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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 January 2009
WELCOME

January greetings from Florence. The year 2009 brings worldwide change and we at Pitcher & Flaccomio are welcoming a series of “novità” with open arms and great hope. Our new office on Lungarno della Zeccha Vecchia is up, running and already starting to feel like home. We are making changes in our monthly newsletter as well. In December, we were honored to receive warning from the Ordine dei Giornalisti di Toscana that our newsletter results as a “pubblicazione periodica continuative di notizie di informazione” hence requiring registration with the Tribunale of Florence. We are, of course, more than happy to comply. So while awaiting completion of the registration process (in attesa di registrazione presso il Tribunale di Firenze) which we have already undertaken, here is a "lite” version of our newsletter for January. We look forward to being in full swing come February.

In the meantime we are happy to introduce our new Newsletter Director, Mario Spezi. Mario is a renowned Italian journalist, investigating and writing for La Nazione though some of Tuscany’s most horrendous crimes. He is the author of both fiction and non-fiction, including his latest success The Monster of Florence (co-written with Douglas Preston), which recently spent 8 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. He currently writes for Il Corriere Fiorentino, the Tuscan edition of the Corriere della Sera. We look forward to having Mario’s contributions, including his wonderful caricatures. More about Mario can be found at: http://www.mariospezi.it

Many thanks to those who follow our work, offering continued positive and useful feedback.

Warmest best wishes for a 2009 filled with unusual, unexpected and ultimately positive surprises from SUZANNE, CORSO, SANDRA, LORI, ANNA PIA and KIMBERLY.

PITCHER & FLACCOMIO REPORT

CHIANTI REAL ESTATE HIGHLIGHTED BY FORBES MAGAZINE
A recent issue of Forbes Magazine, in an article entitled “Europe's Most Idyllic Places To Live” by Edward Beckett and Parmy Olson, tempts Americans to consider a move to Europe. Our very own Gaiole-in-Chianti, located about 40 kilometers south of Florence tops the list. Forbes notes: “The greenback is regaining value. For Americans considering a move to Europe, locales such as these are becoming more affordable. Despite the global recession and slumping job market, the timing--and prices--might be just right. With the exchange advantage currently leaning toward the U.S. dollar, the question isn't if Americans--particularly retirees--should consider moving, but where.”
Forbes interviewed a panel of five travel and relocation experts to find that out of the top ten spots, including Copenhagen, Budapest, and the smaller Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in France, Burford in England and Deia in Majorca, Italy is the only country that figures twice on the list. Gaiole-in-Chianti was the experts' number one choice; and the country's capital, Rome, came in at No. 9.
"For me, Chianti is all about mountains, vineyards, wineries, country inns and walking," says Gay Gillen of travel consultancy Brownell, based in Birmingham, Ala. "There are equestrian centers and opportunities to hike and play tennis, and the food is amazing."

MORE THAN WILD BOARS ROAM THE TUSCAN MAREMMA
To see why the New York Times includes our Tuscan Maremma area in their just released list of The 44 Places to Go in 2009, visit http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/01/11/travel/20090111_DESTINATIONS.html. One hint: George Clooney.MESSAGE FROM DEMOCRATS ABROAD
Tuesday, January 20, Democrats Abroad Florence & Villa La Pietra/NYU host an Inaugural Celebration. President–Elect Barack Hussein Obana will take the Oath of Office at noon EST and the will deliver his Inaugural Address. Our own celebration will begin after this, with invited speakers, gospel music and more. All are welcome to attend. Write to events.florence@democratsabroad.it to be included on the guest list. RSVP strictly required.
- 1:00-5:00 Community Service: Blood Drive (bloodmobile in parking lot of Villa Sassetti)
- 4:00-5:30 Historic Inaugural Event opens at 14th century Villa Sassetti (120 Via Bolognese; parking available or take bus #25 from Stazione SMN/Piazza Liberta): meet & mingle; watch live from Washington DC, introductory remarks & music
- 5:30-7:00 Watch Swearing-In ceremony; toast the new President & Vice President; ecumenical convocation; poetry reading, gospel music, occasion-appropriate poetry reading. Of course there will be music & refreshments - a regular celebratory atmosphere.
- 7:00-9:00 Lobby Congress: attending Americans will write their Representatives & Senators, asking them to join the non-partisan/bicameral Americans Abroad caucus & lay out the major issues of particular concern to Americans Abroad. Pre-printed letters can be personalized. The Representative & Senators (and their addresses) for each citizen will be available.
- 9:00 Finish Best,
Jo-Ann
Jo-Ann White, Florence chapter chair. National Vice Chair. Democrats Abroad Italy. 335-604-8493.

P.S. ALSO PROVIDED BY JO-ANN:
Florence's mayoral election is in the Spring, with a primary before that (date TBC). Residents of Florence - even non-Italian citizens - can vote; logistical information (date, time, location, etc) will be provided as we get a little closer. A cocktail party is being held on January 27, 7:30-9:00pm, at the fabulous new Four Seasons Hotel (99 Borgo Pinti) to introduce candidate Matteo Renzi to the English-speaking residents of Florence. Capacity is 150 people maximum, so RSVP to Alessandro by phone at 335-611-4595 or email: events@grascom.it to reserve your spot.

SALDI/SALES
Only during two periods of the year are Italian stores allowed to mark down prices. In fact, Italy has two legally determined sale seasons (from January 7 to March 7, and July/August), when stores have their only possibility of sale pricing merchandise to make room for the new collections. Most kinds of stores have lots of items on sale, and clothing stores in particular drop prices by 30 to 50% on almost everything. Go wild!

FOOTBAAAALLL!! by Simon Clark and Anne Brooks
Forza Viola!.....Babbo Natale has been good to us this Christmas, bringing a return to consistent form, a boost in confidence, more goals for Mutu and Gilardino and a place in the late stages of the UEFA Cup. The squad is entitled to enjoy the winter break – though some will be wondering how active Corvino and Prandelli mean to be in the January transfer window. However, we want them back fighting fit. The turn of the year is the time when calcio sorts the men from the boys, the sheep from the goats and the cod from the haddock. Fiorentina are doing well, sitting in fourth position in the league and in touch with the pack chasing Inter plus entry to the UEFA Cup will bring more European football in 2009.
Serie A. With week 15’s trip to struggling Torino, we seemed to remember the earlier demolition job on Udinese and gunned them down 4-1 (and it took a penalty to get past Frey). We were irresistible. The bullets were fired by Mutu – who dilly-dallied for all of 150 seconds of the game before he opened the scoring – followed by Kuzmanovic and a doppietta from Gilardino, who must be wondering if life gets any better than leading the Fiorentina line.
Then at home to Catania; more of a test as they lay mid-table and harbor their own dreams of European qualification. The southerners worked hard early on but elbow grease counts for nothing once the two-pronged Viola goal-machine got busy in the second half. First Mutu, then Gilardino: 2-0 and it could easily have been four or more as we spurned several gilt-edged chances. Week 17 and the final league game of 2008 meant a tricky-looking journey to Sampdoria. In the event, it wasn’t as hard as it might have been as the Viola carried off the points courtesy of Montolivo’s 19th minute strike; it was open and entertaining but we always had the edge – they needed their woodwork more than we did!
Champions League/UEFA Cup. Off to Romania for our last group match against Steau Bucharest needing a point to qualify for the UEFA Cup; a defeat would have handed this consolation prize to Steau. It was a bit like the home game – which we should have won – except that, this time, we remembered to have Gilardino kick the ball into their net. No reply and we go through 1-0, our first win in the competition’s modern format, and take the UEFA spot. When one’s team is in the Champions League, one looks down on the UEFA Cup; when UEFA is all one has, it becomes the pinnacle of achievement. So just bear in mind that we reached the semi-finals last year, edged out on penalties by the wooden Glasgow Rangers. European football returns to the Stadio in February as we play the first leg against Dutch legends, Ajax!
Coppa Italia. (Or “TimCup” as the sponsors like it to be known.) Not a top priority! Fiorentina are just too busy to be bothered by a little thing like the Italian Cup; we’re riding high in the league, alive and kicking in Europe…….So a mere ten days after blitzing Torino up north, we rolled over at the Stadio and allowed them the only goal of the game. On with the serious business!
A satisfactory end to the year as we collect a full nine points from our three league games in December on a 7-1 goals aggregate. January is going to be an absolute belter! We start 2009 with a gentle warm-up against Lecce, fighting relegation already. Then comes the crunch as we play the teams currently sitting in third (Milan, away), second (Juve, away) and fifth (Napoli – two points behind us, at home). With the Juventus game, we are into the second half of the season; in the very first game, we held the mighty Juve 1-1 (and don’t forget that last year we beat them at Turin’s Stadio Olimpico 3-2 for the first time in twenty years) and, shortly afterwards, lost narrowly 2-1 away to Napoli. We’re hesitant about predictions but we’d like to see a minimum of eight points out of the twelve available. In the meantime, a Happy New Year from the Stadio…..Forza La Viola!
Ticket information is available from the “biglietteria” section of the club’s website [http://www.acffiorentina.it]. There is a plan of the stadium seating areas, prices and a list of ticket outlets in Florence, including:
CHIOSCO DEGLI SPORTIVI, via degli Anselmi (between the Pzza Repubblica post office and the Odeon cinema). Tel 055 292363).
BAR MARISA, via Carnesecchi 1. Tel 055 572723.
BAR STADIO, viale Manfredo Fanti 3r. Tel 055 576169.
ASS. SPOTIVA COLLETTIVO AUTONOMO VIOLA 1978, via Lungo l’Affrico 10r. Tel 055 672580.
BAR H9, via dell‘Ariento (south side of the central market).
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
THE FIORENTINA SCHEDULE:
Week 18: (Florence)11 January: Fiorentina-Lecce
Week 19: 18 January: Milan-Catania
Week 20: 25 January: Juventus-Fiorentina
Week 21 (Florence): 28 January: Fiorentina-Napoli

READERS REVIEW RESTAURANTS
We invite your comments for our “Readers Review Restaurants” section. Use this forum to spread the word about restaurants that merit recognition for their great food and good service. The contents will reflect our reader’s points of view (though we reserve the right to agree or disagree). Send your input to newsletter@pitcherflaccomio.com.

Dear Pitcher & Flaccomio,
My review regards not a restaurant, but one of Florence’s quintessentially traditional cafes – Bar Rivoire in Piazza della Signoria. As a regular there, I want to encourage those interested in artisan crafts to step up to the bar at Rivoire and order a cocktail from Barman Luca Picchi. Graze on the various nibbles if it is cocktail hour, and observe as your drink is created. Luca recently offered to make me one of his new ones. After a brief discussion (along the lines of “Would a fairly strong mix agree with you? Yes indeed it would.”), he proceeded to create a masterpiece before my eyes, using that combination of precision and nonchalance available only to a professional with decades of experience in their art (whatever it may be). With a martini glass chilling all the while, Luca poured a touch of vermouth into an ice-filled shaker and twice tipped it out, he added a mysterious red ingredient, a touch of amber liquid, plus so many more steps I can’t remember them (not of course fault of the “strong”…). The result was a crystalline, barely rose-colored, brilliant-as-a-diamond, faintly citrusy vodka martini with a hint of Tabasco-like heat. I don’t think it has an official name yet, but if you would like one, try asking for a Pink Diamond, I think Luca will understand. The experience will be the epitome of the Art of a Genteelly Prepared Cocktail. No loud music, no bottle flinging, just the pizzazz of a true class act.
Thanks for your insightful newsletter, and for the chance to share an experience.
Patricia L.

RECIPE OF THE MONTH – Americano and Negroni Cocktails
Inspired by the Rivoire review above, my mind turns to cocktails and specifically to two of my Italian favorites, the Negroni and the Americano, which share a pair of basic ingredients: sweet vermouth and Campari. This pleasant combination is kicked up a notch with the addition of gin in a Negroni.
Cocktail history tells us the Americano came first (invented in the 1920’s, but re-named in honor of the post-war American visitors to Florence who enjoyed it immensely), so we present it first. Pour equal parts of sweet vermouth (try Cinzano or Martini & Rossi ), Campari and soda water over lots of ice into a glass. Garnish with a slice of orange.
The Negroni is said to have been created when a certain Count Camillo Negroni asked his favorite bartender to add some oomph to his Americano. The soda water was replaced with gin, and the Count Negroni-style Americano was born. In fact a perfect Negroni is made with 1 oz sweet vermouth, 1 ounce Campari and 1 ounce gin, poured over ice, stirred, and served with an orange slice or twist for garnish. Both are easy to serve at a party, make a pitcher of either (adding the soda water glass by glass for each Americano).
Many of our recipes are provided by Sahna Wicks of A Tuscan Welcome cooking school and catering (wicks@katamail.com, tel. 055 840-9751).
Recipe provided by Sahna Wicks of A Tuscan Welcome Catering (wicks@katamail.com).

FLORENCE NEWS

PITTI UOMO
From Tues. 13 to Friday 16 the Fortezza da Basso, the Lyceum, Stazione Leopoldo and the entire city of Florence are a playground for the fashion-forward crowd that floods the city every January for PITTI UOMO, the world preview of men’s clothing and accessory collections for the 2009-2010 fall-winter season.
In order to understand the impact Pitti has on the city of Florence, consider that Giambattista Valli will present a premiere showing of his Wintertime 2009/2010 collection at a glamour-filled gala in the Salone di Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio. Among the events organized by the Pitti Uomo exhibitors (most by invitation only), dinner at the exclusive restaurant Nove dedicated to Smith’s American, Teatro del Sale hosts the Brunello Cucinelli dinner, a cocktail party at the Loft will be held in honor of the magazine Rider; a toast to Shaft Jeans at the Cantinetta dei Verrazzano, a “Turkish delight” cocktail party will be hosted by the Turkish brand Tween, while the British Menswear Guild cocktail party entitled “Tartans in Tuscany” will be held at the Educatorio del Fuligno. Pal Zileri’s lunch for buyers and the press will be at Nove, the Pa:nuu party at Doris disco, the presentation cocktail party hosted by Daks at the Loft, and the “Parcrust” fashion show by Crust will feature the fearless Parisian traceurs who have just finished working on Luc Besson’s new film. Hermès boutique hosts Erwin Wurm’s exhibition of portraits inspired by the brand, and the Magic House Party for Adidas Originals will take place at Luisa Via Roma.
As noted by the CEO of Pitti Immagine Raffaello Napoleone, “Pitti Uomo is an excellent device for detecting climate change in the world of fashion.” Buyers flock here to find the finest firms presenting their latest products. The January 2009 program features presentation of the Thom Browne (American designer known as the “Czar of Style”) Menswear Collection, the launch of a sartorial line by Comme des Garçons and the debut of Allegri’s new main line – along with a big exhibit on Workwear curated by Oliviero Toscani and Olivier Saillard. Along with a “Fashion Casual” line by Joop!; the European project from Dockers, the world preview of the new Jack Purcell by Converse project and an important Pitti Uomo first - Franklin & Marshall, watch for collections by avant-garde designers from around the world. Names to keep an eye on include: 2sickbastards, Dead Meat, Frav, Furious Clothing, Jehee Sheen, Last Love, Social Suicide, Uneeto, Unestablished & Rebel.
The shows (including Pitti Filati and Pitti Bimbo mentioned below) are generally open to members of the trade only. To get an admission badge, you must show your official invitation at the reception desk. If you do not have an invitation you can fill out a registration form and show identification proving your professional status. For more information contact: pr.visitatori@pittimmagine.com, or phone. 055.3693223.
FORTEZZA ANTIQUARIA
On Saturday 17 and Sunday 18, the park and gardens of the Fortezza da Basso once again host Florence’s most important, monthly antiques fair (returning from a temporary home in Piazza Indipendenza). Come browse the more than 100 booths and stands selling antique tables, chairs, armoires, plus frames and paintings and all sorts of bric-a-brac.
Fortezza da Basso gardens. Open from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm each day. Phone for further information: tel. 055 27051.
PITTI IMMAGINE BIMBO
From Thursday 22 to Saturday 24, Florence and the Fortezza da Basso will be the scene of PITTI BIMBO “ the only trade event in the world that offers a complete overview of the children’s fashion galaxy,” says Agostino Poletto deputy general manager of Pitti Immagine. It is a fair that features not only different looks and styles in children’s fashions – from sportswear to the classic-elegance of the big brands, from the creativity of independent brands to street couture – but also textiles and design related to a kid-size environment. Watch for BabyWorld, the area dedicated to design and infant care, the presentations of Diesel Footwear, Paul Frank, the Ballantyne children’s line, the Pitti Bimbo debut of Gold Rush Outfitters from the USA, plus Eco Ethic, the area for brands with an ethical and fair trade approach to fashion.
See Pitti Uomo for visitor information.

CHOCOLATE FAIR
From Thursday 22 to Sunday 25, Piazza Santa Croce will host the 5th edition of Cioccoloso, Florence’s now annual Chocolate fair. Discover the work of over 30 Italian artisan chocolatiers. Next to some of Florence’s best chocolate artisans (Becagli Cioccolato, Boutique del Cioccolato, Il Cioccolato di Luca Moranti), you will find Sicily’s oldest chocolate producer Antica Dolceria Bonajuto, Torino’s Cioccolato Poretti, and Garritano 1908 from Cosenza, to name a few. Special events pepper the show: a chocolate–themed inauguration dinner will be held Wed. 21 at the restaurant Ganzo, as well as a chocolately closing dinner on Sunday 25, plus there will be a Chocolate Making workshop on Sat. 24 at 3:00 pm. (tel. 055 241076 or send a note to info@ganzoflorence.it for reservations). In Piazza Santa Croce each evening from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, Ganzo will offer a 4 euro mini-tasting aperitivo, and on Friday 23 from 3:30 to 5:30 pm, chef Andrea Trapani will hold a demonstration of Molecular Gastronomy.
Thursday 22 to Sunday 25. Piazza Santa Croce. Open from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. Free entry. For further info: tel. 055 3289 619, http://www.fieradelcioccolato.it

PITTI FILATI
Wednesday 28 to Friday 30 nearly closes the Pitti extravaganza with the show dedicated to fibers and knits. This is the venue to preview trends for the 2010 spring/summer season. Agostino Poletto, deputy general manager of Pitti Immagine calls it “a laboratory-workshop offering its audience – international buyers and fashion designers – the tools for researching and developing fashion products” through the art of yarn manufacturing. A special area will be dedicated to the latest innovations in ECO-EQUO-ETHICAL yarns, with the aim to expand knowledge about yarns with properties related to health and wellness: hypoallergenic yarns, yarns that warm, yarns that cool, yarns that treat, yarns that close wounds, mosquito repellent yarns, yarns with aromas and special wellness components – the yarns of the future have therapeutic functions. As you can imagine, buyers arrive from Great Britain, Germany, France, Spain, United States, Japan, Turkey, Hong Kong, Holland and Switzerland
See Pitti Uomo for visitor information.

WORKWEAR: Lavoro Moda Seduzione.
Running from Wednesday Jan. 14 to Feb. 8, at the Stazione Leopolda, the exhibit WORKWEAR curated by Oliviero Toscani and Olivier Saillard, features a dialog between the clothing, accessories, images and sounds from the work and fashion worlds. Displayed on freight pallets and workbenches, clothing and accessories from a myriad of work environments will offer a spectacular show. You will find 300 different outfits: from fireproof suits in multilayered fiber to diving suits, from space suits to fishermen’s coveralls to nurses’ uniforms, hardhats, welders’ masks, aprons and gloves (in chain mail for meat processing, etc.) and safety shoes with reinforced, perforation-proof toes and soles, plus 15,000 images, videos and more. The WORKWEAR project starts from observation of how the simple, functional esthetics of work clothes, developed to move with the body and protect it, have provided an endless source of fashion inspiration since the beginning of the twentieth century.
Stazione Leopolda, Viale Fratelli Rosselli, 5. Open Tuesday to Thursday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, Friday to Sunday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. Closed Mondays. Free admission.

VINTAGE SELECTION
From 28 January to February 1st the Stazione Leopolda will once again host Vintage Selection, the exhibition-market of vintage clothing, accessories and design items that works in parallel with the Pitti fashion shows. Vintage Selection is used by many as a tool to research the fashions of the past, as an archive from which today’s collections can be inspired. It is attended by a large number of collectors and aficionados, and has become a not-to-be-missed event for style consultants of international fashion houses that come to Florence seeking input for their own creative research.
Each Vintage Selection has a different theme. This year’s theme is the world of workwear, a tribute to the fair “Workwear - Work Fashion Seduction”, happening during the same period and in the same place, Stazione Leopolda (until February 8).
Stazione Leopolda, Viale F.lli Rosselli, 5. Opening times: 10 am to 8 pm. Entrance fee: 5.00 euro. Entrance reduction coupon available on http://www.stazione-leopolda.com. Tel: 055 212622. http://www.stazione-leopolda.com.

MEDUSA: IL MITO, L’ANTICO E I MEDICI.
This free show, open until January 31 at the Uffizi’s Sala delle Reali Poste, is hosted by one of our favorite associations, the “Amici degli Uffizi”. In their successful bid to show off works of art that would otherwise languor, hidden in the Uffizi storage areas, they have inaugurated the first in the 2009 series of exhibits entitled I Mai Visti (The Never Seen). This edition highlights a Flemish school painting featuring the Head of Medusa. Since the Renaissance, Medusa represents a recurring theme in the Medici family acquisitions, beginning with the well-known work of Caravaggio and Cellini’s Perseus. This exhibit features lesser known works, brought up from the dark vaults of the museum.
Maria Vittoria Rimbotti, President of the Amici degli Uffizi reminds us “this series of exhibits, housed in the Sala delle Reali Poste della Galleria degli Uffizi, are presented as a gift to Florentines and visitors by the association.” In fact, we at Pitcher & Flaccomio cannot recommend strongly enough, that a visit to the show become the opportunity to purchase an Amici degli Uffizi membership. This small, annual investment provides members with fabulous, line-free access to Florence’s major museums. The Amici welcome-desk is located around the corner on Via Lambertesca 2, and is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
The show runs until January 31. Uffizi Gallery, Sala delle Reali Poste, Piazzale degli Uffizi. Open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Closed Monday. Entry: free.

THE MACCHIAIOLI PAINTERS AND PHOTOGRAPHY: When the lens revolutionized the paintbrush.
The current Alinari National Museum of Photography exhibition, open until Feb. 15, aims to show the relationship between Italy’s Impressionist painting movement of the 19th century and the burgeoning art of photography, as well as celebrating the art of Giovanni Fattori in the centenary of his death. Alongside works by Fattori, are others by Signorini, Boldini, Banti, Gioli and Cabianca. For the first time, the tight relationship between painting and photography is outlined in a five chapter, side-by-side analysis of nearly 200 works (paintings, photographs and more). The dialog between the two arts was magnified by the fact that some exponents of the Macchiaioli movement used photographs as instruments for their work, and others were photographers themselves.
The show runs until February 15. Alinari National Museum of Photography. Piazza Santa Maria Novella. Open from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. Closed Wednesday. Entry: euro 6. http://www.firenzeperfattori.it, http://www.alinarifondazione.it

THE MADONNA DEL CARDELLINO: Raphael’s newly restored Madonna of the Goldfinch
Until March 1, Palazzo Medici Riccardi hosts a masterpiece by Raphael Sanzio, the Madonna del Cardellino, painstakingly renovated over the last nine years by Florence’s Opificio delle Pietre Dure. This restoration has brought back the delicate coloring of the painting, created by a young Raphael for his friend Lorenzo Nasi in Florence. Alongside the painting itself are panels describing the stages of the restoration, high definition videos providing a clear, close-up view of it, and four works from the same period illustrating the atmosphere and taste of the time. You will find a portrait, the Gravida, assigned to Raphael during his Florentine sojourn between 1504 and 1508, documenting the other genre (in parallel to the paintings of the Madonna) in which Sanzio engaged during his permanence in Florence. A second portrait, the Monaca, by a Florentine master (here identified as Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio, son of the great Domenico and a friend of Raphael), serves to demonstrate the influence the young artist from Urbino had over his colleagues on the banks of the Arno. The third work is a thin wooden panel, once used as a portrait ‘cover’ and decorated with grotesque motifs (in the past, authoritatively attributed to Raphael himself but, instead, probably by Ridolfo), which serves as ulterior proof of the stylistic consonance between Florence and the master. The last work is a glazed terracotta sculpture by Girolamo della Robbia representing the Madonna and Child with the young Saint John the Baptist (1510-1515) that, in its composition, faithfully reproduces the La Belle Jardinière by Raphael today in the Louvre.
The show runs until March 1. Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Via Cavour 3. Hours: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm daily except Wednesday. For reservations or info: tel. 055 2760340. http://www.palazzo-medici.it

WOMEN IN POWER: CATERINA AND MARIA DE’ MEDICI: The return to Florence of two Queens of France.
On until Feb. 8 at Palazzo Strozzi, this exhibition tells of the power of imagery, and how images of powerful women were used by the two Medici queens of France to legitimize their rule at a time when women in such positions were rare. It brings to Florence fifteen monumental tapestries commissioned by Caterina de’ Medici (1519-89) in the mid-16th century and completed by Maria de’ Medici (1573-1642) which depict Artemisia of Caria, widow of Mausolus, who ruled after his death from 352-350 BC, conquering the island of Rhodes. Further sections of the exhibition expand on the themes depicted by the tapestries as well as studying the character of the two Medici queens, using portraits and works of art loaned from various Florentine museums to illustrate the extraordinary refinement that characterized their lives and their patronage. Several curious pieces include Caterina's Talisman, a letter with one of her drawings, a small canvas that portrays her at an outdoor banquet with her husband Henry IV and a precious jeweler collection with cameos portraying the king.
Until February 8. Palazzo Strozzi. Tel. 055 2645155. Open daily 9 am - 8 pm, and Thursday 9 am - 11 p.m. Tickets: 10.00 euro.

THE OTHER FACE OF THE SOUL, PORTRAITS BY GIOVANNI FATTORI.
Running through Jan 24 at the Palazzo Pitti Gallery of Modern Art, this is the sixth exhibition in a series dedicated to this great, if relatively unheralded, painter. The Other Face of the Soul showcases some of this best-know works including I Fidanzati, Ritratto della prima moglie, Il Bersagliere, and the Autoritratto del 1894. Giovanni Fattori, born in Livorno in 1825, won fame if not fortune as one of the leaders of a group of Tuscan artists called the Macchiaioli, contemporaries of the Barbizon School and forerunners of the French Impressionists. Fattori was a painter of the epic deeds of the Risorgimento and of views of the Maremma. In later paintings, those associated with the Macchiaioli, his subjects were often landscapes, rural scenes and military life. He died a century ago in a hall of the Accademia di Belle Arti, the institution on Via Ricasoli that he had frequented for 60 years, first as a student and later as a teacher.
Until January 25. Gallery of Modern Art, Palazzo Pitti. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 8:15 a.m. to 6:50 p.m. Ticket: 12 euro. For reservations: tel. 055-294883 or go to http://www.firenze2008.it.

ANNIGONI AT VILLA BARDINI.
This ongoing show at the newly restored Villa Bardini, features Pietro Annigoni, who died in 1988, leaving a legacy that we can now begin to explore in depth. A selected portion of the 6000 works of art recently donated by the artist’s family will be on show, changing annually to enable his public to eventually view the entire collection. Painting in a Renaissance style, Annigoni’s portraits graced the cover of Time magazine five times during his life. Visit the museum today, to enjoy an introduction to the artist’s works, as this year we will be shown paintings (and lithographs, designs and memorabilia) dating to the beginning of his career.
Villa Bardini, Costa San Giorgio 2 and Via dei Bardi 1r. Museum hours: October 1 through March 31: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. From April 1 through September 30: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Tel. 055-2638599. http://www.bardinipeyron.it.

ORIGINAL LANGUAGE CINEMA
Odeon Theatre, Piazza Strozzi.
Monday 12 - NIGHTS IN RODANTHE by George C. Wolfe with D. Lane, R. Gere, C. Meloni. 4.30 – 6.30 – 8.30 – 10.30 pm
Thursday 15 - SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE by Danny Boyle with Dev Patel, Anil Kapoor, F. Pinto, M. Mittal, I. Khan (Italian subtitles). 4.00 – 6.10 – 8.20 – 10.30 pm
Monday 19 - SEVEN POUNDS by Gabriele Muccino with Will Smith, Woody Harrelson, R. Dawson, Barry Pepper (Italian subtitles). 4.00 – 6.10 – 8.20 – 10.30 pm
Tuesday 20 - SEVEN POUNDS. 4.00 – 6.10 – 8.20 – 10.30 pm
Thursday 22 - THE DUCHESS by Saul Dibb with Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Charlotte Rampling. 4.30 – 6.30 – 8.30 – 10.30 pm
Monday 26 - THE SPIRIT by Frank Miller with Gabriel Macht, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Eva Mendes, Paz Vega. 4.30 – 6.30 – 8.30 – 10.30 pm
Tuesday 27 - YES MAN by Peyton Reed with Zooey Deschanel, Jim Carrey, Sasha Alexander, Bradley Cooper, Terence Stamp. 4.30 – 6.30 – 8.30 – 10.30 pm
Thursday 29 - HAPPY-GO-LUCKY by Mike Leigh with Sally Hawkins, Alexis Zegerman, Eddie Marsan, Andrea Riseborough. 4.00 – 6.10 – 8.20 – 10.30 pm
In Nights in Rodanthe Richard Gere and Diane Lane find romance while boarded up as hostages of a hurricane in scenic North Carolina.
Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire has taken the world by storm (4 Golden Globe nominations, winner “People’s Choice Award “- Toronto Film Festival 2008) with its affecting story of Mumbai street boy Jamal Malik and his progress to the jackpot in ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’ Indian style.
Seven Pounds once again pairs Will Smith and Gabriele Muccino (who hit it off in The Pursuit of Happyness). This time Smith is an IRS agent with a secret, on a seven-fold quest for redemption.
In The Duchess, Keira Knightley plays gorgeous Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, 18th century avatar of Diana, Princess of Wales in a lavish, romantic costume drama.
A red tie and trench coat for another masked crusader, The Spirit/Denny Colt in Frank Miller’s adaptation of Will Eisner’s graphic novel The Spirit, with Samuel L Jackson impressive as the super-evil Octopus.
In Yes Man, yes is the new no. Jim Carrey is in top comic form as Carl Allen, the man who resolves to say Yes to everything for a year.
Happy-Go-Lucky is Mike Leigh’s heartwarming story of exasperatingly optimistic Poppy Cross, a North London schoolteacher and her close encounters with dysfunctional males (Winner Best Actress Berlin Film Festival 2008, and 2 GOLDEN GLOBE 2009 nominations
Info and critiques courtesy of the Odeon.


TUSCANY NEWS

CIOCCOLOSITA’ CHOCOLATE FAIR
From Friday Jan. 30 to Sunday Feb. 1, Monsummano Terme (about a half hour west of Florence) hosts Cioccolosità, another fab chocolate fair featuring the best in Italian artisan chocolate (just in case you weren’t in Florence for the Jan. 22/25th Chocolate fair, or… or perhaps you just didn’t get your fill of cocoa). The Monsummano fair, with Slow Food organizational input, accents biodiversity and quality. Each chocolate artisan greets visitors personally with tastes and information about their production methods. Two special dinners (including one with the participation of the famous chocolatier Roberto Catinari) dot the event, plus a chocolate cocktail competition sponsored by Grotta Giusti spa.
Getting there: take the Florence-Viareggio train to Montecatini (Montecatini Terme-Monsummano or Centrale stops, which leaves you 4 km. from Monsummano), by car take the A11 to the Montecatini exit and follow signs to Monsummano, by bus, the Lazzi lines head in that direction (http://www.lazzi.it). Show info: 0572 954412. http://www.cioccolosita.it
MERCATINO DI ARTIGIANTO E ANTIQUARIATO
Sunday 18 the town of Certaldo hosts their Antique and Artisan fair in Piazza Boccaccio. In addition to antique furnishings and knick-knacks, you will find stands dedicated to the work of local artisans.
The fair is open from 9:00 to 8:00 pm. For info: tel. 0571 661276/279
MERCATO CONTADINO
Saturday 24 is a good day to plan a visit to Pisa for their monthly Farmer’s Market. Tuscan producers of everything from organically grown vegetables to jams and honey, cheese, pasta, bread and extra virgin olive oils set up stands where tasting and explanations are free for the asking.
Pisa – Piazza della Berlina. Open from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm. For further info see http://gasp.versacrum.com/

EXHIBITS AROUND TUSCANY
GENIUS & PASSION, THE RESTORATION OF LIPPI'S FRESCOES IN PRATO. Prato Cathedral. Open Mon. ­ Sat. 10:00 am ­ 5:00 pm. Admission: 4 euro with audio guide. Small, guided tours available by calling 0574/24112.
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. (See more about it, in our May 2008 issue.)


All our best,

The Staff of Pitcher and Flaccomio

Newsletter compiled by Kim Wicks

Pitcher & Flaccomio Newsletter Copyright 2009

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

 
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