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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 2015

January is the month for the residents of Florence (and those in the know) to enjoy the quieter halls of the most popular tourist attractions. We wish you peace and tranquility in 2015, from SUZANNE, CORSO, BEI, LESLIE, VANNI, ANNA PIA, ANN and MARIO.


BEST EXTRAVAGANZA FOR JANUARY 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

P&F PICK APARTMENT RENTAL FOR JANUARY – Apartment in a Ponte Vecchio Palazzo

The Palazzo Bartolommei-Bruschetti, which houses this apartment, is a seventeenth century building that is adjacent to the church of Santo Stefano al Ponte. Via Lambertesca is a short narrow street right in the heart of the city. This street is predominantly pedestrian and runs between the piazza of the Uffizi Gallery and finishes a short distance from the Ponte Vecchio. There are jewelry shops, a few boutiques and a famous trattoria. The entrance to the palazzo has been kept in its original form with columns and statuary leading to the main staircase, with the elevator hidden to one side

The apartment has an entrance hall, living room/dining room (table for 6), study/bedroom (double divan bed), kitchen, 2 bedrooms, (1 single, 1 double) and 2 bathrooms (1 en-suite with shower stall, 1 with tub and shower). The walls have interesting wall paper and there are bleached wooden floors. The bathrooms are of travertine marble and the bleached wooden original beamed ceilings are approximately 4 meters high.

For more information click this link.


PICK EATERY FOR JANUARY – Pizzeria O’Cor ‘e Napule

Yes it is possible to get bad pizza in Italy. But for a guarenteed great pizza experience go to Pizzeria O’Cor ‘e Napule on Via del Prato. This place is busy, lively full of atmosphere and lots of locals. You will be greeted by a jovial man, who speaks very little English, but nevertheless will coaxed you in and offered you a table.

The wonderful world of O’ Cor ‘e Napule, where the menu revolves around, fish, meat, pizza and pasta and is very affordable. The food arrives quickly and it is fabulous. Lovely al dente pasta with a wonderful sauce or a pizza; try the Diavalo,. The quality of the food was excellent, the specialist chefs make up lovely, tasty and generously portioned dishes. The service is excellent with an extremely friendly staff.

Not only is their pizza good but you can also count on the pastas and the fish dishes, especially the pastas with fish.

The website is nothing special, but it does give you the menu: http://www.pizzeriaocorenapule.it/la-pizzeria/menu-pizzeria

Pizzeria O’Cor ‘e Napule, Via del Prato, 42r.


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).


BEST BOOK FOR JANUARY – My Two Italies by Joseph Luzzi

“Midway along the journey through his life, Dante scholar Luzzi wakes to find himself in a dark wood of longing and desire, wishing to know more about his Calabrian heritage. Luzzi, a wonderful storyteller, plays Virgil to our pilgrim, guiding us through the schizophrenic character of Italian culture. To arrive at a deeper understanding of his Italian heritage, Luzzi enrolls in a doctoral program in Italian literature and language, studying Dante and Northern Italy rather than his family ancestral homeland of Calabria in the south. Luzzi energetically, and with some nostalgia, recounts stories of his various travels through Naples and Florence, his encounters with the works of Italian writers, and his meetings with members of his family. He learns that ‘the Italian family is like Italy itself: fragmented on the surface, riven by intrigue, resistant to change, suspicious of outsiders, and quick to set individual interests over group ones.’ In the end, Luzzi embraces his two Italys—Calabria and Tuscany—not as a burden or as a struggle, but as a gift that has brought him ‘inside the disappearing world of my parents and millions of other Italian exiles.’” —Publishers Weekly

“The American-born son of poor but tough Calabrian immigrants, Luzzi ‘yearned for the Italy of Dante and Michelangelo, not the one of sharp cheese and salted anchovies.’ But while building a distinguished scholarly career writing about Italian high culture, the very different Italy of his parents continued to haunt him with the smells of its cooking, the calloused hands of his uncles, and the unsentimental way in which his mother dispatched animals for the family table . . . The contrasting ideals provide Luzzi with a lens through which to examine Italy and the Italian American experience, especially that of his family . . . When Luzzi shares his deepest pain—the sudden death of his pregnant wife in a car accident—his investigations of his extended family turn powerfully poignant, for it was they who cared for his infant daughter while he curled in a fetal position in his childhood bed. The result is a memoir that balances thoughtful observation with feelings that, one sense, still remain quite raw.” —Brendan Driscoll, Booklist

BEST BOOKS FOR TEENS FOR JANUARY – Waterfall: A Novel by Lisa T. Bergren

Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Bentarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives with their parents, famed Etruscan scholars, among the romantic hills. In Book One of the River of Time series, Gabi and Lia are stuck among the rubble of medieval castles in rural Tuscany on yet another hot, boring, and dusty archeological site … until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. And worse yet, in the middle of a fierce battle between knights of two opposing forces.

And thus she comes to be rescued by the knight-prince Marcello Falassi, who takes her back to his father’s castle—a castle Gabi has seen in ruins in another life. Suddenly Gabi’s summer in Italy is much, much more interesting. But what do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world?


On January 6, La Befana arrives in Florence. This is Italy's traditional day of gift giving.

The name Befana appeared historically for the first time in writing in a poem by Agnolo Firenzuola in 1549. She is portrayed like an old ugly woman dressed in dark rags, who during the night between 5th and 6th January flies over the houses riding her broom and entering through the chimneys (in modern apartments through a keyhole). Into the socks that children left hanging near the fireplace she leaves candies and gifts for good children, black coal (actually black sugar today), garlic and onions to the bad ones. Parents of course would always include some coal over the gifts, to trick their children. And the night before the family leaves some wine and cakes for the old lady.

In the Christian tradition the name "Befana" is a popular version of the Greek term "Epiphany" which was the festivity following Christmas, commemorating the visit of the Magi. According to the legend the three wise men on their journey were stopped by an old woman with a broom who asked them where they were going. They told her that they were following a star that would lead them to a newborn baby, and invited her to come along. But she replied that she was busy sweeping and cleaning and did not go. When she realized her mistake, her regret was so great that she continues to wander about Italy and at the Epiphany (January 6, when the Wise Men finally found the baby Jesus), begins rewarding good children and disappointing those who were bad.

So party with your favorite kids and watch out for gift-giving old ladies in the streets of Florence.

BEST PARADE FOR JANUARY – The Three Kings Arrive in Florence

Epiphany, January 6, commemorates the arrival of the Three Kings in Bethlehem. In celebration of the Epiphany, a "Cavalcade of the Three Kings" takes place in downtown Florence on the morning of January 6. The event is a commemoration of an ancient celebration taking place in the city as far back as 1400 of the arrival of the three kings to the manger where Jesus was born. On this special occasion, a parade in beautiful Renaissance costumes starts from Palazzo Pitti and winds its way through the city, passing by Piazza della Signoria and arriving at the Cathedral and Baptistery in Piazza del Duomo. The Sbandieratori, or flag-throwing company, of the Uffizi also participates in the event, enchanting the public with their skill in throwing, exchanging and waving their flags in Piazza della Signoria.


LAST CHANCE – See The Following Exhibits Soon.

AT THE UFFIZI – The Pure, Simple and Natural in Art in Florence Between the 16-17th Centuries

Closes: January 6, 2015

Artists and art in search of a definition: this could be one reading of the great exhibition The Pure, Simple and Natural in Art in Florence between the 16th and 17th centuries, closes soon at the Uffizi Gallery.

The “modern manner” of Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael was exalted by Giorgio Vasari for having overcome the tradition of the 15th century and having reached “perfection. With minor conviction, he also cited Fra ‘Bartolomeo and Andrea del Sarto as of importance, as fine drawers who could imitate nature and creators of devotional works.

In that period – between the end of the 16th century and the turn of the new – Florence and Italy was seeing the opening of several paths of change in various fields, not just art: in music, language, religion and, above all, in the sciences, that were promoting profound changes. The period in art, however, is missing a name or categorization that art historians usually tend to assign to historical periods to group together artistic tendencies, no matter how complex they might be.

Between Romanticism, Gothic and Late Gothic and Renaissance and Mannerism and Caravaggism and Baroque, where to place this group of Florentine artists? The Uffizi has grouped them by their style of pure, simple, natural, expressions of honest principles but which can be a formal title?

The exhibit is divided into 5 chronological periods and then 4 thematic sections (72 paintings and sculptures in all) which presents a whole series of masterpieces, many of which have been restored just for the occasion.

There are works by the masters: Andrea della Robbia and Andrea del Sarto, Fra’ Bartolomeo and Andrea Sansovino and then of their “students” from the modern “ordered manner”: Franciabigio, Bugiardini, Sogliani.

Santi di Tito (Borgo San Sepolcro 1536-Florence 1603), Annunciation, 1575 circa,

Oil on wood, Scrofiano (Sinalunga), Oratory of Compagnia del Santissimo Salvatore

Then there is Bronzino and Alessandro Allori, Santi di Tito, Jacopo da Empoli, Ottavio Vannini (for the first time in Florence, his masterpiece conserved at the Nantes Musée des Beaux-Arts) and Lorenzo Lippi.

Franciabigio (Francesco di Cristofano; Florence 1484-1525), Portrait of Jacopo Cennini, Steward for Pierfrancesco de’ Medici, 1523, Oil on wood, On loan from Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II

After a hall dedicated to drawings from real life, where there are samples from Andrea del Sarto to Pontormo from the mid 16th century, the same artists are reproposed by themes: “paintings of home”, of private items (which includes a beautiful work by Fra’ Bartolomeo coming from the Los Angeles County Museum), “paintings of things”, where the protagonists are domestic objects (note the magnificent Franciabigio coming from the English Royal Collections) and of the “scared tradition”, which closes the show with a spectacular triptych of the Redemptor by Torrigiani (rediscovered in Great Britain), Caccini (a miraculous conservative recovery) and of Novelli (from the New York Metropolitan).

FLORENCE AT WAR – Free Exhibit at the Medici Riccardi Palazzo Until January 6

Until January 6, 2015: Firenze In Guerra (Florence at War). Palazzo Medici Riccardi, open daily except Wednesday, 10 am – 6 pm as well as in the Rondò di Bacco, Palazzo Pitti, Fridays 3 pm – 5:30 pm, weekends 11 am – 5:30 pm. Free admission.

Smoke from a bombing attack obscuring Florence’s cupola, people seeking refuge in the Pitti Palace courtyard and a bird-eye view of troops in Piazza Signoria are some of the indelible images part of an initiative to mark the 70th anniversary of Italy’s liberation from Nazi control. The Historical Institute of Resistance in Tuscany has organized this special event, designed to give a chance for reflection.

The exhibition, entitled ‘Florence at War,’ consists of unedited images, documents and objects, all which serve to echo the strife of war and Fascism that the Florentine people endured.

Conveyed by individual stories and collective experiences, the displays move chronologically through the war, from the earliest days and the changes that soon came, to the final months and invasion of the Nazi troops. While it does not shy away from confronting the widespread violence that occurred, it also celebrates the solidarity and resistance of the citizens.

At the Palazzo Pitti location, an evocative collection of photos will be complemented by an immersive experience – a soundscape of the palace during the time it was used to house thousands of misplaced civilians, forced to flee bombardment, or simply because their homes had already been razed to the ground. Directed by Filippo Macelloni and Lorenzo Garzella with a montage by Domenico Zazzara, the visitor will be able to get a true sense of the confusion and chaos associated with a city under siege, contrasted by the silence of deserted streets.

Alongside the exhibition, the ‘Acquario della Memoria’ Association has invited active participation by local residents. The multimedia project ‘Memory Sharing’ aims to gather together documents, photos, memories and personal testimonies in Florence during the Second World War. The memories will be shared for posterity in order to further the understanding and knowledge of those tumultuous times.

All historical and photographic information is also available in English in addition to Italian. For more information, visit www.firenzeinguerra.com .


Palazzo Strozzi in Florence is focusing on modern art once again with a major new event devoted to one of the greatest masters of 20th century painting, Pablo Picasso.

The exhibition presents a broad selection of works by this great master of modern art in an effort to stimulate a reflection on his influence and interaction with such leading Spanish artists as Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí, Juan Gris, Maria Blanchard and Julio González: art reflecting on art and on the relationship between the real and the surreal, the artist's heartfelt involvement in the tragedy of unfolding history, the emergence of the monster with a human face, and the metaphor of erotic desire as a primary source of inspiration for the artist's creativity and world vision.

Picasso and Spanish Modernity is showing some ninety works by Picasso and other artists, ranging from painting to sculpture, drawing, engraving and even film, thanks to the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi's synergistic cooperation with the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid. The works of art on display include such celebrated masterpieces as Woman's Head (1910), Portrait of Dora Maar (1939) and The Painter and the Model (1963) by Picasso, Siurana, the Path (1917) and Figure and Bird in the Night (1945) by Miró and Dalí's Arlequin (1927), along with Picasso's drawings, engravings and preparatory paintings for his huge masterpiece Guernica (1937), none of which have been displayed outside Spain in such vast numbers before now.


Tel. + 39 055 2645155

Opening times: Daily 9.00-20.00, Thursdays 9.00-23.00

Tickets sold until one hour before closing time.

FREE EXHIBIT AT THE UFFIZI – Russian Icons Until February 1

The 14th edition of “I mai visti” (or “Never Seen Before”) called “The Collection of Russian Icons at the Uffizi” will be open until February 1st, 2015 at the Reali Poste space at the Uffizi Gallery.

The collection includes about 70 works that belong to the Florentine museum since at least 1761, when they were already a part of the collections of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, then led by the Lorraines of Austria. These are at the heart of the oldest Russian icon collection that exists outside of the Orthodox world. Of various formats and iconographies, the icons were created in Russian workshops and in other important centers of Russia, between the end of the 16th century and the first decades of the 18th century.

Guided visits

Starting January 7th, the exhibit at the Reali Poste will also be offering free guided visits every Wednesday afternoon at 2:30pm and 3:45pm and every Thursday morning at 10:15am and 11:30am.

Children’s workshops

The exhibit is also organizing workshops for children (ages 5-10) on January 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31, 2015, starting at 10:30am connected to the exhibit. Participation is free, but it does need to be booked ahead of time by emailing: cristinabonavia@gmail.com.

Give the gift of a restoration

Professional guides from the Associazione Mercurio are organizing the “Gift of Restoration” initiative in the form of guided visits before the 7th of January. Visits are offered Saturday and Sunday December 27th and 28th and January 4th and 6th 2015 every 20 minutes starting at 2pm and continuing until 4pm. On January 4th and 6th the guided visits at 3pm will be in English. We recommend you book your guided visit by emailing regalatiunrestauro@mercurio-italy.org. All proceeds collected during these guided visits will go Amici degli Uffizi to fund the restoration of a work of art from the Uffizi Gallery.

Free entrance

Open: Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm

December 20, 2014 – February 1, 2015

YESTERDAY, THE MUSEUMS – A Historical Photograph Exhibit of Florence’s Museums

Along the walls of the first floor special exhibition space of the Uffizi (first landing of the Uffizi stairs), you’ll find the photographic exhibit with views of museums from the turn of the 19th century. The Photography Archive itself was founded in 1904, and some of the shots taken by staff from that office date back to this time. The exhibit documents how the museums have changed over 100 years, from how they have been set up to how they have promoted art and culture. Note one very special photograph, from December 1913, that shows Leonardo da Vinci’s Monna Lisa on exhibit at the Uffizi’s Self-Portraits Gallery two years after it was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Closes February 1, Uffizi Museum


Although all of the Pitti Immagine productions ( See: http://www.pittimmagine.com/en/corporate.html ) are aimed at specialist fashion buyers (you may be one), Florence knows they are here because the streets are full of fashionable folks and events, parties, and shows a just falling out of various venues in the historic center. The fair, itself, is strictly reserved for specialist buyers. (Check on line to see if you might qualify.) The web site – http://www.pittimmagine.com/en/corporate.html – is great and is the best place to great all of the detailed information for these exciting events. Here's what's on tap for January 2015:

PITTI UOMO 87 – From the 13th to the 16th January, Pitti Uomo will come back with its 87th edition showcasing over 1000 men's brands at the Fortezza da Basso, plus another 100 women's collections at Pitti W15.

PITTI W15 – Pitti W 15 is the Pitti women's fair and is being held January 13 to 16 in the ex-Dogana adjacent to Fortezza del Basso. Over fifty brands are included in this edition of Pitti W, including daywear, eveningwear, accessories, coats and jackets, and sportswear. A special collaboration with the Mini car-makers should add even more excitement. At the ex-Dogana, via Valfonda 25.

PITTI BIMBO 80 – From the 22nd to 24th, Pitti Bimbo will come back with its 80th fashion week full of events and shows dedicated to children's clothes. Over 500 collections are expected this year, including about 200 from abroad: the collections will be showcased through an area of 47.000 square meters.

PITTI FILATI 76 – From 22nd to 24th, Pitti Filati returns in its 76th edition. Pitti Filati is the fair for the excellence of knitting yarn and fabric at which all the new international trends are shown.


You don’t need to drive for hour for winter fun. Until January 27, in Florence, it will be possible to ski, to ice-skate at the FIRENZE WINTER PARK near to the OBIHALL, a few steps away from the Arno River. Inside the Florence Winter Park there are a wide ice rink (800 sq. meters) and a ski run of 80 meters. To enhance the Winter Park there are a bar, a restaurant, stands and entertainment activities for children.


From Monday to Friday from 10.00 A.M. to 12.00 P.M.

Saturday, Sunday and Holidays from 8.00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.


From Monday to Friday

- From 10.00 A.M. to 1.00 P.M.

- From 2.30 P.M. to 7.30 P.M.

- From 8.30 P.M. to 11.30 P.M.

Saturday, Sunday and Holidays

- From 08.00 A.M. to 10.00 A.M.

- From 10.30 A.M to 12.30 P.M

- From 1.00 P.M. to 3.00 P.M

- From 3.30 P.M. to 5.30 P.M

- From 6.00 P.M. to 8.00 P.M

- From 9.00 P.M. to 12.00 P.M


Available everyday

- From 2.00 P.M. to 6.00 P.M. (SNOW-TUBING)

- From 6.00 P.M. to 8.00 P.M. (SKI)

VINTAGE SELECTION 25 - The Vintage Clothing, Accessories & Designer Objects Fair

Feed your vintage habit at Stazione Leopolda from January 28 to 31. The Silver Edition of Vintage Selection is not only a chance to buy retro clothes, accessories and decorative items, there will be food, music and events to make this a true walk through the past.

Stazione Leopolda, info: 055 212622, www.stazione-leopolda.com


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 1am on Saturdays and Sundays.


The Odeon is done with 50 days of Cinema and the original language films (mostly in English are back. Stop by the cinema in Piazza Strozzi for a schedule. Some of the highlights include Big Eyes (Jan. 1-5), American Sniper (Jan. 6-11), and The Imitation Game (Jan. 15-21).

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

peechless—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, January 14, 20.00 Film: THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII by Mario Caserini, 1913

Wednesday, January 21, 20.00, Film: CABIRIA by Giovanni Pastrone, 1914

Wednesday, January 28, 20.00, Film: BROKEN BLOSSOMS by D W Griffith, 1919


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, January 14, 2015, 18.00

Lecture: James Sholto Douglas

"Everything You Always Wanted To Ask about Post-Modernism But Were Afraid to Ask... before it's too late". An interactive introduction to some of the ideas that people have come up with to explore and explain Post-Modernism in the visual arts.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 18.00

Lecture: Charles Dusenbury

Charles Dusenbury, who currently lives in it, has made a study of the beautiful Palazzo Rucellai in Via della Vigna Nuova, designed for the family by the great architectural theorist Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472).

Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 18.00

Lecture: Joseph Weiler

The President of the European University Institute at the Badia Fiesolana, Professor Joseph Weiler, is an avid beekeeper and in this talk, followed by a honey tasting, he explains several astonishing features about the life of the hive.



The Amici della Musica of Florence presents various concerts at the Teatro della Pergola. Works by Haydn, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, and Beethoven 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


Come for energetic jazz with JAVIER GIROTTO & AIRES TANGO at 9:i45pm, Jan. 10, and panist Iiro Rantala at 9:45pm on January 17. Pinocchio Jazz Club is located at Circolo Vie Nuove, viale Donato Giannotti 13, www.pinocchiojazz.it


The Orchestra della Toscanna with GIOVANNI SOLLIMA, cellist and composer, offers and evening of SOLLIMA Hell I da 'Song From The Divine Comedy' version for cello and orchestra (2011)
HAYDN Concerto n.1 for cello and orchestra Hob.VIIb:1
and SOLLIMA Folktales, for cello and orchestra (2009) at the Teatro Verdi

9pm, Jan. 14, Teatro Verdi, via Ghibellina 99, www.teatroverdionline.it


Check the opera schedule online at www.maggiofiorentino.com as well as concerts by Chinese Director X? ZH?NG on January 9 and another directed by RYAN MCADAMS with cellist PABLO FERRÁNDEZ on January 14.

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


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

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


PIANCASTAGNAIO – Befanate Befanotti

On the night between 5 and 6 January, groups of men go from poderi to poderi and the villages offering a begging song. They are the "befanotti", dressed in old clothes and with their faces dirty with soot. The text of the song describes the character of the befana, who promises gifts for everyone, and ends with requests for offerings. The gifts collected, usually food, are eaten in a meal shared among the befanotti or are sold for division of the proceeds. This festival also takes place in the Maremma villages of Alberese, Braccagni, Poderi di Montemerano and Monterotondo, and in the area of Monte Amiata in the villages of Saragiolo, Bagnore, Bagnolo and Marroneto.

SINALUNGA – Fiera dell'Epifania

On January 6, Sinalunga sees the arrival of the Three Wise Men and a town fair for Epiphany (Befana will certainly be there, too). Also, find similar parades and festivals in: Greve, Impruneta, Incisa (look for the purple Befana), Matione, San Casciano, Sinalunga, Borgo San Lorenzo and Figline Valdarno.

SAN PIERO A SIEVE – Befana Arrives by Train

On January 6, you too can ride the steam train with Befana through the Mugello. Departure from Santa Maria Novella (Florence) train station and arrival to San Piero a Sieve. A brunch and entertainment for children make the day extra special (if riding on a steam train was not enough excitement).

Ticket: €20 (adults and children over 4 years old). Free seats for children under 4 years old.

Tickets on sale at the Firenze SMN and Firenze CM train station now.

For info: www.mugellotoscana.it and www.italvapore.it


On January 17, many Tuscan towns celebrate the festival of St. Anthony the Abbot with blessings of grain, bread and animals. There will be parades and fairs in the following locations: Abbadia San Salvadore, Castiglione d'Orcia, Campiglia d'Orcia, Piancastagnaio, Radicofani, Torrita di Siena, among others

SAN GIMIGNANO – Festa e Fiera

On January 31, San Gimignano is the place to be for a grand Festival and Fair. The fair is held in Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Cistern. There is the offering of the church candle and blessing of the city. The relic of Saint Geminianus, the bishop saint from Modena, is in the Collegiate Church, dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption and situated on the west side of the Piazza del Duomo in San Gimignano, (one of the most important examples of Romanesque architecture in Tuscany), kept in an altar dedicated to him, and his feast day is January 31.

BOMBED PISA, PISA FREED – Closes January 11 in Pisa

Pisa bombardata, Pisa liberata (August 31, 1943 - September 2, 1944) Until January 11 at Palazzo Blu in Pisa, the drama of the city bombed told by Pisan artists is shown in a special exhibition.

In the summer of 1943, between the fall of Mussolini, on July 25, and the Armistice of September 8, Italy lived in limbo, suspended between the fatigue of a war and the desire of peace. Allied planes bombed Italian cities to push Italy to decide the yield.

Pisa was hit by a devastating bombing of August 31, 1943, destroying the industrial area southwest of the city, destroying homes and killing about nine hundred people.

In the year following, the city, now abandoned by the civilian population, suffered over fifty bombing raids that destroy the bridges over the Arno and seriously damage the banks of the Arno river and the old town. In September 1944 the allied forces are able to liberate the city. Nearly 1,800 civilians were killed, tens of thousands of living spaces were destroyed or damaged, and 18,000 people have lost their home.

After seventy years Palazzo Blu remember those dramatic days and the wounds left by the bombing through images of the city, as depicted by Pisan artists, including Mario Bertini, Gino Bonfanti, Ferruccio Pizzanelli, Mino Rosi, Bruno Santochi, Giordano Viotto. About 50 works including drawings, oils and watercolors, mostly from private collections, were provided by the owners for the exhibition at Palazzo Blu, curated by Stephen Renzoni.

Completing the exhibition is a selection of previously unpublished photographs or little known that document the time of the liberation of the city by the allied troops, made available by Archivio Acquario della Memoria/Memory Sharing.


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.


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 .


With a nod to the past and your old favorite haunts in Florence, we hope 2015 brings you surprises and joy of the new and innovative variety.

All the best,

Pitcher and Flaccomio