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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 2015

February is all about partying before Lent. Carnevale is front and center in Viareggio and the rest of Tuscany. Best wishes for flowers, perfume and chocolate, too, of course, from SUZANNE, CORSO, BEI, LESLIE, VANNI, ANNA PIA, ANN and MARIO.



For the most over the top fun in February you must leave Florence and go to Viareggio for at least one day of the Viareggio Carnival. (February 1, 8, 15 and 22). The Viareggio Carnival started in 1873, when a number of local aristocrats decided to organize an extravagant parade on Shrove Tuesday (martedì grasso), before the 40-day austerity of Lent.

Viareggio, the Carnival capital, reached the milestone of 142 years of its manifestation, and it does it in style with five extraordinary Masked Courses on the Avenues at the sea. For a whole month, 1 to 28 February, the city transforms into the factory of fun, including parades of giant papier-night parties, fireworks, masked balls, theater, culinary events and big sporting events worldwide.

The 142nd Viareggio Carnival promises to be one of the most exciting yet. There will be five masked parades through the seaside town, each with its own set of papier-mâché floats and puppets, which will parade along the famous viali a mare, down the seaside promenades, offering a wide program of entertainment and fun for children and adults. Bands and other performance groups come from all over the world to participate. At least 800,000 visitors enjoy the Viareggio Carnival each year.

Try to catch the sunniest day you can - Carnival is a drag in the rain. This Tuscan festa simply must be experienced. Pile the gang in a car or onto the train or Lazzi bus and head out for one crazy Sunday afternoon. Enormous floats parade along the boardwalk, peopled by hundreds of locals, dancing in front or animating the float itself. Leave your angst at home, wear clothes you don't care too much about, because it's a given that you'll end up sprayed with foam and sprinkled with confetti. Old, young, and everyone in-between, join in the silliness.

The floats are the true crowd-pleasers. They take an entire year to construct. The biggest floats, over 20 meters high and weighing 40 tons, will carry about 200 people in costume who will dance and throw confetti and candies. Other people will be inside the floats to maneuver the weights, the counter-weights and levers that will make the puppets move. The paper maché puppets satirize public and political figures, depict social issues, as well as fairy-tale heroes.

Noteworthy, is the program of related events including a large number of shows and cultural activities such as musical comedies in vernacular, a series of carnival menus available in the restaurants, festivals in the various neighborhoods, as well as numerous masked balls held in the most fashionable discotheques and ballrooms.

Starting times for parades: 3:00 pm. Ticket: 15 euro. Kids under 10 free, 11 to 13 years: 13 euro. Info: tel. 0584 962568, http://www.viareggio.ilcarnevale.com.


This extraordinary apartment spacious for up to six guests is in one of Florence’s most prestigious buildings situated on the river Arno between Ponte Santa Trinita and Ponte alla Carraia. The neighbourhood is famous for its many boutiques, artisan workshops, antique stores and numerous first class restaurants and trattorie. The British Institute Library called The Sir Harold Acton Library, is also in the same building which offers foreigners many interesting lectures, and Italian/English language school.

Recently re-modelled apartment is on the first floor with an elevator and measures approx. 250 sq.mts. (2,500 sq. ft.) together with approx. 60 sq. mts. (600 sq. ft.) of terrace and consists of: Living/dining room (access to the terrace and fireplace), Kitchen (with table for 6/8 persons), Loft/study (over kitchen area), 3 bedrooms (1 double and 1 small double, 1 with twin beds), 2 bathrooms (1 en-suite with tub and hand shower, 1 with shower), Powder room (with toilet, basin ) and the famed Terrace (with terrace furniture).

The floors are parquet and the ceilings are “a cassettone” (wooden). The ceilings are approx 6.5 mts. high with windows facing the river Arno. The terrace has a dining table and 2 benches for approx 10 persons, and several couches for outdoor lounging. Toperi plants and jasmine vines complete the decorations on the terrace. The apartment has silk and satin soft furnishings combined with Imperial period furniture, mixed with modern accessories.

There is an elevator, gas heating, Internet connection, dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, television with satellite. Linen and kitchenware are supplied. There is no air conditioning but the thick walls of the building make it unnecessary.

It is a superb apartment in a wonderful location handy to everything Florence has to offer. The sheer height of the ceilings and the wooden decorations are impressive and the space is very luxurious for a city apartment.

For more information click this link.

BEST MARKET FOR FEBRUARY – Chocolate, Chocolate, and more Chocolate

From Friday, February 6 to Sunday, February 15, Piazza Santa Maria Novella will host the 11th edition of La Fiera del Cioccolato Artigianale, Florence's annual Chocolate Fair.

Mountains of chocolate truffles, cascading chocolate fountains, luscious chocolate liqueurs or giant slabs of chocolate spiked with fruits and nuts, are only a small part of the event. The products of artisan chocolatiers are a feast for the eyes, a gift for the nose and … well, you know … a treat for the taste buds. This year the fair includes a chocolate treasure hunt for kids throughout the center of Florence, as well as chocolate quizzes and workshops for the adults. A tasting session pairing chocolate and grappa is probably the most unique offering this year.

Come on the weekends dressed for Carnival fun. The fair is open from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm daily. Free entry. For further info: tel. 055 414497, http://www.fieradelcioccolato.it

BEST EXHIBIT FOR FEBRUARY -- Jewels, Jewels, And More Jewels At Palazzo Pitti

The Florentine exhibit is the culmination of a lifetime of work for Gianmaria Buccellati, who is 85 years old. For someone who has dealt with perhaps some of the richest clients in the world, who has created over 200,000 drawings for jewelry and luxury items, who has himself sculpted objects worth millions, he is a very humble gentleman.

The Fondazione Buccellati has organized an exhibit of creations in their collection as well as from private collections around the world. The 32 objects on display in the modern and contemporary rooms at the Silver Museum in Palazzo Pitti are to be considered examples, specimens, of the life work of two men, a work that preserves a long history of goldsmithing. The arte orafa, literally the art of goldsmithing (though today we’d call it jewelry) was first codified by the Florentine Benvenuto Cellini (1500-71). It’s been preserved in north-central Italy, handed down from master to apprentice.

Gianmaria Buccellati visited the Pitti Palace in 1968 and was taken by the rich pietre dure “coppe” or chalices commissioned by the Medici. He began the creation of a series of “precious objects” – his own name for them – that were inspired by the Medici’s. Starting with amazingly clear crystal or stone bases, he ornaments these cups with the most incredible gold and precious stones. One of these is part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Museum, but mostly they remain in his personal collection, for they are objects he made for his own personal pleasure.

Impressive are some incredibly light works by Gianmaria. A set of a necklace and bracelet made in 1992 host 946 and 448 diamonds respectively, while the earrings have 268 diamonds on them. The whole is supported on the lightest of white and yellow gold filigrane. The Treasures of the Fondazione Buccellati is a show worth seeing to become familiar with the true heights of jewelry making of Italy’s past, and for the dream-value it can provide.

I Tesori della Fondazione Buccellati. Da Mario a Gianmaria, 100 anni di storia dell’arte orafa

Palazzo Pitti, Museo degli Argenti

Until February 22, 2015

BEST BOOK FOR FEBRUARY – The Italians by John Hopper

A vivid and surprising portrait of the Italian people from an admired foreign correspondent. Sublime and maddening, fascinating yet baffling, Italy is a country of seemingly unsolvable riddles.

John Hooper’s entertaining and perceptive new book is the ideal companion for anyone seeking to understand contemporary Italy and the unique character of the Italians. Digging deep into their history, culture, and religion, Hooper offers keys to understanding everything from their bewildering politics to their love of life and beauty. Looking at the facts that lie behind the stereotypes, he sheds new light on many aspects of Italian life: football and Freemasonry, sex, symbolism, and the reason why Italian has twelve words for a coat hanger, yet none for a hangover.

Even readers who think they know Italy well will be surprised, challenged, and delighted by The Italians. The Italy correspondent of The Economist and southern Europe editor of The Guardian, John Hooper has also written or broadcast for the BBC, NBC, and Reuters. His book The Spaniards won the Allen Lane Award and was revised and updated as The New Spaniards in 1995 and 2006.

“A sophisticated portrait of the Italians at their best and their worst: charming, imaginative, generous, full of life but also unreliable, more or less corrupt and often downright infuriating. I found myself laughing out loud at some of the humorous twists Mr. Hooper has put to his very perceptive analyses. A worthy and long-overdue successor to Luigi Barzini’s classic The Italians."—Andrea Di Robilant, author of A Venetian Affair

“John Hooper takes his readers deep into the Italian labyrinth. And they come out alive, with a smile on their faces! A remarkable achievement.”—Beppe Severgnini, author of Ciao America and La Bella Figura

“In vivid and fluid prose, John Hooper has written an indispensible guide to life in Italy past and present. His incisive portrait, at turns hard-hitting and affectionate, reveals the Italians in all their complexity, from their dolce vita and transcendent art to their gut-wrenching social and political struggles.”—Joseph Luzzi, author of My Two Italies

BEST BOOK FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS FOR FEBRUARY – The Silver Spoon For Children: Favorite Italian Recipes

Want your child to cook like an Italian? The Silver Spoon for Children is the best way to start. What if your child could make their own Pizza Margherita? What about Tomato Bruschetta, Tuscan Minestrone Soup, Rigatoni with Meatballs, Chicken Stuffed with Marscapone, Foccaccia, or Fruits of the Forest Ice Cream? All of these recipes, and more, have been adapted just for children from Italys best-selling culinary bible.

The Silver Spoon. the original book, is a 50-plus-year-old, thousand-page international best-seller that has been called the Italian Joy of Cooking. In this beautifully produced children’s version, food writer Grant has greatly reduced the original into an attractive, informative delight. Refreshingly free from overly cutesy language and images (no cloying puns; no meals shaped into animals), this is a title aimed at kids with a serious interest in food, and in this age of Food Network popularity, when grade-schoolers have won James Beard awards, that’s a growing audience. The recipes, drawn straight from the original, have been broken out into clearly explained steps, each illustrated with Russell’s whimsical drawings on uncluttered pages that include color photos of the finished dishes, which are divided into basic categories, from lunches and snacks to desserts. The focus is on Italian food, of course, but the helpful tips on basic safety and techniques, such as chopping an onion, make this a universal introduction to the kitchen that may also attract grown-ups seeking a less muscle-straining edition of the adult tome.

Broken into Lunches and Snacks, Pasta and Pizza, Main Courses and Desserts and Baking, The Silver Spoon for Children presents over 40 quick, wholesome and authentic Italian recipes that children aged 8 and above will love to cook and eat. The recipes have been thoroughly tested by an expert in children’s nutrition. The book also offers tips on cooking safely, which kitchen equipment to use, and how to make things as tasty as possible. Every step is described in detail accompanied by charming hand-drawn illustrations and full-color photographs of the finished dish that make the recipes fun and easy-to-follow.


La Bottega del Buon Caffè combines traditional Florentine style with a relaxed sense of designer elegance and cool city chic. The restaurant was created by Interior designer, Jeanette Thottrup, who has seamlessly combined the very finest elements of both classic and contemporary styles. When you step inside from the bustling city streets you are instantly met with feeling of tranquillity and a sense of refined harmony. A refreshing oasis in which to enjoy exceptional food and fine wine our award winning gourmet restaurant is just a short journey from the very centre of Florence.

The philosophy is simple – to serve the very finest locally grown food, exquisitely prepared and beautifully presented within a relaxing and inspiring environment. Authenticity and honesty are at the heart of each dish created at La Bottega del Buon Caffè.

The award-winning restaurant offers an innovative and inspiring ‘Farm to Plate’ experience where guests can enjoy the very freshest ingredients harvested from restaurant’s kitchen gardens. Respecting the Florentine location the seasonal menus are designed to reflect the region's unique gastronomic heritage and vibrant culinary culture. Artisan butchers supply the kitchen with exceptional cuts of locally-reared meats whilst the very freshest fish are delivered daily from the Mediterranean.

This season the unique menus reflect the beauty of the Tuscan country harvest and include homemade Cappelletti pasta with pigeon, butter and thyme and the very popular Amberjack fish served in three ways (tartar, belly, fillet) with baby onions, asparagus and caramelised onions.

To reflect the philosophy of five star dining at its very best, La Bottega del Buon Caffè produces a large percentage of its fresh ingredients at its farm in the country. The kitchen gardens provide enough fruit and vegetables to supply the restaurant kitchens with fresh inspiration daily and still have enough left over to make Borgo ‘marmellate’ jams, jellies, preserves and sauces. The herb garden also provides numerous flavours and perfumes for use in the kitchen. Furthermore, Buon Caffè produces its very own delicious Tuscan honey. The gardens are unique and the seasonal menus are created around available produce and what is fresh, flavoursome and bountiful.


“We would prefer not to have a website: we want to remain a place to be discovered." said Sileno Cheloni, Master Perfumer at AquaFLOR Firenze about the purpose of opening a space for all who want to encounter the quality and uniqueness of AquaFLOR and his perfume creations. However, the necessity to ensure their clients the possibility to relive the experience by returning to purchase a fragrance, either for the home or a custom tailored perfume created for them by blending essences that unveil the soul, necessitated some social media

AquaFLOR Firenze is a perfume shop with old world charm dedicated to the craftsmanship of perfumes, all of which are carefully made with the use of natural and raw materials and are rare and personalized through the choice of the fragrance or "smell" to which each of us is intimately linked, as well as organic soaps, creams for face care and body care, herbal baths and bath salts.

The Boutique is located in Florence, just a few steps away from the Basilica of Santa Croce, in the Serristori Corsini Antinori Palace, located at Via Borgo Santa Croce, 6. In occasion of San Valentine's day AquaFLOR has prepared for you a rare limited edition packaging made of Gold 24K and handmade silkscreened.

The shop consists of three spacious rooms which are connected through a harmonious and inspiring olfactory experience. In the heart of the boutique is the Parlor of Essences, an environment unique in its kind where the perfumer's laboratory with its “sensorial organ of essences” encounters the olfactory library creating a treasure chest of rare sensations where antique, wooden shelves hold more than 1500 single scents.

In the pure magnificence of the AquaFLOR laboratory, the olfactory journey begins as an emotional and sensorial experience referred to as the “Perfumer’s Ritual”. Fitted with white, cotton gloves, the perfumer meticulously lays out some of the rarest raw materials in the world: Incense from Oman, the Taif Rose, Sandalwood from Mysore, Florentine Iris extract … sublime scents that seduce the memory to recall distant lands and a range of emotions.

The aim of the website Is to invite new interest to this charming and seductive experience by accompanying new clients on an authentic sensory journey. FlorenceParfum.com is the only online store that sells the AquaFLOR brand and can market it’s full line of products.

Via Borgo Santa Croce, 6

50122 Firenze, Italia

PHONE: (+39) 055 2343471, MOBILE_1: (+39) 346 7243083, TELEFONO_2: (+39) 349 3987508

E-MAIL : info@florenceparfum.it


PITTI PALACE – The Color of Shade Until March 8, 2015

The 100 or so portraits, landscapes, cityscapes, dream images and more on display at the Modern Art Gallery for the current exhibition, ‘Il colore dell’ombra,’ disproving the concept that black-and-white images lack ‘colour’ , instead revealing many nuances of light and dark. See www.polomuseale.firenze.it for more information.

Modern Art Gallery, Pitti Palace


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

Feb. 2-4: Still Alice

Feb 5-8: Unbroken

Feb. 9-10: Gemma Bovary

Feb. 11: Mr. Turner

Feb 12-18: Birdman

Feb. 26-27: The Immitation Game

Feb. 28: The Theory of Everything

ORIGINAL LANGUAGE FILMS – Talking Movies at the British Institute

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

Speechless—A season of 'silent' films, some with live piano music

In Sight & Sound's 2012 survey of the Greatest Films of All Time, no less than three ‘silent' movies feature in the Top Ten. And in the survey of The Greatest Documentaries of All Time, there are two. The sight and sound of early cinema therefore, while superseded by movies of increasing technological visual and aural complexity, still has something to say to modern audiences. It is important to note that ‘silent' cinema is a clamorous misnomer: cinema was never silent: many movies of the teens and twenties of the last century had scores especially written for them, and even if they didn't they were always accompanied by a variety of musical performances, from a solo piano or organ to a full symphony orchestra. It is also a myth that these movies routinely feature speeded-up action. This is simply a repeated mistake of incorrect projection speed, incompatibilities due to improving technology. It is therefore appropriate that The 62nd Talking Pictures season should be called Speechless, as the only thing that distinguishes these films from later cinema is the absence of spoken dialogue. Intertitles, music, gestures and the grammar and syntax of the cinematography itself all contribute to a full cinema experience in a selection of films beginning with two early Italian productions, Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei (1913, Mario Caserini) and Giovanni Pastrone's influential masterpiece Cabiria (1915). One American film from pre-Hollywood days is the delightful Broken Blossoms (D W Griffith, 1919) which features one of the icons of early cinema, the inimitable Lilian Gish.

(Non-English language films are subtitled.)

Wednesday, February 04, 2015. 20.00

Film: DAS CABINET DES DR CALIGARI by Robert Wiene, 1920

Wednesday, February 11, 2015. 20.00

Film: NOSFERATU by F W Murnau, 1922

Wednesday, February 18, 2015. 20.00

Film: THE THIEF OF BAGDAD by Raoul Walsh, 1924

Wednesday, February 25, 2015. 20.00

Film: THE GENERAL by Buster Keaton, 1926


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

Wednesday, February 04, 2015, 18.00

Lecture in Italian: Flavio Tuliozi

Lecture in italian: Carlo Emilio Gadda e il cinema

The great Italian writer was born just two years before the cinema came into existence in 1895: Gadda's relations with the new art form (he was a frequent but reluctant cinemagoer, a mordant film critic and a brilliant screenwriter) are explored by Flavio Tuliozi, a local cineaste and expert on Gadda.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015, 18.00

Lecture: Julia Waldman and Peter Dulborough

Revolution and reaction - the growth of ‘alternative' British music and society: 1975-2000

Following on their successful workshop of last October, Julia Waldman and Peter Dulborough continue their exploration of British pop music, concentrating on the final quarter of the 20th century.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015, 18.00

Lecture: Angela Oberer

The Venetian rococo painter (1673-1757) is the subject of an absorbing new book by Angela Oberer, published by Polistampa, which concentrates not so much on Rosalba's art as on her fascinating and hitherto unexplored personal identity.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 18.00

Lecture: Donatella Righini

Lecture-concert with music supplied by the Istituto Clemente Terni and a presentation of Donatella Righi's new book Genesi e prassi esecutiva del Dido and Aeneas di Henry Purcell (published by LoGisma Editore, 2015).


Ice Skating at Parterre provides visitors with a season-long activity in a unique setting in front of the iconic arch of Piazza della Libertà. The large rink, which has a 200-person capacity, is open through February and has been a holiday custom since 1996. Skate rental at Ice Skating at Parterre is €6. The rink stays open until 1:00am on Saturdays and Sundays.




Julia Galliez works with "painted sculptures" that float in between toys, machines, and sculpture. They can be turned with a mechanism so that the viewer participates by giving them form and rhythm, giving them control over the composition.Through the use of light and shadow, forms are bound to appear. semBra is an exhibition which seeks the spaces “in between”, spaces that gives life to forms, leaving the viewer free to interact with the delicacy of light and the strength of a form.

After spending five months in her native country, Brazilian artist Julia Galliez creates this new body of work where Brazil becomes questo instante fecundo in una terra seca piena d’acqua.

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Julia Galliez (1982) uses art as a vital way to communicate and interact with the world. In 2002, she studied at Parsons Paris. Galliez, then moved to Italy to study Art History at Studio Art Centers International (2003-2004) in Florence. After two years of intense studio practice, she had her first solo show entitled, ”Nostalgia, Everything That Is Alive, Dies” (“Saudade Tudo que é Vivo Morre”). The exhibition was curated as a single installation and set an important phase to Julia’s artistic process as her work began a direct dialogue with its fragile materiality and transitory nature, exploring the degrading characteristic of gravity and assumes its ephemeral quality and condition. At this same time, influenced by her collaborations with the Butoh dance company, “Chimera Dance Company”, Julia also incorporates performance elements to her artwork.

Julia moved to London, and in 2010 she finished her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts at Central Saint Martins College of Art. In 2012, she was selected to participate in the ALAS Residency, a summer residency in London for artistic professional development that is followed by a two-week exhibition. She currently lives and works in Tuscany, Italy.


SACI Gallery, Palazzo dei Cartelloni

Via Sant'Antonino, 11

T 055 289 948

Open Monday - Friday, 9am - 7pm; Saturday & Sunday 1pm-7pm

Admission is free



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

Teatro della Pergola, Via della Pergola, info: 055/609012 – 055 607440 - 055 2264333, and www.amicimusica.fi.it


The 78th season of Florence's historic opera company has been one of the best yet. The New Florence Opera House, opened MORE THAN a year ago, only makes the experience better.

5 & 10 FEB


Opera di Firenze


14 & 15 FEB


Opera di Firenze


17 FEB


Opera di Firenze


24, 25, & 26 FEB

OPERA for children


Teatro Goldoni

10:00am (25th & 26th) 20:30

Ticket Office Teatro Comunale

Corso Italia 16 - Firenze - fax: +39 055 287222

Tues. - Fri. 10:00-16:30 & Sat. 10:00-13:00

Tickets on line




The largest European dance event comes to Florence! With a packed program including all styles from classical to contemporary, jazz to tango, hip hop to country and ethnic to burlesque, there is something for everyone. For a full program and tickets, visit www.danzainfiera.it .

February 26–March 1

Fortezza da Basso


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

PITTI PALACE – The Color of Shade Until March 8, 2015

The 100 or so portraits, landscapes, cityscapes, dream images and more on display at the Modern Art Gallery for the current exhibition, 'Il colore dell'ombra,' disproving the concept that black-and-white images lack 'colour' , instead revealing many nuances of light and dark. See www.polomuseale.firenze.it for more information.
Modern Art Gallery, Pitti Palace


It is easy to get into a rut with your favorite markets in a town full of markets so revisit a few this winter. Florence is full of bustling and colorful markets that provide a great place to find bargains, enjoy the exciting atmosphere, or to spend the day browsing at the unique and extraordinary antiques, artisan crafts, and delicious typical food that Florence has to offer. Florence's markets are an integral part of local life and can be found throughout the many districts of the city. Here is a list of some of the most frequented markets in town:

San Lorenzo Market
The San Lorenzo market has it all, but is best known for its selection of leather accessories such as hand-bound journals, wallets, belts, and larger leather items such as hand crafted jackets and fur.
The San Lorenzo Market also has a great selection of souvenir clothing, stationary, ceramics, shoes, vintage clothing, and scarves. If you are looking for a deal it is most likely that you will find it here!
When: 9:00am - 8:00pm The hours may vary slightly depending on the weather and season.
What to buy: Leather goods, jackets, scarves, stationary
Where: Piazza San Lorenzo

Mercato Centrale
Florence's central market, Mercato Centrale, was once the main shopping center in Florence and today it is still the place to find the freshest products and produce. There are stands selling everything from all kinds of fowl, meats (including wild boar), fish and Tuscan products including wine, biscotti, cheese, and salami. Mercato Centrale also has a handful of restaurants located inside that offer fantastic fresh meals at very inexpensive prices. Now, on the upper floor is a cornucopia of shops making ready-to-eat specialties and is open from 10am to midnight.
When: 7:00am to 2:00pm
Closed Sundays and public holidays
What to buy: Food (both raw ingredients and prepared dishes to take away or eat at the market)
Where: Piazza del Mercato Centrale, San Lorenzo neighborhood (Also check out the smaller, but similar, Sant Ambrogio Market across town.)

Mercato Nuovo and the Porcellino
Mercato Nuovo has been around since the 11th century – it was known as the straw market. It is a small market located just under the loggia and sells leather goods, t-shirts, scarves, and souvenirs. As prices go, the Mercato of San Lorenzo is a bit cheaper, but the market is still worth a look.
Just outside the stalls to the south is a statue of a boar that is known as il Porcellino. Legend is that if you rub his snout and put a coin in his mouth, you'll return to Florence.
When: Open everyday 8:00 am to 7:00 pm
Where: Loggia del Mercato Nuovo

Santo Spirito Antique Market
If you are looking for antiques and house wares this is a great place to look!
When: The second Sunday of every month Spirito flea market.
What to buy: Antiques
Where: Piazza Santo Spirito

Fierucola Farmer's Market in Santo Spirito
The Fierucola is not just your typical farmers market, it features artisan crafts, as well as organic produce, oils, jams, wines, and baked goods. The Fierucola market is a feast for all of the senses and is definitely worth visiting!
When: On the third Sunday of the month
What to buy: Organic products sold by local merchants
Where: Piazza Santo Spirito

Piazza dei Ciompi Flea Market
If you're lucky enough to go there on the last Sunday of every month, the stalls extend into the surrounding streets. Here you can find furniture and vintage objects from the past like prints, coins and jewelry. It's worth a trip if only to get insights on Italy's past through the artifacts displayed in these cluttered stalls.
When: Monday through Saturday 9:00 am to 7:30 pm and on the last Sunday of the month.
Where: Piazza Ciompi in the Sant'Ambrogio neighborhood

Le Cascine Flea Market
Le Cascine market is situated in the very beautiful Cascine Park, and is worth a visit just to admire the beautiful views. After a day of walking through the cobblestone streets and awing at the amazing architecture it is hard to believe that a green park such as the Cascine exists so close to the city center. The Cascine Market is the biggest and cheapest market in town! If you're searching for fruits, vegetables, clothing, house ware stands, antiquities, shoes, vintage, or anything lese you can think of, this is the place to come!
When: Tuesdays from 7:00am to 2:00pm
Where: Viale Lincoln in the Cascine Park
How to get there:
The easiest way to access the Cascine from the city center is by taking the Tramvia (from the Santa Maria Novella Station). It is the second stop and takes all of 5 minutes, the stop is "Cascine" so there is no confusion. If you would like to walk to the Cascine from the city center just follow the Arno river down past Ponte della Vittoria bridge and you have arrived (takes about 25 minutes).




The Carnival of Viareggio has its mask: Burlamacco

Burlamacco was created by painter and graphic from Viareggio Uberto Bonetti in 1930. Since 1931 the mask has been the protagonist on the official poster as symbol of the event. Bonetti was inspired by the masks of the “Commedia dell’Arte”, but he designed Burlamacco in a futuristic way: he wanted to summarize in the mask two highlights times of Viareggio’s life: the summer (with the colors white and red which were the typical colors of umbrellas on the beaches during theThirties) and the Carnival.

The triple cannon is the unmistakable signal that the party starts in Viareggio, giving way to the parade. Like magic, the giant gargoyles come to life between movements, music and dancing. At every parade of floats 200 thousand spectators assist spellbounded by the gigantism of extraordinary buildings. Five Great Courses Masked, concentrated in a single month of great celebrations. The day of Shrove Tuesday (February 17) a special party is organized at the Citadel of the Carnival.

Sunday 1st February: 1st MASKED PARADE

Sunday 8th February: 2nd MASKED PARADE

Sunday 15th February: 3rd MASKED PARADE

Sunday 22nd February: 4th MASKED PARADE

Saturday 28nd February: 5th MASKED PARADE

At the end of the parade reading of verdicts of juries. Great Ending Fireworks.

On the avenues of Viareggio you can admire 10 wagons of the first category, 4 of the second, nine masked group, 10 isolated masks. Each first class wagon hosts on board up to 250 dancing men with a mask, in an immersive atmosphere that can captivate the whole family: children and adults.

Daily ticket: € 18,00

Groups ticket (min 25 people): € 15,00; every 25 people one free entrance.

Children age 7 – 12: € 13,00

Children age 0 – 7: Free entrance

Numbered seats: € 10,00 – (in addition to entrance ticket), Children till 7 years old – free entrance


February 8, 15, 22

The municipality of Sesto Fiorentino offers perhaps the closest carnival celebration to Florence. The theme of Pinnochio will be celebrated in masked parades on both February 3 and February 10, between 2:30 and 5:30pm, culminating in Piazza Vittorio Veneto. The parades will be accompanied by music from the local municipal band and a number of stands will line the streets, offering traditional carnival sweets, including cenci (fried and sugared dough), schiacciata alla fiorentina (citrus sponge cake) and fritelle di riso (flavored rice cakes).

For more information, please visit www.sestoidee.it .


February 8,15, 22

The small agricultural town of Foiano della Chiana boasts one of the most varied carnivals, tracing its origins back to 1539. The four districts of the town compete for the best float prize. Spectators of the parades traditionally throw fruit and vegetables at the people on the floats. The protagonist of this Carnival is King Giocondo, whose effigy is burnt every year in the main square. This year, the 474th burning of King Giocondo will take place on March 3 at 6:30pm.

For more information, visit www.carnevaledifoiano.it .


February 15 and 17

To get off the proverbial ‘beaten path’ and witness some serious local pride, head to Bibbiena, the largest town in the valley of Casentino, for the Carnival of Mea. In the 13th and 14th centuries, Bibbiena became central to a regional Guelph–Ghibelline power struggle. To express disdain for their Florentine enemies, Bibbiena residents organized fabulous feasts, festivals and dances. Contemporary locals continue to honor this part of their history with parades on Shrove Tuesday. Adding to the local flair, the eldest resident of Bibbiena’s Fondaccini district traditionally lights a fire to kick off the evening festivities, which include singing, dancing and banquets. (no official website; events held on February 15 and 17)


February 15, 22

Hosted in the municipality of Vinci, birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci, the Carnevale sulle Due Rive will celebrate its 23rd edition. The parade on February 5 is particularly for children, who will celebrate this year’s theme “Super Heros” and enjoy the many floats and attractions. A nocturnal parade for the adults will take to the streets at 10:30pm on Shrove Tuesday (February 17), and will be followed by a fireworks display.

For details, visit www.carnevalesulleduerive.it .


February 15, 22

In Piazza Dante of Borgo San Lorenzo, the Mugellano Carnival traces its origins back to Medicean Tuscany and the sixteenth century. Amongst the masks and floats, confetti and streamers, entertainment for all will be offered from 3pm on both Sundays. Satirical floats, traditional music and market stands add to the Carnival atmosphere.

For more information, click www.comune.borgo-san-lorenzo.fi.it .


February 10 & 12

Got a flair for the dramatic? You’ll feel right at home at Piombino’s carnival celebrations (February 10 and 12). In addition to offering the standard seasonal parades and parties, Piombino has a festival mascot: a giant papier-mâché mask called ‘Cicciolo,’ which is ceremoniously burned at the end of the carnival in front of thousands of onlookers. Before the mask-burning extravaganza, head to one of the many food and wine stands to sample local specialties from the Costa degli Etruschi and Val di Cornia wine trails. For more information, see carnevale.prolocopiombino.it.


One of Italy's marvelous anomalies is that its banks have, for centuries, supported and advanced the diffusion of works of art - and more recently, banks have become promoters of their own important collections. Back when every Italian city had its own bank, every city had its own bank art collection as well. Then came mergers, and collections merged with their banks. It happened, for example, in the case of the Cassa di Risparmio di Prato, which was acquired by the Banca Popolare di Vicenza, now owned by Gianni Zonin. This merger resulted in the creation of a unique museum, composed half of master works from the Veneto and half of Tuscan art.

The opportunity to immerse yourself in this “meeting with masterpieces” that puts Filippo Lippi side by side with artists from Giovanni Belllini and Carlo Dolce to Pietro Muttoni, Bartolomeo Bimbi and Tiepolo, has arrived - in a show displayed in the new exhibition space at the Palazzo Pretorio of Prato, recently restored as the home of the Pinacotaca Civica.

The show illustrates the typical “weakness” of Italian bank collections: that of not being organic collections, but rather the result of acquisitions characterized by random circumstances: therefore it's not easy to find a unifying thread in these groupings.

In this case, however, there's a clear design behind the show. The 86 works have been divided based on sacred and profane. The sacred collection is divided into groups, including divine figures and the virtues (Madonna and Child and allegories of Truth and Charity); the evangelical life (led by the birth of Jesus); and the Holy Bible (with David and Rebecca as protagonists). Then we move to secular themes, with the Gods of Mount Olympus, and heroes of ancient and modern history. It closes with the classical sequences of landscapes, still-life and portraits. These last are strictly divided between Venetian and Tuscan, almost to emphasize the importance of this meeting.

Opening times

10.30-13.30 16.00-20.00 on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday;

10.00-20.00 on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays

Closed on Tuesday

Last admission: an hour before closing.

For information and bookings:

Telephone: 0574 1934996 (09.00-18.00 from Monday to Thursday; 09.00-14.00 on Saturday)

0574 1837860 (weekends)



Italian Life Rules written by Ann Reavis has been published! Find a copy at The Paperback Exchange at Via delle Oche, 4r, or at Amazon.com or Amazon.it.

Italians have spent a thousand years perfecting a certain way of living. In a country with a reputation of not obeying rules, there are some hard and fast Italian Life Rules, which are known and followed.

You should never greet some people in Italy with a cheery “Ciao!” Why?

Italian women can stride across cobblestones wearing stilettos with five-inch heels. How?

Studies show that Italians tip less than other Europeans. Why?

Tourists can’t go to just any Italian beach and spread a picnic lunch out on the sand during some months. When?

It seems like every shopkeeper in Italy demands exact change. Why?

When in Italy, enjoy being Italian for a few days, weeks or months, by learning the Italian Life Rules for a greater appreciation of what it means to be Italian.

Also, look for Italian Food Rules written by Ann Reavis. It will help you understand why your Italian waiter is looking down his elegant nose as you ask for blue cheese dressing for your salad.


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 .


Start of the month with Carnival and then catch a few of the winter museum offerings. By the end of February we will see signs that spring is on its way.

All the best,

Pitcher and Flaccomio