On April 8, 1820, the beautiful and enigmatic Venus de Milo was found on the island of Milo in Greece. Now in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

It’s the most famous statue in the world and one of the most revered goddesses of classical antiquity. You can also call her Aphrodite.

She represents fertility, love, the ideal of beauty. I bet my tour guide license that you know this statue. Do you know why I’m SO sure? Keep reading.

It all began when in 1815 France returned to Italy the Medici Venus (now in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence). Stolen by Napoleon Bonaparte during his reign, it was a huge void to fill.

The discovery of the Venus de Milo was a godsend and therefore madly sponsored.

Since then, the Venus has not only inspired artists, sculptors, musicians and filmmakers but also advertising and TV series.

Here are my favorites:

In Bertolucci’s film ‘The Dreamers’, an optical effect remind us of the Hellenic Venus: the protagonist’s black gloves make her seem armless.

The statue influenced a contemporary artwork, the Venus de Milo with drawers by Salvador Dalí

In 1910 the goddess appeared in a advertisement for Kellogg’s cereal flakes, accompanied by the claim “If Venus had arms”.

In 1910 the goddess appeared in a advertisement for Kellogg’s cereal flakes, accompanied by the claim “If Venus had arms”.

Have you ever wondered what happened with Venus’ arms?

It seems that with the body they found some fragments of a hand holding an apple and from there the hypothesis that the sculptor Alexander of Antioch, wanted to represent the goddess while giving the golden apple to Paris…

…or it’s the representation of the sea goddess Amphitrite, venerated on the island of Milo but we will never know this… for now.

Thanks to all these tributes today we know pieces of art history.

Thanks to France we know the Venus and thanks to Bugs Bunny we know the Barber of Seville or The Ride of the Valkyries that has inspired generations of singers and opera lovers.

The leaning towers of Pisa

Few chosen (or rather, a few curious) know that in Pisa we not only have the famous leaning tower photographed in January 2020 even from Corsica 190 km away … but we have 3! During my tours I always jokingly comment that in Pisa we have a stability problem (which is...

There’s not only the Devil’s Bridge

All those who take the highway to go to the sea see that wonderful aqueduct that accompanies travelers by car for a few seconds. Few people know that it was built by the great architect from Segromigno – Lucca, Lorenzo Nottolini. That aqueduct in 1833 will bring clean...

Fina from San Gimignano

You can’t say you know San Gimignano if you don’t know who Santa Fina is. Serafina or Iosefina Ciardi, for friends Fina, is a very young blessed who lived in the mid-1200s. From an early age she cultivated a great devotion to the Madonna, in fact it is said that she...

“I don’t know where to go” is no longer an excuse

In full heat and with the fear of a faint, we arrived in Buggiano Castello. What to say? after facing the super climb you say “wow, it was worth it”. Also known as the “Borgo degli citrus” because it enjoys a particularly mild microclimate. Focus and admire the...

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

A village inhabited since prehistoric times and known thanks to its thermal baths, San Giuliano is located in a favorable geographical position: in the province of Pisa and at the same time not far from Lucca. The main attraction is undoubtedly the establishment of...

The curious case of Colle Val d’Elsa

There are villages that do not exist … yes, this sentence made me laugh but unfortunately it has something of reality. While looking for a village to combine with a guided tour while going to San Gimignano I found Colle Val d’Elsa, one of these jewel-like villages...

The Holy Face, no longer just a legend

Also known as the “black Christ of Lucca” (for the color of the dark brown wood), it is an imposing wooden crucifix of 2.24 meters which, according to the legend of the writer Deacon Leobino, would be the true and only face of Christ. Arrived to us, well in 2020...

Stroll to get lost

t’s Sunday, you weren’t able to sleep late because obviously you woke up at 8 am, you’ve already had breakfast… what are you going to do? or It’s Sunday, you would like to be in touch with nature (but not too much) you are not a super sportive one (like to do 8 hours...

Italy as we know it

Italy is divided into 20 regions (use this official link Italia.it to know the “boot”) The total land area of Italy is approximately 301,328 square kilometres. The regions are divided into provinces, 110 in all, varying dramatically in size. Tuscany it’s a REGION....
en_US