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Count Niccolo Capponi

Count Niccolo Capponi is Europe’s most distinguished and unique historian
He is an erudite PhD scholar-Count that  belongs to an important Florentine noble family which traces its roots to the thirteenth century. His ancestor Ferrante Maria Capponi was given the title of count by the Holy Roman Emperor in 1701, but well before that time the family was politically involved in Renaissance Florence.

Count Niccolo Capponi is Europe’s most distinguished and unique historian

He is an erudite PhD scholar-Count that  belongs to an important Florentine noble family which traces its roots to the thirteenth century. His ancestor Ferrante Maria Capponi was given the title of count by the Holy Roman Emperor in 1701, but well before that time the family was politically involved in Renaissance Florence.

The history of the Capponi family reads like a summary of the Renaissance – the family begun with the rise of the Florentine guilds and were initially involved in the silk trade (to this day silk from the Capponi workshops decorates the rooms of the family palace), the family then moved into the wool business, back to silk and then became involved in banking. Banking as we know it today was begun in the Renaissance and the word bank even has its roots in the Italian work banco meaning bench, referring to the benches that banking was conducted on.

Count Niccolò Capponi also carries the title of ‘Florentine Patrician’, a title that very few other people hold today. It was a title that was given to important families who were politically prominent during the time of the Medici.
The Capponi palace dates to the fifteenth century and is one of the most important palazzi in Florence. The palace’s courtyard is the first known example of a Renaissance courtyard. Inside the palace is one of Florence’s most impressive private art collections and the library contains many important manuscripts, among them letters from Dante and numerous popes.

The fame of the palace is justly acquired and it even features in the film Hannibal as the residence of Hannibal Lector. Count Niccolò Capponi can be seen in the film playing a historian, a role he is ideally suited for as he holds a PhD in history from the University of Padua. He specializes in military history and he has published extensively in Italian as well as in English. His most recent book, the Victory of the West is a vivid account of one of the most decisive military encounters in history, the battle of Lepanto. Amazingly his ancestors fought on both sides in this heroic feat.

A prolific writer, Niccolò Capponi is the author of four books and numerous articles. His most recent book, Victory of the West: The Great Christian-Muslim Clash at the Battle of Lepanto (2007), is a vivid account of one of the most decisive military encounters in his-tory. Niccolò has also appeared on a number of television documentaries, including the celebrated PBS The Power of the Past with Bill Moyers. His latest appearance in the History Chanel's The Medici Murder, dealing with the "Pazzi Conspiracy" against Lorenzo de' Medici, received international acclaim. Niccolò's next book will be arriving in June 2010.

The most engaging conversationalist, who seems to know every bit of local history, Count Capponi maintains the traditions of his past while imbuing them with charm and grace. While quintessentially Florentine, he remains a truly Renaissance man.

Count Niccolo Capponi's next book is arriving June 2010 

See information about "An Unlikely Prince: The Life and Times of Niccolo Machiavelli" below, you will be able to get signed copies directly from him at the Artviva Festival Evenings

Book here now to reserve your space for the Artviva Festival Evenings.

The below information regarding Count Niccolo Capponi's next book is from Amazon:

An Unlikely Prince: The Life and Times of Niccolo Machiavelli

In this compelling new biography, historian Niccolò Capponi frees Machiavelli (1469–1527) from centuries of misinterpretation. Exploring the Renaissance city of Florence, where Machiavelli lived, Capponi reveals the man behind the legend. A complex portrait of Machiavelli emerges—at once a brilliantly skillful diplomat and a woefully inept liar; a sharp thinker and an impractical dreamer; a hardnosed powerbroker and a risk-taking gambler; a calculating propagandist and an imprudent jokester.

Capponi’s intimate portrait of Machiavelli reveals his behavior as utterly un-Machiavellian, his vision of the world as limited by his very provincial outlook. In the end, Machiavelli was frustrated by his own political failures and utterly baffled by the success of his book The Prince.

About the Author
Niccolò Capponi is the author of the highly acclaimed Victory of the West and former fellow of the Medici Project. A direct descendant of Machiavelli, he lives in Florence, Italy.

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Capponi, a highly regarded Italian Renaissance scholar with a focus on military history lives up to his reputation in his first major U.S. publication. The battle of Lepanto, fought in 1571, was both one of history's significant naval engagements and a watershed in the long war between Christians and Muslims. To pierce its penumbra of myths and legends, Capponi returns to the original archival and printed sources to construct this fresh, multilayered analysis. On one level Lepanto was a victory for the Western technology that would decide so many battles in the next four centuries. The Christian fleet made better use of gunpowder weapons and had a trump card in their galleasses—galleys converted into gunships, whose heavy artillery allowed Christian seamen to prevent the Ottomans from utilizing their superiority in boarding tactics. Lepanto was also a psychological victory: a ramshackle alliance of Christian states thrashed an Ottoman Empire at the peak of its power and confidence, preventing the Ottomans from dominating the Mediterranean as before. The unexpected outcome sharpened the still-enduring struggle between Christianity and Islam, making it correspondingly difficult for the Muslim world to accept the West taking an increasing lead in military, scientific and economic matters. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist
By the middle of the sixteenth century, Islam, under the banner of the Ottoman Turks, was ascendant in North Africa, Asia Minor, and most of the eastern Mediterranean. With their powerful navy as a springboard, the Turks were poised to advance further west. On October 7, 1571, the Ottoman fleet met a combined Christian fleet called the Holy League off the coast of mainland Greece. The daylong battle resulted in an overwhelming defeat of the Ottomans, the first significant defeat of Ottoman forces by Europeans, which shattered the aura of invincibility that had surrounded them. Some historians have suggested the event was the beginning of the long decline that led to the Ottoman Empire being designated as the "sick man of Europe." Capponi, a military and Renaissance historian, tells about this seminal battle with great attention to detail as well as superb insight into the cultural differences between the adversaries. He makes effective use of primary sources, including Miguel de Cervantes, who was wounded in the battle; the result is an absorbing and even thrilling account. Jay Freeman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

"Illuminating reading for students of early modern European history." -- Kirkus Reviews, 2/1/07

Product Description
A vivid new account of one of the most decisive military encounters in history--the Battle of Lepanto.
On the morning of October 7, 1571, in the Gulf of Lepanto on the Ionian Sea, the vast and heavily-manned fleets of the Ottoman Empire and the Holy League clashed in one of the most significant battles in history. By four o'clock that afternoon the sea was red with blood. It was a victory of the west--the first major victory of Europeans against the Ottoman Empire.

In this compelling piece of narrative history, Niccolo Capponi describes the clash of cultures that led to this crucial confrontation and takes a fresh look at the bloody struggle at sea between oared fighting galleys and determined men of faith. As a description of the age-old conflict between Christianity and Islam, it is a story that resonates today.

About the Author
Niccolo Capponi is an eminent military and Renaissance historian. He is a fellow at the Medici Archive Project, and curator of the Capponi Archive. He lives in Florence, Italy.




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Artviva: The Original and Best Walking Tours
Average Rating:   4.9 out of 5 stars
   Based on 59 Ratings.
Last 10 reviews:

On 2014/10/31
Greg D said:


We took tours in Venice, Florence, Sienna & Rome. Nothing short of exceptional at every turn. Knowledge, friendliness and honesty are what we got with every tour and guide. They are simply the best. Thank you all for making our trip as memorable as it was. Ciao!


On 2014/09/28
Eric P said:

Excellent, friendly and professions Venice tours

We look 4 tours in Venice today (27 Sept) and cannot adequately describe how pleased we were with the quality of the tours. Christina, our guide, was excellent and very knowledgable. And most importantly, she was extremely friendly and always courteous. We thoroughly enjoyed the day. The day was made up of the gondola ride, the original and best Venice tour (St. Marks), Doge's Palace tour and culminating with the Grand Canal tour on our own boat. Christina was very impressive with her knowledge and presentation skills. It was simply a joy to be in her small tour group. We cannot say enough good things about her. One of the highlights of the tour was being (coincidently) literally two boats away from George Clooney's water taxi as he made his way to the Aman Canal Grande Hotel. It made my wife's day. And we managed to achieve this by coincidence. The boat captain was very professional throughout the madness of many, many boats on the Grand Canal at this time (a little before 19:00). Bravo Art Viva!


On 2014/09/02
Jessica R said:

Absolutely Amazing!

My boyfriend and I only had a day and a half to spend in Florence so we signed up for the Artviva Original Florence Walk. Our tour guide, Klaas, was just amazing. His love for Florence and it's history made the tour so enjoyable and made me fall in love with the city. In 3.5 hours (from 9 am - 12:30 pm) we saw: Piazza del Republica, Orsanmichele, Palazzo Davanzati, Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza di Santa Trinita, Basilica di Santa Trinita, Piazza del Limbo, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, Cathedral of Florence with the Duomo, and part of the Bapistery. We were given head sets so we could hear Klaas talking even if we were not right next to him. This tour was amazing for seeing most of Florence in a very short amount of time. My boyfriend and I are not big fans of art so we did not go into the Uffizi but did go see the Statue of David in the Accademia Gallery using the skip the line tickets through Artviva as well. Could not be happier with the way this tour turned out. Thanks again Klaas and Artviva!


On 2014/07/28
Boyan said:


Kane was an excellent guide with a good sense of humor. He is very competent, enthusiastic, and a great story teller. I learnt a great deal from him about the city of Florence. He really made my short stay in Florence that much more enjoyable. Thank you Kane!


On 2014/07/20
Sara said:


Kane was a fabulous guide! He had an extensive knowledge of relevant historical fact and made the history of Florence come alive. It really helped having a native English speaking guide as we found other guides who had English as their second language were often difficult to understand. Thank you Kane!


On 2014/05/26
Kaaren said:


The 4 Venice tours, Venice in one Glorious Day, are outstanding. We did 2 on Mon 5/12 and 2 on Wed 5/14. Jen was our fantastic guide for 2 of them. I don't remember the names of the other 2 Italian ladies, but they were also excellent & easy to understand.


On 2014/05/10
schoon said:

Venice in one glorious day!!!! Having heard from a friend that a visit to Venice could be a challenge as far as visiting the highlights is concerned, we decided to scour the internet for a suitable guided tour. Skipping the line was imperitive for us. Two ladies with 3 adolescent sons,a challenge in itself. We chose to "do" Venice in one day so that we could be free to return to places of interest with enough knowledge to recognise and be sure of not missing the most important sights. Skipping the line to enter the San Marco Basilica was absolutely a highlight. Thousands of visitors stood in the pouring rain in order to get a glimpse of this magnificent masterpiece. Our guide Christina was absolutely professional and was able to keep our teenage sons more than interested. It was also very much appreciated by us that Art Viva gave us a call the day previous to our tour that bad weather was expected and offered us to postpone the gondola trip.


On 2014/04/22
Helen Stevens said:

I'd like to thank Angelos for giving us a fantastic evening tour 16th April. His local knowledge brought Florence alive and made our stay much more enjoyable. Thanks for the tips about places to go - we loved the Opera!


On 2014/04/15
Susan S said:

Simply Wonderful!

Touring the Uffizi Gallery with Klaus was the highlight of our trip to Florence; his passion and knowledge provided for an unforgettable afternoon. Booking a tour with ArtViva is highly recommended!


On 2013/12/15
Ryan Antista said:

Awesome and highly recommended!

I used the Art Viva services while in Florence for two tours, The Uffizi Gallery and the Academia Gallery. Because I went in a low season I was the only client and the company still went through with the service, thank you! I had the best tour guild that I could ever hope for! Her name was Elizabeth. She was knowledgeable, fun to be with, very well informed and broke down the pieces and art history in a way that was artful in and of itself. I give the tour service and specifically Elizabeth a 100% A+ and recommend this group all the way. I had a great experience, thank you so much!!

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