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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 2015

During July the streets of Florence have been scorching and August promises more of the same. So stay inside the museums and churches, 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.

It all starts at 10am with a marching procession of the Florentine Republic from the little square, Piazza di Parte Guelfa, and goes from Piazza Signoria towards the basilica. At 11am take part in the service at the church in piazza San Lorenzo.

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. Pasta is offered to the right of the church and watermelon in piazza del Mercato Centrale, the next square over.

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 13 and 14. So if you’re staying in one of P&F’s rental apartments or villas in the countryside, you’re in luck!

P&F PICK APARTMENT RENTAL FOR AUGUST – Luxury in the Heart of Historic Florence

Rent a splendidly refurbished apartment right in the heart of Florence. Located between the Uffizi and the Ponte Vecchio, this gem makes for gracious living, being in a prestigious palace together with all the modern conveniences of today’s world (elevator, airconditioning, etc.).

Four bedrooms, five bathrooms and frescoed dining room and a private inner courtyard make palace living yours.

For more information click this link.


For August we offer a list of vegetarian restaurants in Florence. For our pick eatery we select one of the newest and the most interesting. (See below for other options.)

A five minute walk from either the Duomo or Santa Maria Novella railway station, Konnubio offers a union of traditional Tuscan and contemporary vegetarian. It is superb–both delicate and flavorful, with vegan options and a focus on organic and zero-distancing sourcing, even among the wines. porcini mushrooms, Italian cheeses with honey, onion compote and Chianti jelly, Seitan with oil, salt, pepper and lemon with vegetables and and end with Flan of seasonal vegetables with pine fruits. The atmosphere is cool and sophisticated, but you'll still be greeted with a warm welcome and enjoy impeccable service.

Via dei Conti 8R



Open every day at lunch and dinner

BEST MUSEUM FOR AUGUST – Ferragamo Shoe Museum

Ferragamo’s “A Palace and the City” celebrates both Florence and Palazzo Spini Feroni on via Tornabuoni through works of art and documents from museums and private collections around the world. These exhibit items tell the story behind the palace and its residences from 1289 from it was built for the cloth merchant and banker Geri Spini.

Curated by Stefania Ricci and Riccardo Spinelli, the exhibition’s displays, envisioned by set designer Maurizio Balo, examine the Palazzo Spini Feroni’s historical and architectural value and its importance for the city of Florence. Also, museum-goers will learn about the Ferragamo family’s role in restoring the building to its original splendor.

In 1864 Palazzo Spini Feroni was bought by the city, and from 1860 until 1870, when Florence was the capital city of Italy, it hosted the municipality council (the government was headquartered in Palazzo Vecchio).

Then, from 1873 to 1898 the famous Gabinetto Scientifico Letterario Viesseux, one of the most famous Florentine cultural institutions, had also found a home in the building: during those years writers like Mark Twain, Vernon Lee, André Gide and Henri James and artist as John Singer Sargent were among its visitors.

In 1938, it was finally purchased by Salvatore Ferragamo, the shoemaker from Bonito (in the Avellino province), that chose Palazzo Spini Feroni to house his fashion company, at the time just starting to bloom and destined to become one of the world’s most renowned brand.

In his autobiography, namesake brand founder Salvatore Ferragamo said, “Long before I ever moved into the Palazzo Spini Feroni it was one of the buildings of Florence that I most admired and loved.”

BEST BOOK FOR AUGUST – Verdure: Vegetable Recipes from the Kitchen of the American Academy in Rome, Rome Sustainable Food Project by Christopher Boswell

Until 2007, a fellowship at the American Academy in Rome—arguably, the most prestigious prize awarded to archaeologists, painters, architects, scholars, and artists—had one huge drawback: the food. The dining room, ideally a place for Fellows to gather and for disciplines to “cross-pollinate,” was catered by an outside company whose dreadful food was to be avoided at all costs. But when AAR President Chatfield-Taylor asked Alice Waters to help, Waters famously responded, “That depends. What do you want, better food—or a revolution?” Fatefully and without hesitation, Chatfield-Taylor replied, “A revolution.” And a revolution was ignited.

A year later later, the ideals (local, seasonal, organic, sustainable) were implemented and the kitchen was up and running, with Chez Panisse alums Mona Talbott and Christopher Boswell as chefs. In a matter of days, not only were the Fellows filling the tables at lunch and dinner, they were gathered ‘round the blackboard at 11am, anxiously waiting for the daily menus to be posted. The press wasn’t far behind:

“In a town where residents talk a lot about food, the new food at the academy quickly became the talk of Rome, and a dinner invitation became a coveted commodity.”—The New York Times

Seven years later, Verdure is the RSFP’s fourth cookbook (following Biscotti, Zuppe, Pasta). It is perhaps the ideal collaboration among the kitchen and the Academy garden, the artisan producers, and the organic farmers who provide the impeccable raw ingredients used in each dish. (Some are even foraged by the academy’s fellows in field trips to local meadows and forests.) Its 92 recipes are arranged seasonally; week by week, it can be used to navigate the harvest of the farmer’s market. Frugality is a consideration: the RSFP kitchen feeds a group, and cost is a consideration (beans, grains, and greens take a starring role). Maximizing flavor is paramount (consider the lowly onion, risen to new heights in a sweet and sour sauce). Every recipe appears simple and is easy to execute, but rises far, far above the fundamental.

BEST BOOK FOR KIDS FOR AUGUST – The Famous Stanley Kidnapping Case by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Five stepsiblings must escape their foreign captors in this breathtaking second book in the Stanley Family series, a companion to The Headless Cupid, from three-time Newbery Honor winner Zipha Keatley Snyder.

The Stanley family is moving to Italy! David, Janie, and twins Esther and Blair are thrilled. But their moody stepsister Amanda, thwarted from spending time in California with her father, spends the trip alternately moping or boasting about how rich her father is. And precocious Janie translates everything Amanda says to all the neighbors

But such bragging does not go unnoticed. One terrible night, the children are kidnapped. David tries to make friends with the kidnappers to protect his family. But that’s hard to do when Janie lectures them on how to write a ransom note and Esther complains about the terrible food. Can David and Amanda use their siblings’ hijinks to outsmart the kidnappers?

Zilpha Keatley Snyder is the author of The Egypt Game, The Headless Cupid, and The Witches of Worm, all Newbery Honor Books. Her most recent books include The Treasures of Weatherby, The Bronze Pen, William S. and the Great Escape, and William’s Midsummer Dreams. She lives in Mill Valley, California.


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 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 13th Edition of Florence’s CORRI LA VITA on September 27 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 27, 2015, 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 12th 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 33,000 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 (470,000 euro was last year’s total) 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.




Select Thursdays (6th and 27th) in August

In 18th- and 19th-century Russia, the word Balagan referred to pop-up theatres in city squares where folk performances took place. At Florence Synagogue’s Balagan Café, the Hebrew hub opens its doors for apericene, concerts and talks (in Italian) in its magnificent garden, offering a chance to sample delicious traditional Jewish foods and explore varied components of Jewish culture. Highlights include a July 30 concert by New York trumpeter Frank London, a key figure in the klezmer musical tradition originating in Eastern Europe.

For more information and the full lineup, see www.balagancafe.it.

Florence Synagogue garden, via Luigi Carlo Farini 6


One of the typical things to do in Florence in August for locals is to stroll around the downtown flea market in Piazza dei Ciompi, in the heart of the city. The stalls are open all month, but at the end of August the vendors double, triple or even quadruple as the stands open out onto the streets and sidewalks too.

The Ciompi market is a true antiques market, with a special emphasis on furniture and household items such as traditional lamp fixtures, old-fashioned stereos and similar goods.

Sunday 30 August, all day, in the streets around Piazza dei Ciompi


Palazzo Vecchio

Piazza della Signoria - Mon-Fri 10-19, Sat 10-14 - www.expo2015firenze.it

Until 31 October I_Dome - Multimedia dome that reproduces Brunelleschi's Dome. Within a concentrated technological know-how at the service of the Florentine.


Galleria degli Uffizi

Piazzale degli Uffizi, 1-055 2388651 - 8.15-18.50 (closed Mon) - 12.50 euro/ 8 (without exhibits) - www.unannoadarte.it

Until September 27 Piero di Cosimo (1462-1522) - First exhibition dedicated to an eccentric genius of the Florentine Renaissance, a painter almost unknown, despite the appreciation shown by the critics and the many masterpieces in museums and collections around the world. The first major retrospective exhibition ever presented of paintings by the imaginative Italian Renaissance master Piero di Cosimo (1462–1522) premiered at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC a this spring and now travels to the Uffizi.

With themes ranging from the pagan to the divine, the works include loans from churches in Italy and one of his greatest masterpieces, Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints Elizabeth of Hungary, Catherine of Alexandria, Peter, and John the Evangelist with Angels (completed by 1493), from the Museo degli Innocenti, Florence. Several important paintings will undergo conservation treatment before the exhibition, including the Gallery's Visitation with Saints Nicholas of Bari and Anthony Abbot (c. 1489–1490)—one of the artist's largest surviving works.

"We are delighted to share the brilliance of Piero di Cosimo—the Renaissance's most spellbinding storyteller—with our visitors," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art, Washington. "This is also the first time the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence has co-organized a paintings exhibition with another museum and we look forward to many more projects with our Italian partners."

A different version of the exhibition, including work by Piero's contemporaries, will be on view at the Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence from June 23 through September 27, 2015, entitled Piero di Cosimo (1462–1522): Pittore fiorentino "eccentrico" fra Rinascimento e Maniera.

"No artist has given the world more rare and singular inventions while remaining in the shadow of the Renaissance greats of his time than Piero di Cosimo," said Cristina Acidini, Superintendent of Cultural Heritage for the City and the Museums of Florence. "His beguiling pictorial creations will linger in the imagination of all those who see the exhibition."

Forte di Belvedere

Via San Leonardo, 1 - 055 2768224 - Tue-Sun 10am-8pm (last entry at 7pm), closed Mon, bar open until 9.30pm - free admission - www.gormleyfirenze.it

Until September 27 Antony Gormley Human

On the battlements of Fort Belvedere 100 human figures by Sir Antony Gormley, a great contemporary master, considered among the most popular living sculptors. British sculptor Gormley’s exhibition ‘Human’ explores the connections between art, anatomy and space. Winner of the 1994 Turner Prize and knighted in 2014, Gormley chose Forte di Belvedere for its powerful past and defensive functions. The show features life-size sculptures widely and purposefully dispersed throughout the site, ‘encouraging the viewer to think again about who they are and how they negotiate the spaces around them’—as Gormley intended. For more information, call 055/2768558.


Piazza Strozzi - 055 2645155 - Tue-Sun 10am-8pm - 5 euro, rid 4, 3 schools, Thu 6-11pm free entry - www.strozzina.org

Until July 26 Sculptures also die - a reflection on the facets of contemporary sculpture through works and new productions of thirteen Italian and international artists.

Galleria dell'Accademia

Via Ricasoli, 60-055 2388609 - 8.15am to 6.50pm (closed Mon) - 12.50 euro/8 (without exhibits) - www.unannoadarte.it

Until October 11 The art of Francis. Masterpieces of art and lands of Asia from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century.

The Franciscan friars and their vocation as inspiring high art from 1200 to 1400.

Until September 28 Hero-David - The personal interpretation of Michelangelo's masterpiece by architect and designer Antonio Pio Saracino.

Casa Buonarroti

Via Ghibellina, 70 - 055 241752 - 10am-5pm (closed Tues.) - 6.50 euro (combined ticket Chiesa S. Croce: 8.50 euro, valid for 7 days)

Until October 30 The force of Myth. Plans for the facade of the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence, from Michelangelo to the Competition 1900.


Spazio Mostre Ente CRF

Via Bufalini, 6 - 055 5384001 - Mon-Fri 9am-7pm, Sat and Sun 10am-1pm/ 3-7pm - Free admission

Until July 15 Ceramics. Florentine manufactures 1880-1920. Collection Caini - A digression in the Florentine ceramic art of the century. 139 objects of various types (tableware, furniture, dishes parade, vases, jars, sculptures).


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.

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


Florence has many more vegetarian restaurants (and more restaurants offering vegetarian options) than was the case not that many years ago, when finding vegetarian fare seemed an exercise in futility. Here are just a few restaurants with a good selection of vegetarian options.

Il Vegetariano

Il Vegetariano is a little hard to find, which might explain why it’s mostly full of locals. The simple, pretty décor extends to a small outdoor seating space. The tortiglioni with vegetarian ragù is delicious. For dessert, the vegan and peach and pear tart is absolutely ambrosial. Prices are extremely low: you can eat a full meal, including a coffee, for 7 euros.

Via delle Ruote 30R

055/475030; www.il-vegetariano.it

Tuesday to Friday - lunch and dinner; Saturday and Sunday – dinner only


Located near the Synagogue, center of Jewish culture in Florence, Ruth’s offers not only simple and delicious food but a cultural experience too. Enjoy eastern Mediterranean flavors and dishes such as the tasty falafel and scrumptious apple cake.

Via Luigi Carlo Farini, 2A



Sunday to Thursday, lunch and dinner, Friday: lunch only, Saturday: dinner only

Il Sedano Allegro

Il Sedano Allego’s dishes are creative and flavourful. Enjoy the relaxed, jovial atmosphere and tuck into a delicate strawberry risotto or a seitan filet with cream of balsamic vinegar and parmesan.

Via Luigi Carlo Farini, 1



Monday through Saturday, lunch and dinner; closed Sundays

Libreria Brac

Hidden in the heart of Florence, this intimate, quirky place is perfect for a glass of wine, aperitivo and vegetarian or vegan food. Try the piatto unico, a sampler of salad, a rice or pasta dish and one of the delicious breads—all composed of your choice from the menu. Libreria Brac is very popular, so book in advance.

Via dei Vagellai, 18r



Monday through Saturday, lunch and dinner; Sunday, dinner only

Dolce Vegan

This small, self-service restaurant serves top-notch vegan and raw food. Fill up on homemade ravioli, tortelli, gnocchi, tagliatelle, or lasagne with seitan, all made with fresh and organic ingredients. To finish, the cakes are a must: try the raw food almond mousse.

Via San Gallo, 92r


Open daily for lunch and dinner, except Tuesdays

La Raccolta

La Raccolta is a sustainable and eco-friendly bar, market and restaurant. Organic, zero km ingredients make for delicious, healthy vegan and vegetarian food. Stop in for a soy cappuccino and a vegan or wholemeal brioche for breakfast, for some locally sourced food shopping or some artichoke lasagna.

Via G.Leopardi, 2r


Monday through Saturday, breakfast, lunch and dinner; closed Sundays


Not vegetarian, but offering some fantastic vegetarian options, Madame takes a contemporary approach to Italian food, with charming décor and Sunday brunch. Try the borlotti bean and red rice burger with skinny fries and eggplant cream, served with homemade ketchup.

Via Pisana, 82



Open at lunch and dinner, closed Mondays


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

Three highly popular tourist attractions in Florence, including the Uffizi Gallery, will be open Saturday nights. The Italian Culture Ministry announced on Monday the Uffizi, the Accademia Gallery and the Bargello National Museum, starting this week, will be open Saturdays from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. The special initiative runs until Dec. 19.


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.


Every Sunday offers one of the best evenings in August: a fish and meat barbecue around the swimming pool of the magnificent Villa Cora in the hills near Florence.

Villa Cora is a 19th century mansion which has been renovated to a luxurious hotel. Located on the hilly tree-lined road heading up to Piazzale Michelangelo, the ambience is truly one-of-a-kind.

Sunday nights in summer the villa cooks up a BBQ dinner of the highest order: only seafood, shell fish and tender Tuscan meats on the grill. Vintage wines, Chianti classico and prosecco add to the special event. 75 euros a person all inclusive.

reservations: 055 22 87 90

Viale Machiavelli no. 18 from 7,30 pm onwards every Sunday



On July 20, 9.30pm, get a glimpse of ‘Life on Mars’ at the Museo del Novecento as Arezzo-based rocker Andrea Chimenti performs the best of David Bowie. Having released a cover of the Bowie classic ‘Ashes to Ashes’ in 2014, Chimenti will now give a more complete tribute to the pop chameleon, known for his zany Ziggy Stardust alter-ego in addition to chart-topping hits like ‘Changes.

Before the Bowie homage heats up, chamber orchestra I Nostri Tempi will perform classical selections from Beethoven. Concertgoers can also expect top tracks from Chimenti’s catalog

For more information and to purchase tickets, see www.nuovieventimusicali.it

Museo del Novecento, piazza Santa Maria Novella


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 36th 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 61st 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 84th 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 2015 Musical Evenings at the Amphitheatre on Tuesdays through 25 August, 19:00.

See www.chiantisculpturepark.it for the program.


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


Salvador Dalí meets the ‘Supreme Poet’ in this pleasant, unexpected pairing at Palazzo Medici Riccardi. Famous for both his bizarre work and erratic behavior, Dalí dabbled in book illustrations, including Dante’s Divine Comedy. See Dalí’s graphic, psychoanalytical take on Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise in the Galleria delle Carrozze: melting clocks may not show up in the Inferno circles, but plenty of his stylistic standards make appearances in these intensely allegorical illustrations.

See www.thedaliuniverse.com for further information.

Until September 27

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, via Camillo Cavour 5


The San Niccolò tower was built in 1324, during the works for the last set of walls that used to surround Florence, and it’s one of the most beautiful and best preserved of all the towers/doors that remains in the city. Its charm and grandeur is due to the fact that, unlike the others, it was not lowered in the sixteenth century and thus is the only door that retains its original height (however, the battlements were added in the nineteenth century).

Since 2011, during the summer months, locals and tourists have an amazing opportunity: to climb the 160 steps of this beautiful tower, reach the top and have a 360° view of Florence from an unusual and different point of view. From here you’ll also be able to see part of the old city walls.

This summer the tower will be open from June 24 to September 30..

Opening times: from 5 to 8pm, with guided tours in Italian, English, French and Spanish, every 30 minutes (booking recommended). In case of rain, the tower is closed.

Tickets: 4 €

For information: phone +39 055 2768224 – +39 055 2768558



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

Three highly popular tourist attractions in Florence, including the Uffizi Gallery, will be open Saturday nights. The Italian Culture Ministry announced on Monday the Uffizi, the Accademia Gallery and the Bargello National Museum, starting this week, will be open Saturdays from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. The special initiative runs until Dec. 19.


Tents and simple chairs make up the eatery at this traditional Italian event. Add music, games, and a market to make this what used to be the liberal festival, Festa d’Unita.

From August 22 until September 14 the Cascine park is host to the Festa Democratica.

This is one of the things to do in Florence in August if you really really want to immerse yourself in the local lifestyle and atmosphere. There are rides for the kids (this place is great for children!), live music or dj session, stalls and stands selling all sorts of items, and also pubs & bars.

Go over to the Festa Democratica for some authentic Florentine fun - one of the not to be missed things to do in Florence in August!

Piazza Vittorio Veneto (at the start of the Cascine park)



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-three 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 22 to September . See: www.cortonantiquaria.it



Until September 22 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 13th Edition of Florence’s CORRI LA VITA on September 27 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 27, 2015, 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.


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



Italian Food Rules and Italian Life Rules written by Ann Reavis have been published! Find a copy at The Paperback Exchange at Via delle Oche, 4r.


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 .


Music, music, music is in the summer air this August. Enjoy the opera, symphony, dance and tunes in Florence and under the Tuscan stars.

All the best,

Pitcher and Flaccomio