, you want a hoodie, in that case, you would say “Vorrei comprare una felpa con il cappuccio”

Posso Toccarlo? – Can I feel it?

Now that the employ knows what you want after dropping the first of the Italian words and phrases you’ve just learnt, they’ll bring you to where they have all of the hoodies that you were looking for, and if they’re particularly helpful (that depends on what shop, and how busy they are) they might start showing you the item themselves. If this is the case and you wish to feel and touch it yourself you can ask them to feel it by saying “Posso Toccarlo?”. See another one on the list of useful Italian phrases.

Posso Provarlo? – Can I try it on?

You’ve felt the item, you found the item, now you only have to try this hoodie on to see if it’s the right fit for you. I wonder what is next on the shopping phrases in Italian. I say I wonder but I know. You look them dead in the eye, and gently ask “Posso provarlo, per favore?”. Now the employee is very confused by the fact that you were so intense, yet kind about it, but they’ll show you to the fitting rooms.

Quanto Costa? – How much does it cost? 

This is one of the most important Italian travel phrases you probably will use, not just in this case, but in many others. From food, to tours, to tickets, to anything that implies you spending your cash. Let’s say it’s one of those Italian phrases to know, one of the simple Italian phrases, what we can say is part of the basic Italian phrases for travel: “Quanto Costa?”

Me lo può incartare? – Can you gift-wrap it?

At the end of the experience you find out that the price tag isn’t too high, and if it was let’s say it was but you wanted to treat yourself. You’ve bought your first clothes in Italian, but you also bought a little gift for a friend, or maybe for family back home, and you want it to be gift wrapped. Cause let’s face it however small a gift is, when it’s wrapped it’s so much better. Especially, when you bought a product learning all of this Italian fashion vocabulary. Anyway -KW aside- you can ask them “Me lo può incartare, per favore?” And most of the times they will oblige, but you might find yourself in a shop that doesn’t have the equipment to do it for you, in that case don’t freak on them, in Italy it’s not common practice unless you aren’t in the holiday season.

Potrei avere un sacchetto, per favore? – Can I have a bag, please?

You finally have what you wanted, but you have no place where to put it, even though you might have a tote with you, you prefer to carry it in a separate back from all the rest, plus if it’s a gift you might want to let them know where you got it from. So, if you need a bag from the store clerk you just added new phrases to know in Italian when traveling to your list of Italian vocabulary for travel. As I was saying, you can ask them “Potrei avere un sacchetto, per favore?” And BAM branded bag to put stuff in.

Posso ritirarlo più tardi? – Can I pick it up later?

Total opposite situation, you’re full of stuff, and just want to get home and leave all of your things at the apartment, but you also don’t want to lose this great hoodie you found. So, you’re wondering how to ask the employee to keep it on the side for you, you can say “Posso ritirarlo più tardi?” And depending on store policy they’ll hold it for you till the next day, or till the end of the day — I’m talking about a pre purchased situation.

Sto solo guardando – I’m just looking

Now let’s just forget about all of those fancy phrases we learned today, and let’s look at the most important and cost effective word you can learn, cause if you’re going to learn simple Italian phrases this one is the one you need the most, the one that’ll have you’re wallet thank you every time you use it. “Sto solo guardando” “I’m just looking” simple as that.