Which of these Tuscan sweets would you pick? Starting from top left and moving clockwise, we have:
- Model 1: Ricciarelli, diamond-shaped soft biscuits made of almond flour, covered with vanilla icing sugar. A typical Christmas delicacy from Siena.
- Model 2: Panforte, toffee-sticky Christmas cake with candied orange peel, honey, almonds, plus pepper and other spices. Also from Siena, its history dates back to medieval times, when the product was called "Panpepato", something like "bread with pepper" in English. - Model 3: Cavallucci, soft Christmas biscuits made with plain flour, nuts, candied fruit, aniseeds and spices. Originally from Siena, the name Cavallucci can be translated as "little horses": some believe it comes from their shape, with a central furrow resembling a horse hoof, others associate the name to the fact that they were originally eaten by servants who worked in the stables.
- Model 4: Cantucci, or Biscotti from Prato, sweet, crunchy and tasty biscuits made of flour, sugar, eggs, almonds and pine nuts. They're perfect to end a meal, either on their own or dunked in a little glass of vinsanto.
Palazzo Medici Riccardi, the first residence of the Medici family in Florence, cherishes this large hall frescoed by Luca Giordano between 1682 and 1685, after the Palazzo was sold to the Riccardi Marquises. The frescoes depict a series of allegorical and mythological figures representing human qualities (vs vices) and culminate in the centrepiece titled "Apotheosis of the Medici", which presents the Medici dynasty before Jupiter.