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IMPORTANT INFORMATION » Our Monthly Newsletter ITA -

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Rent, Sell and Manage Properties in Florence and Tuscany
NEWSLETTER August 2014

Every August the streets of Florence are going to be scorching, broken only by a momentary temporale (thunderstorm) that will result in higher humidity. So stay inside the museums, drink lots of water, and in the evening head out for dinner under the stars. With best summer wishes, from SUZANNE, CORSO, BEI, LESLIE, ANNA PIA, VANNI, ANN and MARIO.


BEST EXTRAVAGANZAS 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, St Lawrence. Traditionally, this is known as the Night of the Falling Stars – in reality an annual meteor shower. Since San Lorenzo was martyred on this day (by grilling) in 258, the stars are also seen as his tears.

During the morning, a parade 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. In addition, in honor of San Lorenzo a concert by the G. Rossini Philharmonic Orchestra is held each year in Piazza San Lorenzo 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, you’re in luck!


A perfect vacation farm house for up to ten guests in Mezzomonte about 10 kms from Florence (Piazzale Michelangelo), and about half way between Florence and Impruneta, about a 15 minute drive to Florence.

Impruneta is the main shopping center for the area, set at the beginning of the Chianti wine region. Every Saturday in Impruneta there is an open-air market. The Ugolino Golf club, (18 holes), tennis and swim, is approximately 5 km away and open to persons who are card-carrying members of other golf clubs.

This refurbished free-standing farm house is located on two levels, approx. 400 sq.mts (4,300 sq. ft.), and surrounded by approx. 1 hectare, 3 acres of garden and extra land with olive groves.

On the ground floor there is a living room (with fireplace, French doors to front/back patios), a TV room, a dining room (table for 10 persons), kitchen (2 ovens, table for 6/8 persons), a guest bathroom ( with shower), a second living room (with fireplace, French doors to front/ back patios) and two patios.

On the upper floor (up 16 steps) is the master bed with walk-in closet, 2 bathrooms (1 bathtub with Jacuzzi, 1 shower ), 4 bedrooms (2 double, 2 twin beds), and two more bathrooms (bathtub)

There is an independent smaller apartment that could be joined and rented with the main house with one bathroom, two bedrooms and a living/dining room with open kitchen.

For more information click this link.



Lungarno Bistrot is located in the splendid setting of Lungarno Guicciardini in Piazza degli Scarlatti. A large veranda outside overlooks the beautiful view of the Arno River and the historic Palazzo Corsini.

By the entrance, one can find a lounge area, dedicated to aperitif and after dinner drinks. In the large dining room, it’s possible to see the chefs at work in their own open space kitchen. The restaurant’s signature is strictly homemade fresh pasta. They are one of few restaurants in town where all pasta dishes are handmade. You can choose between gnocchi, pici, ravioli stuffed with ricotta cheese and spinach, tagliolini noodles, tagliatelle noodles and every day they have a special dish prepared with the freshest ingredients straight from the local market.

In addition to the fresh pasta, local products distinguish the most basic of the dishes prepared by the chefs, who loves the simplicity and authenticity

In the menu you will find dishes of the Tuscan tradition, such as ossobuco or Florentine steak, and also original dishes, such as mousse of codfish and a tart with potato and salmon. Even the desserts are original: sushi tiramisu, mascarpone soup, tarte tatin, and chocolate souffle.

A young and welcoming staff will accommodate all your needs and help you discovering our traditional cuisine and extensive wine cellar.

Lungarno Bistrot Piazza degli Scarlatti, 1/r Firenze


BEST MUSEUM FOR AUGUST – Ferragamo Shoe Museum

There is a new exhibition that just opened at the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum. The exhibition Equilibrium can be seen at the Museo Ferragamo, from June 2014 to April 2015.

The museum, opened in 1995, was created by the Ferragamo family after the international success of an exhibition on the great shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo’s work, originally held at the Strozzi Palace in Florence. The exhibition soon became a travelling event and was featured in venues such as the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the County Museum in Los Angeles, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Sogestu Kai Foundation in Tokyo and the Museo des Bellas Artes in Mexico City.

As a demonstration of the cultural value of the institution, in 1999 the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo received the Guggenheim Impresa & Cultura Award, yearly recognized to companies particularly fostering cultural activities and art.

The museum, located in the heart of Florence, is housed in the Spini Feroni palace, which is also home of the Ferragamo company since 1938.

The exhibition Equilibrium, curated by Stefania Ricci, Sergio Risaliti and Emanuele Ennia, the exhibition portrays the attention, almost a devotion, that Salvatore Ferragamo always reserved to the anatomy of foot, central element of his creations. Balancing on feet is a capability that can be transformed in art, representing it with sculpture of painting, but also by dancing or climbing mountains. Creations and original drawings by Ferragamo are thus placed in direct relationship with sculptures, paintings, installations and videos, creating a multi-face exhibition where the beauty and significance of equilibrium are depicted through a diverse and fascinating set of expressive means.

Open 10am to 7:30pm every day.

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum – Piazza Santa Trinità 5

BEST BOOK FOR AUGUST – Summer’s Lease by John Mortimer

The advertisement that Molly Pargenter answered made the Tuscany villa to let sound like the ideal place suspiciously too ideal for her family to spend its summer vacation. Arriving in Italy with her husband, three daughters, and father, she finds an unusual assortment of locals and English expatriates for neighbors, as well as detailed notes on the proper use of the house left by her absentee landlord, one S. Kettering. Molly's obsession with learning as much as possible about the Kettering household leads her to some ominous conclusions. Mortimer (author of Rumpole of the Bailey and a writer for the television series Brideshead Revisted) has blended elements of social satire and mystery into an entertaining story whose atmosphere of mounting tension culminates in a disturbing climax.

BEST BOOK FOR KIDS FOR AUGUST – Dodsworth in Rome by Tim Egan

Dodsworth readers will enjoy scootering through Italy and four easy-to-read chapters with Dodsworth, the mouse, and his nameless friend, one very mischievous duck. The amusing antics include a pizza-throwing contest, “borrowing” coins from the world’s most famous fountain, and almost repainting the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel!


Until September 21 at the Bargello Museum, via del Proconsolo 4, there will be music and dance. It is an intimate evening in an evocative space under the stars.

See http://www.polomuseale.firenze.it/en/eventi/evento.php?t=5384a7e5f1c3bc500e000000 for details (in Italian). Stop by the museum for a brochure in English.


Join Suzanne and thousands of others for the 12th Edition of Florence’s CORRI LA VITA on September 28 at 9:30 in Piazza del Duomo. Either join the 5.2 km walk or the 14 km competitive race.

For many years Suzanne has had the pleasure of being on the committee organizing CORRI LA VITA, an event managed by volunteers to help the fight against breast cancer. Not only should you to “save the day” September 28, 2014, but you may want 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, families, children, and pets participate. There are no limits in size, age or capability. See the routes on the CORRI LA VITA web site: http://www.corrilavita.it/programma.php

Last year, in recognition of the 11th anniversary of CORRI LA VITA, the mayor declared that all the museums of Florence (state museums) were free of charge for all CORRI LA VITA participants (wearing their T shirts of course) from 2pm to 6pm. We hope the same is happening this year. We believe that also the Ferragamo Shoe Museum, the Gucci Museum and the Palazzo Strozzi will be opened to participants.

CORRI LA VITA expects over 32,000 participants this year, which represents a phenomenal increase from the first edition. The official T-shirt will yet again be generously offered by the Florence fashion house of SALVATORE FERRAGAMO.

We are hoping to raise a lot of money to continue supporting the following associations, and some of the projects created by CORRI LA VITA ten years ago:

C.S.P.O. Centro per Senologia - Progetto Donna 2 – to provide mammography service to all women.

LILT - Lega Italiana per la Lotta contro i Tumori, for support of Ce.Ri.On. – a rehabilitation center

The Vito Distante Project in Breat Cancer Research -- – provides scholarships for 1 or 2 young doctors to further their studies abroad.

Senonetwork Italia

FILE - Fondazione Italiana di Leniterapia – an association for palliative care.

We hope everyone will participate, but we also hope that when signing up, everyone will remember to be more generous than the request € 10 to enter and receive a T-shirt.

To sign up:

LILT – viale D Gianotti, 23 (office hours)

FILE – Via San Niccolò, 1 (office hours)

Universo Sport - one of the biggest, best and most loyal sponsors – P.zz Duomo, 7 Firenze, or Via Sandro Pertini, 36 (shop hours)

Pitcher & Flaccomio - Lung. della Zecca Vecchia, 30 (please telephone 055 234 3354 before you drop by)

For the competitive race there are extra requirements. You do not need to “compete” to be a runner. See details at: http://www.corrilavita.it/iscrizioni/

Note from Suzanne: 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. Cheques should be made out to: “L.I.L.T. sezione Firenze” (which means La Lega Italiana per la Lotta conto i Tumori - cancer society - Florence section). I really hope you will see your way to writing a few zeros after the number! You may send your cheques to our office and we will see that they get to the right place.

Thank you for your support.




Go in the evening to beat the crowds and the heat!

Every Friday from July 4 the Uffizi Gallery, the Accademia Gallery, the Museum of Medici Chapels can be visited between 19.00 and 22.00 on top of the regularly scheduled hours.

Every Friday from August 8 also the Bargello National Museum can be visited between 19.00 and 22.00. BUT the Bargello on September 12 & 19 will close to the public at 17:00.


The Italian state museums, including the Uffizi, Accademia and Bargello are free the first Sunday day of every month. Italian Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini announced revolutionary changes for State museums across all of Italy.

The major change is that free tickets will only be available for those under 18 years old (and a few other groups, such as teachers) and reduced tickets for those under 25 years old. Everyone else will be paying a full entry ticket. This means that all over 65 years old will now be paying entrance fees.

The second major change is that every first Sunday of the month state museums will be free for everyone as part of the initiative “Sunday at the Museum“.

Another change announced as part of the Ministerial decree signed and announced yesterday is that there will be two annual “Nights at the Museum” every calendar year, where entrance only costs a euro (as it did in this last edition in May) and opening times extend late into the night while all major museums, including the Uffizi Gallery, will have extended opening times until 10pm every single Friday evening.


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 July, 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 sunset, 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 and enjoy the beauty of Florence from above. There is even a photography contest that goes with “A Roof With A View”. Please note that in some cases you may need to book your visit beforehand. (Check to see if private parties haven’t reserved the space, before you go.)

Go to this site for all of the details: http://www.firenzeturismo.it/en/firenze-territorio/a-roof-with-a-view.html

ANTICA TORRE DI VIA TORNABUONI 1. Their beautiful roof-top terrace is surrounded by medieval crenellations. The terrace can be visited; and you are welcome to take pictures. No bar service.

Open 7-10:30pm. Via Tornabuoni 1, Tel. 055 2658161.

www.tornabuoni1.com. Reservations: mrbellini@tornabuoni1.com

GRAND HOTEL BAGLIONI. A visit to the roof-top, multi-level terrace can be reserved, even if you only want to take pictures or have a panoramic view. Otherwise, take advantage of the classic bar service for an aperitif, dinner, or after-dinner drinks. Open 7pm-12am. Piazza dell’Unità Italiana 6. Tel. 055 23580. info@hotelbaglioni.it. www.hotelbaglioni.it. Reservations: 055 23588560.

CONTINENTALE HOTEL. Roof-top bar open 6pm-12am for an aperitif or after-dinner drinks. Great view over the Ponte Vecchio and Arno River. Vicolo dell’Oro, 6r, Tel. 055 27262

continentale@lungarnohotels.com, http://www.lungarnohotels.com/en/firenze-continentale/hotels-38

GRAND HOTEL CAVOUR. Roof-top bar open 6-10 pm for an aperitif or after-dinner drinks. Via del Proconsolo 3. Tel. 055 266271. info@albergocavour.it. www.albergocavour.it. Reservations (required): 055 215521.

GRAND HOTEL MINERVA. A pool adds sparkle to this roof-top bar open for snacks or aperitifs from 11am-12pm. Piazza Santa Maria Novella 16. Tel. 055-27230.
info@grandhotelminerva.com. www.grandhotelminerva.com

HOTEL BOSCOLO ASTORIA. Have a drink at the bar. Open 7-12 pm. Via del Giglio 9. Tel. 055 2398095. reception@astoria.boscolo.com, www.boscolohotels.com

HOTEL KRAFT The roof-top area is open 7-12 pm. Join them for a snack, aperitif, dinner, or for after-dinner drinks. Via Solferino 2. Tel. 055 284273. info@krafthotel.it. www.krafthotel.it.

HOTEL LAURUS AL DUOMO. Open from 4-11pm, enjoy a snack, aperitif or after-dinner drinks at the bar. Reservations required. Via Cerretani 54r. Tel. 055 2381752. reservations@florencehotellaurusalduomo.com. www.florencehotellaurusalduomo.com.

HOTEL SILLA. The Silla is open for a lovely aperitivo from 6-10 pm. Via de’ Renai 5. Tel. 0552342888. hotelsilla@hotelsilla.it and www.hotelsilla.it.

HOTEL TORNABUONI BEACCI. Charming and quaint, the Tornabuoni Beacci terrace is open 7-12 pm for a snack, aperitif, dinner or after-dinner drinks. The restaurant is closed on Mondays. Via Tornabuoni 3, Tel. 055 212645. info@tornabuonihotels.com, www.tornabuonihotels.com.

J.K. PLACE FIRENZE. Chic and trendy. The cozy roof-top bar is open 11 am- 11pm. Piazza Santa Maria Novella 7. Tel. 055 2645181. info@jkplace.com. www.jkplace.com.

PITTI PALACE AL PONTE VECCHIO. Look down on the Ponte Vecchio from this viewpoint bar. Open from 6-10.30 pm, you can order a snack, aperitif, dinner or after-dinner drinks. Reservations required. Borgo San Jacopo 3. Tel. 055 2398711, www.florencehotelpittipalacealpontevecchio.com

RELAIS CHATEAUX VILLA LA VEDETTA. A bit removed from the chaos of the city center, enjoy the park-like atmosphere at the Vedetta. Open all day for a snack, aperitif, dinner, after-dinner drinks and a swimming pool. Reservations required. Viale Michelangiolo 78. Tel. 055 681631. info@villalavedettahotel.com. www.villalavedettahotel.com.

RISTORANTE TERRAZZA BARDINI. Breezy and beautiful, this terrace is open for an aperitif or dinner from 7-12 pm; closed on Mondays. Via Costa San Giorgio 6. Tel. 055 2008444. info@moba.fi.it. www.moba.fi.it


The Opera del Duomo, which cares for the cathedral, the Baptistry, and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, has come up with a plan to save you money. They are going to consolidate the tickets for all of the entries (Museo, Cupola, Baptistry, Campanile, Santa Reparata (Duomo crypt), which used to total 23euro, but now will be a 24-hour ticket for everything for 10 euro. It seems that if you only wanted to climb the dome, this is not such a good deal, but if you want to do all things Duomo, you are in luck. Stay tuned for more details.

The ticket is to be on sale at the Centro Arte e Cultura (across from the door to the Baptistry), the Campanile di Giotto, and the Museo. (Be aware that the Museo is set to mostly close (except for the Doors of Paradise and Michelangelo’s The Disposition) for reconstruction until 2015.)


The Fulgor makes one of their theaters available for Original Sound movies, seven days a week, three show times a day. But as far as we know it will be closed for August. Call to find out what is showing in English. Via Maso Finiguerra – Tel. 055 238 1881


The Odeon movie theater will be closed from August 1 to 30.

See http://www.odeon.intoscana.it/prossimamente_view.php?id=334 for details.



Your best bets for music in August are outside of Florence.

Go to Bolgheri and drink some of the best wine Tuscany has to offer and attend the Bolgheri Melody Festival


Go to Versilia and attend the 35th Festival La Versiliana (http://www.laversilianafestival.it/).

Go to Siena for the Accademia Musicale Chigiana (see below).

Go to the Sculpture Park near Radda in Chianti (see below).

Head to Pucci’s home on Torre del Lago near Lucca for the 60th Festival Puccini (http://www.puccinifestival.it/ ).


Go to Siena for your classical music in August. The Accademia Musicale Chigiana has a series of concerts in various historic venues (Teatro dei Rinnovati, Abazia di Sant'Antimo (Montalcino), Chiesa di Sant'Agostino, Teatro dei Rozzi, etc.). This year is the 83rd Edition of the summer series.

The Accademia Musicale Chigiana was founded by Count Guido Chigi Saracini in 1932 with the aim of organizing Master Classes for the principal musical instruments. Its founder, besides funding the academy and providing the magnificent palace, which he had restored and readapted for the purpose, was successful in bringing to Siena a large number of world famous musicians as instructors of the various classes.

Hear music by Bach, Chopin, Brahms, Rossini, Mendelssohn, and much more.

See the web page for the schedule and ticket prices: http://eng.chigiana.it/concerts/the-chigi-musical-summer/

See the Home Page for general information: http://www.chigiana.it


Parco Sculture del Chianti kicks off its 2014 Musical Evenings at the Amphitheatre on Tuesdays from 4 June through 27 August, 19:00.

See http://www.chiantisculpturepark.it/program2014.htm for the program of the 2013 season concerts.

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


Go in the evening to beat the crowds and the heat!

Every Friday from July 4 the Uffizi Gallery, the Accademia Gallery, the Museum of Medici Chapels can be visited between 19.00 and 22.00 on top of the regularly scheduled hours..

Every Friday from August 8 also the Bargello National Museum can be visited between 19.00 and 22.00. BUT the Bargello on September 12 & 19 will close to the public at 17:00.


The Tuscan Wine School is an initiative to have a connection year-round with people in the city – be they travelers or locals – and the wine regions around Tuscany. The school is run by expats who have come to love Tuscany’s wines and who’ve seen a need for such a place in Florence. It is a fun kind of “school” where you can choose a light class of just one hour, a two-hour in-depth class on Tuscan wines or a whole week of studies to the subject. The Tuscan Wine School also run professional WSET courses that award international wine diplomas. All the classes in English and serves the best possible wines from small unique producers that are selected from throughout the region.

The Tuscan Wine School also provides entertaining and educational wine tours in the Chianti Classico region.

For more information, visit the website www.tuscanwineschool.com or pass by to meet then any afternoon of the week in Via de' Bardi 23R, Florence.


For the past fifty years, between August and September, Cortona proudly hosts Cortonantiquaria, a national antiques exhibition market. It is set up in the beautiful 18th century halls of Palazzo Vagnotti, one of the better preserved of the city, which shows the charm of different stories, styles and tastes.

Every year dozens of exhibiters, coming from the whole Italy, from Lombardy to Sicily, display their old furniture and other art objects, which are accurately selected and certified: paintings, sculptures, earthenware, silver and bronzes, prints, engravings, carpets, weapons, jewels, fans, laces and much more. Thanks to the quality of the items exposed, to the experience in the organization by the Tourist Office of Arezzo and to the beauty of the halls, the antiques exhibition of Cortona is considered to be one of the most prestigious antiques fairs at the national and international level.

The fact that some exhibiters have come back every year since the beginning shows all the success and importance of this antiques exhibition market. Antiques trade in Cortona is not only an exhibition event, but also something closely related to some traditions of a great economic and cultural value for this region, such as craftsmanship and restoration.

Cortonantiquaria is a must for antique and modern art lovers, but also a fashionable crowd-pulling event taking place at the end of summer, since it gives everyone the chance to become familiar with this beautiful world. This renowned antiques market combines the peculiar fascination of antique works of art with social events, like conferences and wine tasting. In particular, every year since 2001 the local authorities award the Cortonantiquaria Prize to an important personality in arts, culture or entrepreneurship, who have based their professional engagement on quality and reliability and who have a special connection with Cortona.

August 23 to September 7.


Until September 21 at the Bargello Museum, via del Proconsolo 4, Florence

The courtyard of the beautiful Bargello Museum will be filled with musical, dance and theatre performances all summer. Highlights among the more than 70 events include classical music on July 6 and 17 and the Florence Dance Festival (June 2 – July 24).

See http://www.polomuseale.firenze.it/it/eventi/evento.php?t=5190c674f1c3bc300c00001c for details.


Join Suzanne and thousands of others for the 12th Edition of Florence’s CORRI LA VITA on September 28 at 9:30 in Piazza del Duomo. Either join the 5.2 km walk or the 14 km competitive race. (See full description above.)

For many years Suzanne has had the pleasure of being on the committee organizing CORRI LA VITA, an event managed by volunteers to help the fight against breast cancer. Not only should you to “save the day” September 28, 2014, but you may want to take an active part, either by volunteering or opening you wallet, or both.



Each year on August 16th, the Palio of Siena takes place in Italy. Ten bareback jockeys circle the main piazza three times on horses they may have met just four days earlier; while the actual prize may be the Palio, a silk painted banner, there's much more at stake. The competition between neighborhoods has roots going back centuries, and established rivalries add further dimension to the race. The historical procession preceding the race is unlike any parade ever experienced.

The race itself lasts less than 2 minutes, but that explosion of activity marks the culmination of a four-day crescendo of fascinating events, starting with the selection of the horses and concluding with the breathless gallop of the race. On a deeper level, for the Sienese people, the Palio is part of their lives 24/7, 365 days a year. They are either strategizing, preparing, or participating when they’re not celebrating victory or gnashing their teeth in defeat.


The Chianti Star Festival until August 11 at Palazzo Malaspina,

Science and art unite in this celebration of the Chianti area and dissemination of scientific culture. Meet OpenLab professors and researchers dedicated to the relationship between art and science, see an international contemporary art exhibit and watch films which explore what happens when art meets science.

Visit http://eng.chiantistarfestival.com for more information.


Inaugurated in 1956, the Pinocchio Park is no ordinary theme park, but rather a work of art that visitors can walk through, climb on, and recall childhood stories. It's a rather old fashioned kind of park from the days when you didn't need bloodcurdling death-defying rides to charm the kids. The park tells Carlo Collodi's (the pen name of Carlo Lorenzini) version of the story of Pinocchio through sculpture, mosaics and puppet shows. It features a museum with Pinocchio related items.

The literary itinerary, marked out by mosaics, buildings and sculptures set amidst the greenery, emerges as an inspired combination of art and nature. The path is winding, and the dense vegetation means that every stage on the route comes as an unexpected surprise, with the very plants and trees contributing to create the atmosphere and the episodes in the story of the Adventures of Pinocchio. The Park itself is the site of constantly renewed cultural activities that are always mindful of its roots: exhibitions of art and illustrations inspired by children’s literature and the story of Pinocchio, puppet-making workshops, puppet and marionette shows and minstrels enliven the visit to the Park, depending on the season.

The Pinocchio Park could not have been set up anywhere else but in Collodi, where the ancient village has remained as it was hundreds of years ago, a cascade of houses that ends behind the 17th century Villa Garzoni and its fabulous garden (another stop you should add to your day in Collodi). It was in the village that Carlo Lorenzini’s mother was born, and here that he spent his childhood with his grandparents, the Orzali.

The original idea for Pinocchio Park came to the Mayor of Pescia in 1951. He invited leading artists to enter a competition. No less than eighty-four sculptors responded to the invitation: the joint winners were Emilio Greco with Pinocchio and the Fairy and Venturino Venturini with the Square of the Mosaics. In 1956 the famous bronze group that symbolically represents the metamorphosis of Pinocchio, and the extraordinary mosaics showing the principal episodes from the Adventures were unveiled. In 1963 a restaurant, Osteria del Gambero Rosso, was added. In 1972 the Park was enlarged by the addition of the Land of Toys, a fantastic itinerary that contains twenty-one sculptures in bronze and steel by Pietro Consagra and constructions by Marco Zanuso, evoking the plot of the Adventures of Pinocchio.

Collodi, located about midway between Montecatini Terme Spa (10 km), and Lucca (15 km), near Florence (60 km). Take highway 435 heading east from Lucca towards Florence to find Collodi.

MERCATINO DI APRILANTE - Artisanal Crafts Market

Sun. 3 (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. Stop by the Aprilante Market in Greve on the same day.


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 16th edition of “Calici di Stelle” is sure to be a stellar series of events celebrated all on one night. Festivities begin at sunset. From August 5 to 11, the celebration of wine and stars happens all over Tuscany. The following towns are among the many celebrating the shooting stars (check internet sites for exact dates and times):


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



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.


Heard in Impruneta: “Where have you been? I haven’t seen you at la passeggiata for a week.”

It used to be that in every city in Italy, every neighborhood had a piazza. Every small town had a central piazza. Once upon a time the piazza was a place for all of the inhabitants of a town or neighborhood to meet for the passeggiata. On the piazza or just off the square, you could buy virtually everything you needed to fix meals or eat out, a full range of items for decorating or fixing the home, sufficient clothing for your family, newspapers and magazines, stamps and cigarettes, and a cup of coffee. Today, the piazzas are surrounded by over-priced eateries with food of questionable quality and hotels. Italians now shop at outlying supermarkets and go to the mall for everything else.

Italy hasn’t quite perfected the mall. The present ones are a strange marriage of the American strip mall of small shops ringing a parking lot and the outlet mall that hasn’t figured out how to discount prices. The social life of the American mall has yet to arrive in Italy where the passeggiata of the piazza moves inside.

What is la passeggiata?

As evening falls and the harsh sun inches out of the piazza, an evening ritual begins, the Italian tradition of la passeggiata, a gentle stroll (this is not a brisk walk) through the main streets of the old town, usually in the pedestrian zones in the centro storico, the historic center. The piazza may not be the same, but la passeggiata will never die.

This evening promenade, generally between 5 and 8 pm, occurs in virtually every town, village, or big city in Italy. During the week, the passeggiata marks the end of the workday and offers a moment of sociability before the family dinner. The passeggiata is especially popular on Saturday and Sunday evenings. During the summer, some Italians even drive to nearby cities, the coast, or the lakes for a special passeggiata. It is a family affair.

Andiamo a fare qualche vasca! (Let’s go do some laps!), Italians in the south say to one another. However, this cultural performance involves much more than strolling to and fro. Italians tend to dress up for the passeggiata. Tourists are easy to spot in their shorts, flip-flops and fanny packs. Older denizens sit along the route, nursing a beer or a glass of wine in the bar, and watching for things to gossip about; la passeggiata is where new romances are on display, as well as new babies and new shoes. The most important thing is simply seeing and being seen. For townspeople of all ages, the passeggiata reinforces a sense of belonging, largely lost in other countries.

Allora: The passeggiata is a great way to observe Italians when they are happiest and most comfortable. Dress up and join the parade.



Dear Friends,

I would like to take this opportunity of thanking Mr John Heonig for the most wonderful festival that he organised for Florence to celebrate the feast of "John the Baptist" the patron saint of the city. This festival was a really a treat. I went to nearly everything that had been organised over the week (being semi retired it is now possible for me do this sort of thing...playing hookie!!!).

The day conference, held at the British Institute was excellent. I personally learnt a lot, and found all the guest speakers most interesting and entertaining. Penny Mittler with her talk about "A Diet of Locusts and Wild Honey" followed by Jeremy Broudreau an art historian, Roberta Lapucci discussing the relationship between Florence and Malta where the painting of John the Bapist by Caravaggio resides. Apparently attributing to the Florence/Malta relationship is the fact that the painting was also restored here in Florence some years ago. Liza Clifford introduced us to writers fastidiousness when using Florence as a backdrop when writing a book. Lisa was followed by David Battistella's TEDx talk about Filippo Brunelleschi’s dome which was quite amazing. Finally, we had the pleasure of listening to the musicologist and composer Federico Maria Sardelli's latest recording of his music. His last CD Baroque Concertos was awarded with 5 diapasons by the French magazine Diapason.

I attended the guided visits and workshop activities and was so touched to learn that John had donated a class of fresco making to a group of children from a Florentine orphanage. There were a few items on the program that I did not participate in, such as the city tours by Alexander Lawrence, the mass in the Cappella degli Artisti in the Basilica della Santissima Annuziata nor did I attend the exhibition held at in the Jules Maidoff Gallery at the SACI accademy.

I did go to both concerts, the first was held in a little chapel that I never knew existed - Cappella di Santa Maria degli Angiolini and the second and last concert was in the Bardini Museum, which for me, a long term resident , was extremely moving. To be back in this gorgeous ambience, listening to glorious music was a very fine way to close the festival...bravo John and again thank you.

Lastly, I have to say I am so sorry for those people who did not attend, they missed a real jewel.

Suzanne Pitcher Flaccomio


For all of those Australian and New Zealand expat residents or visitors to Florence, who want to know what is going on in the community, join the Australians & New Zealanders In Florence (ANZIF), for one of their monthly events. If you would like to get their eNewsletter, send an email to: australians.florence@gmail.com

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 .


Even though the normally cool churches and museums are heating up (note to self: next year write about air-conditioned museums), there are still many ways to beat the summer heat in Florence. In an emergency, take the train or bus to the mountains or the sea for the day, like the Florentines do.

All the best,

Pitcher and Flaccomio