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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
NEWSLETTER – August 2011

Common wisdom is that “everyone” leaves town in August and “nothing” is happening. But it just ain’t so. We have found an August full of fun for those who stay in Florence and for those who venture out into the Tuscan countryside.

In the month of the shooting stars of San Lorenzo, we are wishing for an August of soft nights and festival-filled days to all from SUZANNE, CORSO, BEI, SANDRA, LORI, ANNA PIA, ANN and MARIO.


BEST EXTRAVAGANZA FOR AUGUST – The night of the shooting stars of San Lorenzo
On Tuesday 10, join the neighborhood of San Lorenzo in a celebration of their patron, Saint Lawrence. Traditionally, this is known as the Night of the Falling Stars – in reality an annual meteor shower. Since St. Lorenzo was martyred on this day (by grilling) in 258, the stars are also seen as his tears.

During the morning, salute the parade that marches through town from the Palagio di Parte Guelfa on Via Pellicceria, to the Basilica di San Lorenzo, starting around 10:30 am. At 7:00 pm, head to Piazza San Lorenzo for an outdoor celebration. There will be free lasagna, music and watermelon for all. The event begins sometime after the market stalls that line the streets by day are rolled away. In addition, in honor of San Lorenzo, a concert is held each year in Piazza San Lorenzo by the G. Rossini Philharmonic Orchestra, at 9:00 pm.

For concert info: tel. 055603407 and http://www.filarmonicarossini.it.

For festival info: tel. 055 0516181 and www.comune.fi.it

To best view the falling meteorites (when the Earth intersects the orbit of an old comet whose fragments penetrate the atmosphere), you should go somewhere outside of the city and away from “light pollution”. This year the best viewing days will be August 12 and 13. So if you’re staying in one of P&F’s rental apartments or villas in the countryside (see below), you’re in luck!

P&F PICK APARTMENT RENTAL FOR AUGUST – Villa Living With a View of the Duomo

MUSEUM FOR AUGUST – Get On Board the MuseoBus

All aboard! The destination this summer in Florence is the museum! MuseoBus takes young and old museum goers to and from city museums so especially can take part in special itineraries organized entirely for them. The special initiative has created an itinerary of same-day related trips on the bus from a museum in the city center and another in the periphery, during which kids get special guided visits (in Italian). It is a great way for adults, too, to get to some out-of-the-way museums. There are twenty-two itineraries, from June to September, that anyone can sign up for to see and learn more about the city's cultural, artistic, scientific, prehistoric and astronomical museums.
See http://www.msn.unifi.it/Article518.html for information. 

2 Tuesday, 9:30pm
The Stars and Home of Galileo
Meeting at the Planetarium, Via Giusti 29.
It continues to Villa Il Gioiello (Home of Galileo) in Pian dei Giullari.
Participation fee: € 7.50

6 Saturday 9:30am
Archaeological excavations in Fiesole and Florence
Meeting at the Museum of Prehistory, Via dell'Oriuolo 26.
Continue to the Museo Civico Archeologico in Fiesole.
Price € 10.00

23 Tuesday, 10.00am
Botanical Garden and Still Life Painting (Natura Morta)
Meeting the Botanical Garden (Museum of Natural History) at Via Micheli, 3.
Continue to the Museo della Natura Morta (Villa Medici of Poggio a Caiano).
Price € 6.00

Participation fee: € 8.00

Info and reservations: 055 2346760 (Mon-Fri 9.00-17.00)

GELATERIA FOR AUGUST – Gelateria Santa Trinita

The Santa Trinita Gelateria is located in the historical Frescobaldi Palace, facing the Santa Trinita Bridge in the Oltrarno. Opened in March of 2008, it is unusual for a gelateria to leap to such popularity, the quality of their gelato and the friendliness of their service have built a loyal following of tourists and residents, alike.

During the summer period they offer up to 38 different flavors of gelato, sorbet, and ice cream cakes. Besides the classic flavors, quality cream, pistachio, and hazelnut, there are a constant rotation of new inventive flavors such as: dark chocolate sesame, peanuts and chocolate, yogurt with strawberries and honey, along with the most popular flavors: “Santa Trinita”, "Buontalenti al mascarpone", and chocolate extra noir.

Inside the gelateria is the Emporio Santa Trinita, full of quality products, selling Italian specialties such as: a selection of handmade chocolates Amedei (Champion of the World) and Vestri, homemade biscotti by Amari, certified balsamic vinegars by Leonardi and an excellent selection of local Tuscan wines.

GARDEN FOR AUGUST – Giardino Di Villa Medici Castello

Grand Duke Cosimo I loved this place. He played there as a boy and when he became the duke he employed a sculptor, Niccolò Tribolo, to design a new garden. Castello has spacious terraces and a central axis, following Bramante's example. There is a fine grotto with sculptural groups of animals set into the garden wall on the main axis, which celebrates Cosimo I's love of hunting.

Tribolo's garden sculpture uses an iconographical theme drawn from Ovid's Metamorphosis and celebrates the greatness of the Medici family. The garden is enclosed by walls, in the manner of a hortus conclusus. A lunette of the garden was painted in 1599, shows the structure of the garden layout much as it is today.

Opening hours:
Daily: 8:15 – 19:30 (June – August)
Closed on the 2nd and 3rd Monday of each month,New Year’s Day, May 1st and Christmas Day

Tickets: Free admission

For more info: http://www.comune.firenze.it/servizi_pubblici/scuola/calamandrei/versionefinale.htm and http://www.uffizi.firenze.it/english/musei/villacastello/

On the same excursion, include a visit to the villa and gardens of the Villa Medici at Petraia. See for info: http://www.uffizi.firenze.it/musei/petraia/


P&F Restaurant Reviewers Ed and Mimi return with this offering for your summer dining.

Recently we returned to a favorite country restaurant, Lo Steccheto, located a few minutes from the Monte San Savino exit of the Autostrada del Sole. Offering an enticing array of always freshly prepared dishes, Lo Steccheto's menu has entrées to please every palate. While you might expect the classic Florentine steak to be served in the heart of the Val di Chiana, you would not anticipate being offered such an array of the freshest fish you'll find anywhere.

Vegetarian? Gluten-free? No, problem, chef Giancarlo Fulgenzi will create a menu just for you. And you can dine in the garden or in one of several vaulted-ceiling rooms decorated with antiques and near-antiques.

On our recent visit, we skipped the pasta course and began our dinner with a generous, but light Insalata tiepida di gamberi, followed by magnificent salmon marinated by the chef, served with the best-ever insalata russa. Giancarlo's freshly baked torta rustica – a hand-shaped fruit and custard tart completed our meal. There's a full cellar of Tuscan wines.

Lo Steccheto, Via dell'Esse 6, Marciano della Chiana 52047. For reservations: 0575 845222. Open for dinner every evening Wednesday through Sunday, as well as mid-day on Sunday and holidays.

RECIPE FOR AUGUST – Insalata Tiepida di Mare (Warm Seafood Salad)

Thank you Lo Steccheto and Mimi & Ed

(Recipe for 4 people)

This is a quick dish to make, but it is essential to have all ingredients prepped before cooking. To enjoy the various flavours and aromas, you should proceed quickly following this simple procedure.


350 gr. Shelled prawn tails sliced down the back with a deep cut
350 gr. Squid, cleaned and cut into 2 to 3 cm pieces
200 gr. Fresh zucchini cut into 1 mm slices
200 gr. Ripe, firm tomatoes, eliminate juice and seeds, then cut into 1 cm cubes
Extra virgin olive oil, as necessary
Lemon juice
Salt & Fresh ground pepper
Fresh basil leaves
Garlic, better if in powder

Put salted water to boil in a saucepan. When the water boils, add the prawns, squid and sliced zucchini. Allow to boil for no longer than 1 minute.
Drain very well and place in a serving bowl.
Quickly add: salt to taste, basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, chopped tomatoes, and garlic powder.
Stir the salad quickly and thoroughly with a spoon.
Serve and eat while still warm.

FORZA VIOLA!! FOR AUGUST – Florentine Calcio

P&F Sports Reporters Simon Clark & Anne Brooks bring you the good, the bad, and the ugly of the season.

Forza Viola!.........Here we go again! The new season’s fixture list is warm from the presses. It will provide a sharp test of Mihajlovic and his Merry Men. An away derby with Siena, rebounding into Serie A, and a home opener with Bologna; six points in our bag? Then it gets tougher as we visit Udinese and Napoli (both muscled up for the Champions League) and host Parma. By then we should have a good idea whether the Viola aim of European qualification is realistic. Things are changing at the Stadio. Prandelli’s touchy-feely era is a memory. Owners and management are getting tougher and are adamant that Fiorentina only wants players who want to be here!

Calciomercato – the Squad. When it comes to the transfer market, we echo the inimitable Donald Rumsfeld; with the window open until the end of August there are things we know, things we don’t know and things that the media haven’t invented yet. We know that Santana and Donadel have gone to Naples, Mutu to Cesena and D’Agostino to Udinese (who promptly passed him to Siena). We know that we have added Romulo (24 year-old right-back) from Cruziero in Brazil, Matija Nastasic (18, left-footed centre-back) from Partizan Belgrade, Gianni Munari (28, midfielder) from Palermo and Andrea Lazzari (27, midfield and featuring in the national squad) from Cagliari.

The rest is a thick cloud centred over Montolivo who, having put himself in the shop window, must be disappointed by the lack of interest. The club is working hard at offloading him: we need to sell now - next year he’ll be out of contract and a free agent; Milan look like the only runners and will likely bid low. Monto has lost the captaincy; Gamberini will lead with Jovetic vice-captain. With Jo-Jo back, the squad looks remarkably robust but we will need to plug the Montolivo hole. The plan seems to be “sell before we buy” with Sebastien Frey fingered as the prime sale; Mihajlovic has said that Boruc and Neto stand ahead of him. Frey’s agent claims Fiorentina are treating the keeper “like an old shoe”. It’s an interesting simile – next time we want to dispose of old shoes, we’ll see if we can sell them to Genoa.

Another twist may be in the wind. Liverpool’s Alberto Aquilani, currently in the Azzurri, spent last season on loan to Juventus. The signs are that he doesn’t figure in Liverpool’s rebuilding plan, that Juve aren’t interested in signing him and that he wants to play in Serie A. Elegant, creative and a goal-scorer, he would be an ideal replacement for Montolivo AND D’Agostino but wages could be the stumbling block. We wait for the clouds to disperse.

Amichevoli – the Team. As usual, the squad assembled at Cortina for pre-season training and a series of meaningless kick-abouts masquerading as “friendlies”. The mighty Viola hit twelve without rely against Cortina Calcio (we think the club handed a pair of boots to the first eleven people who turned up to watch) and then stuffed fourteen into a net guarded possibly by Vazzolese, possibly by a troupe of nomadic blind minstrels. It’s great to see Jovetic once more kicking a football into a goal – any goal! Gilardino and Cerci are doing the same, still with us despite the rumours. On 6 August, the team play in England against Newcastle United; that will tell us (a little) more.

The old calciopoli rumbles on as background music, with Juve and Inter arguing the case over the non-allocation of the 2006 Scudetto. The new scommessopoli is sputtering; two Serie A clubs – Atalanta and Chievo – plus three Serie B and thirteen other league teams along with 26 individuals have been cited and will go before the Italian Football Federation’s disciplinary committee on a date to be arranged. Thus do lawyers gnaw on calcio’s marrow bones. Meanwhile the club are working hard to attract spectators. Season tickets went on sale with a flurry of initiatives aimed at new fans, young fans and families. Here’s hoping the entertainment on the pitch does the business.....Forza Viola!

These are the opening games of the new season through September:
Week 1: 27 Aug/away Siena-Fiorentina
Week 2: 11 Sep/home Fiorentina-Bologna
Week 3: 18 Sep/away Udinese-Fiorentina
Week 4: 21 Sep/home Fiorentina-Parma
Week 5: 25 Sep/away Napoli-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 Dupre 28 (corner of via Settesanti).
NUOVO BOX OFFICE, Via delle Vecchie Carceri, 1, 50122 Firenze, Italy (inside the Murate). Tel 055 264321
FELTRINELLI FIRENZE, Via de' Cerretani 39/32R

BEST BOOK FOR KIDS FOR AUGUST – Pippo the Fool by Tracey E. Fern

“With a great deal of charm and buttressed by understated humor, Fern tells a fictionalized story of Renaissance architect and engineer Filippo Brunelleschi and his most magnificent work, the dome of the Cathedral of Florence. When word comes out of a contest to determine who will design the dome, Pippo, a goldsmith known for his beautiful but useless oddities, is determined to win and shed his unwanted nickname. The judges decide upon his visionary design but also decree that he must work in concert with his chief rival and primary heckler, Lorenzo. Pippo is dismayed at the prospect of doing all the work and only receiving half the glory, but his determination to see his plan through to fruition wins out.

“Throughout, Estrada’s timeless art highlights Florence’s orange-roofed architecture and colorfully attired citizens. Readers won’t realize just how massive a project constructing the dome really was until they arrive at the scale-shifting detail of tiny workers, scaffolds, and cranes, a scene like something from David Macaulay’s The Way Things Work (1988). Although the primary drama between Pippo and Lorenzo is played out with grade-school churlishness, it offers a handy morality lesson: take joy in one’s accomplishments rather than the accolades to which they might lead. An afterword fleshes out some of the historical and engineering details of the dome for those inquisitive about the Renaissance.” Grades 1-3 (From Booklist )

BEST ARNO BEACH READ FOR AUGUST – Innocence by Penelope Fitzgerald

“This charming, amusing and deft novel by a winner of the Booker Prize is set in Florence in the 1950s, though the characters might have stepped directly out of the Renaissance. The slightly eccentric characters share the trait suggested by the title, and never once does Fitzgerald strike a false note. Unique in the annals of Euro-American marital commerce is an aging count who trades his aristocratic lineage to an American in marriage and is "left worse off than before." His daughter, beautiful, featherbrained Chiara, loves the solemnly scientific neurologist Salvatore, who has fled his native southern Italy and his father's deep involvement in politics; the elder is a passionate disciple of one of Mussolini's most distinguished victims. Others in a richly peopled scene include Maddalena, accurately known as Aunt Mad, and the hearty, bumptious, meddling, English schoolgirl Barney. This is a comedy of manners in the distinctively English tradition, brimming with the sweet pleasures of that high style. The novel shines with intelligence, wit, sly irony and the observant eye of a writer who seems unable to miss anything pertinent to her vocation.” (From Publishers Weekly)

Ask for these books at The Paperback Exchange, Via delle Oche, 4R - Florence (http://www.papex.it/)


Mayor Renzi loves to think of the whims of tourists when he closes down the major historic center throughways at the Pitti Palace, around the Duomo and down Via Tornabuoni to create pedestrian zones. He thinks of the delight of visitors when he proposes to build Michelangelo’s façade on the church of San Lorenzo. But he, like mayors around the world, has failed to deal with the pothole problem in Florence. Every day many tourists and residents turn up at the city’s central emergency room with sprained and broken ankles or cracked bones in bleeding wrists or arms. Bicyclists and scooter drivers are also at risk. Part of the problem is the mayor’s love of authentic cobblestone; part of the problem is that he has now so severely limited the number of streets open to cars that he can’t afford to close any for repairs; and, of course, the budget for pothole filling is severely limited.

So as you walk, jog, or bicycle through the historic center of Florence keep a wary eye out to the holes opening up before you in the ancient, but scenic, streets and piazzas of Florence.
BEST PARADES IN AUGUST – Corteo di San Lorenzo in Florence & the Palio in Siena

The parade honoring the Feast Day of San Lorenzo marches through Florence from the Palagio di Parte Guelfa on Via Pellicceria, to the Basilica di San Lorenzo, starting around 10:30. Expect full Renaissance costumes, as well as drums and trumpets.
On August 16, either join the sweltering crowd in Siena or sit in front of your television in air-conditioned comfort and watch the corteo of the Palio horses, costumed dignitaries and the Palio flag itsef march into the Campo. The festivities start in the early afternoon with the procession beginning at 4:00pm and the race kicking off (or attempting to, as those of you who have seen it before know the the line up for the race will take longer than the race itself) at around 7:00 pm. See this very informative web site: http://www.ilpalio.org/palio_schedules.htm .

On August 11, watch for some local fanfare. On this dat in 1944, with the help of the Allied troops, Florence rebelled against the occupying Germans and the city was restored to the Florentines. To celebrate, a parade takes place each year at 9:00 am, beginning in Piazza dell'Unità near the central station and ending in Piazza della Signoria. This year we also celebrate the 67th Anniversary of Florence’s Liberation with a free concert by the G. Rossini Philharmonic Orchestra at 9:00 pm. in Piazza della Signoria.

The most fashionable beaches in Europe are in Florence, on the banks of Arno River. They are open till September 15 – go find the San Niccolò beach with free sun chairs, umbrellas, shower and a beach volley space and the umbrellas on the embankment at the Cestello – the two Arno beaches for sun-bathing, food and drinks and music in Florence. Naturally, bathing is strictly forbidden, but for those of you who don’t like to go to the swimming pool or to seashore, this is a fun alternative.

The first one was the beach in San Niccolò where you can find umbrellas, sun loungers and other wooden gazebos. And if the heat is unbearable you can have a refreshing shower at the WC facilities. On the upper part of the beach there is the “Easy Living” kiosk for food and drinks.

In the San Frediano district, on one of the embankments of the Arno River called “pescaia” there is another “beach resort” called Palco d’Autore. Umbrellas, sun loungers laid down a synthetic green field with a small swimming pool. There is also a restaurant, a lounge bar with concerts by Italian musicians.

WATER, STONE, FIRE – Bartolomeo Ammannati at the Bargello

L’Acqua, la Pietra, il Fuoco is a special exhibit of Bartolomeo Ammannati’s sculpture at the Bargello Museum, running to September 18, 2011. “The Water, The Stone, The Fire” is the first monographic exhibition dedicated to Ammannati’s sculptures. It marks the 5th centenary of his birth.
The title of the show refers to the three fountains the author sculpted upon Grand Duke Cosimo I’s request: one for the Salone dei Cinquecento inside the Palazzo Vecchio; a second one for the Piazza della Signoria (the Neptune); and the third one was ordered for the Villa Medicea’s garden in Castello.

Museo Nazionale del Bargello
info: 055 2388606, http://www.unannoadarte.it/ammannati/home1.html


The exhibition “From Court Splendor to Bourgeois Luxury: The Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Unified Italy” is one of the events (ends September 11) organized to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, and outlines the history from 1861 onwards of the artistic production that for three centuries flourished under the patronage of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany, becoming famous throughout Europe for its unique creations in semi-precious stones.

Founded by the Medici, the ancient workshop – the Galleria dei Lavori – was obliged to change direction and transform itself from a laboratory operating exclusively for the court (see the extensive pietre dure installation in the Medici Tomb at the church of San Lorenzo) to a manufacturer open to private commissions.

However, this new approach attracted high-ranking clients, such as the Tsar of Russia and Ludwig II of Bavaria. Some of the objects created by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure were, on the other hand, commissioned by the bourgeoisie, who also loved the delightful inlays of the Florentine manufacturer.

The exhibition includes table tops, caskets, and statues in semi-precious stones, together with furniture and other objects, the chromatic splendor of whose rare stones, placed with delicate pictorial expertise, and whose decorative inventions expressive of the artistic taste of their time still enchant visitors today. Applied arts, such as painting and sculpting, are also present in the exhibition to recreate the artistic setting in which the ancient workshop was active, with its new name, the Opificio delle Pietre Dure.

Galleria D'Arte Moderna
info: 055 2388616


After 40 years, people will be once again allowed to climb the San Niccolo tower in the Oltrarno. Reconstruction work on the centuries-old tower began last November. This tower marks one of the many ancient entry points to what was the city-state of Florence. Although many of the other towers of its like were lowered during the 16th century, the San Niccolo tower was left untouched due to its protected position.
The San Niccolo tower, now open, provides residents and visitors with a view equivalent to, but unique from, those from the Duomo and San Miniato al Monte. Just walk up the Arno until you get to Piazza Poggi and then climb the hill to the rear of the tower.

July 1 to October 31
Piazza Poggi
info: 055 2768224

ACCADEMIA GALLERY – Lorenzo Bartolini Exhibit

Florence's Academia Gallery is presently showing a special exhibit dedicated to Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850), the artist whose works plays a central role in the development of sculpture in the 1800s in Italy, Europe and the United States. The exhibition, which draws inspiration from the gallery's plaster models on display in the Gipsoteca, will illustrate the excellence with which Bartolini worked.

The exhibit is divided into three sections, which are dedicated to the following: his neoclassical period and his work for Bonaparte; national commissions and the move toward the new values of Purism; his exploration into the truth that Nature holds. The Accademia already houses the contents of Bartolini’s studio – mostly plaster models of sculptures on show throughout Florence in the major piazzas, museums, churches and graveyards.
Bartolini was also the go-to guy for the glitterati of the 1800s who wanted to be remembered in stone. From the likes of Napoleon’s sister Elisa, he carved the likenesses of a range of artists and important figures throughout Europe at the time, from musicians to writers and politicians to bankers.
The show pays tribute to Bartolini's artistic style with the over 70 works on display, many of which have never before been on public display in Florence. Noteworthy artworks include a bronzes of Napoleon I (Paris, Louvre) and the aforementioned sculpture of Elisa Napoleon with her dog (Rennes, Musée des Beaux Arts), among more. Running until Nov 6, 2011.

UFFIZI GALLERY – Giorgio Vasari, the Uffizi, and the Duke Exhibit
On June 14, the Uffizi inaugurated the show “Vasari, the Uffizi, and the Duke” (Vasari, gli Uffizi, il Duca), a retrospective on the 5th centenary of the birth of Giorgio Vasari and his role in the building of the Uffizi with Duke Cosimo I de Medici.
The purpose of this exhibition, during the 500th anniversary of the birth of Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574), is the foundation of the Uffizi (1559-1560): more than a building (uffizi = offices), it was conceived as an urban system – the result of the close collaboration between Cosimo I de’Medici, and Vasari, his favorite architect and artist. The complex is located in the heart of the city due to the centralized and absolutist policy of Grand Duke Cosimo I. All the administrative institutions of government, (the Guilds or Arti), bowed to the will and direct control of the young duke and were placed in this extraordinary building.

The exhibition takes as its starting point the personalities responsible for this complex: the Duke and his artist. Great attention is given to the urban juxtaposition between the Palazzo Vecchio and the Arno River before construction of the Uffizi, and then it illustrates the stages of planning and construction of complex whose which was the largest and most expensive in Florence during the sixteenth century.

Exhibition website: Vasari, the Uffizi and the Duke (website only in Italian)

MORE UFFIZI NEWS – Tuesday Night Late Open Hours

The Uffizi Gallery is open until 10pm on Tuesdays in August. This does not mean you can wait until 7pm to enter (the last entry is still at 6:30pm), but it does mean that if you enter at the last moment, you can take your time and the crowds are sure to be thinned out in front of Botticelli Venus.


Since 2004, the Opera Festival, the lyrical festival of Tuscany, has offered performances in many different cities within the Region. This year at the Boboli Gardens and the San Galgano Abbey:

The Boboli Gardens are located in the ancient and treasured heart of the city of Florence. It is a monumental garden covering five hectares of land. It is situated behind the Pitti Place and it constitutes its private gardens, the ideal prolongation of Ammannati’s inner courtyard. Boboli Gardens are possibly the world’s greatest example of Italian-style garden. On this occasion, Boboli shall transform itself into a theater, which shall occupy the area of the Column Field, right in front of Neptune’s Fountain, and will seat over 3000 viewers. (The entrance shall be in the Porta Romana Square).

The varied Opera festival performance program shall find its natural expression of the San Galgano Abbey near Siena. A theater seating about 800 viewers shall be arranged within the Abbey, preserving the historical and architectural worth of this magnificent place. The stage shall be placed within the apse, while the public shall occupy the central nave.

CARMINA BURANA by C.Orff in the emotional version for 2 pianos, percussions, soloists, chorus and white voice chorus. San Galgano Abbey August 5

LA TRAVIATA by G. Verdi will open the new season with a spectacular production.
Boboli Garden August 3 / San Galgano Abbey August 6, 13

LE STAGIONI by A. Vivaldi with Lorenzo Fuoco's solo violin.
San Galgano Abbey August 12 / Boboli Garden August 2

For information: Tel. (+39) 055 59.78.309 - fax (+39) 055 59.79.687
Email: prenotazioni@festivalopera.it
Web Site: www.festivalopera.it


Florence’s tourism office has put together an interesting collection of rooftop view suggestions. A number of the city’s hotels and restaurants are opening their doors to clients as well as passersby. All of August and September you are invited to explore Florence from above, from terraces that you may otherwise have missed. Most of the venues have a bar or restaurant for an aperitif, for a dinner enjoyed watching the sun set, or for after-dinner drinks under a star-filled sky. In some cases, you can also visit the terrace just to admire the view and take a few pictures. Choose your terrace from the list below and enjoy the beauty of Florence from above. Please note that in some cases you may need to book your visit beforehand. Download the pdf brochure that lists all of the participating roofs: http://www.firenzeturismo.it/images/stories/terrazze-con-vista/2010/terrazzeconvista2011.pdf


Dear Friends,

Once again I have the pleasure of joining the committee organizing CORRI LA VITA, an event managed by volunteers to help the fight against breast cancer. Not only do I want you to “save the day” September 25, 2011 to join us in Piazza Signoria at 9:30am – I also want you to take an active part, either by volunteering or opening you wallet, or both.

CORRI LA VITA is not only a walk/run, but is an event for people to gather together for sport, culture and solidarity in a great cause that has touched so many of our lives. All sorts of athletes and non-athletes participate. There are no limits in size, age or capability. Two routes have been designed that vary in length and difficulty: one is a competitive/or non-competitive race of approx. 12 km. The second is a walk of approx. 5.7 km specifically designed for families, friends and children. The walk this year is designed to take in all the historic monuments that relate to the Unification of Italy on its 150 year anniversary and along the way we will be visiting gardens, churches, palaces and museums opened especially for the occasion. Also in keeping with this anniversary year our T-shirts are, of course, Green, White, and Red and Giuseppe Garibaldi will be riding his white horse in front to lead the way. The walk will also give everyone the opportunity of visiting gardens, churches, palaces and museums opened especially for the occasion. This year’s itinerary will be set by September 1 and open for registration. (Please put that date on your calendar, too.)

CORRI LA VITA expects over 20,000 participants this year which represents a phenomenal increase from the first edition eight years ago. The official T-shirt will yet again be generously offered by the Florence fashion house of SALVATORE FERRAGAMO. We suggest you be quick to sign up as only the first 20,000 registered participants will receive a shirt. Universal Sport is also an official sponsor this year. All funds raised will be donated by CORRI LA VITA to the following projects:

This year Corri la Vita will finalize the purchase of the digital mammography unit fitted with special software for digital breast tomosynthesis. This is a new method that promises brilliant clinical results, giving a very precise three-dimensional view of breast, thereby improving the speed of prognosis. Other beneficiaries of the event include: L.I.L.T .(Italian Cancer Society) together with Ce.Ri.On. (Oncological Rehabilitation Centre) offer psychological and physical help for women, especially breast cancer victims. VILLA DELLE ROSE is one of the most advanced oncology rehabilitation centers in Italy and CORRI LA VITA has been committed to support VILLA DELLE ROSE from its inauguration in 2005. F.I.LE Onlus (Palliative care) "Bridging" - "Bridging" means a continuity of care between the oncology day-hospital and palliative care for the Florentine community. This ensures constant and continued assistance for patients with a bad prognosis together with their families."The Vito Distante Project in Breast Cancer Clinical Research" - Dedicated to the memory of Professor Vito Distante, who believed in the importance of training and encouraging young doctors to assist and improve the care for women with breast cancer. A jury will select two young Italian doctors after presenting their curriculum and their specific publications. They will be sent abroad on a scholarship for six months to one of the world best oncology clinics for further studies. CORRI LA VITA will sponsor one doctor.

FROM SEPTEMBER 1ST YOU CAN SIGN UP FOR CORRI LA VITA. The cost is only €10.00 per person (children under 10 years of age free). Sign up for the competitive run and walk at the following places:
L.I.L.T. - Viale Giannotti 23 - Florence, tel. 055 576939 (new location)
Florence Marathon - Viale Fanti, 2 Florence, tel. 055 5522957
The Islet Sports Argingrosso - Street, 69 A / B Florence
Universo Sports - Piazza Duomo 6 / r Florence
Please note: for the competitive run a medical certificated or a membership card for agonistic sport must be shown. You may run the race without being competitive.
Sign up for the walk ONLY:
F.I.L.E. - Via San Niccolo, 1 - Florence, tel. 055 2001212
Universo Sports - corner Via Sandro Pertini, 36/and Viale Guidoni, Florence
BOX OFFICE - any one of their offices,

PLUS this year you can sign up for the walk on- line at the following address: www.boxol.it (this will cost an additional €1.00).

On Saturday September 24 from 10 a.m. to 1.p.m. you can register for the COMPETITIVE RUN and WALK in Piazza della Signoria. On Sunday September 25 between 8 and 9 a.m. last minute registration for the WALK ONLY can be done in Piazza della Signoria. T-shirts will be given to all registered participants until supplies last.

You don’t have to be in Florence to participate: We of Pitcher & Flaccomio have given you – our friends and clients – up-to-date information on what is going on in Florence and Tuscany for the past years with our monthly newsletter. I know a lot of you read it and appreciate our work, so I was thinking that if you all have enjoyed visiting Italy and Florence, in particular, maybe you would like to give a donation to her citizens by supporting Corri La Vita. All checks may be made out to CORRI LA VITA and sent to Pitcher & Flaccomio, or ask us for the bank coordinates for a wire transfer.

Corri La Vita is seeking all sorts of additional financial support for projects. Therefore, I turn to all of you who read the newsletter, to ask you or your companies or local associations if they would like to become sponsors. Undoubtedly this high visibility event in the historic city of Florence would provide excellent exposure, as well as, association with a very just cause. Should you need any further information as to where and how to become a sponsor, please don’t hesitate to email s.pitcher@dada.it, or go to the official event website: http://www.corrilavita.it/home.php .

I will be forever grateful for any donations and assistance my friends can offer.

Thank you,


The official Linari classical concert season has begun. The Festival is based in the tiny, medieval village of Linari, situated between Florence and Siena. Linari is hilltop “borgo” in the Chianti Classico area, one of the most enchanting parts of Tuscany. This music festival presents a rich program of classical music, ranging from the Baroque Era to the Twentieth century executed by young and talented musicians from Australia, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States, many of whom perform in some of the world's great orchestras. There are around ten concerts every summer, set in locations ranging from medieval castles and churches to town piazzas and private villas, the unique venues provide an extra dimension to a musical experience. Another special feature of the festival is the opportunity to join your friends and the performers over a meal at the end of most of the concerts.
The first festival was held in the summer of 2003 at the initiative of Airdrie Armstrong Terenghi, organizer and artistic director working with Joris van Rijn, music director. Tickets for concerts: Members - €12, non-Members - €15. Dinners: Dinners: €30. For updated information on the program please check: www.linariclassic.com. Bookings: Tel. 055 8068022 and http://www.linariclassic.com/booknow.php?lang=en .

Tuesday August 2
Villa del Cigliano, San Casciano, 7:30 PM
Linari Festival Musicians
Ludwig van Beethoven, Serenade for Flute, Violin and Viola
Louis Spohr, Septet
Francis Poulenc, Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano
Johann Strauss, 'Kaiser's Waltz' Arr. Schoen

Wednesday August 10
Villa Gamberaia, Settignano, Firenze 7:30 PM
Vicky Wright - clarinet and Ruysdael String Quartet
Franz-Joseph Haydn, String Quartet op. 74 no. 3 in G minor
Ludwig van Beethoven, String Quartet op.74 in E-flat major
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Clarinet Quintet K. 581 in A major

Friday August 12
Cassero di Grignano, Castellina in Chianti 7:30 PM
Ruysdael Quartet and Johann van Iersel - cello
Sergei Rachmaninov, Romance and Scherzo for String Quartet
Erno Dohnanyi, String Quartet no. 2, op. 15 in D-flat major
Ludwig van Beethoven, Sonata op.47 in A major 'Kreutzer' for String Quintet

Sunday August 14
Pieve Sant'Appiano, Barberino Val d'Elsa 7:30 PM
Igor Roma - piano and Ruysdael Quartet
Franz-Josef Haydn,String Quartet op. 54 no. 2 in C major
Leos Janacek,String Quartet no. 2 'Intimate Letters'
Anton Dvorak,Piano Quintet op 81 in A major


On Tuesday 16, Siena’s Piazza del Campo hosts one of Italy’s most historic events, the Palio. Lasting less than 2 minutes, with 10 horses (representing 10 of the towns 17 neighborhoods) careening 3 turns around the shell-shaped piazza at break-neck speed, it’s something one should see at least once in a lifetime (future editions can be viewed comfortably from home, in front of the TV).

If you haven’t booked one of the few and expensive bleacher or window seats, it’s best to get there by 3 pm to find a place to stand in the center of Piazza del Campo. A colorful and heartfelt parade starts around 5:00 pm. The race generally begins around 7:00. Though the event itself is short, a day at the Palio presents a live opportunity to understand the history of Siena. Remember though, Italy’s RAI channel broadcasts the Palio with a very informative running commentary, which make watching from the comfort of your own living room pretty tempting.

In addition to the race itself, a series of test runs take place in the preceding week on August 13, 14 and 15. The winning contrada holds a victory parade on the 17th. Check for info and seating availability by phoning 0577/280551. For a full schedule of events, see this very informative web site: http://www.ilpalio.org/palio_schedules.htm


For the past 14 years, on two August Sundays (21 and 28), the town of Volterra becomes a medieval village, returning to the year 1398 in every way imaginable. With the help of local merchants, musicians, jugglers, commoners and noblemen, the streets and shops come to new (old) life. From dawn to dusk you’ll find that your euros must be changed into “grossi” (the currency of the 14th century) to carry any weight. Admission 9 euro. Under 18/over 60: 5 euro. Children under 10 free. Admission includes: reduced entry to the (very interesting) Etruscan Museum Guarnacci and the Art Gallery (from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm). Tel. 0588 87257. Email: info@volterra1398.it. http://www.volterra1398.it
On Tuesday, August 2 at 9:30pm the spectacular Opera Kun will perform. The opera, which flourished from 1570 to 1800, the Qing Ming dynasty era, uses traditional costume, a repertoire rich and poetic language, a perfect art form that integrates song, dance, spoken parts and movements.

SOUNDS OF TUSCANY 2011 – World Music Festival in Pistoia, and much, much more

The festival Itinerari Musicali, Sentieri Acustici is organized by the Province of Pistoia from the 1st to the 20th of August in Pistoia, Abetone, Gavinana, Pescia and Maresca. The program includes concerts, music and dance workshops, hiking and gastronomic events. Itinerari Musicali features free concerts at various locations in the province of Pistoia. Other initiatives of the festival include: hiking in the woods with the organization L’alfabeto della Montagna, excursions to and through the historic places of the area with visits to hamlets off the beaten track, and local delicacies festivals to be enjoyed with samplings and food tasting of typical local products.

For complete information on festivals, concerts, workshops and other initiatives:
Tel. +39 0573 974671,
Email: sentieriacustici@provincia.pistoia.it
For concerts, see: http://www.cultura.pistoia.it/eventi/calendario-eventi/concerti.html
For hikes, see: http://www.provincia.pistoia.it/Portale/VisualizzaFile.php?tab=1&rec=992


On August 10, Italians celebrate San Lorenzo by turning their eyes to the evening sky to watch for shooting stars. In Tuscany and beyond, this day is made even more special with Calici di Stelle, an event that will enliven wineries and piazzas with art, music, folklore and wine. Expert enologists and producers will guide tastings. The 14th edition of “Calici di Stelle” will be particularly rich in talks on the subject of eco-sustainability as well as astronomical meetings with experts, glad to show to the public the secret beauty of the night sky. Festivities begin at sunset. The following towns are among the many celebrating the shooting stars on August 10 (unless noted):

Piazza Matteotti
info: 055 8545271 - 055 8546299

Piazza Machiavelli
info: 0571 600230 - 0571 657579

Piazza Matteotti
info: 055 8077832

Piazza del Castello
info: 0571 568012

Piazza del Mercato
info: 055 84966229


Astronomic Observations At Villa Demidoff
11 August Reserve you place to watch the meteor shower in the perfect surroundings at the observatory at Villa Demidoff. (Bring your own wine.)
Parco Mediceo di Pratolino info: 055 2760829, www.provincia.fi.it

L'opera Kun è definita l'“ava di cento opere”, perché da essa dipende lo sviluppo dell'opera cinese in altre zone, come l'opera di Pechino, del Sichuan, del Hunan, del Zhejiang el'opera HuangOPERA KUN IN FIESOLE

An exhibition of crafts and works of ancient Chinese tradition will be presented at the Teatro Romano Fiesole, Monday, August 1 (5pm -7pm) and Tuesday, August 2 (5pm – 9:30pm), as part of China's cultural year in Italy. There is free admission for the exposition of the cultural heritage of the Jiangsu Province, recognized by UNESCO.

Nella mostra si ammireranno: stoffe, broccati, lavori in carta e dipinti, maschere liriche e manufatti di ogni tipo, lunedì 1 agosto (ore 17-19) e martedì 2 (ore 17-21.30) nella terrazza del Teatro Romano (ingresso libero).The exhibit includes fabrics, brocades, works on paper and paintings, opera masks and artefacts of all kinds on the terrace of the Roman Theater.

We hope that you wish on the shooting stars of San Lorenzo as you sip a refreshing glass of sparkling wine and are able to catch a cooling breeze on a roof with a view on Ferragosto.

All the best,

Pitcher and Flaccomio