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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 2010

January greetings from Florence. Bundle up, light the fire (or a few candles), pour a nice glass of Chianti and snuggle in under a warm blanket. With the city already covered in snow for a few days before Christmas, and the Arno River riding high, we don’t know what to expect from the skies in January. But if snuggling isn’t your style, then we have made a fine list of what to do in Florence and Tuscany over the next month.

Our January Newsletter covers the Pitti fashion fairs, BIG sales, music, new exhibits and of course all the Florentine football antics.

Warmest best wishes for a 2010 filled with joy, laughter and loads of good health from SUZANNE, CORSO, SANDRA, LORI, ANNA PIA, KIMBERLY and MARIO.

A NOTE FROM SUZANNE: For the past ten years our client, artist William Kelley and his author wife, Susan, have been spending half the year living and working in Florence.  William is currently finalizing his most challenging painting to date at his studio in Borgo degli Albizi,12. It is a massive (2 meters x 5 meters) Tuscan landscape in rich, glowing colors. If you are interested in more information about William and his work please contact visit www.williamjkelley.com


Event Calendar - St. James Church, Via B. Rucellai, 9. Email: info@stjames.it. www.stjames.it
Thursday, January 7 - 10:00 am. Food Bank
Sunday, January 10 - 9:00 am. Holy Eucharist - Canon Dunnam, 10:00 am. Adult Forum, 11:00 am. Holy Eucharist - Canon Dunnam
Thursday, January 14 - 10:00 am. Food Bank
Sunday, January 17 - 9:00 am. Holy Eucharist - Canon Dunnam, 10:00 am. Adult Forum, 11:00 am. Holy Eucharist - Canon Dunnam
Thursday, January 21 - 10:00 am. Food Bank
Sunday, January 24 - 9:00 am. Holy Eucharist - Canon Dunnam, 10:00 am. Adult Forum, 11:00 am. Celebration of New Ministry and Installation of the new Rector, 11:00 am. Holy Eucharist - Canon Dunnam.
Thursday, January 28 - 10:00 am. Food Bank
FOOTBAAAALLL!! by Simon Clark and Anne Brooks
Forza Viola!..........Who do Bayern Munich think they are? [See below for Champions League chest-beating.] The transfer window will open soon and there is a feeling that we need to install extra oomph under the Viola bonnet (“hood” for USA friends); Champions League success means we can afford it. In Serie A, we’re not firing on enough cylinders all the time while new contenders are accelerating towards and past us. How many of them could have beaten Liverpool home and away, eh? At the turn of the year, we stand 10th but it remains excruciatingly tight; four points span ten teams, Juventus are sliding back towards the pack...................better the tortoise than the hare!
Serie A. Week 15 and we need to get back to winning ways. Atalanta look like suitable candidates for treatment, languishing as they are in the relegation basement. So it proves as we hand out a 2-0 thrashing in a display illuminated by one of the goals of the season. It was very cold at the Stadio but those of us who turned up found plenty to ignite our passion. We were all over them for twenty-five minutes yet a goal didn’t look likely. The crowd were getting restless. Juan Manual Vargas must have felt the atmosphere as he ran through midfield with the ball and spotted the Atalanta keeper slightly out of position. He let fly from nearly thirty metres; the Peruvian has a howitzer attached to his left leg! As we say in Scotland, “what a stoater!” After that, Atalanta disintegrated. Santana, running into fine form, struck the post; Frey had very little to do; right at the death; they had a player and then their manager sent off; Gilardino nipped in as defenders dithered and chipped over the goalkeeper for a 2-0 scoreline. The end.
From the sublime to disaster at Chievo. We can thrash Liverpool at home and away but Verona makes us go wobbly in the legs? Sure, the injury list is lengthening but we lost 1-2 to a team nicknamed The Flying Donkeys! Maybe winning at Anfield over-egged our confidence. Chievo hit our crossbar (Avramov in place of Frey) in the second minute but on 5 minutes Montolivo blasts us into the lead. Then it all went wrong; they made mincemeat of us – Avramov failed to hold a cross and they equalised (but our keeper subsequently kept us in it); then the Donkeys went ahead. Vargas did his best but that’s how it ended. Prandelli says we were knackered! Huh!
Our final home game of 2009 should have brought the rejuvenated Milan to the Stadio but the weather gods had other ideas. The snow poured down. Thousands of fans turned up early to help clear the blizzard but to no avail – it was deemed unplayable and the game has been rescheduled for January. Peccato! We were ready to take them – we can see to it in 2010!
Champions League. The last group game was virtually meaningless. We’d qualified for the knock-out phase, Liverpool were heading for the poor man’s compensation, the Europa Cup. On the other hand, little old Fiorentina got to visit Anfield, one of world football’s great stadia and birthplace of the ubiquitous “you’ll never walk alone” theme. And we stuff the mighty Liverpool in their own back yard!
The Viola enjoyed most of the first half, not at all over-awed. Jorgensen ballooned over, their keeper beat out a De Silvestri header and a Montolivo screamer. Then, just before the half-time whistle, a glancing Liverpool header ruffled our net. Only one goal in it and we equalised on 62 minutes with a sweeping move that started with Comotto, carved Liverpool open and saw Jorgensen rifling in his first goal of the season. Now things got interesting; a victory would mean that we topped the group – meaning that in the next round we would have the advantage of playing away from home in the first leg. Liverpool were making Frey work for his money but Prandelli upped the ante, sending on Marchionni and Vargas. We began to dominate. Gila nearly did it on 90 minutes but Liverpool managed to clear their lines. Then, in the last minute of injury time, we saw a familiar sight. Vargas pounced on defensive slowness, hurtled down the wing and it was the Vargas-cross-Gila-goal sequence. Cue fan pandemonium, player ecstasy and Gila booked for excessive celebrations – such sour grapes! We top the group. Fantastic!
It’s Champions League sudden death over two legs. We’d have liked a contender; instead, we’ve drawn Bayern Munich. They are a team from Germany. They have ideas above their station. They signed former Viola star, Luca Toni (by the time we play them he is likely to be turning out for Roma). They lack manners, having gone on record as saying that we are easy meat for them. We shall see. There is no reason to fear any German team; bundesliga sides don’t inspire fear these days. We play in Germany in February, at the Stadio on 9 March. We’ve already exceeded Champions League expectations so anything more is a bonus. It would be good to wave a wurzel in the air and confound the Bayern-burghers! Viola uber alles!
We must buckle down in the league. We are still there or thereabouts in what is proving one of the tightest title races for years. Inter are out in front but not entirely happy bunnies, Milan are not fully convincing, Juve seem to be imploding – three defeats on the trot; behind, ten sides bunched together. No crisis for Fiorentina but giving away three points at Chievo hurt. Forza Viola!

THE FIORENTINA SCHEDULE: January is a busy month and the time to tuck a pile of points into our bag as we head for a Top Four spot; we need to get to the head of the pack. We have key games against some of that pack – Palermo and Cagliari away (we beat both at the start of the season) and Bari at home. We greet Bologna at the Stadio (where we ought to win) and we’re away at Siena (already performing their dance with relegation). We shouldn’t lose any of these. We could win them all. We also have the rescheduled home tie with Milan and that may well be one of the games of the season.
BUYING TICKETS - Ticket information – seating plan, prices, ticket outlets – is on the “biglietteria” section of the club’s website [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.

Dry-Roast Granola - The perfect antidote to too many sweet, rich foods eaten over the holidays; this granola is quick to make and wonderfully satisfying, even though it contains no sugar nor oil.

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped nuts (a mix of whatever you have: pecans, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds)
½ tsp. salt
½ cup shredded coconut
½ cup sesame seeds

Toss the oats, nuts and salt into a roomy, heavy, dry skillet, and stir over medium heat for approx. 8-10 minutes, until they begin to toast. Add the coconut and sesame seeds and continue stirring regularly for another 5-8 minutes. Take off heat, cool and store in an air-tight container.
Optional: If you would like to add wheat germ (1/2 cup) or some brown sugar (1/4 cup), do so in the last few minutes.


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, or at least, go check it out.

On Saturday 16 and Sunday 17, the park and gardens of the Fortezza da Basso once again host Florence’s most important, monthly antiques fair. Come browse the booths and stands selling antique tables, chairs, armoires, plus frames and paintings and all sorts of odds and ends. Fortezza da Basso gardens. Open from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm each day. Phone for further information: tel. 055 27051.

From Tues. 12 to Friday 15 the Fortezza da Basso 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 2010-2011 fall-winter season. In order to understand the impact Pitti has on the city of Florence, consider that there will be presentations and events using spaces like the Ospedale degli Innocenti, Palazzo Corsini, the Costume Museum at Palazzo Pitti, and the Marino Marini Museum. 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 2010 program features the presentation of special projects, premieres and international debuts including: Everlast’s celebration of the brand’s 100th birthday, the Pitti Uomo debut of a cult contemporary jeanswear brand, Denham from Holland; the international premiere of Fornarina Sportglam, the new fitness-chic line from Fornarina; and the worldwide presentation of the collection from the prestigious Scottish heritage brand Barbour.
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: pr.visitatori@pittimmagine.com, phone. 055.3693223, http://www.pittimmagine.com/en/homef.php.

On Sun. 17 don’t miss the chance to stroll around Piazza Santo Spirito and admire the crafts and organic food fair. Your will find hand-woven dresses and ponchos, beeswax candles, naturally scented soaps and oils, home-baked bread and cakes, ceramics, wine, olive oil, olive wood salad bowls and more.

From Thursday 21 to Saturday 23, 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. The important news at this edition of Pitti Bimbo includes special showings by signature brands like Junior Jean-Paul Gaultier and Paul Smith Kids, the return of the Diesel Kids collection, and new work by John Galliano, plus children’s collections by Adidas, Custo Barcelona, Desigual and Notify just to mention a few. See Pitti Uomo above, for visitor information. Or visit: http://www.pittimmagine.com/en/fiere/bimbo/.

Wednesday 27 to Friday 29 nearly closes the Pitti extravaganza with the show dedicated to fibers and knits. This is the venue to preview trends for the 2011 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 yarn research, 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, Switzerland and beyond. See Pitti Uomo above, for visitor information.

From Wed. 27 to Sun. 31 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 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. This edition will feature a clearer division between the luxury and more informal collections. These two main segments of vintage fashions will be shown in the LUXURY COLLECTIONS and SPORTSWEAR COLLECTIONS areas respectively. And there will be “Happy Kilo”, an amusing temporary store where a series of specially selected garments will be sold “by weight”. Vintage Selection is open to everyone!
Stazione Leopolda, Viale F.lli Rosselli, 5. Hours: 10 am to 8 pm. Entrance fee: 5.00 euro. www.stazione-leopolda.com. Tel: 055 212622.


This free show, open until January 31 at the Uffizi’s Sala delle Reali Poste, is part of a series 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 2010 exhibits entitled I Mai Visti (The Never Seen). This highly appreciated series of initiatives, is particularly original within the Italian cultural scene
This year the highlighted ‘never seen before’ work does not originate from the storerooms of the museum. Instead they are presenting the donation by the Friends association, of a magnificent portrait by Amico Aspertini (Bologna, c. 1474 – 1552), portraying the Bolognese doctor and philosopher Alessandro Achillini (1463 – 1512). The painting was previously part of the collection of portraits of illustrious men belonging to Paolo Giovio in Como.
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. www.santipoetinavigatori.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.

Opening Thurs. 14, the Alinari Museum of Photography in collaboration with the Jeu de Paume museum of Paris, will host 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. More than 100 vintage prints taken by 40 photographers will be 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. www.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.

Until Jan. 24 Palazzo Medici Riccardi is offering a free glimpse at 20 XXL-size photographs of Florence interiors by German photographer Candida Hofer. The photos show quiet, human-free views of historical homes, museums and theatres. Via Cavour 3, Open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. Closed Wednesdays. Tel. 055 2776461.

MANIPULATING REALITY - How Images Redefine the World
Until Jan. 17, the exhibition at the Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina at Palazzo Strozzi poses a question: “What is true and what is real in our daily lives today?” Twenty-three international artists use photography and video-art to manipulate our perception of the visible world and to build new models of reality. The great contradiction that characterizes photography and video-art is that both pretend to record reality while being, at the same time, a falsification of that reality. This ambiguity has increased with the spreading popularity of easy-to-use digital technology and the massive dissemination of images through the mass media and Internet; the conflict between appearance and reality is pushed to its outer edges and demands that the spectator play an active role in defining what he or she is seeing as real.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with entries written by university professors, by experts in the visual arts, and sociologists. Check the names of the artists and the details of the exhibition at: www.strozzina.org/manipulatingreality. CSSS Strozzina, Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza Strozzi. Open Tuesday - Sunday 10.00 am - 8.00 pm. Special free entrance: Thursday 6.00 pm - 11.00 pm. Monday closed. Tickets: 5.00 euro. tel. 055 2446761.

ART AND ILLUSIONS - Masterpieces of Trompe L'oeil from Antiquity Till the Present
Until January 24th Palazzo Strozzi offers a most unusual exhibit regarding trompe l’oeil… the art of deceiving the eye. The theme of this show is deception, illusion, and the eternal tension between fiction and reality shown not only in painting, but in sculpture, intarsia, scagliola, pietre dure and porcelain. Showpieces run from faux armoires, half-open, with books inside, to soup tureens and table furnishings in the shape of vegetables, to anatomical and botanical wax models. From ancient Greco-Roman mosaics, to European masterpieces of the 1300s, to today, two hundred works from museums and private collections tell the intriguing and spectacular history of trompe-l’oeil.
The jury is still out over when a work of art should be considered trompe-l’œil and when it’s simply trying to be realistic. What is it that makes a work of art a real trompe-l’œil? One of the keys is obviously the artist’s intention: does he want the work of art to "deceive" the observer or, is his work simply an attempt to reproduce faithfully and in a realistic fashion, as with a still life or an anatomical model?
The exhibit also dedicates a significant amount of space to wall decorations and interiors (detached frescoes from Ancient Rome, where the theme of deception gave life to a school) and to Flemish artists and their innovations in the trompe-l’oeil genre. Among the many curiosities are the famous cabinet called Scarabattolo (from the Opificio delle Pietre Dure), a painting of the late 1600s by the Flemish artist Domenico Remps, showing a collection of natural and artistic objects from the Medici family. There are masterpieces by Mantegna, Titian and Veronese that will induce the visitor to reflect on the duplicity with which spatial interaction is depicted in painting, whilst the 17th century works of Jean-François de la Motte, and the still lifes of the 19th American realists will allow us to explore subjects frequently encountered in optically deceptive painting, such as hanging letters, or panels with papers alongside other objects on them, or the motif of hunting trophies and of various objects hanging on doors and panels. In addition, works by American artists specializing in trompe-l’œil such as Peto, Kaye, Harnett and Haberle will be on display in Europe for the very first time.
And since the eye is not the only thing to be deceived, the exhibition will allow us to experiment with the way in which all of the senses – touch, smell, hearing and taste – can be tricked. For example, special captions and cards designed by celebrated Florentine master perfumer Lorenzo Villoresi will challenge the visitor to verify the ability and the reliability of his sense of smell, while an innovative audio-guide will prove that even sounds can be deceptive. The exhibition staff will be part of the show too: they will not simply help the visitor to discover the wonders of trompe-l’œil, they will also be capable of performing a few card tricks liable to deceive the eye and the brain. Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza Strozzi. Tel. 055 2645155. Daily 9:00 a.m – 8:00 p.m, Thurs. 9:00 a.m – 11:00 p.m.

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.
Wednesday, January 20 - Nigel Konstam: The museum of artists' secrets. Since the publication of Philip Steadman's Vermeer's Camera, it has become generally accepted that that was the way he achieved his miraculously toned paintings. Yet few have stopped to ask how the "dark image" seen in a camera obscura could have helped Vermeer achieve such an unprecedented sense of light. Nigel Konstam has deduced from Vermeer's most famous painting, Ars Pictoria, a cryptic message for painters which will fill the central gap in Steadman's otherwise fascinating book. A sculptor working in stone and in wax for bronze, Nigel Konstam has for 27 years run a private art school at Casole Val d'Elsa, The Arts Centre Verrocchio.

Odeon Theatre, Piazza Strozzi 2. Phone: 055 214 068. www.cinehall.it
Thurs 7 - NEW MOON (with Italian subtitles) by Chris Weitz with Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson. 6.00 – 8.15 – 10.30 p.m.
Fri 8 - HACHIKO – A DOG’S STORY (with Italian subtitles) by Lasse Hallström with Richard Gere, Joan Allen. 5.30 – 8.30 – 10.30 p.m.
Mon. 11 - A SERIOUS MAN by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen with Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind. 6.10 – 8.20 – 10.30 p.m.
Tues. 12 - SHERLOCK HOLMES by Guy Ritchie with Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law. 5.00 – 8.00 - 10.30 p.m.
Thurs. 14 - (500) DAYS OF SUMMER (Italian subtitles) by Marc Webbn with Z. Deschanel, J. Gordon-Levitt. 4.30 – 6.30 – 8.30 – 10.30 p.m.
Mon. 18 – AVATAR by James Cameron with Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver. 4.45 – 8.00 – 10.45 p.m.
Thurs. 21 – AVATAR. 4.00 – 6.45 – 9.30 p.m.
Mon. 25 - THE FOURTH KIND by Olatunde Osunsanmi with Milla Jovovich, Will Patton. 4.30 – 6.30 – 8.30 – 10.30 p.m.
Tues. 26 - UP IN THE AIR by Jason Reitman with George Clooney, Vera Farmiga. 4.00 – 6.10 – 8.20 – 10.30 p.m.
Thurs. 28 - UP IN THE AIR 4.00 – 6.10 – 8.20 – 10.30 p.m.
The family drama HACHIKO: A DOG’S STORY, reunites actor Richard Gere and director Lasse Halström. Born out of real-life events, the film tells the tale of Hachiko, a faithful dog who would walk his owner to and from the train station every day. But when the man unexpectedly dies, Hachiko continues his daily routine of waiting for his master at the train station for the next nine years, becoming a fixture in the community.
A SERIOUS MAN is the new film from Academy Award-winning writer/directors Joel and Ethan Coen (earning them another Golden Globe nomination). It is the story of an ordinary man's search for clarity in a universe where Jefferson Airplane is on the radio and F-Troop is on TV. It is 1967, and Larry Gopnik (Tony Award nominee Michael Stuhlbarg), a physics professor at a quiet Midwestern university, has just been informed by his wife Judith (Sari Lennick) that she is leaving him. Larry's unemployable brother Arthur (Richard Kind) is sleeping on the couch, his son Danny (Aaron Wolff) is a discipline problem and a shirker at Hebrew school, and his daughter Sarah (Jessica McManus) is filching money from his wallet in order to save up for a nose job. Struggling for equilibrium, Larry seeks advice from three different rabbis, hoping to cope with his afflictions and become a righteous person - a mensch - a serious man.
This rather dynamic new portrayal of SHERLOCK HOLMES sends Holmes and Watson on their latest challenge. Revealing fighting skills as lethal as his legendary intellect, Holmes will battle as never before to unravel a deadly plot that could destroy the country. Nominated for a Best Actor Golden Globe award.
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 (nominated for 4 Golden Globes).
(500) DAYS OF SUMMER is a quirky charmer of a film. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Tom, a greeting-card writer who dreams of becoming an architect and finding his true love. Zooey Deschanel plays Summer, a vintage-looking beauty whose ideas about love are entirely modern. As Tom remembers his 500 days with Summer, his mind jumps from moment to moment, largely thinking of the good times in their trouble-filled relationship. (2 Golden Globe nominations, including Best Film.)
THE 4TH KIND takes place in Alaskan town that might seem like any other small northern city at first glance. But over the last four decades, people have been disappearing, and a government conspiracy might be at the root of the trouble.
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. (6 Golden Globe nominations, including Best Film.)ONSTAGE SELECTION
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, 335/429298, www.viperclub.eu. Auditorium FLOG, Via M. Mercati, 24/b, 055/210804, www.flog.it Sala Vanni, Piazza del Carmine 14. Teatro Everest, Via Volterrana 4/b, tel. 055. 23 21 754. info@teatroeverest.it, www.teatroeverest.it. Teatro Politeama Pratese, Via G. Garibaldi, 33 – Prato. Tel: 0574/603758, 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 10:0-7:30 pm. Tel: 055/210804. Fax: 055/213112, ARGONAUTA VIAGGI, Lungarno Torrigiani 33/B, 055/2342777.9187. Many tickets can be pre-purchased via www.ticketone.it, www.boxol.it, www.classictic.com/en or 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.
Sunday 10
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAESTRO, TANTI AUGURI PIERO PER I TUOI SPLENDIDI 90 ANNI. Massimo Quarta (violin), Antonello Farulli (viola), Andrea Nannoni (cello), Andrea Lucchesini (piano). Music by Schumann, Brahms. Villa La Torraccia, Fiesole, Auditorium Sinopoli. 11:30.

Saturday 16
ZUBIN MEHTA - Maggio Fiorentino’s Principal Conductor performs here in concert with two of the Florentine Orchestra’s principal instrumentalists, first violinist Domenico Pierini and first horn Luca Benucci, with popular pieces by Ludwig van Beethoven, Maurice Ravel and Richard Strauss, “framed” by Robert Schumann’s Genoveva overture and by Anton Bruckner’s imposing Te Deum. Teatro Comunale. 8:30 pm.
Sunday 17
ZUBIN MEHTA – see Sat. 16. Teatro Comunale. 4:30 pm.
Monday 18
STEFANO BOLLANI - The pianist Stefano Bollani with bass player Jesper Bodilsen and drummer Morten Lund, who have been together for more than fifteen years now, present "Stone in the Water", a fascinating program that includes new pieces by Bollani and Bodilsen themselves, ballads by Caetano Veloso and Antonio Carlos Jobim and an improvisation on Poulenc. Teatro Comunale. 9:00 pm.
Thursday 21
CHOPIN – CONCERTS FOR PIANO AND ORCHESTRA: Daniele Giorgi conducting, Freddy Kempf (piano). Music by Chopin, Beethoven, Colasanti. Teatro Verdi. 9:00 pm. (Composer Silvia Colasanti will meet the public, 4:00 pm, Teatro Verdi, free entry.)

Friday 22
L’ITALIAN IN ALGERI - Another long-awaited debut is that of the Catalan theatre group Els Comediants who are responsible for the new performance of the popular opera by Gioachino Rossini, created as a coproduction with the Teatro Real of Madrid, the Bordeaux Opéra National and the Houston Grand Opera. Enrique Mazzola conducts a cast made up of some of the best Rossinian singers of our time. Teatro Comunale. 8:30 pm.

Sunday 24
L’ITALIAN IN ALGERI - Another long-awaited debut is that of the Catalan theatre group Els Comediants who are responsible for the new performance of the popular opera by Gioachino Rossini, created as a coproduction with the Teatro Real of Madrid, the Bordeaux Opéra National and the Houston Grand Opera. Enrique Mazzola conducts a cast made up of some of the best Rossinian singers of our time. Teatro Comunale. 3:30 pm.

Tuesday 26
L’ITALIAN IN ALGERI - See Sun. 24. Teatro Comunale. 8:30 pm.

Thursday 28
L’ITALIAN IN ALGERI - See Sun. 24. Teatro Comunale. 8:30 pm.

Friday 29
L’ITALIAN IN ALGERI - See Sun. 24. Teatro Comunale. 8:30 pm



Until Jan. 17 Palazzo Blu in Pisa will be showered in the sunny colors of Marc Chagall. The show includes ceramics and lithographs, sculptures and paintings, all works created after 1926, the year that Russian Chagall first experienced the Mediterranean and its particular light and landscapes. Palazzo Blu. Via Pietro Toselli, 29, 56125 Pisa. Ticket. 8.00 euro. Hours: Monday to Sunday. Tel. 050.500197. www.chagallpisa.it (the site includes arrival directions by car or train.)

THE STYLE OF THE TSAR - Italian and Russian Art and Fashions Between the 14th and the 18th Centuries
Until Jan. 10, a Prato Textile Museum exhibition brings together more than 130 paintings, costumes and fabrics from the leading museums in Russia - the Hermitage, the Russian State Museum in St. Petersburg, and the Kremlin Museum in Moscow - as well as numerous Italian institutions. The exhibition illustrates the origin and development of cultural, commercial and diplomatic relations between Italy and ancient Muscovy through the privileged channel of commerce of Italian textiles and luxury goods. The first section of the show gives an overall view of Italian silk production from the late 14th to the early 16th century, displaying masterworks of textiles and painting, illustrating the importance of these fabrics in the social and cultural context of the times. The nucleus of the exhibition is devoted to the relations existing between Italy and Russia in the period between the 14th century, moment of the earliest contacts between European merchants and the ports on the Black Sea, and the early 18th century when thanks to Peter the Great, the Russian Empire opened up to western ways of life. Despite the gradual decline in Italy’s silk production during the first half of the 18th century, Italian art still remained popular and, thanks to collectors, many important masterpieces reached Russia. Many of these are now incorporated in the collections of Russia's leading museums. The exhibition ends with the display of an altarpiece of the Circumcision, originally painted by Cigoli for the church of San Francesco in Prato and transferred in the 19th century to the Hermitage.
Prato Textile Museum is Italy’s largest centre for the study, conservation and exhibition of historic and contemporary textile. Its mission is to promote the study, enhancement and exploitation of historic and contemporary textiles and all related artistic, industrial and technical aspects of interest. It represents a centre of promotion of the textile production of Prato district, an area important for textile production since the early Middle Age. The Prato Textile Museum is located in the centre of Prato, approximately 300 meters from the Castello dell'Imperatore, in Piazza S. M. delle Carceri, and approximately 800 m from Prato Centrale railway station (direction city centre). Visitors wishing to use the bus service, should take the LAM blu line towards NENNI, which departs every 7 minutes. Get off at "Piave" or "Carceri 2" bus stop. Lo Stile dello Zar. Prato Textile Museum, Via Santa Chiara 24, 59100 – Prato. Open: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm. www.museodeltessuto.it Tel. 049 2010067. info@lostiledellozar.it Ticket: 9.00 euro.

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. 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