7 February 2019

7 February

Vittoria della Rovere - Grand Duchess of Tuscany

Bride who brought the treasures of Urbino to Florence

Vittoria della Rovere, who became Grand Duchess of Tuscany, was born on this day in 1622 in the Ducal Palace of Urbino. Her marriage to Ferdinando II de’ Medici when she was just 11 years old was to bring a wealth of treasures to the Medici family, which can still be seen today in the Palazzo Pitti and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Read more…


The Bonfire of the Vanities

Preacher Savonarola's war on Renaissance 'excesses'

The most famous 'bonfire of the vanities' encouraged by outspoken Dominican priest Girolamo Savonarola took place in Florence on this day in 1497.  Savonarola campaigned against what he considered to be the artistic and social excesses of the Renaissance, organising large communal bonfires and urging Florentines to come forward with items of luxury or vanity to throw on it. Read more…


Amedeo Guillet – army officer

Superb horseman helped keep the British at bay

The Italian army officer Amedeo Guillet, the last man to lead a cavalry charge against the British Army, was born on this day in 1909 in Piacenza. His daring actions in Eritrea in January 1941, when he led a daybreak charge towards British artillery in the defence of Mussolini’s East African empire, were remembered by some British soldiers as ‘the most frightening and extraordinary’ episode of the Second World War. Read more…


Little Tony – pop singer

Star from San Marino enjoyed a long career 

Singer and actor Little Tony was born Antonio Ciacci on this day in 1941 in Tivoli near Rome.  His parents were both born in the Republic of San Marino and so Little Tony was Sammarinese and never applied for Italian citizenship. He became successful in the late 1950s and early 1960s in Britain as the lead singer of Little Tony and His Brothers, calling himself Little Tony after the singer, Little Richard. Read more…

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