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IMPORTANT INFORMATION » Our Monthly Newsletter ITA -

Palazzo Pitti

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Rent, Sell and Manage Properties in Florence and Tuscany

Italy may have a new pope, but a government is a totally different kettle of fish (maybe an April Fish Day (1st of the month) joke). But at least the weather is improving and the grip of the windy Siberian “beast from the east” has let us go. Head out and enjoy the spring flowers with best wishes, from SUZANNE, CORSO, BEI, SANDRA, ANNA PIA, VANNI, ANN and MARIO.


BEST EXTRAVAGANZA FOR APRIL – 2013 Balloon Arts Convention

"Thence we came forth to behold the stars" There is nothing more "earthy" than the stars. Have you ever stargazed during the August showers, nose to the sky, searching for a shooting star? Throughout the ages wishes and destinies have criss-crossed in the heavens and the deepest seas. In the stars the Mayans read the apocalypse, the Babylonians named the zodiac constellations, Vincent painted a bright "Starry Night", and "Star Wars" saved the universe! Small starfish dot the ocean blue with their tropical nuances, fulfilling wishes drifting to the ocean floor, and the Sun, our nearest star, which science and religion have debated intensely for centuries. You got it – this year’s theme is STARS!

Come experience the World of Balloons – huge balloon configurations to delight any age! Come to STARS at BACI (Balloon Art Convention Italy).

Visit http://www.bacitaly.com/2013/faq/?lang=en for more info.

April 18-20 Balloon Sculpture Competition at Fortezza del Basso.

April 21-23 Classes in balloon sculpture at Fortezza del Basso.

The finished pieces will remain on show until April 30.

BEST THEATER FOR APRIL – The General with Buster Keaton at Teatro Verdi

The Regione Toscana invites you to a free evening of silent film and accompanying music. The General with Buster Keaton will be shown with original music by Timothy Brock performed by the Orchestra della Toscana. The show starts at 9pm. Get a ticket at the box office of the Teatro Verdi, Via Ghibellina 91r, before April 15. The box office is open from Monday to Saturday from 10:00-13:00 and 16:00-19:00.

P&F PICK APARTMENT RENTAL FOR APRIL – Quiet Apartment Along the Arno

This gorgeous apartment, in the attic of a palace (elevator to the 5th floor, then 15 stairs), can sleep five people. There are two bedrooms (each with en-suite bathroom). The apartment measures approx. 110 sq. mts. (1,100 sq. ft.) plus terraces. This is an extremely comfortable and cozy space, ideal for long or short stays as it is very centrally located, along the Arno, to the historic city center. The tasteful furnishings and modern kitchen are an added plus.

For more information click this link.


On the surface, the Teatro del Sale may simply seem a unique eatery, open at all hours and offering a theatrical bonus après dinner. And a fine eatery it is: Teatro del Sale prides itself on a Tuscan-centered seasonal buffet that changes daily. Aptly set in an old Florentine theatre, this members-only club (easy and inexpensive membership sign-up at your first visit) is the brainchild of larger-than-life Florentine chef Fabio Picchi. Teatro del Sale serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, culminating at 9.30pm in a live performance of drama, music or comedy arranged by artistic director and famous comic actress (and Picchi's wife) Maria Cassi.

Dinners are hectic affairs and advance reservations are essential: grab a chair, serve yourself water, wine and antipasti and wait for Picchi to yell out what's just about to be served before queuing for your primo (first course) and secondo (second course). Dessert and coffee are laid out buffet-style just prior to the performance.

Now the ever-changing Teatro is offering an all-you-can-eat Brunchino (little brunch) from Monday to Friday (12pm to 2:30pm) for 15 euro and a Brunchone (great big brunch) on Saturday and Sunday (10:30am to 3pm) for 20 euro.

See http://www.edizioniteatrodelsalecibreofirenze.it for information.

BEST RUSH FOR APRIL – Test Drive A Ferrari in Florence

Now that the rain is passing, take your super car dreams for a road test. Starting at Piazzale Michelangelo at 10:30am (call to confirm the days), you can test drive a Ferrari. Ten minutes (110 euro), twenty minutes (190 euro), or thirty minutes (250 euro) and for a replay of the drive, add a video camera attachment for 20 euro.

See www.firenzeinferrari.com for info and call +39 331 205 5888 to reserve your time.

BEST EXHIBIT FOR APRIL – The Springtime Of The Renaissance: Sculpture & the Arts in Florence 1400-1460

Palazzo Strozzi, 23 March-18 August 2013

The new exhibition at the Strozzi Palazzo, organized by the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi and the Musée du Louvre, proposes to illustrate, in theme-based sections, the origin of what is still known today as the "miracle" of the Renaissance in Florence, doing so principally through masterpieces of sculpture, the branch of figurative art in which that new season first saw the light of day.

The first section is devoted to the rediscovery of the ancient world during the "rebirth" that occurred between the 13th and 14th centuries – from Nicola Pisano to Arnolfo di Cambio and their successors – and following assimilating the expressive richness of the Gothic style, especially of French origin, the two panels depicting the Sacrifice of Isaac by Lorenzo Ghiberti and Filippo Brunelleschi and the model of Brunelleschi's Dome of Florence Cathedral represent the fundamental starting point of the Early Renaissance .

At that time the writings of the great Humanists, singing the praises of the Florentine Republic's political achievements, its economic power and its social harmony, were spreading the legend of Florence as the heir to the Roman Republic and as a model for other Italian city-states. Monumental public sculpture (by Donatello, Ghiberti, Nanni di Banco, Michelozzo and others in those veritable beehives of innovation that were the city's major construction sites, the Cathedral and Orsanmichele for example) is the first and loftiest testimony to this exaltation of Florence and its leading citizens, while it also had a profound influence on the painting of such artists as Masaccio, Paolo Uccello, Andrea del Castagno and Filippo Lippi.

Other themes of classical antiquity were assimilated and transformed through sculpture in this new language that gave voice not only to the city's creative fervor but also to its spiritual and intellectual mood. The search for a 'rational' space and Brunelleschi's discovery of perspective were implemented in their most advanced forms precisely in the art of sculpture, in Donatello's bas-reliefs, for instance the predella of the St George and Herod’s Banquet in Lille, and their echo reached well into the middle part of the century in the work of Desiderio da Settignano and Agostino di Duccio in an ongoing dialogue-cum-debate with painting, including that of the classical era. From the 1420s on, the new standards of sculpture perfected by the great masters and illustrated by a number of masterpieces – like Donatello's Pazzi Madonna from Berlin and the Fiesole Madonna, formerly attributed to Brunelleschi but now given to Nanni di Banco – spread via a seemingly endless output of bas-reliefs for private devotion (in marble, stucco, polychrome terracotta and glazed terracotta), which fostered the widespread propagation of a taste for the 'new' beauty in every level of society. At the same time, the most prestigious artistic commissions in Florence began to focus on venues of solidarity and of prayer (churches, confraternities and hospitals) where sculpture once again played a leading role.

Thus, arranged around the city's absolute symbol – the wooden model of Brunelleschi's Cupola for Santa Maria del Fiore – the exhibition offers a retrospective of sculpture that was also to have a crucial impact on the development of the other figurative arts, in a direct debate with its classical predecessors, from the tombs of the Humanists, to the inspiration provided by ancient sarcophagi, to the rebirth of the equestrian monument and the carved portrait. The carved portrait, which started to become popular towards the middle of the century – in the marble busts of Mino da Fiesole, Desiderio da Settignano and Antonio Rossellino – heralds the transition from fiorentina libertas to the private patronage that was soon to lead to the hegemony of the Medici family. In this context, the exhibition – which opened with the evocation of Brunelleschi’s dome – closes with the evocation of the most illustrious private residence of the Renaissance in the shape of a Wooden Model of Palazzo Strozzi. (text from the official website.)


Tel. + 39 055 2645155

Opening times

Daily 9.00-20.00

Thursdays 9.00-23.00

Tickets sold until one hour before closing time.

Tickets: Full price € 12.50; Concessions € 8.50, 8.00

BEST BOOK FOR APRIL – Good Italy, Bad Italy: Why Italy Must Conquer Its Demons to Face the Future by Bill Emmott

Not long ago Italy was Europe's highly touted emerging economy, a society that blended dynamism and super-fast growth with a lifestyle that was the envy of all. Now it is viewed as a major threat to the future of the Euro, indeed to the European Union as a whole. Italy's political system is shorn of credibility as it struggles to deal with huge public debts and anemic levels of economic growth. Young people are emigrating in droves, frustrated at the lack of opportunity, while older people stubbornly cling to their rights and privileges, fearful of an uncertain future.

In this lively, up-to-the-minute book, Bill Emmott explains how Italy sank to this low point, how Italians feel about it, and what can be done to return the country to more prosperous and more democratic times. With the aid of numerous personal interviews, Emmott analyzes "Bad Italy"—the land of disgraced Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, an inadequate justice system, an economy dominated by special interests and continuing corruption—against its contrasting foil "Good Italy," the home of enthusiastic entrepreneurs, truth-seeking journalists, and countless citizens determined to end mafia domination for good.

Bill Emmott was editor-in-chief of The Economist and is now a freelance commentator on international affairs. He is a regular columnist for The Times in London and La Stampa in Italy, and the author of several books, including most recently Rivals: How the Power Struggle between China, India and Japan will Shape our Next Decade. He divides his time between London and Somerset, UK.

BEST BOOK FOR KIDS FOR APRIL – Stones in Water by Donna Jo Napoli

When Roberto sneaks off to see a movie in his Italian village, he has no idea that life as he knows it is over. German soldiers raid the theater, round up the boys in the audience, and pack them onto a train. After a terrifying journey, Roberto and his best friend Samuele find themselves in a brutal work camp, where food is scarce and horror is everywhere. The boys vow to stay together no matter what. But Samuele has a dangerous secret, which, if discovered, could get them both killed. Lovers of historical fiction from middle-graders to teens will be captivated by this tragic, triumphant, and deeply moving novel.

Donna Jo Napoli is an award-winning writer of children’s fiction, from picture books to young-adult novels. Her books have won the Golden Kite, the Sydney Taylor, the NJ Reading Association, the Kentucky Bluegrass, the Nevada Young Readers, the Bock Book, Anne Izard’s Storytellers’, and the Parents’ Choice awards. She holds numerous degrees, has taught at various universities around the world, and has held grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation. Her most recent books include Alligator Bayou (2009), The Wager (2010), Mama Miti (2010), and Treasury of Greek Mythology (2011).

FORZA VIOLA!! FOR APRIL – Florentine Calcio

P&F Sports Reporters Simon Clark & Anne Brooks bring you March’s Florentine Calcio results and the upcoming schedule for April.

Forza Viola! Time for some serious nerve-shredding and fingernail-nibbling. Last year, we were worrying about relegation; 12 months on, we hardly dare breathe the words “Champions League”. It’s the moment for thinking “if only we hadn’t lost to lowly Pescara” or “if we’d beaten Sampdoria at the Franchi instead of drawing”. No use crying over spilt milk! Eight games to go. All we have to do is win each and every one. Six – including the return trip to doomed Pescara – are against teams in the lower half. The other two are crucial home ties with Roma (keep them behind us) and, our first game in April, Milan (need to overhaul them). We are, remember, rebuilding this year. What we might do when rebuilt? Forza Montella!

Fiorentina’s Results:

Week 27: Fiorentina-Chievo WON 2-1

Week 28: Lazio-Fiorentina WON 2-0

Week 29: Fiorentina-Genoa WON 3-2

Week 30: Cagliari-Fiorentina LOST 1-2

Serie A. Chievo always give us a hard time but this time we stay calm and come out on top. It's a gorgeous day but not an enjoyable game, even after Pasqual rifles in a fantastic free kick on 4 minutes; he has been practising that as part of his application for the national squad but we don't build on it. Indeed, Chievo threaten a near-post goal and then activate the same move to draw level and dispirit the large crowd. Eventually, Pasqual takes a hand (or foot) again, manufacturing a perfect cross for Toni to head across goal and Larrondo to head in. Jo-Jo was substituted; so was Ljajic; Larrondo looks to have the full range of “silky skills”. Three points – but what is our best team?

Crunch game. Lazio in Rome and we aced it, even without the suspended Aquilani. They hardly turned up for the first half, watching as Jovetic (who had earlier ballooned a simple chance over the bar) took advantage of a fabulous Borja Valero dummy to slot the ball into the corner of their net. Even into the second half, they gazed as Ljajic curled in a magisterial free kick for our second. Later, they remembered what game they were supposed to be playing but it all petered out with Fiorentina hanging onto the ball for long stretches. We go fourth!

Fortress Franchi for Genoa, an under-performing outfit languishing down among the dead men. Naturally they chose us for a show of spirit but this is a maturing Viola and we kept on dominating until we forced a win and another 3 points to hang on to fourth spot. We led three times – Aquilani tapped in after fine work by Ljajic (only for Genoa to equalise), then their keeper fumbled and Cuadrado popped in his first for Fiorentina (they equalise) and finally Rodriguez’s header deflected off a defender and is classed as an own goal. They all count.

Then we try to throw it away in Cagliari, a flawed performance in an empty stadium – safety regulations meant no fans and no atmosphere (but that’s no excuse). Without the suspended Borja Valero and with Jovetic taken off after a knock, we still have the lion’s share of possession and pour in the shots. But not enough go in the opposition’s net! We go 0-1 down in ten minutes, 0-2 by half-time as Cuadrado gives away a penalty. Cuadrado makes some amends with a goal in the second half but despite a late flurry, we have to slink off pointless.

So. We’re still in fourth position. Milan are third. Next month, the game with Milan is key. Yes, they are stuffed with talent but yes, we beat them 3-1 on their own ground; any win will do. Earlier this season, we pokered Atalanta but only drew with Torino and Samp. But now we must beat everyone! Forza Viola!


April includes a break for internationals so just the four games:

Week 31: 7 Apr/home Fiorentina-Milan

Week 32: 14 Apr/away Atalanta-Fiorentina

Week 33: 21 Apr/home Fiorentina-Torino

Week 34: 28 Apr/away Sampdoria-Fiorentina


Ticket information - seating plan, prices, and ticket outlets - is on the "biglietteria" section of the club's website [www.it.violachannel.tv ]. Tickets can be purchased at official box offices and holders of TicketOne lottery franchises. Sources include:

CHIOSCO DEGLI SPORTIVI, via degli Anselmi 1. Tel 055 292363.

BAR MARISA, viale Manfredo Fanti 41. Tel 055 572723.
BAR STADIO, viale Manfredo Fanti 3r. Tel 055 576169.
ACF OFFICIAL TICKET-OFFICE, via Duprè 28 (corner of via Settesanti).
NUOVO BOX OFFICE, Via delle Vecchie Carceri, 1, (inside the Murate). Tel 055 264321
FELTRINELLI FIRENZE, Via de' Cerretani 39/32R


After perusing the Italian (and English) websites for information regarding activities and events during this year’s Notte Bianca or White Night, scheduled for April 30 into May 1, we were again frustrated with the lack of quality information.

For those who have no idea what a Notte Bianca is – it basically guarantees you 12 hours of fun, late store-openings, events in palazzo courtyards, concerts, art exhibitions, dancing, free breakfast, and museum openings. The historic center will be packed and many in the crowd will get more inebriated as the night wears on.

Where is it located? All over Florence, the ZTL zone in particular will be closed off to all cars and will become a “real” pedestrian zone for one night. This means one important thing, plan to leave the car at home. Buses (6, 14, 17, 22, 23 and 37 ) should run until at least 4am and after that normal bus schedules start at about half after 5am. Check here for buses: http://www.ataf.net/it/novita-e-comunicati/novita-sul-servizio.aspx?idC=89&LN=it-IT .

Apparently this year’s theme is … “the higher the seagull flies, the more it can see”. There will be aerostatic sculptures (think large flying balloons) in Piazza Santa Croce. There will be acrobatic dancers on the Torre di San Niccolo. Concerts on top of a crane. A “dreamlike event” inspired by the book Jonathon Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. An interactive installation called “Flying Bells” in Piazza Santa Maria Novella. Concerts at San Ambrogio. Open museums and shops. A Flash Mob called “Keep Calm and Grease” is being planned by the New Directions (but no location is disclosed).

Check this site www.nottebiancafirenze.it closer to the date or Google “Notte Bianca Firenze”.


LET’S GET THE BAD NEWS OUT OF THE WAY – Italy Culture Week Cancelled

The XV Settimana della Cultura, or the 15th Annual Cultural Week, in Italy has been cancelled due to the Country's rough economic climate. Typically during Settimana della Cultura a number of cultural sites are free for visitors. Some of these sites include the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum in Rome, the Uffizi Gallery, Medici Chapels and Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence as well as the Gallerie dell'Accademia and Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Venice. This year, for the first time, MiBAC (Ministry for Culture) says it can’t afford to lose the revenue at such a high tourism period.

The Florentine reports the following: 'We can no longer afford to forfeit the revenue of entrance tickets for the seven-day period in the spring, a time of year when most visitors arrive. But we will grant free entry to museums on the last Sunday of each month, when Italian families are really feeling the pinch,' said Anna Maria Buzzi, who has replaced Mario Resca as MiBAC's director of enhancement. However, the initiative granting free entrance on Sundays must still be confirmed, and it remains uncertain whether Culture Week will take place at another, less touristy time of year. MiBAC cannot make firm future plans before the new government is installed and a new Culture Minister is appointed, a spokesperson told TF by phone. For the first time since 2009, museum revenues have dropped significantly, recording a decrease of more than 10 percent in the first nine months of 2012. Officials at MiBAC say they are also considering a revision of their entry prices for those who currently benefit from reduced rates.

NORMA E CAPRICCIO – Spanish Artists In Italy In The Early Mannerist Period

Galleria degli Uffizi - 5 March - 26 May

“Thus I also say that no nation and no people (other than one or two Spaniards) can perfectly assimilate or imitate the Italian manner of painting (which is that of ancient Greece) without being immediately and easily recognized as foreigners, however much they may try or work at it”. These words, spoken by Michelangelo Buonarroti and recorded by Francisco de Hollanda in his Roman Dialogues (Lisbon, 1548), provided the inspiration for the first exhibition at the Uffizi Gallery ever devoted to the work of those Spanish artists who came to Italy between 1500 and the 1520s to partake of the effervescent cultural climate in Florence, Rome and Naples.

This exalted group of artists, who were prompted to travel by their thirst for first-hand contact with the fundamental works of Italian artists, included such personalities as Alonso Berruguete, Pedro Machuca, Pedro Fernández (better known as the “Pseudo-Bramantino”), Bartolomé Ordóñez and Diego de Silóe, who hailed from various different parts of the Iberian peninsula - Palencia, Toledo, Murcia and Burgos - and who proved capable of forging careers for themselves as leading players in European ‘Mannerism’.

Italian art historical sources readily acknowledge their dominant position on the international scene in the 16th century. Giorgio Vasari, for instance, in his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects, places Berruguete on the same level as Rosso and Pontormo in the study of Michelangelo's and Leonardo's work, while Pietro Summonte, a celebrated scholar from Campania, also mentions the work of Ordóñez and De Silóe in a letter on the most important monuments in Naples, dated 1524.

LADIES ONLY – Avon Running Through Florence

Ladies, save the date – Sunday, April 14 – for a 5K women-only race. The non-competitive run kicks off in Piazza Santa Maria Novella at 9:30am. For serious runners there is also a 10K competitive race. The route will pass through Piazza Duomo, Piazza San Firenze, Ponte alle Grazie, via San Niccolò, Lungarno Torrigiani, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Signoria, Piazza della Repubblica, to return to Santa Maria Novella.

The participation fee is € 12.00 for adults and € 8.00 for under 18 years. Proceeds will be donated to charities for the support of children and adolescents who have been the victims of violence. You will get an official t-shirt, race bib, a swag bag of gifts from the sponsors, information, insurance and medical care, and the official program of the event. Registration will be open until April 12, at the following:

FIRENZE MARATHON - Athletic Stadium - Viale M. Fanti, 2

Hours: Monday to Friday 09.00/13.00 - 14.00/16.00

ISOLOTTO SPORTS - Via Argin Grosso, 69

THE CHAMPION - Via Mino da Fiesole - Prato

You can also register directly at the Avon Running Village in Piazza Santa Maria Novella on Saturday, April 13 from 14.00 to 18.00 and Sunday, April 14 from 8.00 to 9.30.


The International Handicrafts Trade Fair (Mostra Internazionale dell’Artigianato) has hosted the most important master craftsmen for the past 77 years inside the Fortezza del Basso, where tradition and innovation merge to create valuable handmade products. This year, from April 20 to 28, you can admire the works of the ancient Florence workshops, as well as skills that are being rediscovered and practiced by innovative young artists

The International Handicrafts Trade Fair is the place where culture, arts, handicraft traditions and new creativities meet. Unique pieces in classical, modern, ethnic, and contemporary styles await you.

This year, there will be a special treat with the preview of the Firenze Gelato Festival (to take place in all its yummy goodness in May) and the top floor of the Spadolini Pavilion will be dedicated to traditional foods from all over the world.

Opening Times: everyday from 10am to 11pm (on the 28th April, the last day: closing time at 8pm)


On Sun. 21, pop around to Piazza Santo Spirito and admire the crafts and organic food fair. This one, as the name suggests will focus on crafts for the home. Your will also find handmade ceramic whistles for kids, antiques, food, hand-woven dresses and linens, beeswax candles, naturally scented soaps and oils, home-baked bread and cakes, ceramics, wine, olive oil, hand-carved wooden salad bowls and more. www.lafierucola.org.


The Fulgor makes one of their theaters available for Original Sound movies, seven days a week, three show times a day. Call to find out what is showing in English. Via Maso Finiguerra – Tel. 055 238 1881

April 1-3 Arbitrage

April 4-10 The Place Beyond the Pines

April 11-17 Dead Man Down

April 18-23 Oblivion

April 24-30 Iron Man 3


18 April 19:30

Opera National De Paris

THIRD SYMPHONY by Gustav Mahler

22 April 19:30

Opera National De Paris


29 April 20:15

Royal Opera House of London



Located in Piazza Strozzi. See website for times: http://www.cinehall.it/pagine/odeon%20original%20sound.asp

April 2-8 Middle East Now Festival

April 10-11 Silver Linings Playbook

April 9 American Beauty (free entry)

April 12-14 Arbitrage

ORIGINAL LANGUAGE FILMS – Talking Movies at the British Institute

The Talking Movies Series at the British Institute Library: Every Wednesday at 8:00 pm, the Sala Ferragamo in the Institute's Harold Acton Library hosts a film, followed by discussion. The British Institute Library, Lungarno Guicciardini 9. Check the web site at www.britishinstitute.it/en/events/default.asp for times, dates, and detailed information or stop by the library for a brochure.

“Music on the screen can seek out and intensify the inner thoughts of the characters. It can invest a scene with terror, grandeur, gaiety or misery… It often lifts mere dialogue into the realms of poetry… it is the communicating link between screen and audience, reaching out and enveloping all into one single experience.” - Bernard Herrmann 1911-1975

Why do films have music? What constitutes good film music? What are the narrative or emotive functions of music in films? To what extent is music in films explicitly heard by the moviegoer, and even if it is heard subliminally, what are the implications of the viewer attending or not attending to a film’s music? Stravinsky asked ‘Who likes film music? Who understands it? Who needs it?’ No name stands out more in the annals of film music history than that of Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975), often described as Hitchcock’s maestro (for his most celebrated work in that director’s films). But Herrmann’s film compositions have enriched the movies of Hollywood over a much wider range, beginning with his debut in Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane – until recently the ‘greatest film ever made’ – and ending with the memorable score for Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver.

It was said that Herrmann “… knew how to make music that came not just from the action we are seeing or the characters, not just from the heart of a film or the incoherent dream of its director, but from the unique marriage of a particular film and the large medium. Herrmann knew how lovely the dark should be, and he was at his best in rites of dismay, dark dreams, introspection, and the gloomy romance of loneliness.”

So, climb on board the raft and sail away with a selection of movies showcasing Herrmann’s talents, from Citizen Kane (1941), the lush melodrama of Jane Eyre (1943), and the innovative futuristic soundtrack of The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951). “In a good film score one is not aware whether the music is making the film go forward or whether the film is pushing the music forward.” - Bernard Herrmann

Wednesday, April 03, 2013. 20.00

Film: Citizen Kane

(1941), with Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton, Dorothy Comingore

Wednesday, April 10, 2013. 20.00

Film: Jane Eyre

(1943) with Orson Welles, Joan Fontaine, Margaret O’Brien

Wednesday, April 24, 2013. 20.00

Film: The Day the Earth Stood Still

(1951) with Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe


Every Wednesday at 18.00 from September to June there is a lecture, concert or other event in the Sala Ferragamo in the Harold Acton Library followed by an informal drinks reception.

Wednesday, April 10, 18.00

Lecture: Philip Mansel

Philip Mansel’s highly praised new book Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean describes three former centers of great wealth, pleasure and freedom: Smyrna, Alexandria and Beirut. In this talk the eminent historian concentrates on the Egyptian city, and incidentally points to connections with Florence.

Wednesday, April 17, 18:00

Lecture: Alessandro Serpieri

The Tempest: In a Span of Time – Shakespeare Week this year focuses on The Tempest, and the keynote lecture is given by the distinguished Italian Shakespearean scholar Professor Alessandro Serpieri, who edited the play in 2006 for Marsilio Editore.

Wednesday, April 24, 18:00

Lecture: Ian Bickerton

The Illusion of Victory: Why in War there are no Winners – The Australian philosopher-historian Ian Bickerton argues that ‘the costs of war are rarely, if ever, worthwhile’, and indeed that all war is ‘a betrayal of human purpose and a total failure of imagination’.

ALSO on Thursday, April 04, 10:00

Charity Book Fair

Come and browse the thousands of second-hand books on sale from €2. You will find books in English, Italian and other languages in many subject areas.

Enter for a prize draw to win a summer English course or buy a library membership card at a 15% discount.

If you would like to donate books to the Fair please bring them to the British Institute Library by 2 April during our opening hours Mon – Fri 10.00 to 18.30.

All proceeds from the sale will go towards the charitable work of ATT.

FROM BOLDINI TO DE PISIS – Two Exhibits from Ferrara

The masterpieces of the damaged Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery of Ferrara, damaged in last year’s earthquake, are being hosted in Florence at the Villa Bardini Museum and the Modern Art Gallery in the Pitti Palace.

These exhibits include the works of artists such as Giovanni Boldini, Gaetano Previati, Achille Funi, Carlo Carrà, Roberto Melli and Filippo de Pisis.

The early works will be at Villa Bardini: from Gaetano Turchi’s historical romanticism to the nineteenth-century paintings by Giovanni Boldini. At the Modern Art Gallery, instead, visitors will see Boldini’s twentieth-century works as well as Previati’s symbolist art and Filippo De Pisis’s intimate and existential painting.

The exhibitions continue until May 19.

Opening hours at the Modern Art Gallery: Tuesday – Sunday 8:15am – 6:50pm (last admission at 6pm) closed on Monday

Ticket price: full price ticket € 13,00; reduced ticket € 6,50 for EU citizens between 18 and 25 years of age, free for EU citizens under 18 and over 65

Opening hours at Villa Bardini: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 7.00pm (last admission at 6pm) closed on Monday

Ticket price: full price ticket € 8,00; reduced ticket € 6,00 only for ACI and Touring club members and for those who have the ticket for the Boboli Gardens; reduced ticket € 4,00 for school groups


The Sant’Ambrogio Market introduced a loyalty card to reward its faithful customers with discounts and promotional offers. Now the Sant’Ambrogio We Are Florence (We-Fi) card has been extended to include other neighborhood businesses. You can buy “what you want, where you want, and when you want” to accumulate points that will be turned into vouchers to use for your future purchases and services. The We-Fi Card is free and allows you to take advantage of special discounts and promotions for you. Every 500 points is good for a discount of 5 euro.

Already popular with locals, the new gives discounts at over twenty stores, bars, restaurants and stands within the Sant’Ambrogio market and businesses located in the neighborhood stretching from Piazza Beccaria to Piazza dei Ciompi, Via Ghibellina, from Via de Macci to Via dell’Agnolo. Among the participating merchants are butchers, pharmacies, tripe sellers and lingerie shops. The merchants have joined because of a common neighborhood identity, so that they can be more competitive and offer customers a small, but real, reward for loyal shopping.

Look for the distinctive Sant’Ambrogio We Are Florence (We-Fi) sign to get your free fidelity card.

See also: http://www.wefi-card.it


For lovers of the Stibbert Museum, there is now a yearlong, frequent entry card – Friends of Stibbert. For 15 euro for students and 35 euro for everyone else, the holder will gain free entrance for a year.

See the following for more information:


The museum was created by Frederick Stibbert (1838-1906). His father was English, his mother Italian. Frederick was born in Florence but was sent to England, as a young boy, to study. His father, Thomas, was a colonel of the Coldstream Guards, and his grandfather Giles had been Governor of Bengal, in India. Giles accumulated an incredible fortune, which passed on to Frederick when he was 21 years old.

He started to collect immediately upon his coming of age and ended up transforming his house in a real museum “which has cost me a great deal of money and much care and effort”, as he wrote on his will. When Frederick died he left the museum to the municipality of Florence, to improve the knowledge of history for the benefit of future generations. Today the museum is a Foundation according to Stibbert's last will.



The lady of Italian rock in a show for which no expense was spared. Everyone who buys a ticket will get a free download of the artist’s new song that will open the show.

MandelaForum, Viale Paoli. Info: 055 667566, www.bitconcerti.it


The Amici della Musica of Florence presents various concerts at the Teatro della Pergola. Works by Haydn, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, and Berio are only a small sample of what will be performed. See the schedule for concerts at http://www.amicimusica.fi.it/.

Amici della Musica - Concert Season Highlights for April:

April 6 Sacred Choral Music by the Swedish Radio Choir

April 7 Baritone Matthias Goerne and pianist Eric Schneider play Mahler and the Suite on the Verses of Michelangelo of Shostakovich

April 13 The Ysaye Quartet with violinist Isabel Charisius and cellist Valentin Erben play Brahms and Sesetti

Teatro della Pergola,Via della Pergola, info: 055/609012 or 055/2264333, www.amicimusica.fi.it


Thursday 11 April at 5pm at Casa Martelli – “Omaggio Floreale”

Silvia Lombardi-François, soprano and Andrea Orlandi, piano


Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

Da “Die Schöpfung” (“La Creazione”), Hob XXI:2

Nun beut die Flur (Aria di Gabriele)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Dans un bois solitaire KV 308

Das Veilchen KV 476

Oiseaux, si tous les ans KV 307

Ridente la calma KV 152

Un moto di gioia KV 579

Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin (1810-1849)

Preludi op. 28 n. 15, 6, 13

Richard Strauss (1864-1949)

Da “Mädchenblumen”, Op. 22

Kornblumen (Fiordaliso)

Mohnblumen (Papavero)

Epheu (Edera)

Museo di Casa Martelli

Via Zannetti 8, Firenze

CONCERT AT THE VIPER THEATRE – Techno, Rock, & Heavy Metal

April 4 & 5 at 10pm Manuel Agnelli

April 9 at 9:30pm Paul Gilbert

April 11 at (:30pm Roy Paci Corleone

April 19 at 10pm Paolo Belli & Big Band

Viper Theatre, via Pistoiese, Florence, www.viperclub.eu


April 8 Michele Marasco plays Haydn and Mozart

April 16 Daniele Rustioni conducts the music of Mendelssohn and Bartok

April 25 The General with Buster Keaton, music written and directed by Timothy Brock (free concert, see above)

Teatro Verdi, Via Ghibellina, 99

Info: http://www.teatroverdionline.it/cartellone/musical/my-fair-lady-dal-21-02-13-al-24-02-13.html


April 13 & 14 Zubin Mehta directs Tchaikovsky (soloist Janine Jansen) and Mahler

April 3 to 7 Ballet – La Sylphide

Ticket Office Teatro Comunale

Corso Italia 16 - Firenze - fax: +39 055 287222 Tues. - Fri. 10:00-16:30 & Sat. 10:00-13:00

Tickets on line www.maggiofiorentino.com tickets@maggiofiorentino.com


Not to worry! … Here are a bunch of events or exhibits that will still be happening in late April and May:


The Museo delle Cappelle Medicee is celebrating the figure of Pope Leo X, the first Medici pope, five hundred years after his election to the Holy See. Taking a Florentine's eye view, the exhibition tracks the life of Giovanni, Lorenzo the Magnificent's second son, from his birth in Florence in 1475 up to 9 March 1513 when he was elected to the papacy, and to his brief return home in 1515.

The first sections of the exhibition are devoted to the future pope's education and upbringing. Growing up in the rarefied environment of his father's sophisticated Humanist entourage, Giovanni was educated by the leading scholars of the day and came into contact with the greatest artists of the time, including the young Michelangelo. Elected cardinal at an early age, Giovanni suffered the dramatic fate of the rest of his family when in 1494 they were exiled from Florence, where they were only able to return in 1512. This part of the exhibition is illustrated with works by Botticelli, Andrea Sansovino, Granacci, Ghirlandaio and Perugino.

The second section of the exhibition retraces these events through Florence's artistic production, setting it against the life of the young cardinal and highlighting his interests and pursuits, which were to come to fruition when he was elected to the papacy. He took the name of Leo not only to commemorate some of his more eminent predecessors, but also to evoke the lion (Marzocco) that was the symbol of Florence.

The third section is devoted to Leo X's papacy and to the impact that that papacy had on the city. His years on the papal throne were hailed as a new "golden age" in which the capital of Christendom was given a new lease of life thanks to the work not only of artists but also of the poets and Humanists who revived the tenets of the Classical world. These were the years in which work began, or continued, on some of the papal capital's most important building projects, including the renovation of St. Peter's Basilica, while Raphael continued to dazzle the court with his achievements in the field of painting. Portraits of the pope, his coats of arms and his symbols are to be displayed alongside a selection of his projects for Rome. The section also contains work by Raphael, Bugiardini, Della Robbia and Giuliano da Sangallo, while special attention is also devoted to the "Lutheran question".

While Raphael was busy putting his stamp on Leo's Rome, the presence of a Medici on the throne of St. Peter drew a large number of Florentines to the city, including artists whose hopes of a papal commission were fired by the city's unique climate of munificence and splendor. Yet it was with Leo X's visit to Florence on 30 November 1515 that these artists eventually got their opportunity to celebrate his election to the papacy. The pope entered the city following a route adorned with numerous temporary structures erected by the city's leading artists in symbolic sites along the way. The pope's entourage, which included his cousin Giulio de' Medici (the future Pope Clement VII), the complex decorations and the works produced by these painters and sculptors are amply illustrated in the fifth section, where some of the precious artifacts produced in the city to celebrate Leo X's pontificate are to be displayed.

The last section of the exhibition illustrates the attention that the Medici popes, Leo X and later Clemente VII, devoted to the execution of the architectural projects which their family commissioned in Florence, reviewing the history of the San Lorenzo complex from Michelangelo's design for the façade of the basilica (which was never actually built) to his project for the Sagrestia Nuova, on which he worked on and off and which he left unfinished when he finally departed for Rome in 1534. Visitors will also be able to admire, for the very first time, the splendid polyhedral shape, which Michelangelo chose for the crown of the lantern in the Sagrestia Nuova. (text from official museum site)


More than 100 works by Salvador Dalí, the master of surrealism, are displayed in this exhibit on the ground floor of the Palazzo Medici Ricardi. Among them are lesser-known and as-yet-poorly understood works, such as great bronze sculptures, rare graphics, surrealist furniture and glass objects, as well as Dalí's illustrations and reinterpretations of surrealist literary texts.

February 1-May 25, Palazzo Medici, Via Cavour 3, Florence

Exhibit website: www.thedaliuniverse.com, for more information.

NEW IN SHOES – The Prodigious Shoemaker: Legends & Fairy Tales On Shoes And Shoemakers

There is a new exhibition soon to be released at Salvatore Ferragamo Museum, where various artists interpret the fabulous role of shoes in legends, myths and fairy tales. Curated by Stefania Ricci, Sergio Risaliti and Luca Scarlini, the exhibition portrays various artists’ interpretations on the universe of shoes: from the original manuscript of Federico Garcìa Lorca’s “La zapatera prodigiosa” to writers and poets such as Hamid Ziarati, Michele Mari and Elisa Biagini, Argentine-Italian composer Luis Bacalov and Milanese visual artist Liliana Moro; all works focus on a brilliant point-of-view of a lady’s second best friend.

From April 19th, 2013 to March 31st, 2014

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum – Piazza Santa Trinità 5

UFFIZI GALLERY AND ITS RED ROOMS – New Home of Michelangelo’s Doni Tondo

In January 2013, the Uffizi moved the only Michelangelo painting in its collection from the west wing where it had hung for decades and gave it a new home on a red wall of the Sale Rosse. The Doni Tondo now keeps company with the early 16th century painters Potormo, Bronzino and Raphael.

The Sale Rosse are a suite of nine rooms (56–66) on the piano nobile of the Uffizi, opened in June 2012. The rooms display some ancient Roman sculpture and Florentine paintings from the early 16th century, most of which was formerly displayed elsewhere in the gallery. They overlook the courtyard and have large windows providing excellent lighting. Each room has a bright red wall on which the most important works are displayed.

The first room, the only one entirely painted crimson, has an impressive display of early-Imperial Roman replicas of famous Hellenistic sculptures. They include a marble replica of the Capitoline Spinario, the Farnese Hercules, and the Gaddi torso. They have been exhibited here to underline the influence that they had on Florentine painters of the early 16th century, notably Andrea del Sarto, whose works are hung in the first two rooms. His three chiaroscuro scenes, on show for the first time, show his skill and interest in representing the Classical style.

Rosso Fiorentino is for the first time given a room to himself (60) and the portraits by Pontormo are now in Room 61, including his famed portrait of Cosimo il Vecchio, dressed from head to foot in crimson, which used to hang in the Tribuna, and his very fine portrait of Maria Salviati, the mother of Cosimo I. Maria was widowed at the age of 27 and devoutly dressed as a nun for the rest of her life, hence her portrayal as such here.

Rooms 64 and 65 display all the great Medici family portraits by Bronzino, which include his masterpieces, most of which were formerly in the Tribuna – here they can be seen in a far better light. Amongst them are the newly restored refined portraits of Bartolomeo Panciatichi and his wife Lucrezia, fittingly displayed on either side of the “Panciatichi” Holy Family. Eleanor of Toledo, in a splendid velvet dress with her son Giovanni, is well known to all, whereas the delightful young Medici children are the crowd pleasers. The highlight for young and old is the full-length nude portrait of the dwarf Morgante, which was such a hit at the Strozzi’s exhibition of Bronzino last year (the painter’s masterful answer to whether sculpture or painting is the most versatile and thus, “nobler” art), is displayed in the center of Room 65.

The last room (66) has a superb group of paintings by the greatest master of this period, Raphael. His famous portrait of the first Medici pope, Leo X, with his two cousins whom he created cardinals, hangs beside his self-portrait and his court portraits of the Gonzaga and Della Rovere. The most evocative painting of all in this set of rooms is his famous Madonna del Cardellino (“Madonna of the Goldfinch”), which was restored a few years ago.



On April 7, you’d better be in San Casciano in Val di Pesa for the Medieval Carnival. The five contrade will compete at 2:30pm for bragging rights for the year to come. At 8pm there will me a medieval banquet (reserve at 055 820779). Throughout the day there will be over 800 costumed figures in the streets of the historic center and a medieval market. (If it rains, this all will be rescheduled to April 14.)

MERCATINO DI APRILANTE - Artisanal Crafts Market

Sun. 7 (morning to afternoon) visit Panzano-in-Chianti. The first Sunday of each month the weekly town market held in Panzano is expanded with artisan booths of all sorts. Depending on which vendors show up, you'll find honey and pecorino (sheep's milk) cheese makers, hand-embroidered linen makers, boutique wineries and antique dealers and much more. To visit Panzano by car from Florence or Siena, take Route 222, the "Chiantigiana" highway passing through the Chianti wine area. From the west, there is a road connecting with the highway at Tavarnelle or S. Donato. This pretty road passes the monastery of Badia a Passignano. It is also possible to reach Panzano by SITA bus from Florence. The trip takes about one hour.


The Tuscan Archipelago National Park this year is celebrating its fifth edition of the Tuscany Walking Festival. “Taking advantage of all the benefits Mother Nature has to offer means living a better life.” The program runs from April 13 to May 5.

The philosophy of the festival: regaining the benefits of mother nature. Photography, painting and contemporary art lovers, and hobby lovers in general, will be given special treatment. During the festival a Convention will be held on the subject of the environment and the happiness it can give, with many innovative ideas and suggestions on how to live better. The Park has also published new brochures: as well as the guide to the most characteristic excursions in the Park, translated into three foreign languages, there is a brochure about the fascinating history of the Tuna fishing nets in Enfola, and a small guide for excursions on horseback, and by bike.

Website: http://www.tuscanywalkingfestival.it/en-GB/home.html


On Sun. 7, as on every first Sunday of the month, from 8 am to sunset, you can enjoy a visit to Fiesole with the added fun of perusing the stands filled with bric-brac and antiques. Piazza Mino. For info phone 0555978373.

MUVE - Museum of Glass in Empoli

Located in the picturesque surroundings of the ancient Salt Store, restored for the occasion, the Museum of Glass in Empoli (Museo del Vetro di Empoli – MUVE) was inaugurated in July 2010. The exhibition is spread over two floors, running through the history of glass production in Empoli, already active in the fifteenth century, but flourishing since the mid-18th century and especially in the 19th century, thanks also to the strategic position of Empoli on the way from Florence to Pisa, connected by the railway by the middle of the century.

Common objects, such as flasks, carboys and bottles, are on display along with tools, documents, photographs and advertising images that illustrate the changes in the production of glass in the area. On the second floor, interesting pieces of artistic glass reflect the fine craftsmanship of Tuscany glassworkers in the 20th century. The tour is then enriched by evocative visual and sound effects designed to recreate the atmosphere of historic glasswork.

Address: Empoli, via Ridolfi, 70-74

Tel:0571 76714

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 10 a.m.-7.00 p.m. Closed on Monday.

Tickets:Full price: € 3.00; half-price ( groups min. 15 persons): € 1.50; reduced (EU citizens under 18 and over 65, Every Sunday, from 15 to 19, free admission.


Tuscan Traveler’s Italian Food Rules written by Ann Reavis has been published! Find a copy at The Paperback Exchange at Via delle Oche, 4r, or at BM Bookshop, Borgo Ognissante, 4.


Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) is what an Italian would say while gazing with horror at the sandwiches Americans love to eat. Now that panini are all the rage in the U.S. makes it all the more egregious. A panino is pane (bread) with an –ino suffix to denote a small roll. Inside the small roll (not sliced bread) should be one or two slices of one or two, possibly three, ingredients. The idea is to be able to taste each ingredient, not to have them become some indecipherable jumble of flavors.

A foot-long sandwich with ten different spreads, cheeses, meats and lettuces is not Italian. The term panino as used in the U.S. usually means a sandwich that is heated under a panino press. The machine might have been invented in Italy, but not all panini are heated. Most are not because, again, the idea is to taste each ingredient. Also, butter never enters the equation – you will never find a buttered, toasted sandwich in Italy.

Venice is famed for its sliced bread (without a crust) enclosing one to three ingredients and mayonnaise (not found in panini in other regions). These are not panini, but are Venetian tramezzini, which like all other regional specialties, should only be eaten in Venice, where they know how to make them.

If you see large sandwiches in glassed cases of coffee bars and self-serve eateries in the popular tourist towns of Florence, Rome and Venice, be aware that they are probably stale, are not panini and are eaten only by foreigners. If you see Italians lining up at a window of a tiny shop where small warm, soft rolls of white bread are being torn open and filled with a thin slice of folded mortadella (no mayonnaise or mustard) or perhaps, a smear of goat cheese and a couple of slices of a spicy salame, get in line and have the best panino of your life.


Invitation to Newsletter Readers & Friends:

The Pitcher & Flaccomio Newsletter would like to invite readers and friends of readers to submit announcements of upcoming events that may be of interest to visitors and residents of Florence and Tuscany, provide shopping tips, and/or comments on what’s “right” or “wrong” in Florence (or the Newsletter). We can’t promise to put every announcement in the newsletter, but we appreciate your support, interest and messages.

Please send an email to info@pitcherflaccomio.com or newsletter@pitcherflaccomio.com .


March came in like a lion and left like a lamb – now, get out there and enjoy the sunshine.

All the best,

Pitcher and Flaccomio