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Rent, Sell and Manage Properties in Florence and Tuscany
NEWSLETTER july 2009

July – Let the good times roll! Florence and Tuscany are the hot place to be in July... in more ways than one! Even for those still at work, the month of July always brings an air of vacation, joy and celebration. Weekends can easily include a drive to the sea, and weeknights are spent outdoors at concerts, or in open-air piazzas enjoying the cool surroundings of the Tuscan hills.
This month we cover the cultural and musical events enlivening our local scene (exhibitions, jazz, rock, soul, original language movies and more) plus notes and articles by much-appreciated contributors Anne, Simon, Evan, Joe and Deirdre, introducing us to a great gelato neighborhood, a new book, restaurant, and one of Florence’s best new auto initiatives.
For a future issue, we are researching the tour guide world of Florence and Tuscany. If you have had a great (or less than great) experience in the hands of a guide, please let us know. And if you work as a guide in the area, we would love to hear about what you offer. Please be in touch at newsletter@pitcherflaccomio.com. Thanks.
A note from Suzanne:
Dear Friends,
As you may remember from previous editions of our Pitcher & Flaccomio newsletter, I am on the committee that organizes Corri La Vita, a walk/marathon to raise money and awareness about breast cancer. In our seventh edition, to be held on Sunday September 27th, we are being generously sponsored by Ferragamo. In addition to this backing, we seek additional financial support to raise sufficient funds for our projects. Therefore I am turning to all of you who read our newsletter, to see if you could be generous or, if you could ask your companies or local associations if they would like to become sponsors for Corri La Vita. Undoubtedly, this high visibility event in the historic city of Florence would provide excellent exposure as well as association with a very just cause. Should you need any further information as to where, how, what and why, please don’t hesitate to email s.pitcher@dada.it or go to the official event website www.corrilavita.it.
I will be forever grateful for any assistance my friends can offer this worthy cause.
I thank you in advance,
From the new office on Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia SUZANNE, CORSO, SANDRA, LORI, ANNA PIA, KIMBERLY and MARIO send our summer best. Again, we thank you for your helpful feedback regarding our newsletter, and welcome all future comments, ideas and suggestions.


The Florence International Theatre Company has been on the road this path month.... in Los Angeles... where Producing Artistic Director, Bari Hochwald, has held exciting meetings with her colleagues in Hollywood and Broadway from film, television and theatre to create an exciting future for Florence. Building on the last three seasons of professional theatre, cultural opportunities and education that we have offered the residents of our beautiful city, now is the time to enter the next phase of establishing FITC as Florence's first international cultural center of professional theatre and education. If you are interested in learning more about how you can be involved on the ground floor of this innovative opportunity for Florence, there will be an event with Bari explaining the details and future in mid July. For information please write info@florencetheatre.com or call 055 213 788 after July 6th.
Don't miss the 4th of July Picnic on Saturday, July 4, from 5:00 pm to midnight at Villa Demidoff, Via Bolognese, Via Fiorentina, 276 - Pratolino (Vaglia), #25A bus. (See FLORENCE NEWS below for more info). Enjoy the cool and the fun at the Parco di Villa Demidoff! People of all ages can participate in the games like three-legged races, egg-on-a-spoon runs, and more. Check out the mini version of the USA Street Fair, which will showcase some of the services available to the English-speaking community in Florence. If you’d like to volunteer for an hour please write cathleen.compton@gmail.com.
Cathleen Compton, Chair, www.democratsabroad.org
FOOTBAAAALLL!! by Simon Clark and Anne Brooks
Forza Viola!..........Nothing much happening on the field this month – not at the Stadio Franchi, anyway. Gamberini, Gilardino and Montolivo went off to South Africa with the national squad for the Confederations Cup. The Italian media thought the Azzurri could win this but the glory went elsewhere – a last-minute goal taking it for Brazil after being 2-0 down against a magnificent USA (can World Cup victory be far away for the Americans?). A humbling defeat at the hands – or feet – of the mighty Egypt stopped Italy progressing beyond the group stage. It obviously wasn’t the fault of the Viola squad members; Fiorentina had no representatives in the European Under-21 Championship team and the juniors did little better, fading out at the semi-final stage to the eventual winners, Germany (who thrashed England 4-0, so there’s some good news).
Otherwise, the main “news” (“gossip” is a better word) is from the transfer market, which continues to beguile and bore in equal measure week by week and day by day. Gobbi and Pasqual are definitely leaving; no, they are definitely staying. Frey and Melo are being stalked by Real Madrid, Juventus etc; Frey and Melo pledge themselves to Fiorentina; we may be willing to sell either as we have no spare cash with which to fund further acquisitions. So it goes and so it will go until either a deal is signed or the transfer window closes. Mind you, it does look as though we’ll take – on loan with an option to buy – a Dutch defender called Drenthe from Real Madrid. He’s a full-back so, according to the press, we’ll likely sell Vargas – even though Prandelli has transformed the Peruvian into a rumbustious midfielder. Two plus two equals five.
Politics is getting into football, too. The run-off for boss of Firenze gave us Mayor Renzi who has been quick to sound off in favour of the new stadium being sought by the Della Valle brothers. Judging by his sound bites and oleaginous performances on Tuscan TV, he’s out there personally with shovel and tape measure searching for potential sites. Politicians are as untrustworthy as transfer rumours! At least the football players, no matter what reservations you may have about salaries and so forth, are out there for the game, under scrutiny and under pressure to deliver. And ours are the best…..Forza Viola!
THE FIORENTINA SCHEDULE: A new round of friendlies will come along in late July as the preface to the 2009-2010 Scudetto campaign. We will kick off next season properly with the Champions League qualifiers and we come in at the 4th preliminary round. We reckon the Viola will be playing someone over two legs 18-19 and 25/26 August. The champions of Malta would be good!

THUMBS UP – THUMBS DOWN - “Our Readers Right”
Our “Thumbs up, Thumbs down” column is your chance to toot the horn of businesses, events and those Florentine situations that strike you as either wonderful or terrible. Please note: all opinions are strictly those of our readers. Lend us your thoughts!
We were thrilled to learn that our friend Deirdre Pirro, who writes beautifully, succinctly telling the stories of Italy’s great achievers, has published a collection of her works. This is how we found out:
Dear Kim,
Shamelessly, I am going to ask if you could give a plug to my book which has just been published by The Florentine Press. It's a book of 40 Italian Sketches that I hope some of your clients might be interested in reading. To give you an idea of what the book is about, the following is from the preface;
“Culture lovers the world over often cultivate an awe-struck sense of familiarity in relationship to Italy's cultural history, moved by the indisputable genius of Leonardo, Michelangelo or Dante, who still demand our attention on a first-name basis. And when it comes to recounting Italy's grandeur, Anglo-writers from the Grand Tour onwards have been generous with their ink, spotlighting the splendor of the peninsula's artistic Renaissance and the ingenious passion of its people. Yet, amidst widespread literary celebration of Italy's past, the mosaics that make up the country's modern identity are often left fragmented, uncollected and pitifully unpolished. Its contemporary culture is too overwrought with paradox, tragedy and intrigue to tempt anyone but the boldest authors to venture into the political, moral and social labyrinth that characterized the country throughout the twentieth century, as it forged its way into the second millennium.
To capture the daunting essence of contemporary Italy, one must shed the mystique and accept the mystery, embrace the talent, admit the decadence and shoulder both its failures and its triumphs. Thanks to capsule-like chapters that captivate the novice and impress the knowledgeable, Deirdre Pirro's Italian Sketches provides a forum for Italy's unsung heroes, unpunished villains, creative masters and forerunners of innovation and reform.” The book can be found at The Paperback Exchange on Via delle Oche near the Duomo.
Thanks Kim.
Ciao All,
Your newsletter readers might like to know about the Florence Car Sharing program. For those needing occasional use of a car for urban transport and the surrounds, Florence's Car Sharing program may be ideal. This is a membership-based, short-term car rental program, optimal for use a few hours and a few kilometers at a time. As a government sanctioned program, Car Sharing is considered public transportation and afforded the same privileges as taxis and buses (e.g. ZTL immunity, free parking, use of bus/taxi lanes, etc). Members reserve cars through a web site, and then collect the car at one of 20+ depots around Florence. Your "smart" identity card unlocks the car and grants you access to the keys.
There is an annual membership fee (ours was discounted as AAA members), and per usage fees (about € 2/hr and €0.40/km), billed monthly. Rates come down after 12 hours or 100km, in line with a normal auto rental agency. The fleet is mostly small Fiat Pandas. An extended membership offers service in 10 additional northern Italy cities.
We find that for less than a one-way taxi trip, we can fetch visitors at the airport and then give them an orientation tour through Centro's ZTL before arriving at our house. It’s also cost-effective for a run to the super mercato or Ikea. Website: http://www.carsharingfirenze.it/. Address: Viale Amendola Giovanni, 36 (upstairs in the ACI - Auto club Italia.
Evan S.
What better to do in July than promenade with a gelato? Some say that Florence - in the person of Bernardo Buontalenti, described by Elizabeth David as “architect, costume designer, master of mechanical works and hydraulic engineering and impresario of Medici feasts, festivals and fireworks” – invented the gelato. True or not, the city seems to lead the world now. If you are in the area west of Santa Croce, feel confident in any of these:
VIVOLI [via Isola delle Stinche 7r. Tel: 055 292 334]. Gelateria and café, Vivoli is something of an institution. It has a claim to be the best gelateria in Firenze and it gets very busy as people and tours rush to test it. No-one can deny its quality and some of its flavours are outstanding (superb apple, for instance) even as the competition heats up! See www.vivoli.it You’ll find it tucked behind the Teatro Verdi west of Santa Croce; open Tuesday to Saturday 07.30-01.00, Sunday 09.30-01.00 and closed on Mondays (and a couple of weeks in August).
GELATERIA DEI NERI [via del Neri 20-22r. Tel: 055 210 034]. We confess. This is a favourite. Not only a splendid range, not just organic, not merely the lovely staff....Neri has that indefinable something that makes it a really nice place – especially with gelato like theirs! The road winds from Santa Croce to the rear of the Uffizi – worth a stroll from either end. Open every day 11.00-midnight.
LATTERIA ZURLI [Borgo Pinti 69 R]. A real case of hiding light under a bushel! Zurli is also known as “I Cugini”. Since 1912. You could walk right past its slightly scruffy, viola-tinged pavement frontage, past the small blackboards advertising the day’s specialities. It’s fantastic. Fruit flavours verging on the sweet – lemon and apricot – and a dark chocolate to revitalise the taste buds.
Anne and Simon
The Galli Brothers have scored again with their acquisition of the long established Il Sasso di Dante (Rock of Dante) restaurant. The name comes from a nearby rock where it is believed Dante himself sat, as he watched the construction of The Duomo. If only the restaurant had been available to him it would have made the experience far more interesting. It is actually nestled in among some of the oldest structures in Florence but sitting in a place immersed in history is not enough. This restaurant delivers exceptionally delicious food.
Alessandro and Massimilliano Galli have established themselves as talented restaurateurs with their wildly successful Birreria Centrale at Piazza Cimatori, which enjoys a loyal local following along with visitors fortunate enough to find it. While Birreria Centrale offers a choice of Tuscan dishes with a number of outstanding Tyrolean Dishes (M-m-m- so tasty and warming on a crisp day), Il Sasso di Dante focuses on the Italian Cuisine, which they have mastered. Additionally, there is a wide choice of a dozen salads for those seeking something a bit lighter.
Although I haven’t yet sampled all of the dishes (just give me time), I am enamored of the numerous antipasti, salads, house made pastas, main courses (the meat dishes are exceptional), and house made desserts I’ve gobbled down with relish (figuratively) . In addition to the classic Tuscan dishes offered, there are a variety of Italian plates with classic roots that have been embellished by a creative kitchen that has enhanced them to give them their own special Sasso stamp. The pastries are house prepared daily in a common kitchen shared with Birreria Centrale. If you have already, partaken of the desserts, no more need be said.
When first acquired, some of the kinks had to be worked out as the Gallis reconstituted the restaurant to reflect their love of fine foods. The kitchen and staff have been revamped, the menu reconstructed, and the experienced wait staff is in place. I dined at Il Sasso di Dante early on and experienced a few bumps that were smoothed out in subsequent visits. The wine list has been expanded but is a work in progress. There are plenty of snooty, overpriced restaurants in Florence if that’s your taste, but at Il Sasso di Dante you’ll find an informal atmosphere with outdoor dining available. Ask for Alessandro or Massimo, two of the most genial hosts you’ll ever meet. Piazza delle Pallottole, 6r, at the Duomo (between Via della Studio and Via dei Proconsolo).
Joe Fernandez
I love the pizza at Osteria Caffe Italiano... Via Isola delle Stinche, 11/13r (go in the pizza door for informal seating and take away service, or enter at the restaurant door for the table cloth and napkin service....). Either way you will find thick, yummy, Naples-style pizza. Only three types available - all with mozzarella di buffalo, and cooked in wood stove margherita, napoletano and marinara.... Say hi to Vincenzo the pizzaiolo and Michele the waiter.

Zucchini Carpaccio Salad - (serves 6)
This month we feature a recipe from our friends at the Linari Festival who say “we could not take this salad off the menu at the Festival in 2005, it was so popular!” No wonder, given the superb range of zucchini available in central Tuscany in July and August. The recipe is based on a similar one from the nearby Pieve a Castello, the 8th Century former monastery which is now a tourist facility, and where some recitals are held during the festival.
- 2 medium sized zucchinis
- Lemon juice and the zest from the lemons
- Olive oil.
- About 150 gms of the best finely grated parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
Thinly slice the zucchini lengthways using a mandolin. (Use a cheese slicer if you don't have a mandolin.) Arrange some zucchini slices in a layer in a large porcelain dish, sprinkle with lemon juice and a little olive oil (be sparing with both - you want the zucchini wet, but not floating in excess oil or juice) and a little lemon zest. Lightly season and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Repeat this process until all the zucchini has gone. Let stand for 20 minutes. Before serving twist the zucchini slices into swirls, and place into piles on a serving dish. Sprinkle with any remaining lemon zest and a little more parmesan.


On Sat. 4 grab the kids and head up the Via Bolognese to Pratolino and the lovely, cool Parco di Villa Demidoff. The TuscanAmerican Association and others, are putting on a fun party with Italian Folk music, and American Hip Hop to Totemaju, a concert by the Aeronautica Militare di Firenze, greetings from the Consul General of the USA, country music with Wild Aces, dancing, games a super Lottery and lots of stuff for the kids to do. There will be burgers, hot dogs and more. RSVP to segreteria@toscana-usa.org or by calling 055 333378.
Starting Tuesday July 7th (until Sept. 7th), shops and stores in Florence and Tuscany are officially allowed to reduce prices on their spring/summer merchandise. Take advantage and stretch those precious euros.
From Tues. 7 to Thurs. 9, once again Florence’s Fortezza da Basso hosts the world preview of knitting yarn collections for the 2010/2011 fall-winter season. Anyone interested in getting a jump-start on the fashions, colors and textures for next-next season shouldn’t miss finding a way into this show. Over one hundred textile firms will display their latest inventions. Pitti Filati exhibitors represent the high end of Italian and international yarn production for the knitting industry and the buyers present each year come from the style offices of the most important names in fashion. As always, it will be THE opportunity to see the excellence of international yarns and to get a better understanding of the coming seasons’ trends thanks to the textile preview. A special research space “Fashion at Work” is dedicated to the most advanced technologies and services for the industry, presenting stitches selected from the historical archives of knitting mills and the great fashion houses, clothing and experiments in knits as well as concrete links with the world of textiles – washes, prints, embroideries, ornaments, and finishes furthering new trend development in ecological, ethical, fair trade and environmentally sustainable yarns. Fortezza da Basso. Open daily from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, and the last day until 4:00 pm. Entrance is allowed only for operators, so be prepared to show something that identifies you as “in the business”.
From Tues. 7 to Sat. 11 visit the Stazione Leopolda for the best in vintage clothing. Vintage shops from all around Italy bring their best-of-the-best to this popular annual show/market. Relive your youth, or your grandmother’s youth! The show annually fills with fashion designers looking for inspiration from the past. Stazione Leopolda. Viale Fratelli Rosselli 5. Open 10:00 am to 11:00 pm. Tel. 055/212622, info@stazione-leopolda.com, www.stazione-leopolda.com

DREAMS AND SHADOWS - Photographs by René & Radka
Until Aug. 2 the Museo Nazionale Alinari della Fotografia is host to the work of two young and creative photographers from the fashion world. René was born in Germany and Radka is from Czech Republic. The new exhibition “Dreams and Shadows” presents a selection of photographs from their last two shows: “Come play with us” and “Under water”. René and Radka have collaborated with numerous magazines worldwide with fashion editorials and personal works appearing in magazines such as Vogue Nippon, French, Citizen K, Wound, Milk, Squint, Tusch, Beaux Art, L´oeil, Photo, and Art actuel. On the advertising market Rene and Radka signed campaigns for labels like Adidas with David Beckham, Kenzo, Absolute Vodka, Aston Martin, Miss Sixty and Energie. They came to the world of art by first taking part in collective shows and then with their first solo exhibition “Moonage daydream” in 2006 in Berlin followed by “Come and play with us” in 2007 and “Under Water” in 2009 in Paris. MNAF - Alinari National Museum of Photography. Piazza Santa Maria Novella 14°. Open: every day from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm and from 4:00 pm to 9 pm; closed on Wednesday. Ticket: € 6.00 euro. The visit of the exhibition includes the visit to the Museum.
FROM PETRA TO SHAWBAK - Archaeology of a Frontier
From Monday July 13 to October 11, the Limonaia in the Boboli Gardens offers an exhibition of the latest international archaeology investigations and of the research conducted by the University of Florence in these past twenty years in Jordan at the sites of Petra and Shawbak. Petra was the capital of the mercantile empire of the Nabataeans which controlled the incense route, then conquered by the Romans, the Persians and the Arabs up to the epoch of the Crusades, between 1100 and 1118, when king Baldwin of Jerusalem built the two castles of Al-Wu’Ayra and Al-Habis. The “Crusader” century (between 1100 and 1189) revived the city’s ancient function in southern Jordan, as a frontier between the Mediterranean and Arabia, but also between Syria and Egypt. The Castle of Shawbak, also founded by Baldwin I, is one of the most spectacular medieval settlements of the eastern Mediterranean. It is located 25 km north of Petra, which it replaced as capital of Transjordan in the XII century. The studies conducted by the Italian archaeological mission have restored this site to the great history of the Mediterranean, along with its extraordinary monuments: the cathedral of Saint Mary, the palace of Saladin’s grandson, the monumental bastions of the late XIII century. As of 2006, the Shawbak site has been the object of an innovative international Italian-Jordanian agreement of scientific and cultural cooperation between the Department of Antiquities of Jordan and the University of Florence, which combines archaeological research, conservative restoration and valorization. The exhibition itinerary has been conceived in three sections: 1) the discovery of an authentic capital that reinterprets the Crusader presence of the Seigniory of Transjordan, and begins a succession that crosses the dynasty of Saladin and reaches us; 2) the documentation of the diverse role performed by the frontier as a historical key of interpretation: from the ancient age (Nabataean, Roman, Byzantine), Arab-Islamic (Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid) up to the Crusader-Ayyubid and Mameluke ages, explored through the archaeological observatory of the region and of the sites of Petra and Shawbak; 3) the collection and “publication” of visitors’ comments. Several films (from Indiana Jones to Aleksandr Nevskij) will contribute to drawing the public to the exhibition themes. Limonaia of the Boboli Garden. Daily from 8:15 am to 7:30 pm. Closed the first and last Monday of the month. Tel. 055 2654321.
Until Sept. 14 the Museo della Casa Buonarroti will present a show based on studies carried out by the Département des Arts Graphiques at the Musée du Louvre on the vast graphics collection (about three thousand drawings and thirty thousand engravings) donated by Edmond de Rothschild to the Louvre in the 1930s, that has led to the identification of a remarkable number of works by Italian Renaissance masters. For many years now, Fondazione Casa Buonarroti and the Département des Arts Graphiques have had excellent scientific relations, with the result that the Museo della Casa Buonarroti is now putting on an exhibition of the highest level, with over ninety items, almost none of which have been shown previously. A particularly enchanting introduction to the exhibition is given by a group of twenty-one International Gothic drawings, visible from both sides. On the front, there are fabulous images of ancient castles, and on the back architectural and figure drawings of the finest draughtsmanship. The various subjects include an Angel Defeating Vices, a Saint George and the Dragon, a Crucifixion with God the Father and Mary Magdalene, and Architecture with Peacock and Birds in Flight. These are followed by nine niello works by famous artists; then we find the main section of the exhibition, which consists of about sixty-five sheets, with masterpieces by Pisanello, Jacopo Salimbeni, Leonardo, Raphael, Fra Bartolomeo, Benozzo Gozzoli, Maso Finiguerra, Niccolò dell'Abate, Perin del Vaga, Battista Franco, Cavalier d'Arpino, and other great names from Quattrocento and Cinquecento Italian art. Casa Buonarroti, via Ghibellina 70, tickets: € 6.50, opening hours: 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., closed Tuesdays. Tel. 055 241752. www.casabuonarroti.it.
Until July 12 the Bargello National Museum pays tribute to Gian Lorenzo Bernini and his exceptional qualities as a portraitist. With the bust of Costanza Bonarelli, the Bargello possesses the most exciting and famous testimony of the breakthrough that Bernini (1598-1680) brought to the genre of portrait sculpture. The show sheds light on the most significant phase of the artist’s activity, represented by Costanza Bonarelli, the Portraits of Urban VIII and of Scipione Borghese, and of other personages of the papal court. It concentrates on the portraits that Bernini sculpted from his early youth and is divided into two sections: Bernini the Portraitist: the Beginning and Rise, and The “Talking Portraits” (1630-1640).
Portrait sculpture had an extraordinary diffusion in Rome in the first half of the seventeenth century, with much innovation occurring in little more than twenty years, between 1615 and 1640. Thanks to Bernini, it progressed from stern and stiffly formal images to figures which seem to breathe and even converse with the viewer. They are the so-called “talking portraits”. Bargello National Museum. Until July 12. Ticket: 7.00 euro. Open Tuesday to Sun 8:15 – 6:00 pm.
Until Sept. 27, an exhibition dedicated to the great American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, in the twentieth anniversary of his death, will illuminate the Accademia Gallery. For the first time works of this renowned artist of photography will be exhibited with universal icons of art like the David, flanked by the Prisoners, and paintings by masters from the fourteenth century to the full Renaissance.
From its very title, Robert Mapplethorpe, Perfection in Form, the show expresses the profound principle that associates Mapplethorpe with the great Renaissance masters and, in particular, with Michelangelo: the search for balance, the precision and clarity inherent to ‘Form’ that tends toward perfection by means of the geometric rigor of volumes defined by line and sculpted by light. In Mapplethorpe’s own words: “I look for perfection in form … I am trying to capture what could be sculpture”. The photographer confessed his fascination for the art of Michelangelo, stating: “If I had been born one hundred or two hundred years ago, I might have been a sculptor, but photography is a very quick way to see, to make sculpture”.
The material is grouped into four sections addressing the single theme of Form; Geometry of Form, Fragment as Form, Repeating Form, and Sculptural Form. Michelangelo’s David and the four Prisoners, as terms of comparison, in addition to four drawings and a wax model also by Michelangelo, reflect off 93 works by Mapplethorpe that include human subjects as well as numerous still-lifes, where Mapplethorpe confirms his attention for the study of light and shadows on the object, giving it a clear placement in space.
Accademia Gallery. Via Ricasoli 58. Open Tues-Sun 8:15 am-6:50 pm; last admission 30 min. before closing. Ticket: 10 euro. Closed Monday. Firenze Musei Tel. 055. 2654321
Until Sept. 30 the Uffizi Gallery hosts a fascinating special exhibit. With the extinction of the Medici dynasty (1743), Florence did not lose its prestige as capital of culture and the arts, thanks to the government of the Lorraines, who gave the city the international profile required by Enlightenment policies. This exhibition is the first overall panorama of the principal artistic events of the eighteenth century in Florence, with 120 paintings, sculptures, art objects and furnishings, works from the entire century, recording the changes in taste from the late Baroque period to Neoclassicism.
The show starts with commissions made by Cosimo III and the Grand Prince Ferdinando de’ Medici, that opened the city to “foreign” artists like Sebastiano Ricci and Giuseppe Maria Crespi. They favored sculpture (with personalities like Giovan Battista Foggini and Massimiliano Soldani Benzi), and developed the manufacture of tapestries and semiprecious stone work.
Following the Medicis, Peter Leopold of Lorraine brought the European version of Rococo and Neoclassicism to Tuscany, along with the reformist spirit that accompanied the theories of the Enlightenment even in the figurative arts. A new elite of patrons took shape in Florence. In this context, the families of the Florentine aristocracy held a conspicuous role: the Gerinis for the diffusion of the veduta (landscape), the Ginoris for their famed porcelains of Doccia, the Corsinis for their constant relations with pontifical Rome. In this climate of civic and cultural fervor, the Frenchmen François-Xavier Fabre, Bénigne Gagnereaux, Louis Gauffier and Jean-Baptiste Desmarais came to Florence, driven from Pontifical Rome after the murder of the diplomat Nicolas de Basseville. With them came the international version of neoclassicism, thus contributing to the “reform” of the portrait, the veduta and the historical painting, on the eve of the instatement of the Napoleonic court (1799). Uffizi Gallery. Ticket: 10 euro. Open Tuesday to Sunday 8:15 – 6:50 pm. Closed Monday. Firenze Musei Tel. 055. 2654321
Until August 30, at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence pays homage to the human and intellectual epic of one of its most ingenious sons. Galileo’s first celestial discoveries date to exactly 400 years ago, and to mark this fourth centenary the United Nations has declared 2009 the International Year of Astronomy. The exhibition proposes a journey through time and space that begins with the mystical and poetic visions of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. It moves on to the Greek cosmogonies, characterized by the ingenious homocentric spheres of Eudoxus, through the planetary architectures of Ptolemy and Arab astronomy, revoking the Christian interpretations and finally arriving at the heliocentric theories of Copernicus that inspired Galileo and Kepler, the scholars who – together with Newton – made a decisive contribution to the definitive consolidation of the new concept of the universe.
Enhanced by informative videos, the itinerary is illustrated by archaeological finds, beautifully-fashioned scientific instruments, celestial atlases, paintings (spectacular frescoes from Pompeii never shown before, in addition to Botticelli, Rubens and Guercino), sculptures, precious illuminated codices and specially-built working cosmological models. Among the most spectacular exhibits are the monumental astronomical tapestry of Toledo, the Farnese Atlas, the mysterious painting Linder Gallery Interior, displayed here for the first time, and Galileo’s telescope. Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza Strozzi. Until August 30. Open daily 9:00 am – 8:00 pm, Thursday until 11:00 pm. Tickets: € 10.00. Tel. 055 2645155. For bookings: tel. 055 2469600. prenotazioni@cscsigma.it
Until July 12, the Pitti Palace Silver Museum hosts a show featuring the art of antiquity reflected in twentieth-century and present-day art. Paintings and sculptures that have passed through the centuries (from the Etruscans to the Classical Age, from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance), are proposed in comparison with Picasso and Dali, Modigliani and De Chirico, Soffici, Marino Marini, Vangi, Mitoraj, Theimer, Guadagnucci and Franco Angeli.
The more than 130 works on show include a series of significant parallels of the applied arts: between the glass manufactures by Ercole Barovier and Carlo Scarpa and extraordinary pieces from the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, between ceramics by Giò Ponti and those from the National Archaeological Museums of Florence and Rome, between twentieth-century jewels and several wonders from antiquity and the Medici collections in the Pitti Palace.
The exhibition visually represents the innovative force and great expressiveness of twentieth-century art, juxtaposed with an historical Neoclassicism. Already present in Picasso’s works from the early XX century (the exhibition presents the Repas Frugal from the Victoria and Albert Museum of London), the return to origin became a creative drive also for a generation of Italian artists. After the disruptive experiences of the turn of the century, Carrà, Severini, Soffici, De Chirico, Morandi, and Modigliani chose this road to reconnect with roots and traditions. Even foreign artists were influenced by the allure of our past: in the Birth of Liquid Desires dated 1931-32, and on loan from the Guggenheim Museum of Venice, Salvador Dalì presents a surreal atmosphere, and literally cites the famous Cornelian with Apollo, Marsias and Olympus, which once belonged to Lorenzo the Magnificent. Silver Museum. Palazzo Pitti. Piazza Pitti 1. Hours: 8:15 to 5.30 pm. Closed Monday. www.polomuseale.firenze.it. Info: 055 294883.

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. 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, INTERNATIONAL STUDIO, Chiasso de’ Soldanieri, Tel. 055/293393, ARGONAUTA VIAGGI, Lungarno Torrigiani 33/B, 055/2342777.9187. Many tickets can be pre-purchased via www.ticketone.it or www.boxol.it or 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 12
SUD SOUND SYSTEM, Fortezza da Basso, 9:30 pm.
MEDESKI MARTIN & WOOD, Teatro Romano di Fiesole, 9:15 pm.
Monday 13
JARRETT - PEACOCK – DeJOHNETTE, Teatro Comunale. 9:00 pm.
Wednesday 15
CAMERATA BERLIN DELLA BERLINER PHILARMONIKER, conducted y Giuseppe Lanzetta, music of Mendelssohn. National Museum of the Bargello.
ESPERANZA SPALDING, Teatro Romano, Fiesole , 9:15 pm.
Thursday 16
MOTORHEAD, Fortezza da Basso. 9:30 pm.
NICO GORI - ALESSANDRO LANZONI quartet, Teatro Romano, Fiesole. 9:15 pm.
Friday 17
MOGWAI, Fortezza da Basso. 9:30 pm.
ORCHESTRA JAZZ DELLA SARDEGNA 'Concerto grosso', Teatro Romano, Fiesole. 9:15 pm.
Saturday 18
DAVID BYRNE on Tour, Teatro Romano di Fiesole. 9:15 pm.
Monday 20
ORCHESTRA DA CAMERA FIORENTINA, music from Bach to Sollima, National Museum of the Bargello.
Wednesday 22
ORCHESTRA DA CAMERA FIORENTINA, conducted by Giuseppe Lanzetta. Music of Lanzetta, Beethoven, Mendelssohn. National Museum of the Bargello.
SUBSONICA, Fortezza da Basso. 9:30 pm.
Thursday 23
PETRA MAGONI E FERRUCCIO SPINETTI, Fortezza da Basso. 9:30 pm.
Friday 24
ORCHESTRA DA CAMERA FIORENTINA, conducted by Giuseppe Lanzetta, Music of Piovani, Morricone, Rota, Bacalov. National Museum of the Bargello.
DONOVAN, Fortezza da Basso. 9:30 pm.
Tuesday 28
MORGAN, Fortezza da Basso. 9:30 pm.
Wednesday 29
DANIELE SILVESTRI. Fortezza da Basso. 9:30 pm.

Odeon Theatre, Piazza Strozzi 2. Phone: 055 214 068.
Friday 3 - THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS by Mark Herman - with Asa Butterfield, Zac Mattoon O'Brien, Domonkos Németh 6.00 – 8.30 – 10.30 p.m.
Saturday 4 -THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS - 6.00 – 8.30 – 10.30 p.m.
Sunday 5 - TERMINATOR SALVATION by McG with Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin. 5.30 – 8.10 – 10.30 p.m.
Monday 6 - NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2: BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN by S. Levy with B. Stiller, A. Adams, O. Wilson. 6.00 – 8.30 – 10.30 p.m.
Tuesday 7 - THE SECRETS OF MOONACRE by Gabor Csupo with D. Blue Richards, A. Prew. 6.00 – 8.30 – 10.30 p.m.
Wednesday 8 - THE SECRETS OF MOONACRE - 6.00 – 8.30 – 10.30 p.m.
Thursday 9 - SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE (Italian subtitles) by Danny Boyle with Dev Patel, Anil Kapoor, Freida Pinto. 5.30 – 8.20 – 10.30 p.m.
Friday 10 - SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE (Italian subtitles) - 5.30 – 8.20 – 10.30 p.m.
Saturday 11 - MY BEST FRIEND’S GIRL by Howard Deutch with Dane Cook, Kate Hudson, Jason Biggs. 6.00 – 8.30 – 10.30 p.m.
Sunday 12 - MY BEST FRIEND’S GIRL - 6.00 – 8.30 – 10.30 p.m.
Monday 13 - ANGELS & DEMONS by Ron Howard with Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer. 5.30 – 8.00 – 10.30 p.m.
Tuesday 14 - THE BOAT THAT ROCKED ( Italian subtitles)by Richard Curtis with P. Seymour Hoffman, B. Nighy, Rh.Ifans, Nick Frost, K. Branagh. 5.30 – 8.00 – 10.30 p.m.
Wednesday 15 - HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE (Italian subtitles)by David Yates with Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint. 5.00 – 8.00 – 10.45 p.m.
Thursday 16 - HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE (Italian subtitles). 5.00 – 8.00 – 10.45 p.m.
Friday 17 - HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE (Italian subtitles). 5.00 – 8.00 – 10.45 p.m.
Saturday 18 - HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE (Italian subtitles). 5.00 – 8.00 – 10.45 p.m.
Sunday 19- HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE (Italian subtitles). 5.00 – 8.00 – 10.45 p.m.
Monday 20 - HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE (Italian subtitles). 6.30 – 9.30 p.m.
Tuesday 21- HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE (Italian subtitles). 6.30 – 9.30 p.m.
Wednesday 22 - HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE (Italian subtitles). 6.30 – 9.30 p.m.
Thursday 23 - HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE (Italian subtitles). 6.30 – 9.30 p.m.
Friday 24 - HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE (Italian subtitles). 6.30 – 9.30 p.m.
Saturday 25 - HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE (Italian subtitles). 5.00 – 8.00 – 10.45 p.m.
Sunday 26 - HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE (Italian subtitles). 5.00 – 8.00 – 10.45 p.m.
Monday 27 - HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE (Italian subtitles). 6.30 – 9.30 p.m.
Tuesday 28 - HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE (Italian subtitles). 6.30 – 9.30 p.m.
Wednesday 29 - HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE (Italian subtitles). 6.30 – 9.30 p.m.
In Terminator Salvation (aka Terminator 4) Christian Bale steps into the Schwarzenegger role as John Connor finds himself in 2018 leading the resistance against Skynet terminators bent on eliminating mankind, and tussling with a man who may be from the future or the past. Action all the way.
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is the heart-warming and tragic story of the friendship between Bruno, the 8-year-old son of a Nazi concentration camp commandant and a Jewish boy on the other side of the fence. This film has divided the critics with its child’s eye view of the Holocaust.
The sequel to Night at the Museum (2006) is Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian in which a host of the world’s biggest museum’s characters come to life to comic effect. Ben Stiller is the security guard who is caught up in the post-closing nocturnal adventures.
The Secret of Moonacre is an adaptation of Elizabeth Goudge’s teen fiction success The Little White Horse. Set in 1842. Maria Merryweather is 13 and an orphan and is sent off to her uncle’s estate in Moonacre Valley, where the supernatural and the fantastic combine to provide adventures and thrills. The director Gabor Csupo also made the 2007 hit Bridge to Terabithia.
Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire has taken the world by storm – winning 8 Oscars - 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. A real Bombay Mix: realist feel-good Bollywood crime thriller.
Richard Curtis wrote and directed The Boat That Rocked, his affectionate riotous comedy about illegal 1960s radio stations broadcasting from ships in the North Sea and the soundtrack of the lives of those involved.
‘Once again I must ask too much of you, Harry...’ No summer would be complete without Harry Potter. So Potteristi/Potterites will be delighted that HP6 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is released simultaneously around the world, after its premieres in Tokyo, London and New York, on July 15. The usual cast is in place, with the addition of Jim Broadbent as Potions Professor Horace Slughorn and Helen McRory as Narcissa Malfoy, Draco’s mother, as well as some newcomers in smaller roles. By now everyone will be familiar with the plot, but suffice to say that teenage hormones figure prominently in this part of the saga as Voldemort threatens the very existence of Hogwarts and wizards as well Muggles. David Yates directs his second Potter movie which promises to be bigger and better than all the others.


From Fri. 3 to Sun. 5 be a part of music history as Pistoia hosts one of the best music festivals in Italy. From 7:00 pm to late night the Piazza del Duomo and other venues in town will rock and soul with notes from the likes of Sammy Hagar, Joss Stone and Michael Burks. See www.pistoiablues.com for tickets and info on concert times.
Friday 3 - Lorenzo del Pero, Guthrie Govan Band with Dave Kilminster, Kaki King, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Jon Spencer Heavy Trash, Chickenfoot - Joe Satriani + Sammy Hagar (Van Halen) + Michael Anthony (Van Halen) + Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Alvin Youngblood Hart.
Saturday 4 - Scott Mckeon, Nick Becattini, Michael Burks, The Derek Trucks Band, Joss Stone and Michael Burks.
Sunday 5 - Guitar Crusher & The Emiblues, Roberto Ciotti, Larry Carlton, Taj Mahal and PFM.
From Fri. 3 to Sun. 5 and Fri. 10 to Sun. 12 return to the past in the medieval hilltown of Monteriggioni, near Siena. Enter through the ancient gates to find artisans, events, music and foods. Dine with soldiers armed for battle. Jesters and jugglers will vie for your attention. The fun begins at 6:00 pm each evening, and goes until midnight or later. Tel. 0577 30484. www.monteriggionimedievale.com
Held in Fiesole on Saturdays 4, 11 and Sun. 19, an open-air market celebrates antiquities and vintage objects in the newly reopened central piazza of this pretty hilltop town. Plus meet the hands that forged our past. Artisans and artisanal food producers present their wares for sale. From 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. Piazza Mino, Fiesole. Info: Tel. 055.055. www.comune.fiesole.fi.it.
“Artisan wares market”: Sun. 5 (morning to afternoon). Panzano-in-Chianti. The first Sunday of each month the weekly town market held in Panzano is expanded with artisan booths of all sorts. Depending on who chooses to show up, you’ll find honey and pecorino (sheep’s milk) cheese makers, hand-embroidered linens, boutique wineries, antique dealers and much more. To visit Panzano by car from Florence or Siena, take Route 222, the "Chiantigiana" highway passing through the Chianti wine area. From the west, there is a road connecting with the highway at Tavarnelle. This pretty road passes the monastery of Badia a Passignano. It is also possible to reach Panzano by SITA bus from Florence. The trip takes about one hour.
Mon. 6 keep your eyes to the sky toward Fiesole. In celebration of the town’s patron saint San Romolo, at 7:00 pm a procession will take place, starting in Piazza Mino. At 9:00 pm there will be a concert in the piazzetta of the Cathedral (the Filarmonica “G. Verdi” of Fiesole) and at 10:30 pm. a spectacular display of fireworks will light the summer sky.
On Thursdays throughout July (9, 16, 23 and 30), the Castelli del Greve Pesa collective winery at Ponte di Gabbiano, located between Greve in Chianti and S. Casciano Val di Pesa, lights up the Chianti nights with a Jazz Festival. At the lovely site of S. Angiolo Vicolabate, artistic director Carlo Fagiani presents a host of nationally and internationally important jazz musicians. Together with the music, you will find wines of the Castelli del Greve Pesa as well as a buffet of Chianti dishes and specialties. Ponte di Gabbiano is located 18 km. from the Firenze Certosa roundabout, in the direction of Greve. S. Angelo Vicolabate, Ponte di Gabbiano. Each evening’s events start at 8:00 pm and finish around midnight. Tickets: 25 euro. Information and bookings: tel. 055 821911, www.castellidelgrevepesa.it, info@castellidelgrevepesa.it.
On Thurs. 16 spend the evening in Greve. At 6:00 pm, as the day cools to evening temperatures, Greve’s main piazza will come to life with a handicraft market and street performers. Filled with great places to eat, the small town shows its best side at night. Greve-in-Chianti. From 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Tel.
The official Linari classical concert season will then run from July 20 to August 7, based in the tiny, medieval village of Linari, situated between Florence and Siena. Linari is hilltop “Borgo” in the Chianti Classico area, one of the most enchanting parts of Tuscany. This music festival presents a rich program of classical music, ranging from the Baroque Era to the Twentieth century executed by young and talented musicians from Australia, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States, many of whom perform in some of the world's great orchestras. A special feature of the festival is the opportunity to join your friends and the performers over a meal at the end of most of the concerts.
The first festival was held in the summer of 2003 at the initiative of Airdrie Armstrong Terenghi, organizer and artistic director working with Joris van Rijn, music director. There are around ten concerts every summer. Ranging from medieval castles and churches to town piazzas and private villas, the unique venues provide an extra dimension to a musical experience.
Artistic Director Armstrong Terenghi tells us: “Amongst many other delights this year, four composers will be featured in the concert series as they are celebrating significant anniversaries: the 250th anniversary of Handel’s death; the 200th anniversary of Haydn’s death; the 200th anniversary of Mendelssohn’s birth; and the 350th anniversary of Purcell’s birth.
Another special event in 2009 is the inclusion of a composer born in Volterra in 1737, Francesco Zanetti. Age seventeen Zanetti became Maestro di Cappella at Volterra, and early in 1760 he assumed the same position at Perugia Cathedral. A master of the harpsichord, organ, and violin, he composed not only a substantial amount of church music but also several operas and chamber works. For the first time we have access to his original manuscripts and some of these compositions will be played on the 4th August at Il Moro near Impruneta in the Chamber Music Room where Zanetti himself performed.”
Please note that a few concerts and suppers have limited numbers so please book early. New booking telephone number: 327 221 5301. For updated information on the program please check: www.linariclassic.com.
Monday 20th July - Pieve di Sant ‘Appiano, Barberino val d’Elsa: music of Handel, Haydn and Mendelssohn: Piangero (Julius Ceasar), The Mermaids Song, Fidelity and The Wanderer, Hear Ye Israel. Artists: Pietru Horvarth (violin), Elisabetta Sepe (piano), Anna Leese (soprano), Judith Schmid (mezzo), Michael Pugh and Kirsten Simpson (piano).
Thursday 23rd July - van Marle home, near Castellina in Chianti. Music of Bizet, Dvorak, Mozart and Puccini: Arie da ‘Carmen’, Song to the Moon da ‘Rusalka’, Dove Sono da ‘Figaro’, Arie e Duetti da ‘Cosi fan Tutte’, Arie da ‘Gianni Schicchi’. Artists: Anna Leese (soprano), Judith Schmid (mezzo), Michael Pugh and Kirsten Simpson (piano).
Sunday 26th July - Badia a Coltibuono, Gaiole. Music of Purcell, Strauss, de Falla, J.S. Back and Mendelssohn: Suite The Fairy Queen, Brentano Lieder - An die Nacht-Saussle, Liebe myrthe, Ich wollt ein strausslein binde, Als mir dein Lied Erklang, Psyche, Brandenburg Concerto nr 5, Pianosextet. Artists: Pepijn Meeuws, Nienke van Rijn and Edith van Moergastel (Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam), Gesa Luecker (piano),Guilia Nuti Amante (harpsichord), Anna Leese (soprano) and Kirsten Simpson (piano).
Tuesday 28th July - Castello di Volpaia. Music of Ravel, Meeuws: Introduction et Allegro, Symfonietta (1986).
Friday 31st July - Piazza Barberino val d’Elsa. An open-air Classical music concert, free for all. Music of Gershwin, Piazolla, Brahms, Mendelssohn and a homage to Judy Garland on the 40th anniversary of her death.
Saturday 1st August - Hotel Relais Borgo, San Felice. Music of: W. A. Mozart, Saint Saens, Dowland, Escudero, Turina, Piazzolla. Horn Quintet.
From Sun. 5 to Sun. 26 Lucca is burning up with music greats from around the world. Piazza Napoleone is THE place to be for a line-up that starts with the Dave Matthews Band, flashes through Anastacia, Lenny Kravitz, Moby and ends up with John Fogerty. Gates open at 7:30 pm and concerts begin around 9:30 pm. Tickets range in price. Pre-purchase via www.ticketone.it. For more info: www.summer-festival.com. Tel. 0583 464268.
2009 program:
July 5th Dave Matthews Band
July 8th Anastacia
July 10th Biagio Antonacci
July 11th Lenny Kravitz
July 15th Enzo Vitabile
July 16th James Taylor
July 18th Burt Bacharach
July 23rd Summer Giovani - Youth music contest
July 24th Amy McDonald + James Morrison
July 25th Moby
July 26th John Fogerty

Until July 26th the town of Impruneta is celebrating the masters of terra cotta, from the Renaissance to today’s kilns. This exhibition is devoted to a particularly important anniversary when, on 23rd March 1309, the Impruneta kiln workers set up a corporation with a deed that is kept today at the State Archives in Florence. Statues by Renaissance masters together with antique and modern pots, archaeological finds in Etruscan terracotta, garden objects and today’s kiln productions make up this fascinating exhibition. The show is laid out in the historical Piazza Buondelmonti, more specifically in the hall and cloisters of the Basilica di Santa Maria as well as in the Pellegrino Loggia. It is structured in five sections and boasts objects by Brunelleschi, Luca della Robbia, Benedetto da Maiano, Nanni di Bartolo and others in the section entitled Masters of the Renaissance. Evidence of the use of terracotta in architecture starts with the Etruscans who used it for their temples, moving on to Brunelleschi who used it to cover the Dome of Santa Maria del Fiore, reaching right up to contemporary usage with the Florentine Liberty villas or the University building at Porta Tufi, Siena by the architect Adolfo Natalini. An illustrated leaflet of the itinerary with a tourist map allows the visitor to tour around the area and see objects and beautiful, unexpected constructions throughout the towns and museums of Barberino Valdelsa, Greve in Chianti, San Casciano, Val di Pesa and Tavarnelle Val di Pesa. The exhibition is open only on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Opening times are from 10am-1pm; 3pm-7pm; the entrance fee is € 5,00 for which you are given a special Cotto Card that also gives entrance to the museums mentioned above and to the Museum of Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence. Many restaurants, hotels and shops offer 10% discounts to card holders. The Cotto Card also gives use of a free bus service that connects Florence to Impruneta on Sundays. Exhibition information 055 2012158. Bookings 055 243140, www.imprunetacotto.it
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.

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