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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 February 2010

February - February is a month of opposites, with days either damp and gray, or drenched in brilliant winter sunshine. The combination produces sunsets over the Arno that can literally take your breath away. With Christmas long past and spring not yet in sight, February always brings a welcome quiet to the streets of Florence and the back roads of Tuscany. Dash into museums without a hint of a line, relax over meals of warming soups and stews, and remember… the only important holiday is San Valentino on the 14th (which won’t warrant closing shops, banks or museums).

In this issue we give you the scoop on Carnival celebrations, exhibitions, classical concerts, plus lectures, movies in English and of course.. Footbaaalll.

All our best for a sweet and spicy February from SUZANNE, CORSO, SANDRA, LORI, ANNA PIA, KIMBERLY and MARIO


Sunday 7, St. James is holding another of their fabulous bake sales. Pick up a dessert for Sunday lunch starting from just after the 11 o'clock service. The proceeds will be sent to help Haiti. If you love baking, they are always happy to have more products to sell. So whether you plan to bake or make or buy something, please do come. Contact Mary Ann Pinto for more information: maryann.pinto@libero.it. St. James Church, Via Bernardo Rucellai 9.

On Tuesday 16, from 6:00-7:30pm, DA will host a lecture by Edward Deak, Prof of Economics at Fairfield University. Prof. Deak will speak on “The New Normal: The future and what it means for US and global growth and job creation” at a venue yet to be announced. The Democrats Abroad Florence February chapter meeting will be held Saturday, February 20, at Cal State - via Leopardi 12, from 11am-12:30pm. Write cathleen.compton@gmail.com for more information. Democrats Abroad Italy, http://www.DemocratsAbroad.org.

Florence International Theatre Company is beginning work on its first project of the year which is a continuation of our involvement in the global movement to end violence against women and girls: VDAY. This year, VDAY FIRENZE: 2010 will have another performance of THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES in English and Italian and add a LATE NIGHT performance by an improv team from Amsterdam for the male perspective which will be at 11pm on the same stage for those more adventurous theatre goers (and maybe men who would feel more comfortable while supporting the cause!). VDAY raises both money and awareness to the issues here at home and on a spotlight issue of grave importance: The situation of the women and girls of Congo who are brutally raped without end as a tool of war and control. We will give a portion of profits to VDAY global offices toward the Congo situation and a portion to Artemesia Centro Antiviolenza here in Florence.
We would love to have those of you who would like to perform (even if you never have before), be volunteers as organizers, ushers, flier distributers, ticket sellers, etc, or can use your role as teachers (there is an educational component on the Congo situation which we have both in English and Italian which would serve for university groups or high school students and is created to evoke conversation) join us for this incredibly important and community-building project. Our goal is that this project will continue year after year until, as Eve Ensler the founder of VDAY and author of The Vagina Monologues says: 'The violence against women stops'. For information please contact info@florencetheatre.com

From April 10 to May 23, the Holy Shroud will be on display in the Duomo of Torino. The visit is free and may be reserved online at http://www.sindone.org. Torino hosts the Shroud of Turin, a centuries old linen cloth that bears the image of a crucified man that millions believe to be Jesus of Nazareth. Is it really the cloth that wrapped his crucified body, or is it simply a medieval forgery, a hoax perpetrated by some clever artist? Modern science has completed hundreds of thousands of hours of detailed study and intense research on the Shroud. It is, in fact, the single most studied artifact in human history, and we know more about it today than we ever have before. And yet, the controversy still rages. Hoax or miracle, the shroud has only been put on view 9 times previously, over the last four and a half centuries.
From February 16 to June 13, Rome will host an Edward Hopper exhibition, presenting over 160 works including Pennsylvania Coal Town (1947), Morning Sun (1952), Second Story Sunlight (1960) and A Woman in the Sun (1961). The show explores Hopper’s lifetime of work, with pieces procured from the Whitney Museum, the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York, the Terra Foundation for American Art in Chicago and the Columbus Museum of Art. Laid out according to chronological order and theme, the exhibition ranges from his years as a student in Paris, up to his “classic” and best-known period of the 1930s, 40s and 50s, closing with the intense images of his later years. This show may be worth a “side-trip” to Rome, to get a better look at the 20th century’s best-known American artist: the leading exponent of American Realism, the painter who more than any other artist succeeded in representing the daily life and solitude of modern man. Museo Fondazione Roma (Museo del Corso), Via del Corso 320, Roma. Hours: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. 10:00 am to 11:00 pm Friday and Saturday. Closed Monday. Ticket: 9 euro. Tel: 06 6786209.

La Bottega dell’Arcimboldo (Florence Art Academy) was founded for the purpose of restoring the magic atmosphere that was prevalent in the Renaissance Florentine workshops. The courses, structured and organized on a sound academic basis, are linked to the Renaissance and neoclassical tradition. They are designed for those who want to seriously engage with commitment and passion to learn and practice the drawing and painting techniques. The program provides for a full immersion in drawing as a prerequisite to the Painting courses. The school is structured on the foundation of a sound academic basis derived from the traditional Florentine Renaissance and Neoclassicism. Courses have been developed for students who desire to study with diligence, passion and with the true goal of learning the “craft” of the sketcher and painter. All the necessary materials – the best drawing and painting products available on the market – are provided by the school. The fees include all these supplies. The academic structure has been formed and developed by a Florentine Master artist who has many years of excellent professional knowledge and experience. An important advantage of studying at this academy is that classes are limited to a maximum of twelve students, with two faculty members: this secures private teaching that is tailored to each student’s level. The school is based in Florence, in the Le Cure district, near the central zone.
Arcimboldo Florence Art Academy, Via del Lasca n° 12 - 50100 Florence, Italy. info@florenceartacademy.it, http://www.florenceartacademy.it

FOOTBAAAALLL!! by Simon Clark and Anne Brooks
Forza Viola!..........Two wheels on our wagon, but we’re still rolling along…..just about. Fiorentina played seven games this month. We only lost two but both were in Serie A, where we’ve tossed away 8 points out of 9 in the last three matches. We’re still in the Coppa Italia and the Champions League but languish in eleventh place in the league that counts. We remain in the chasing pack but at its rear, not its head. Last year, when we stuttered, results conspired for us; this year, Napoli, Genoa and Palermo are speeding past. It’s not over but it will be if we don’t buck our ideas up!
January Results:
Week 18: Siena-Fiorentina WON 1-5
Week 19: Fiorentina-Bari WON 2-1
Coppa Italia: Fiorentina-Chievo WON 3-2
Week 20: Fiorentina-Bologna LOST 1-2
Coppa Italia: Fiorentina-Lazio WON 3-2
Week 21: Palermo-Fiorentina LOST 3-0
Week 22: Cagliari-Fiorentina DRAW 2-2

Serie A. Crash, bang, wallop! The Viola came back to work after the winter break by dismantling sorry Siena. It took all of 5 minutes for Kroldrup to break the ice, after which Siena huffed and puffed but only one team had the opposition’s net on its sat-nav. Santana popped in our second; Gila tapped in after some farcical defending and then, dissatisfied with a soft goal, headed in a beauty; Mutu drove in our fifth to celebrate his return. Siena were dead and awaiting burial but, as we relaxed, the corpse managed to stagger up for a consolation penalty.
To the Stadio and Bari. We had to stamp our authority; the newly-promoted Galletti (the Cockerels) stood a point behind us and half our first-choice side were unavailable. Just the time for Montolivo to have one of those games where he ran everything! It was nip-and-tuck for much of the game with the Cockerels taking a 25th minute lead but Mutu heading us level. In the second half, we needed Frey at his flying best but, around the hour-mark, Bari’s Almiron stared a red card in the face. We had a Gila goal called offside but went ahead as Montolivo’s rasping drive came off the woodwork for Castillo to grab his maiden goal for us (just before we offloaded him to Genoa!). Castillo got over-excited he, too, headed for an early bath. That’s Bari seen off! Bologna at the Stadio; Montolivo captain with Dainelli’s departure and.......
.........Whoa! A wheel falls off! An off-day, an inspired Bologna goalkeeper and a one-in-a-million goal. We were sharp-ish, if not the keenest of edges, and getting on top when Gimenez gave the Rossoblu the lead with an angled scissor-kick that he’ll never repeat; Frey could only stare. Just before the interval, we did the unforgiveable, underestimating Di Vaio (second-top scorer behind Ibrahimovic last year) and he punished us – 2-0 and we are rocking. Into the second half; tantalisingly, we score fast with a teasing Vargas cross and a brave header from Mutu but that’s it. We batter their goalkeeper unstintingly but he wins. Tre punti gettati ai venti!
A second wheel rolled away at Palermo. It’s their pink shirts. There were times in a torrid first half when it seemed only Frey had managed to get there, handing Viola shirts to the first ten people he found hanging around! We were lucky to lose the first half by only 2 goals; we only lost the second period 1-0. This was not clever. A punishing month comes to a close with another trip south, this time to Cagliari where the axle wobbled but held up. Marchionni shot us ahead in only the 6th minute but by the start of the second half we were 2-1 down and chasing the game; even Frey was having an off-day. Luckily. Cagliari went to ten men with a red card and Jovetic came on to level the scores. These are games we should kill off and we couldn’t do it!
Coppa Italia The knock-out seemed to sneak up on Fiorentina as Chievo tore in. It didn’t help that our defence went AWOL a couple of times. We went behind in just 7 minutes as we stargazed a high lobbed ball. Mutu has come back from injury hungry for goals; having struck the post, his stooping header put us level on the half-hour. Only for the defence to wave in a second Chievo goal. From then on, it was a tide of Viola but it took to the 74th minute for rising star, Babacar, to bring us level again. The bit between our teeth, Marchionni splintered the woodwork before the irrepressible Mutu powered in the winner. All’s well that ends well. Next, another home tie with holders, Lazio. They didn’t win with this apology for a defence. Two Gila assists, two Mutu goals – one a header, the other a Saturn rocket from the edge of the penalty area – confirmed that the Romanian hasn’t forgotten where the net is. Lazio pieced together something of a second-half act, pulling one back before Kroldrup nodded in for a 3-1 lead. The pace was unrelenting and Lazio got a second near the end but, at the death, it was Fiorentina peppering the Roman goal. Forward to the semi-finals and the mighty Inter.
At this tricky time, what we REALLY needed was for Mutu to fail not one but two drug tests (though one would have been enough) and get suspended. The men in white coats found sibutramine (not a performance enhancer but banned on the grounds that it provokes heart trouble). Was it in his porridge or a health food? For a man whose financial woes relate to cocaine while at Chelsea, you’d think he would be as vigilant as an airport security man. We rushed out and signed Keirrison from Barcelona. He added to earlier transfer window purchases - Dias Felipe from Udinese as an extra brick in our defensive wall; Adem Ljajic from Partizan Belgrade to enhance our cosmopolitanism (and challenge our vocal chords); another teenage prodigy in Seferovic from Grasshoppers in Switzerland: defender Mario Bolatti from Porto. Old friends are leaving, too. Club captain Dario Dainelli is off to Genoa; sad to see the passing of someone who has never swerved from the Viola cause but good to see Prandelli & Corvino rebuilding continually. Dainelli appeared on the club’s website, fetchingly dressed for a 1960s art-house movie about Swinging London!............................. Forza Viola!

BUYING TICKETS: Ticket information – seating plan, prices, ticket outlets – is on the “biglietteria” section of the club’s website [http://www.it.violachannel.tv ]. Basically, tickets can be purchased at official box offices and holders of TicketOne lottery franchises. Sources include:
CHIOSCO DEGLI SPORTIVI, via degli Anselmi (between the Piazza Repubblica post office and the Odeon cinema). 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 Luigi Alamanni 39 (close to SMN station). Tel 055 264321
FELTRINELLI FIRENZE, Via de’ Cerretani 39/32R

THE FIORENTINA SCHEDULE: There’s no let-up; the medical team will be pressed to keep the squad running in a month with no easy games. Following the cup semi first leg at Inter, we host Roma; Totti & Co are riding high. Sampdoria have been sliding but they won’t be easy prey; Livorno at the Stadio should be straightforward but the Livornese have started to grind out some impressive results recently; Lazio are always tough, especially on their own turf. And in the middle of all that, we fly to Munich to renew our European campaign!
February Fixtures:
Coppa Italia: 3 February Inter-Fiorentina
Week 23: (Florence): 7 February Fiorentina-Roma
Week 24: 14 February Sampdoria-Fiorentina
Champions League 17 February Bayern Munich-Fiorentina
Week 25: (Florence): 21 February Fiorentina-Livorno
Week 17: (Florence): 24 February Fiorentina-Milan
Week 26: 28 February Lazio-Fiorentina

A typical Tuscan winter dish, usually presented with sautéed spinach or other greens.
1 or 2 pound pork loin, trimmed of excess fat
20 fresh sage leaves
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic, peeled
one half tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper
one quarter cup olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
Finely chop sage, rosemary and garlic. Combine with salt and pepper. Poke holes into pork loin and stuff with herb mixture. Reserve any herb mixture to add later. In a pot, brown all sides of pork loin with the olive oil. Add wine and any remaining herb mixture. Cook covered, turning occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until juices run clear instead of pink.

THUMBS UP – THUMBS DOWN “Our Readers Right”
Our “Thumbs up, Thumbs down” column is your chance to write us and share your own ideas and information, or to toot the horn of businesses, events and those Florentine situations that strike you as either wonderful or terrible. Please note: all opinions are (usually) strictly those of our readers. Lend us your thoughts!

A few from Kim,
Two newer spots in town: Part wine storage and sales/part restaurant and wine bar, the recently opened, Piazza del Vino should be a winning combination given the warm, light atmosphere, off the beaten path location, good prices and friendly service. The menu moves beyond Toscana with dishes reflecting Italy from Campania to the Alto Adige and Piedmont. At a recent lunch I had the “Piatto della Settimana”; a platter/plate with a portion of vegetable risotto next to a rich, stewed chicken. The “Piatto” included a glass of nice Brolio Chianti Riserva, all for 10 euro. Refreshingly located on the “wrong side of the tracks”, park easy in the Campo di Marte neighborhood or walk there by using the pedestrian overpass across the Campo di Marte station tracks. PIAZZA DEL VINO, 18/r, via Torretta. Tel. 055 671404. Open daily for lunch and dinner (except Sat. and Sun. lunch).
MaMa Hair Spa opened just two months ago. Monica who runs this cozy, comfortable salon spent two years styling in Los Angeles. I like her open, friendly character, and the great work she did with my short hair. She is a Mom and also has an easy touch with kids, something a little hard to find in Florence. She has a sweet Sri Lankan male assistant who does a good job with men’s hair. Her shop is on Via Caponsacchi, right at the round-about of Viale Giannotti, handy to swing by after dropping kids off at school. MaMa Hair Spa. Via Caponsacchi 9red, Tel. 055 685114.


Wed. 3 stop by Feltrinelli on Via de’Cerretani at 5:30 pm. to meet director Gabriele Muccino and the cast of his film "Baciami ancora".

Thurs. 4 to Sun. 7, Piazza Santa Croce will be a sweet retreat for chocolate lovers. Artisan chocolate makers from Florence, Tuscany, Italy and Europe will show off the best of their wares. A number of special events will add flash to the fair. In addition to strolling the booths, have an aperitivo with Vegan Chocolate Finger Food at 6:30 on Thurs. 4 at the BRAC bookshop on Via dei Vagellai 18r. Most afternoons you can taste free Latte Maremma whipped cream. Sat. 6 at noon watch a medieval sword fight demonstration. The fair is open from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm daily. For information about extra seminars see http://www.fieradelcioccolato.it.

JOY SPOSI: Wedding Fair
Getting married in 2010? Fri. 5 to Sun. 7 the Stazione Leopolda is hosting JOY Sposi, a fair showcasing wedding fashions, workshops for wedding planners, catering suppliers, hair stylists, make-up artists, florists and all the hoop-la surrounding that most important day. Hours: Fri. 3:00 to 11:00 pm, Sat. 11:00 am to 11:00 pm, Sun. 11:00 am to 10:00 pm. Ticket: 6 euro. Stazione Leopolda, Viale Fratelli Rosselli 5.

Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici, the last of the Medici dynasty, died the night of February 17th, 1743. Anna Maria Luisa lived her life in the Medici pomp of Florence, except for the period of her marriage to Johann Welhelm, Elector Palatine of Dusseldorf. Returning to the city, her father Cosimo III attempted to verify her as Grand Duchess in case none of the remaining Medici males produced an heir (indeed, with the weakened blood line, no heirs were produced). She was not made Grand Duchess, but nonetheless, she did create the "Patto di Famiglia", a testament signed on October 31, 1737. With this single gesture, she willed all the personal property of the Medici family to the Florentine state, with the explicit condition to any future ruler of Florence, that none of the Medici artistic patrimony was ever to be removed from the city.
Florence, in honor of perhaps its most important benefactor, dedicates February 18th to Anna Maria Luisa as a day of celebration. Starting at 10:40 am, a historical parade will depart from the Piazzetta di Parte Guelfa, and travel to the Medici Chapel to lay a wreath of flowers on her tomb. This year, a ceremony will also take place at 5:00 pm in the Salone dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio. The Cappelle Medicee museum will be open free of charge on February 18th in honor of Anna Maria Luisa. It would seem the least they could do!

On Sun. 21 don’t miss the chance to stroll around Piazza Santo Spirito and admire the crafts and organic food fair. Your will find handmade ceramic whistles for kids, antiques, food, hand-woven dresses and linens, beeswax candles, naturally scented soaps and oils, home-baked bread and cakes, ceramics, wine, olive oil, hand-carved wooden salad bowls and more.

From Thurs. 25 to Sun. 28 the Fortezza da Basso will once again rock with four days of this International Trade Show and Dance Event. Come absorb the eclectic mix of energy and talent, grace and harmony, depth and lightness of expression. Gain insight into the multi-faceted world of dance as exhibitors and participants put on a program of over 500 events ranging from traditional to contemporary dance exhibitions, performances by dance schools, associations and companies, dance competitions, dancewear and costume displays and shows, and meetings with prominent figures from the dance and arts world. For example, the International Review of Caribbean Choreographies takes place on Sun. 28 at 5:00 pm. Throughout the show an International Dancing Competition will be held, culminating on Sun. 28 at 8:00, showcasing students from dance studios as solos, couples or groups for classical ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, fantasy dancing and choreographic composition. Come Friday 26 at 7:00 pm for Pasiòn de Tango - All the best of tango! Who’s the best hip hop dancer!? Find out Sat. 27 from 4:00 to 6:00pm at the Street Fighters competition. Danzainfiera. Fair hours: Thursday 3:00pm – 9:00pm, Friday – Saturday 10:00am – 9:00 pm, Sunday 10:00am – 8:00pm. Tickets: 1-day pass - 15 euro, 4-day pass - 45 euro. For info: tel. 0574 575618 or email: info@danzainfiera.it

ELIO FIORUCCI - Fashion Jeans Inventor "Histoire"
Until Feb. 12 the SACI Gallery hosts a project created specifically for Studio Art Centers International (SACI) by Laura Villani, presenting ELIO FIORUCCI. Fiorucci is the subject of an exhibition which aims, while celebrating the artist, to outline his extraordinary role as inventor of fashion jeans, and to highlight his synergies and connections with many protagonists of fashion, photography, advertising and design. The exhibition presents the most important landmarks in Fiorucci’s revolutionary transformation process of jeans from work clothes into one of the most loved items of clothing ever, presented in the famous photographs by Oliviero Toscani.
Elio Fiorucci, after introducing Italy to miniskirts, found a way of selling America to Americans. In 1972, availing himself of Valentino’s model-maker Mario Morelli, he decided to modify jeans which were, at the time, primarily worn only in the workplace. By washing, softening and fading the denim, he created an item of clothing modeled for the first time upon the body – fashion jeans. 1,200,000 Fiorucci jeans were sold, transforming the trousers into an item to be worn at all times and in every occasion, one that was even capable of substituting fancy clothing if combined with the right accessories.
Yet after transforming jeans into a cult object, Fiorucci wanted to make them even more adherent; thus when Du Pont launched Lycra he had the idea to mix it with the denim to make the item even more seductive, and therefore invented the first fashion stretch jeans. In 1985 Elio Fiorucci, by then the officially recognized King of Jeans, signed the Italian licensing deal with historical USA jeans brand Wrangler. In 1984 he collaborated with Vivienne Westwood on the creation of a new jeans model. In 1987, alongside Jean-Paul Gaultier, he produced the Jean-Paul Gaultier Junior Collection, destined to become hugely successful on a global scale. In 2004 Elio Fiorucci launched a jeans collection called Ergonomicsexyjeans, designed to perfectly adhere to women’s bodies, revealing their beauty. The history of fashion jeans contributed to the construction of the Made in Italy myth, just as Fiorucci’s professional career did – from the introduction of miniskirts to lamè bikinis, from fashion stretch jeans to his famous T-shirts, or the wise dwarf of Love Therapy. Fiorucci’s professional itinerary is entwined with diverse dimensions of creativity and with some of the most celebrated art-world personalities of the last forty years.
The exhibition presents important landmarks of the history of jeans and of Elio Fiorucci’s own story, portrayed by the extraordinary historic photographs taken by Oliviero Toscani ay Sterpaia, Toscani’s ranch – superb equine specimens and women with cow-girl hats and big boots wearing sexy jeans (as the collection’s name, Ergonomicsexyjeans, states), plus emotions, joy, and open spaces in perfect Fiorucci style. SACI Gallery, Via Sant'Antonino 11. Tel. 055 289 948. Open Monday – Friday from 9:00 am – 7:00 pm, Saturday – Sunday from 1:00 to 7:00 pm. Admission: free.

From Friday February 26 until July 18, Palazzo Strozzi will host another fascinating exhibit. This time we get to explore the early years of the career of De Chirico and the influence of his first works on movements such as Surrealism and the Neue Sachlichkeit. De Chirico was born in 1888 in Greece and partly raised there, where his engineer father designed and built railway lines. He had a prolific artistic career, and lived to 90, almost as long as Picasso. He died in 1978. Having studied in Munich, at the age of twenty-one and fascinated by the work of the Symbolist painter Arnold Böcklin, he began painting a series of strange and unusual cityscapes. Displayed in Paris after 1911 they were enthusiastically greeted by painters and poets from Picasso to Paul Éluard, and very soon De Chirico became one of the heroes of Surrealism. This phase of his work – the so-called metaphysical painting – lasted up to around 1918. Subsequently De Chirico changed direction. Hours: Daily 9 a.m-8 p.m, Thursday 9 a.m-11 p.m. Reservations: prenotazioni@cscsigma.it.

ANIMANI: Homage from Florence to Mario Mariotti
Until April 11, the Istituto degli Innocenti on Piazza SS. Annunziata celebrates artist Mario Mariotti with a show of his colorful works of “body painting” dating to the 80’s and 90’s. The works are presented through photos, video and various media. Kids and other visitors will have the chance to experiment with Mariotti’s creative techniques thanks to Francesca Mariotti, the artist’s daughter who has created a “Giotto Make-up Animani” kit. The Animani works were the result of Mariotti’s ability to play with art, through creative experiments that often involved children. With color and the human hand he playfully found a way to show us a giraffe, an elephant, dogs, zebras and people as well. Mario Mariotti (born in Montespertoli, 1936, died in Florence in 1997) worked as a graphic designer, illustrator, performer and communicator from his “bottega” in Florence’s Oltrarno neighborhood. Animani. Istituto degli Innocenti, piazza Santissima Annunziata 12. Monday to Friday: 3:00 to 7:00 pm. Sat. and Sunday: 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. Ticket: 6 euro. For info including hours and costs for children’s workshops: 055 2478386 055 2478386 , animani@istitutodeglinnocenti.it. http://www.mariottiafirenze.it

INNOCENT AND SLANDERED - Federico Zuccari (1539/40 – 1609) and the artist’s revenge
Until Feb. 28, the Uffizi Gallery Department of Prints and Drawings Exhibition Room presents a close-up look at Federico Zuccari. On the fourth centenary of his death, the exhibition Innocent and Slandered presents the themes of polemic and revenge that certain artists, and Federico Zuccari in particular, exploited to declare their innocence before real or alleged slander and injustice. The subjects of Truth revealed by Time, Truth delivered from Envy, the Triumph of Virtue over Envy and that of the Calumny – a subject that had enjoyed remarkable popularity since classical antiquity – are addressed by Zuccari with great figurative originality.
Zuccari, throughout his long career in Italy and in Europe, was constantly embroiled in a bizarre and recurrent contradiction: earning the trust of illustrious and powerful commissioners, eventually losing their favor, and then reacting by painting and disseminating “artistic revenge”. This most often generated further tensions and damning consequences, so that in the end he felt himself persecuted, on a par with Aesop and Dante.
However it is not only on account of the appeal of this intriguing painter, intellectual and art theorist that the Commission of the Florentine Polo Museale, together with Firenze Musei, has decided to pay homage to Zuccari. In Florence there are in fact nearly 2,400 square meters of painting (the largest expanse ever painted in the city) executed by Federico in the cupola of Santa Maria del Fiore; also found in Florence is the house, previously belonging to Andrea del Sarto, that Zuccari lived in and embellished with mural paintings and reliefs celebrating the arts set on the facade of the studio, which can still be seen in Via Giusti. The Department of Prints and Drawings of the Uffizi conserves the most important font of drawings and prints attributed to him, all to be displayed for this event.
Among the loans is an outstanding canvas dedicated to the Porta Virtutis. The work, painted by Federico Zuccari and sent to the Duke of Urbino, Francesco Maria II Della Rovere in the 1580s, reached Florence the following century and became part of the Medici collections. Believed lost, it recently reappeared on the Florentine market, where it was purchased by the Italian State and destined to the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche in Urbino. This very painting, so dense with meanings and allegorical inventions, and symbolically set at the end of the display itinerary, effectively summarizes the most profound instigations of Zuccari’s art; throughout his career he never ceased to proudly claim his freedom of thought and expression, contributing to enhance the social status of the artist. Uffizi Gallery Department of Prints and Drawings Exhibition Room. Hours: Tuesday through Sunday - 8:15 to 6:50 pm. Ticket: Free.

Until April 11 the Alinari Museum of Photography in collaboration with the Jeu de Paume museum of Paris, hosts an exhibit of photos taken during the1920’s and 1930’s, when Paris, thanks to a burgeoning political and religious freedom, was the center of an artistic avant-garde movement. In the early 20’s Paris blossomed as the world capital of the artistic avant-garde, including photography. Cosmopolitan and open-minded, Paris soon became the chosen city for photographers from Europe, Russia and America, a stimulating center for all sorts of exchanges. French photographers like Florence Henri, Roger Schall, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Pierre Boucher, were joined by Americans Man Ray and Berenice Abbott, plus Europeans Erwin Blumenfeld, Marianne Breslauer and Ilse Bing, and the list goes on. More than 100 vintage prints taken by 40 photographers are displayed, along with magazines and books from the same period. Alinari National Photography Museum, Piazza Santa Maria Novella. Open 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. Closed Wednesday. Ticket: 9 euro. http://www.alinari.it. Info: Tel. 055.216310, fax 055.2646990, mnaf@alinari.it.

L’ARMA PER L’ARTE - Aspects of the Sacred Rediscovered
Until April 6, the Pitti Palace Palatine Gallery, hosts a very special exhibit. Forty years ago, in May 1969, the special squad of the Carabinieri assigned to the protection of the cultural heritage was set up, which in 1975 became answerable to the newly-established Ministry for the Cultural Heritage. The offices of this special squad were installed just a few steps from the Collegio Romano, in Piazza Sant’Ignazio, underscoring the relationship of collaboration between the two institutions, protecting the cultural heritage of the nation. Over the span of these forty years there have been reforms and changes in both the Public Sector and society as a whole, fine-tuning the weapons and tools of those engaged in protecting the cultural heritage, and of those who in various ways attempt to destroy or violate it.
This show celebrates the birthday of the special squad, the Comando Tutela Patrimonio Artistico, while also offering the perfect occasion for appraising how much has been achieved and how much still remains to be done. It is devoted in particular to sacred art, and hence to paintings and objects stolen from churches and convents, and sometimes museums, bringing to light how sites of worship tend to be exposed to the risk of theft and damage, and how over time the Carabinieri squad specialized in this sector has set its resources and competence at the service of the Church and its enormous artistic heritage.
As well as being arranged in chronological order, the works are also divided up into panels, canvases, sculptures and works of applied art, illustrating how the thefts have indiscriminately affected different genres. Special emphasis is also placed on the relationship that links the public to the works of the churches and the sites of worship, the relationship between museums and territory, and the progress which – also thanks to the activity of the special squad of the Carabinieri – has been made in making safe the individual works and the sites that house them. Ticket: euro 10.00. The ticket grants admission to the exhibition, the Palatine Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art. Hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 8.15-18.50. Closed Mondays.

BETTY WOODMAN: The Cheerful Vitality of the Porcelain
Until Feb. 15, the Porcelain Museum at Palazzo Pitti is stage to the refined and imaginative creations of Betty Woodman. With their unpredictable shapes and the intensity and brilliance of the colors, the unusual Sèvres porcelain pieces created by Woodman revolutionize the traditional concept of prized tableware, while preserving a classy elegance. A potter who has already made her name in New York, Betty Woodman periodically lives and works in her house in Antella, just outside of Florence, where she has had the chance to delve into the stratifications of Italian culture. Her expressive freedom enables her to renew the design of traditional forms, drawing on diverse historical and geographical sources to bring forth a new, playful language of matter, unburdened by the labor and study that nevertheless lies behind each individual piece. As she herself puts it “I seek to make art that nods its appreciation towards the history of ceramics without attempting to imitate it”. Palazzo Pitti Porcelain museum. Piazza Pitti. Hours: 8:15 – 4:15 pm. Closed 1st and last Monday of each month.

The British Institute Weekly Cultural Programme. Every Wednesday at 6:00 pm, the Sala Ferragamo in the Institute’s Harold Acton Library hosts a free lecture, concert or other event, followed by an informal drinks reception. British Institute Library, Lungarno Guicciardini 9.
Wed. 3 - Marco Del Panta: The EUI and the city of Florence. The European University Institute, housed in the Badia Fiesolana at San Domenico, is an international teaching and research institute founded in 1972 by the member states of the European Community. It has four departments: Economics, History and Civilisation, Law, Political and Social Sciences. Marco Del Panto, Secretary General of the EUI, explores the history and present state of its multifarious relations with its host city, Florence, and explains the plans for a major event, possibly a European festival, which is envisaged for 2011.
Wed. 10 - Edward Chaney: Lord Arundel and the obelisk of Domitian. This lecture examines the fascinating background the attempts of the great collector Thomas Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel (1585-1646), to export from Italy to England the Roman obelisk commissioned by the Emperor Domitian for the temple of Serapis, and how these attempts were frustrated by Pope Urban VIII Barberini, whose successor Innocent X Pamphili had the obelisk erected in Piazza Navona. Professor Edward Chaney of Southampton Solent University is a leading expert on the activities of English collectors in Italy. Among his publications is the major study The Evolution of the Grand Tour: Anglo-Italian Cultural Relations since the Renaissance, Frank Cass, 1998 (second edition 2000).
Wed. 17 - Roberta Cremoncini: The Estorick collection of modern Italian art in London. The Estorick Collection housed in London is well known for its core of Futurist works, as well as Italian figurative painting and sculpture from 1895 to the 1950s, and includes paintings by the great names of Futurism: Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Luigi Russolo and Gino Severini as well as works by Giorgio de Chirico, Amedeo Modigliani and Giorgio Morandi. Director of the Estorick, Roberta Cremoncini, explains how Eric and Salome Estorick formed the collection during the 1950’s.
Wed. 24 - Louis A. Waldman: Agnolo Bronzino and the death of Pontormo. What happens when a great painter dies suddenly, leaving the loose strands of his life and career untied? The death of Jacopo da Pontormo in 1557 ignited a complex legal battle for possession of his artistic and financial legacy. Through surviving testimony (much of it newly discovered in the Florentine archives) we can follow a courtroom drama tainted with lies, intrigue, theft and scandal. Louis Waldman is Associate Professor of Renaissance and Baroque Art History at the University of Texas. Since 2007 he has been Assistant Director of Harvard's Villa I Tatti.

Odeon Theatre, Piazza Strozzi 2. Phone: 055 214 068. http://www.cinehall.it
Thursday 4 - THE HURT LOCKER by Kathryn Bigelow with Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce. 5.00 – 8.00 – 10.30 p.m.
Monday 8 - THE LOVELY BONES by Peter Jackson with M. Wahlberg, R. Weisz. 5.00 – 8.00 – 10.30 p.m.
Tuesday 9 - INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS by Q. Tarantino with B. Pitt, D. Kruger. 4.30 – 7.30 – 10.30 p.m
Thursday 11 - AN EDUCATION by Lone Scherfig with Peter Sarsgaard, Carey Mulligan. 5.00 – 8.00 – 10.30 p.m.
Monday 15 - A SINGLE MAN by Tom Ford with Colin Firth, Julianne Moore. 4.30 – 6.30 – 8.30 – 10.30 p.m.
Tuesday 16 - UP TO THE AIR by J. Reitman with G. Clooney, V. Farmiga. 4.00 – 6.10 – 8.20 – 10.30 p.m.
Thurs 18 – AVATAR by James Cameron with Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver. 4.45 – 8.00 – 10.45 p.m.
Monday 22 - THE WOLFMAN by Joe Johnston with A. Hopkins, B. Del Toro. 4.00 – 6.10 – 8.20 – 10.30 p.m.
Tuesday 23 - NINE (Italian subtitles) by R. Marshall with D. Day-Lewis, P. Cruz. 3.45 – 6.00 – 8.15 – 10.30 p.m.
Thursday 25 - DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE MORGANS? by Marc Lawrence with H. Grant, S. J. Parker. 3.00 – 8.10 – 10.30 p.m.
Friday 26 - INVICTUS (Italian subtitles) by C. Eastwood with M. Damon, M. Freeman. 5.00 – 8.00 – 10.30 p.m.
Saturday 27 – INVICTUS. 5.00 – 8.00 – 10.30 p.m.
Sunday 28 - INVICTUS. 5.00 – 8.00 – 10.30 p.m.

Perhaps most startling of all the film THE HURT LOCKER's accomplishments is how it approximates the soldiers' feeling of utter anxiety as they fight a war on foreign soil. With an able cast and crew, director Kathryn Bigelow had everything she needed to come up with the defining war movie for the 21st century.
Peter Jackson directs THE LOVELY BONES, an adaptation of Alice Sebold's novel. After being murdered, young Susie Salmon looks down from heaven on both her parents (played by Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz) and her murderer.
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS begins in German-occupied France, where Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent) witnesses the execution of her family at the hand of Nazi Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz). Shosanna flees to Paris, where she forges a new identity as the owner and operator of a cinema. Elsewhere in Europe, Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) organizes a group of Jewish soldiers to engage in targeted acts of retribution. Known to their enemy as "The Basterds," Raine's squad joins German actress and undercover agent Bridget Von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) on a mission to take down the leaders of The Third Reich. Fates converge under a cinema marquee, where Shosanna is poised to carry out a revenge plan of her own.
With AN EDUCATION, author Nick Hornby turns from novels to screenplays. Jenny is a young woman full of promise and intent to study at Oxford. But meeting an older man leads her to believe that she can learn things outside the classroom, casting doubt on her future plans.
A SINGLE MAN is produced by Tom Ford, and set in Los Angeles in 1962, at the height of the Cuban missile crisis. It is the story of a British college professor (Colin Firth) who is struggling to find meaning to his life after the death of his long time partner. The story is a romantic tale of love interrupted, the isolation that is an inherent part of the human condition, and ultimately the importance of the seemingly smaller moments in life.
In UP IN THE AIR, George Clooney stars as Ryan Bingham, a businessman on the verge of reaching five million frequent flyer miles when his company decides to cut back on travel. But his goal isn't the only thing just out of reach: he now won't be able to see a fellow frequent traveler (Vera Farmiga) who has caught his eye.
AVATAR is the story of an ex-Marine who finds himself thrust into hostilities on an alien planet filled with exotic life forms. As an Avatar, a human mind in an alien body, he finds himself torn between two worlds, in a desperate fight for his own survival and that of the indigenous people).
THE WOLFMAN brings the myth of a cursed man back to its iconic origins. Benicio Del Toro stars as Lawrence Talbot, a haunted nobleman lured back to his family estate after his brother vanishes. Reunited with his estranged father, Talbot sets out to find his brother...and discovers a horrifying destiny for himself.
The Broadway hit NINE moves from the stage to the screen for this musical take on Federico Fellini's 8½, Rob Marshall directs a star-filled cast that includes Daniel Day-Lewis, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, and Sophia Loren.
In DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE MORGANS Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker play Paul and Meryl Morgan, a Manhattan couple whose marriage is in danger. But when the Morgans witness a murder and are sent by the government to small-town Wyoming to hide from the killers, their marriage shows signs of recovery.
INVICTUS tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team, Francois Pienaar, to help unite their country as they make an unlikely run to the 1995 World Cup Championship match.

Theatre info: Teatro Comunale, Via Solferino 15. Tel. 055 27791. Teatro della Pergola, Via della Pergola 12/32, Tel. 055 2479651. Teatro Verdi, Via Ghibellina 99, tel. 055 212320. Teatro Saschall , Lungarno Moro 3, tel. 055 6504112. Teatro Goldoni, Via Santa Maria 15. Tel. 055 229651. Teatro Romano, Fiesole, Tel. 055/59187. Mandela Forum, Viale Paoli 3, tel. 055 678841. Stazione Leopolda. Viale Fratelli Rosselli 5. St. Mark’s Church. Via Maggio 16. Tel. 055 294764. Church of Orsanmichele, Via dei Calzaiuoli. Tel. 055-210305. Teatro Puccini, via delle Cascine 41, tel 055 362067. Chiesa S. Stefano al Ponte Vecchio, piazza S. Stefano 5. Viper Theatre, Via Lombardia 1.055/318056, http://www.viperclub.eu. Auditorium FLOG, Via M. Mercati, 24/b, 055/210804, http://www.flog.it Sala Vanni, Piazza del Carmine 14. Teatro Everest, Via Volterrana 4/b, tel. 055. 23 21 754. info@teatroeverest.it, http://www.teatroeverest.it. Teatro Politeama Pratese, Via G. Garibaldi, 33 – Prato. Tel: 0574/603758, http://www.politeamapratese.com. Purchase tickets for theatre, concerts and other events at the following ticket agencies: BOX OFFICE: Via Alamanni, 39 (alongside the train station). Open Monday 3:30-7:30 pm, from Tuesday to Saturday 10:00-7:30 pm. Tel. 055/210804. ARGONAUTA VIAGGI, Lungarno Torrigiani 33/B, 055/2342777. Many tickets can be pre-purchased via http://www.ticketone.it, http://www.boxol.it, http://www.classictic.com/en or http://www.festivalopera.it.

Every day
ORGAN CONCERT. Chiesa S. Maria de' Ricci, Via del Corso. Daily at 9:15 pm; Saturdays at 6:00 pm.

Friday 5
CARMEN CONSOLI. Saschall. 9:00 pm
RYAN MCADAMS CONDUCTS the ORCHESTRA DEL MAGGIO MUSICALE FIORENTINO, Lars Vogt (piano), music by Chavez, Schumann, Stravinsky. Teatro Comunale. 8:30 pm.

Saturday 6
CARMEN CONSOLI. Teatro Verdi. 9:00 pm

Sunday 7
RYAN MCADAMS CONDUCTS the ORCHESTRA DEL MAGGIO MUSICALE FIORENTINO, Lars Vogt (piano), music by Chavez, Schumann, Stravinsky. Teatro Comunale. 4:30 pm.

Monday 8
ALEX BRITTI. Teatro Verdi. 9:00 pm.

Tuesday 9

Thursday 11
ELIO E LE STORIE TESE. Teatro Verdi. 9:00 pm

Friday 12
RAFFAELE PAGANINI in HO APPENA 50 ANNI, COMPAGNIA NAZIONALE DI ROMA. Choreographed by Mvula Sungani. Teatro Verdi. 9:00 pm.

Saturday 13
COMPAGNIA ITALIANA di OPERETTE: presents THE MERRY WIDOW, with music by Franz Lehar, choreography Serge Manguette. Teatro Verdi. 8:45 pm.

Tuesday 16
DENNIS AND THE JETS, Historic Florentine Rockabilly fun. Porto di Mare, Via Pisana 128 - (Piazza Pier Vettori) Tel: 055 7191160 - 340 3631957

Friday 19
ADRIANA LECOUVREUR. Conducted by Bruno Bartoletti. Music by Francesco Cilea. Teatro Comunale. 8:30 pm. Adriana Lecouvreur is an opera in four acts by Francesco Cilea to an Italian libretto by Arturo Colautti, based on the play by Eugène Scribe and Ernest Legouvé. It was first performed on 6 November 1902 in Milan.
SCUOLA DI MUSICA DI FIESOLE, Music from the Risorgimento. Directed by Renato Rivolta, music by C. Ambrosini, L. van Beethoven. Museo Marino Marini, Piazza S. Pancrazio. 4:30 pm.

Saturday 20
ADRIANA LECOUVREUR. Conducted by Bruno Bartoletti. Music by Francesco Cilea. Teatro Comunale. 8:30
ROBERTO VECCHIONI - TOUR 2010. Saschall. 9:00 pm.

Sunday 21
ADRIANA LECOUVREUR. Conducted by Bruno Bartoletti. Music by Francesco Cilea. Teatro Comunale. 3:30

Tuesday 23
ADRIANA LECOUVREUR. Conducted by Bruno Bartoletti. Music by Francesco Cilea. Teatro Comunale. 8:30

Wednesday 24
ADRIANA LECOUVREUR. Conducted by Bruno Bartoletti. Music by Francesco Cilea. Teatro Comunale. 8:30 pm.

Thursday 25
ORCHESTRA DELLA TOSCANA, conducted by Marco Boni. Music by Mahler (version by Klaus Simon 2007). Teatro Verdi. 8:45 pm

Friday 26
MORGAN -NON SOLO PIANO Saschall. 9:00 pm

Sunday 28
SCHUMANN & CHOPIN MARATHON, music by R.Schumann, F.Chopin. Villa La Torraccia - Auditorium Sinopoli, Via delle Fontanelle, 24, S.Domenico (FIESOLE). From 10:30 am to 7:00 pm.


From Sun. 7, and proceeding through each of the next three Sundays (plus Fat Tuesday), seaside Viareggio is transformed into a mind-blowing party scene. This Tuscan festa (in its 137th year) simply MUST be experienced. Pile the gang in a car or onto the train and head out for one crazy Sunday afternoon. ENORMOUS floats parade along the boardwalk, peopled by hundreds of townsfolk each, dancing in front or animating the float itself. Leave your angst at home, wear clothes you don’t care too much about, because it is a given that you’ll end up sprayed with foam and sprinkled with confetti. Old, young, and everyone in between joins in the silliness. Viareggio. Starting times for parades: 3:00 pm. Ticket: 15 euro. Kids under 10 free, 11 to 13: 10 euro. Info: tel. 0584 962568, http://www.viareggio.ilcarnevale.com.
Other slightly less-famous celebrations are held all around Tuscany. Check out Pietra Santa on Sun. 7 and 14 (http://www.comune.pietrasanta.lu.it), or Borgo San Lorenzo on Sunday 7 and 14 (3:00 pm) where they do a nice, home-spun style town party aimed primarily at kids, with floats you can jump up onto and ride along. San Casciano Val di Pesa celebrates with a medieval parade at 3:00 on Sat. 20. The town of Paperino near Prato puts on a good show starting at 3:00 on Sun. 7 and 14 plus Tues. 16.

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

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

On the evenings of Sat. 13 and Sun. 14, from 7:30 pm celebrate the last weekend of Carnevale in Campi Bisenzio. It is the season for ficattole (puffs of fried bread dough), ribollita, lampredotto and trippa. Plus the best of winter sweets: frittelle and cenci (respectively rice fritters and fried strips of sweet dough). Fratellanza Popolare di San Donnino, Via delle Molina 56, San Donnino – Campi Bisenzio (FI).

Sun. 21 the village of Vernio, near Prato, will celebrate one of Tuscany’s most ancient fairs. This, the 432nd edition of their annual Pulendina, is a festival dedicated to a polenta mush made from chestnut flour in memory of the great famine of 1512, which struck due to the Spanish invasion. The wealthy Bardi family saved the town with generous supplies of chestnut polenta, herrings and salt cod. To commemorate and give thanks, at 9:30 am, over five hundred townspeople parade through the village in historical dress, and Vernio prepares more than 4000 portions of chestnut polenta to be passed out free during the fair (starting at 2:30 at the end of the parade.) "Festa della Polenta" For info: Tel. 0574 931011.

IL PAGLIAIO - Organic products market
Sun 28, the lovely main piazza of Greve-in-Chianti will fill with vendors of all things organic. From 10:00 am to 7:00 pm you can fill browse the booths selling vegetables, honey, cheese, fabrics, wine, baskets and more. Info: 055 8545271.

Sun. 28, the prettily restored Piazza Mino in Fiesole will host a craft market. Many of the artisans attending this monthly fair bring their wares as well as their craft, often working on the spot. Hours: 10:00 am to 7:30 pm. For info phone: 055 598720.

Over five centuries ago, Filippo Lippi ascended three stories of scaffolding in the dark recesses of Prato’s cathedral. Today, the three-tiered frescoes, which cover the walls and vaults of the main chapel with stories of St. John the Baptist and St. Stephen, are visible in renewed splendor after seven years of restoration. Small, guided tours of the fresco cycle now allow the public to come face to face with Lippi. Prato Cathedral. Open Mon. to Sat. 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission: 4 euro with audio guide. Small, guided tours available by calling 0574/24112. http://www.restaurofilippolippi.it

All our best,

The Staff of Pitcher and Flaccomio

Newsletter compiled by Kim Wicks

Pitcher & Flaccomio Newsletter Copyright 2010

Direttore responsabile Mario Spezi -  Pubblicazione con iscrizione n. 5697 del 23\01\09 presso il Tribunale di Firenze