You may never have heard of a Florentine called Galileo Chini, nor seen any of his works, but you have witnessed the effects of his talent all over the country. In the early part of this century, Chini was largely responsible for introducing the art nouveau style into Italy (where it is usually referred to as "Liberty"). He founded a ceramics factory that created colorful objects which soon made their way into thousands of homes, he painted canvases that were hung in museums ranging from the Uffizi to Rome's Modern Art Gallery, and he designed sets for his close friend Puccini. Chini's stage designs for Turandot are the epitome of the Liberty style; perhaps because of them he was asked to fresco the Royal Palace of the King of Siam. Chini lived in the Orient for two years. When he returned to Italy he built a vacation retreat in Versilia and called it Villa Chini. Its large sunny rooms, delightful ornamentation and century-old park were the height of luxury. Today that villa is a family-run hotel called Villa Riviera Toscana, and you can stay there on your next holiday. For now, spend a few moments enjoying our own gallery of the works by Galileo Chini.