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CATHERINE & LORENZO

She became Queen Consort of France and was probably the most powerful woman of the 16th century. He, her father, did not survive to see her out of her infancy…
Catherine de’ Medici, artist unknown

The portrait on the left hangs in the Louvre, because although she was born in Florence (500 years ago this April!) Catherine became Henri II’s queen when she was 14 and lived her adult life in France. The portrait on the right is of her father, who, aged 26, died, “worn out by disease and excess”, when his daughter was just three weeks old. (The mother had died a week before.) We don’t know who painted her; it was attributed to the atelier of François Clouet, but not any more. Lorenzo’s painter was unknown when the work was sold for $325 in 1968. In 2007, it was bought by an anonymous private buyer for £18.5 million.

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About Italia!

This month’s Italian journey begins in the crystal blue waters of the Maddalena Archipelago, just off the northeastern tip of Sardinia. Check out the quieter coves of the Costa Smeralda (no bling required) and travel inland to explore an ancient landscape, with copious helpings of delicious Sardinian food to sustain you along the way. Beth, our newest writer, revisits her beloved Rome, this time with a baby and grandparents in tow. Perugina, the producers of theiconic Baci, are under the spotlight as we trace the history of this venerable chocolate company, and we meet up with Giorgio Locatelli in our exclusive interview.