This month's events and personalities in Florence
We open this column with the anniversaries of two true geniuses of an era, born 30 years apart with 6 days between them. An almost magical first week of March, which gave birth to Sandro Botticelli on 1 March 1445 and Michelangelo on 6 March 1475.
The third anniversary of the month is no less impressive: Amerigo Vespucci, born in Florence on 9 March 1954, was the first explorer to realise, during a voyage in the service of the Kingdom of Portugal in 1501, that the new lands recently discovered to the west of the Atlantic Ocean were not the extreme offshoot of eastern Asia, as was initially believed, but part of an unknown continent which he called the New World and which was later named America in his honour. Still on the subject of exploration, let's talk about another great Tuscan navigator: Giovanni da Verrazzano, born in Greve in Chianti, who on 1 March 1524 landed at Cape Fear and began the discovery of the Atlantic Coast of the United States, including New York Bay. March, a time of anniversaries also for the Medici dynasty: in March Giuliano di Lorenzo de' Medici (Florence, 12 March 1479 - Florence, 17 March 1516 ) was born and died, the seventh and last son of Lorenzo De Medici and Clarice Orsini, he was Duke of Nemours from 1515, Lord of Florence from 1513 and Captain General of the Church from 29 June 1515 until his death.
On 5 March 1570 Cosimo I officially received the title of Grand Duke of Tuscany from the Pope.
Another great character, another anniversary on 10 March 1302, Dante Alighieri is exiled from his native Florence.
With a quick leap across several centuries, we come to the short century. On 30 March 1911 Pellegrino Artusi died in Florence. He was an Italian writer and gastronome, author of a well-known recipe book: La scienza in cucina e l'arte di mangiar bene (Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well). On 1 March 1932, Dino Campana died in Scandicci, and on 27 March 1961, Giovanni Poggi, a Florentine famous for helping to find the Mona Lisa after it was stolen in Paris.