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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

July can bring sweltering heat and huge crowds to Florence, but if you nap in the afternoon and live at night, the city has much to offer with music of all kinds inside the walls and outside in the Tuscan hills as well as theater and dance in the courtyards and in the gardens throughout the region.

Wishing you a musical July from SUZANNE, CORSO, BEI, SANDRA, LORI, ANNA PIA, ANN and MARIO.


BEST EXTRAVAGANZAS FOR JULY – July 4th Celebrations: Pick your Party

The most American of all of the 4th of July celebrations will be hosted by Tuscan-American Association at a park in Scandicci, a suburb of Florence on July 1st. Anyone who loves hot dogs, hambugers, beer and sodas and good music is welcome to come to come to the Castello dell'Acciaiuolo park in Scandicci on Sunday, July 1, from 5pm to midnight to celebrate American Independence Day (the British are welcome, too). The event will feature an American-style picnic and promises lots of entertainment, from disc golf, volleyball, flag football and a children's corner. A more European falcon show will provide the Italian flavour. Bring you dancing shoes to rock to the tunes of Letizia Dei, Big Band Filarmonica V. Bellini di Scandicci, Francesco Schina Trio, and Story Board.

In partnership with the Tuscan-American Assocation, the event's sponsors are the City of Scandicci, the U.S. Consulate and the City of Florence.

The Castello dell'Acciaiuolo park in Scandicci can be reached by both car and tram (get off at the Resistenza stop, and walk west on via Pantin). For more information, see http://toscanausa.org/it.

If you want to celebrate on the 4th also then head to the Avignonesi Winery in Valiano di Montepulciano. You may not get beer, but a four course menu of American classics will be paired with fine Tuscan wines. There will be a winery tour, dinner and then, lighting of the lanterns in celebration. Cost: 85 euro per person. Contact: Tamara Marini at 0578-724304 or capezzine@avignonesi.it.

For an elegant Independence Day head to the Florence Four Seasons Hotel for a pool-side celebration of American specialties at Al Fresco. Call the hotel for details: 055 26 261

P&F PICK APARTMENT RENTAL FOR JULY – Garden House in the Tuscan Hills

Leave the crowds behind and spend your summer (or fall) in the hills outside of Florence. Originally a hay loft, the property, which sleeps up to 8 people, was refurbished in 2001. About 250 sq mts (2,500 sq. ft.), on two levels, this private home is set in the rolling Tuscan hills, with olive groves and vineyards, and a pool. The open loft design has floors of terra cotta and ceilings of original exposed wood beams. The windows are large and have screens. There is a mixture of modern and antique country furniture. The garden is perfect for outdoor entertaining, and there is a well-equipped children’s playground. The modern sun-filled kitchen has all of the amenities for great Tuscan meals. Impruneta, the largest shopping town for the area with an open-air market every Saturday, is only 5 km away. The Ugolino golf club is nearby with an 18-hole course, tennis and swimming pool.

For more information click this link.


Following the example of Paris, Florence has its own beaches along the Arno River. Naturally, bathing is strictly forbidden, but for those of you who don't like to go to the swimming pool or to seashore, this is a fun alternative.

The first one was the beach in San Niccolò where you can find umbrellas, sun loungers and other wooden gazebos. And if the heat is unbearable you can have a refreshing shower at the WC facilities. On the upper part of the beach there is the "Easy Living" kiosk for food and drinks.

In the San Frediano district, on one of the embankments of the Arno River called "pescaia" there is another "beach resort" called Palco d'Autore. Umbrellas, sun loungers laid down a synthetic green field with a small swimming pool. There is also a restaurant, a lounge bar with concerts by Italian musicians.

MUSEUM EXHIBIT FOR JULY – THE NEW FRONTIER: History And Culture Of The Native Americans From The Collections Of The Gilcrease Museum

Palazzo Pitti, Andito degli Angiolini and Galleria del Costume from 3 July to 8 December 2012

The year 2012 will mark the fifth centennial of the death of Amerigo Vespucci, one of the discoverers of the American continents and, especially, the one who gave his name to the new lands. To commemorate the great navigator who was born in Florence in 1454, the Pitti Palace hosts an exhibition dedicated to the native inhabitants of North America and, in particular, of the lands that European colonists penetrated in their advance westward from the XVII century through the XIX century.

For the realization of this ambitious project, the Pitti called on the Gilcrease Museum of Tulsa, Oklahoma, one of the most important museums for its wealth of historical tokens of the North-American continent and for the largest collection of artistic and handicraft works of the American West.

Founded in 1949 by oilman Thomas Gilcrease of the Muskogee-Creek Nation, the Museum is known for the exceptional vastness of its collections, most of which were collected by its founder, animated by a profound interest in the history of his forefathers and of the native populations. Property of the city of Tulsa which jointly administers it with the University of the city, the Gilcrease Museum represents a fundamental point of reference for studies on the Native Americans.

The Florence show will present a selection of the most precious and significant pieces from the American museum, and will open in the Andito degli Angiolini with a historical section that introduces the various phases in the discovery of America and its colonization; a map will show the locations of the settlements of the major tribes before and after the exodus from their lands. This section will also touch on aspects of the tribes’ social organization before colonization, and the subsequent contamination of Indian culture by Western culture; particular attention is devoted to the iconographic tokens of the early XX century by great American photographer and ethnologist, Edward Curtis who dedicated himself to documenting the civilization of the Native Americans who were by then risking extinction.

The exhibition finds one of its most suggestive locations in the Galleria del Costume’s Sala della Meridiana with its eighteenth-century frescoed ceiling by Medici court painter Anton Domenico Gabbiani, which celebrates Amerigo Vespucci alongside Galileo Galilei, with allusions to the discovery of the New World and its inhabitants. This location will host the show’s most important section which has an anthropological perspective, and exhibit artifacts by the various indigenous Nations, both commonly-used and ceremonial objects: the well-known plumed headdresses, pottery, weapons, jewelery of the most varied forms, typologies and materials, such as necklaces made of animal tusks and claws, splendid clothing made from animal hides and with lively decorations consisting, for the most part, of brightly colored glass beads, and other articles of both male and female clothing. This section has paintings, sculpture and photography from the XIX century to the early XX century, executed by artists who entered into close contact with the Native Americans, and depicted their everyday life. Among these artists are Joseph Henry Sharp who authored the exhibition’s masterpiece that be displayed in the Gallery’s ballroom: Crucita, a Girl from Taos. Beside the painting, are the clothing and objects utilized for the paintings.

Palazzo Pitti


For an outside experience in the soft Florence summer evening, head to Las Palmas near the San Ambrogio market. The food (pizza and seafood) is great and the weekly schedule of entertainment includes screenings and film festivals, jazz concerts on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; dance, books presentations, readings and comedy shows, concerts on Friday and Saturday. Sundays are dedicated to classical music. Check the schedule for Tango nights and other events: http://www.laspalmasfirenze.it/luglio_eventi.html

As always, there is the seafood restaurant (the fried fish and fried potatoes are a crowd pleaser), the pizzeria and even a cocktail buffet (6:30pm to 9:30pm). This year there will also be a bar dedicated to non-alcoholic drinks, fruit drinks and energy smoothies. Dinner reservations are a must because the place fills up fast and the crowds stay past mid-night. Call: 366 1788656

There is room for the kids to run and fun for everyone – children, adults and seniors – with ping pong and foosball.


Gelateria Titto presents a new way to obtain gelato in Florence. For the first time you can pile on your favorite toppings and decide how much ice cream you want. It’s all self-serve. Selecting from soft-serve machines, you can choose from classic flavors such as cream, chocolate and yogurt (plain or with fruit), or from more inventive flavors such as cheesecake, chantilly and chocolate cake. Toppings offered range from chocolate chips to cookies, from Smarties to meringue, from fresh fruit to gummy bears. After packing your bowl full, you then weigh your creation to find out how much it costs.

BEWARE: Here is the rub. The cups are large and it can be a BIG surprise when you get to the weigh-in and the final bill. So pace yourself.

Titto is located on Via de’ Pucci, 15r

For more information, see http://www.titto.it/2012/

FORZA VIOLA!! FOR JULY – Florentine Calcio

P&F Sports Reporters Simon Clark & Anne Brooks bring you a preview of upcoming Florentine Calcio results.

Forza Viola!.........The season’s over but football never ends! The Stadio is buzzing as a new management team sets about rejuvenating the Viola. The media are in seventh heaven as the scope for transfer speculation gets wider than ever. And then we have the European championships running in the joint host countries, Poland and the Ukraine, where Italy – with old friend Cesare Prandelli at the helm – have just marched into the semi-finals.

Fiorentina: All Change. At the end of May, Andrea della Valle presented our new Director of Football, Daniele Prade. The 49 year-old comes to us from Roma, whom he joined in 2000 – working his way up until 2004-05 when he became their sporting director, overseeing a successful period and establishing himself as a capable and respected figure. The US takeover in 2011 meant a diminution in responsibilities which must have rankled - and we managed to tempt him to fill Corvino’s shoes.

In mid-June, Prade unveiled our new coach, Vincenzo Montella. Anyone who has followed calcio since the early 90s will recall the characteristic goal-celebrations of l’aeroplano – wheeling away with his arms extended. He started with Empoli but is best known for his time at Roma (and 20 international caps. The 5th top scorer in Roma’s history, he stayed on to coach their Under-15 team but, when Ranieri walked away, took over for the rest of the season. The American buyers wanted a more experienced coach and Montella went off for a very successful year at Catania. We are his next level of challenge.

This has implications for the squad. The press had been speculating wildly about Jovetic before Andrea della Valle popped up and made it clear that Jo-Jo was not for sale. That would be good (in football, we can’t be certain until the transfer window closes) since Montella would clearly like to build around Jo-Jo, Behrami (who has stated his loyalty publicly) and Cerci. It is equally clear that Montella sees the need to bring in a couple of players; in order to generate funds, Ljajic and Vargas – and probably Gamberini – are in the shop window. Lazzari and Kharja, previously part-owned, are now all ours! Expect further news – and lots of it!

It finished up a good season for the youth teams, albeit without any silverware. The Under-20 Primavera squad made it to the semi-finals of the Championship round before losing out to Varese on penalties. Ditto the Under-17s, beaten in the semi-final by Sampdoria – again on penalties, this time 2-4.

2012 European Championship. Italy has made the semi-finals. We opened the group stage against Spain, defending champions, and gave as good as we got, leading through a Di Natale goal and eventually drawing. We led against Croatia but let them give us the run around in the second half and equalise. We had to win against Eire and did so but again allowed the opposition to run the game in between Cassano’s opener and Ballotelli’s late second. So to a quarter-final in which we gave England a football lesson, dominating utterly in normal and extra time but not scoring. Were the gods against us? No. When it came to penalties, even Montolivo’s miss didn’t matter; as Buffon saved from Cole, the Germans hove into view. Pirlo might have been man of the match for running the game (one stray pass in the whole match) and for his audacious chipped penalty but the real star was Prandelli for picking the team (Balotelli, Montolivo) that we think he wanted to pick - rather than a “safe” side – and for the quality of his substitutions. Germany, though, is a different machine!

Next Season. We have a good feeling about next season, based on the way the new management team is going about its business. We haven’t felt so optimistic since Prandelli started building towards two years of Champions League football. In Prade and Montella we have a young team who already know each other; they share a track record at a high profile club (Scudetto and Coppa winners) but have something still to prove. They can do it with us. We are looking forward to it. Fiorentina kick off in the Cup on 18 August; our Serie A campaign starts on 26 August ..... Forza Viola!


Ticket information - seating plan, prices, and ticket outlets - is on the "biglietteria" section of the club's website [www.it.violachannel.tv ]. Tickets can be purchased at official box offices and holders of TicketOne lottery franchises. Sources include:

CHIOSCO DEGLI SPORTIVI, via degli Anselmi 1. Tel 055 292363.

BAR MARISA, viale Manfredo Fanti 41. Tel 055 572723.
BAR STADIO, viale Manfredo Fanti 3r. Tel 055 576169.
ACF OFFICIAL TICKET-OFFICE, via Duprè 28 (corner of via Settesanti).
NUOVO BOX OFFICE, Via delle Vecchie Carceri, 1, (inside the Murate). Tel 055 264321
FELTRINELLI FIRENZE, Via de' Cerretani 39/32R

BEST BOOK FOR JULY – Lucrezia Borgia: Life, Love and Death in Renaissance Italy by Sarah Bradford

Lucrezia Borgia is legendary as the archetypal villainess who carried out the poisoning plotted by her scheming father—Pope Alexander VI, aka Rodrigo Borgia—and by her ruthlessly ambitious brother Cesare. The facts of Lucrezia's case are sorted out from fiction by Bradford's humanizing biography, which presents Lucrezia as an intelligent noblewoman, powerless to defy her family's patriarchal order, yet an enlightened ruler in her own right as Duchess of Ferrara.

Drawing on extensive archival evidence, Bradford (Disraeli; Princess Grace) explains how Lucrezia's first husband, after their marriage was annulled, vengefully tarnished her name with accusations of incest. Bradford discredits the popular belief that Lucrezia helped Cesare assassinate her second husband. Lucrezia emerges as a political realist who participated with her father and brother in a campaign to marry into the powerful Este family, winning the affections of her new husband, Alfonso d'Este, later Duke of Ferrara. Bradford portrays Lucrezia's extramarital affairs as daring and passionate romances of the heart and describes her cultivated court life and her kindness to artists and poets.

Although Bradford's portrait is not immune to a fictionalizing style, especially when ascribing emotional states to its subject, as a project designed to distinguish the historical Lucrezia Borgia from the legend, Bradford's readable biography resoundingly succeeds.

BEST BOOK FOR TEENAGERS FOR JULY – Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire

A dark and vivid retelling of Snow White transposed to the Italy of the Borgias. Lucrezia is the evil stepmother and five-year-old Bianca de Nevada grows into the role of Snow White. Vicente, a minor landlord beholden to Lucrezia and her brother/lover Cesare, unwillingly leaves his motherless daughter to go on a seemingly futile errand for Cesare. Journeying to Greece to seek out a branch of the holy Tree of Knowledge, Vicente languishes for years in the dungeon of the very monks who possess the relic. While her father is gone, Bianca develops into a lovely young woman, attracting Cesare's attention. Seeing this, Lucrezia orders her killed and sends a young hunter into the woods with the familiar instructions.

Adding much historical flavor and returning to the edgy eroticism of the fairy tale, Maguire invests the journeys of the Borgias, Bianca, and Vicente with a compelling urgency. Readers will be intrigued by the new story and yet curious as to how the familiar elements are brought in. Sometimes seven, sometimes eight, the dwarves, slowly awakening to their possibilities, are droll and great fun. The language has an old-fashioned quality and the point of view shifts frequently, but teens who continue to the end will learn much of medieval Italy and a little of human nature, and have a new respect for the old tale.

BEST MUSIC FOR JULY – Free Concerts at Casa Buonarroti

The 20th edition of the Summer Evenings in the Casa Buonarroti (owned by Michelangelo and home of the museum) includes six free events in the courtyard from early baroque to the twentieth century:

Monday, 2 July, 21.00: “Tancredi e Clorinda”

Monday, 9 July, 21.00: “Michelangelo Buonarroti and the music of his time”

Thursday, 12 July, 21.00: C. M. von Weber and J. Brahms

Thursday, 19 July, 21.00: “Italy and the Austrian/Hungarian Empire” Ignaz Anton Ladurner, Beethoven

Wednesday, 25 July , 21.00: Ludwig van Beethoven

Monday, 30 July, 21.00: Dmitrij Sostakovic, Mikhail Pethukov



Until November 4th at the Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence

The title Arte torna Arte [Art Returns to Art] is the same as the one Luciano Fabro - one of the best-known artists on the Italian scene who died in 2007 - chose for a collection of his writings and of lectures and talks given between 1981 and 1997 at universities, academies and museums in various parts of the world. Adopting this expression as the title of the exhibition is a mark of agreement with his idea of art as a continuum that renews and regenerates itself, drawing strength from itself and from its own history. 

Arte torna Arte presents examples of artists who in their works have looked to history, to the masterpieces of the past, making use of their iconography, reworking their ideas and assuming a responsibility that has not yet been exhausted and a sense of belonging that has no bounds, but that finds expression in languages rich in interpretative possibilities.

The location of the exhibition is doubly emblematic. The Galleria is the home of Michelangelo’s David and his Prisoners, as well as important collections that include masterpieces of various periods, and in particular of 14th-century Florentine painting: thus it is an ideal setting for a concrete dialogue between the works of the past and those of artists of our own day, offering the public the experience of a continual counterpoint. The gallery is also an exhibition place linked to the history of the Florentine Accademia di Belle Arti, the first institution set up in Italy to mark a continuity between past and present, where the collection of plaster casts and works, before and after the creation of the city’s museums, has provided models of Renaissance thinking and supplied lifeblood to artists from all over the world, who have come to Florence and the academy to study.


Last month the Florentine actor Roberto Benigni received the honorary citizenship of the city of Florence. Benigni will return on July 20 to read and discuss the poems of Dante. Benigni is an improvisatory poet, also known for his explanation and recitations of Dante’s Divina Commedia by memory. During 2006 and 2007, Benigni toured Italy with his 90-minute one man show TuttoDante (“Everything About Dante”). Combining current events and memories of his past narrated with an ironic tone, Benigni then began a journey of poetry and passion through the world of the Divine Comedy. TuttoDante has been performed in numerous Italian piazzas, arenas, and stadiums for a total of 130 shows, with an estimated audience of about one million spectators. Over 10 million more spectators watched the TV show, Il V° canto dell’Inferno.

From 20 July until 6 August 2012, Benigni will interpret the verses of Dante (Inferno, Cantos 11 to 22) in the unique setting of Piazza Santa Croce, which is dominated by the marble statue dedicated to the great poet. For those who don’t want to miss the uniqueness of this event tickets are available on-line. For information and tickets: http://www.tuttodante.it/


2012 marks the 500th anniversary of the death of the Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci who named the continent America. Florence is presenting events and initiatives that celebrate Vespucci and the idea of Italy-USA relations.

From June 26 – July 23, the 23rd Florence Dance Festival will be on the theme ‘Rediscovering a new world,’ dedicated to Vespucci, taking place at the Bargello Museum.


IT’S ENDING!!! See it by July 15, 2012, at the Palazzo Strozzi. Century-old ties between Florence and the United States are celebrated in a fantastic new exhibition.

In 2012, exactly 500 years since the death of Amerigo Vespucci, Florence will be marking this event with an exhibition designed to celebrate the strong ties linking the Old World and the New, and the cosmopolitan ambiance that bound the city to the New World for ever, transmitting European culture and sophistication to America. The exhibition explores the American impressionists' relationship with Italy, and with Florence in particular, in the decades spanning the close of the 19th and dawn of the 20th centuries.

There was a marked upswing in the number of American artists travelling to Europe after the Civil War ended in 1865, and the trend continued on into the early 20th century. Hundreds of painters came to Paris and other parts of France while others studied in Germany, with England, Holland and Spain being other favorite locations. Italy, however, was an inescapable pole of attraction for most of them. Florence, Venice and Rome had been at the heart of the Grand tour for centuries and had become legendary for all those eager to study the art of the past, quite apart from their appeal in terms of the climate, the countryside, the people, and the overall atmosphere prevailing in them.

This exhibition hosts the work of American painters who embraced the artistic vocabulary of Impressionism and spent time in Italy. It contains works by painters who, while not explicitly subscribing to the new style, were nevertheless crucial masters for the younger generations: men such as Winslow Homer, William Morris Hunt, John La Farge and Thomas Eakins. These are followed by the great forerunners, artists such as John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt and James Abbott McNeill Whistler, who could boast of strong cosmopolitan leanings.

The main part of the exhibition comprises works by artists of remarkable quality who spent time in Florence and who deserve to be better known. Their number includes members of the American impressionist group known as the Ten American Painters: William Merrit Chase, John Henry Twachman and Frederick Childe Hassam. Franck Duveneck also played an important role in fostering relations between American and local artists by putting together the “Duveneck boys“, a group that included his wife Elisabeth Boott and the painter Joseph Rodefer De Camp.

Info: Ph. + 39 055 2645155 Website: www.palazzostrozzi.org/Sezione.jsp?idSezione=683


Romeo and Juliet will get a night to get it right on July 13 to July 21, at 9pm in the Giardino Corsini, Via il Prato, 58. Watch as the English-language theater group FESTA brings the star-crossed lovers to life under the stars - the ultimate romantic evening, in the heart of the ultimate Renaissance city. The historical Corsini gardens provide the perfect backdrop for this breathtakingly romantic tragedy, featuring a cast of actors from around the globe. A warm summer night, in a garden, with a glass of fine wine... and world class theater. This will be a night to remember.

Inspired by the well-established model of "Shakespeare in the Park", audience members will have access to the gardens from 7:00pm, to enjoy a pleasant picnic in the shade, and to taste fine wines produced by the Corsini family.

FESTA’s resume includes Macbeth (2009), Dracula (2010) at the Bargello National Museum, and The Velveteen Rabbit (2010) with the extraordinary participation of John Malkovich at the Pergola Theater.

Tickets: www.boxol.it and NUOVO BOX OFFICE, Via delle Vecchie Carceri, 1, (inside the Murate).

Tel: 055 264321 and http://www.festatheatre.com/plays_projects-html


On Sun. 15, pop around to Piazza Santo Spirito and admire the summer crafts and organic food fair. This one, as the name suggests will focus on grains and breads. Your will also find handmade cheeses, fruits and veggies, toys for the kids, antiques, food, hand-made dresses and linens, beeswax candles, naturally scented soaps and oils, home-baked cakes and sweets, ceramics, wine, olive oil, hand-carved wooden salad bowls and more. www.lafierucola.org


Florence’s tourism office has put together an interesting collection of rooftop view suggestions. A number of the city’s hotels and restaurants are opening their doors to clients as well as passersby. All of July, August and September you are invited to explore Florence from above, from terraces that you may otherwise have missed. Most of the venues have a bar or restaurant for an aperitif, for a dinner enjoyed watching the sun set, or for after-dinner drinks under a star-filled sky. In some cases, you can also visit the terrace just to admire the view and take a few pictures. Choose your terrace from the list below and enjoy the beauty of Florence from above. Please note that in some cases you may need to book your visit beforehand. (Check to see if private parties haven’t reserved the space, before you go.)

ANTICA TORRE DI VIA TORNABUONI 1. Their beautiful roof-top terrace is surrounded by medieval crenellations. The terrace can be visited; and you are welcome to take pictures. No bar service.

Open 7-10:30pm. Via Tornabuoni 1, Tel. 055 2658161.

www.tornabuoni1.com. Reservations: mrbellini@tornabuoni1.com

GRAND HOTEL BAGLIONI. A visit to the roof-top, multi-level terrace can be reserved, even if you only want to take pictures or have a panoramic view. Otherwise, take advantage of the classic bar service for an aperitif, dinner, or after-dinner drinks. Open 7pm-12am. Piazza dell’Unità Italiana 6. Tel. 055 23580. info@hotelbaglioni.it. www.hotelbaglioni.it. Reservations: 055 23588560.

CONTINENTALE HOTEL. Roof-top bar open 6pm-12am for an aperitif or after-dinner drinks. Great view over the Ponte Vecchio and Arno River. Vicolo dell’Oro, 6r, Tel. 055 27262

continentale@lungarnohotels.com, http://www.lungarnohotels.com/en/firenze-continentale/hotels-38

GRAND HOTEL CAVOUR. Roof-top bar open 6-10 pm for an aperitif or after-dinner drinks. Via del Proconsolo 3. Tel. 055 266271. info@albergocavour.it. www.albergocavour.it. Reservations (required): 055 215521.

GRAND HOTEL MINERVA. A pool adds sparkle to this roof-top bar open for snacks or aperitifs from 11am-12pm. Piazza Santa Maria Novella 16. Tel. 055-27230.
info@grandhotelminerva.com. www.grandhotelminerva.com

HOTEL BOSCOLO ASTORIA. Have a drink at the bar. Open 7-12 pm. Via del Giglio 9. Tel. 055 2398095. reception@astoria.boscolo.com, www.boscolohotels.com

HOTEL KRAFT The roof-top area is open 7-12 pm. Join them for a snack, aperitif, dinner, or for after-dinner drinks. Via Solferino 2. Tel. 055 284273. info@krafthotel.it. www.krafthotel.it.

HOTEL LAURUS AL DUOMO. Open from 4-11pm, enjoy a snack, aperitif or after-dinner drinks at the bar. Reservations required. Via Cerretani 54r. Tel. 055 2381752.
reservations@florencehotellaurusalduomo.com. www.florencehotellaurusalduomo.com.

HOTEL SILLA. The Silla is open for a lovely aperitivo from 6-10 pm. Via de’ Renai 5. Tel. 0552342888. hotelsilla@hotelsilla.it and www.hotelsilla.it.

HOTEL TORNABUONI BEACCI. Charming and quaint, the Tornabuoni Beacci terrace is open 7-12 pm for a snack, aperitif, dinner or after-dinner drinks. The restaurant is closed on Mondays. Via Tornabuoni 3, Tel. 055 212645. info@tornabuonihotels.com, www.tornabuonihotels.com.

J.K. PLACE FIRENZE. Chic and trendy. The cozy roof-top bar is open 11 am- 11pm. Piazza Santa Maria Novella 7. Tel. 055 2645181. info@jkplace.com. www.jkplace.com.

PITTI PALACE AL PONTE VECCHIO. Look down on the Ponte Vecchio from this viewpoint bar. Open from 6-10.30 pm, you can order a snack, aperitif, dinner or after-dinner drinks. Reservations required. Borgo San Jacopo 3. Tel. 055 2398711, www.florencehotelpittipalacealpontevecchio.com

RELAIS CHATEAUX VILLA LA VEDETTA. A bit removed from the chaos of the city center, enjoy the park-like atmosphere at the Vedetta. Open all day for a snack, aperitif, dinner, after-dinner drinks and a swimming pool. Reservations required. Viale Michelangiolo 78. Tel. 055 681631.
info@villalavedettahotel.com. www.villalavedettahotel.com.

RISTORANTE TERRAZZA BARDINI. Breezy and beautiful, this terrace is open for an aperitif or dinner from 7-12 pm; closed on Mondays. Via Costa San Giorgio 6. Tel. 055 2008444. info@moba.fi.it. www.moba.fi.it


At publication time the Odeon Cinehall Original Language schedule for July had not been published. Check the web site http://www.cinehall.it/pagine/odeon%20original%20sound.asp for updated information or stop by the theater near Piazza Strozzi.

LECTURE – Exploration: From Vespucci to Now

After the success of previous English Nights, ToscanaIN presents the 4th annual event organized in collaboration with The Florentine by Alexandra Korey. On July 11 from 7pm to8:30pm at the Oblate Library (Biblioteca delle Oblate, via dell'Oriuolo 16) The program is followed by a networking buffet and drinks (8:30pm to 10pm). RSVP mandatory at http://toinexploration.eventbrite.com

The theme is “Exploration: From Vespucci to Now” which links Florence with the United States. The theme of Vespucci Year is exploration as Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi suggested and the evening will reflect upon what exploration means now. A theme that is open to all sorts of creative interpretation in many fields of work, from art and science to travel and sound.

The speakers will briefly recount their experiences of exploration, alternating with projections of travel photography. Chairwoman: Alexandra Korey (Flod.it / The Florentine) will kick things off at 7pm with opening remarks and introductions. Then follows:

Assessore del Comune di Firenze Cristina Giachi (responsabile for Amerigo 2012)

Exploring the city through Sound by Carola and Ilaria, Radio Papesse

An Italian explores New York by Marco Badiani (The Florentine)

Exploring human rights by Federico Moro, Senior Advisor for International Affairs, Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights

Exploring Italy through iPhoneography by Kirsten Alana (Professional travel photographer, http://kirstenalana.com)

Leonardo da Vinci / Exploring behind the Wall by Maurizio Seracini



Since 2004, the Opera Festival, the lyrical festival of Tuscany, has offered performances in many different cities within the Region. This year at the Boboli Gardens and the San Galgano Abbey:

The Boboli Gardens are located in the ancient and treasured heart of the city of Florence. It is a monumental garden covering five hectares of land. It is situated behind the Pitti Place and it constitutes its private gardens, the ideal prolongation of Ammannati’s inner courtyard. Boboli Gardens are possibly the world’s greatest example of Italian-style garden. On this occasion, Boboli shall transform itself into a theater, which shall occupy the area of the Column Field, right in front of Neptune’s Fountain, and will seat over 3000 viewers. (The entrance shall be in the Porta Romana Square).

The varied Opera festival performance program shall find its natural expression of the San Galgano Abbey near Siena. A theater seating about 800 viewers shall be arranged within the Abbey, preserving the historical and architectural worth of this magnificent place. The stage shall be placed within the apse, while the public shall occupy the central nave.See www.festivalopera.it for complete schedule.


Morrissey, July 11, in concert at 9:30pm at the Nuovo Teatro dell’Opera di Firenze.

July 20, Alanis Morissette in concert at the Nuovo Teatro dell’Opera di Firenze.

Rachelle Ferrell, July 25, in concert at the Nuovo Teatro dell’Opera di Firenze.

Saturday, July 28, Damien Rice, in concert at the Nuovo Teatro dell’Opera di Firenze.

Until July 23 make sure to make it to at least one of the productions of the 23rd Florence Dance Festival, this year at the centrally located Bargello Museum. For information: http://www.florencedance.org/

Tickets: www.boxol.it and NUOVO BOX OFFICE, Via delle Vecchie Carceri, 1, (inside the Murate).

Tel 055 264321.

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

THE GLEAM OF GOLD – The International Gothic Style In Florence

Galleria degli Uffizi until 4 November 2012

This year, the rooms on the main floor of the Galleria degli Uffizi host an important exhibition that intends to reconstruct the panorama of Florentine art in the wonderful and crucial period that extended roughly from 1375 to 1440.

In order to render the cultured and precious climate of this long season, this show presents paintings that have been famous for centuries, alongside other exquisite paintings little known to the general public, along with sculpture in wood and marble, illuminated codices, works of sacred and profane art: all of them creations of superlative value and undisputed historical importance which come from prestigious public museum institutions, as well as from Italian and foreign private collections.

The exhibition itinerary follows a chronological order and begin from works by the greatest interpreters of the final phase of the fourteenth-century tradition. The artists include Agnolo Gaddi, Spinello Aretino, Antonio Veneziano, Gherardo Starnina and Lorenzo Monaco. Following the death of Starnina, Monaco was left the greatest Florentine painter to propose his own very personal version of the late gothic style. One that was extraneous even to the refined naturalism of Gentile da Fabriano, whose work in those years was steeped in lyricism, and who also features in the exhibition with paintings that are famous for their moving beauty.

Included are works by artists active in Florence between the XIV and XV centuries who were driven by a cultural mindset that looked back to the late fourteenth-century artistic tradition and, at the same time, showed interest for the sensational novelties of the new Humanist doctrine with the fervid recovery of antiquity that it suggested. These works represent the highest level of painters worthy of a more diffused familiarity: Lippo d’Andrea, Mariotto di Cristofano, Giovanni Toscani, Ventura di Moro, Francesco d’Antonio and Arcangelo di Cola.

At the same time, note the poetic virtues of Lorenzo Ghiberti, one of the most illustrious personalities of the Florentine late gothic style. His worksite at the first gate of the Baptistery, during the early phase of his activity, was indeed the school for all of the leading artists active in Florence.

Take the opportunity to observe the gentle manner of Beato Angelico, an artist who along with Michelozzo was emblematic of a line of expression that aspired to conjugate the artistic language of the recent past with the novelties that were taking shape in the city with Brunelleschi and Masaccio. Their line of expression had the comfort of several great humanists who orbited around the figure of Cosimo the Elder de’ Medici.

Finally, the exhibition closes in splendor with one of the most illustrious works of the early XV century that has been restored to an unsuspected readability: the Battle of San Romano by Paolo Uccello, a work of art that synthesizes the dreams of an unrepeatable epoch.


A fascinating world comes to life in Giardino dei Semplici (Florence’s Botanical Garden).

The Natural History Museum of Florence will showcase the fascinating world of dinosaurs. Until September 2, through an informative, educational and fun exhibition, Dinosaurs in the Flesh and Bones will bring the public one of the most fascinating of aspects of science that will be a kind of laboratory in 'continuous evolution.'

"Dinosaurs in the Flesh" is a cultural event entirely Made in Italy and expresses Italian excellence in the Sciences and Paleontology, which has traditionally been predominant among the Anglo-Saxon cultures.

At the Giardino dei Semplici and between the palaeontological collections of the Natural History Museum visitors can admire life-size prehistoric animals, created by internationally recognized Italian artists of the field. A recreated dinosaur habitat emerges with copies of the Tyrannosaurus and Spinosauri, and using the fossil skeletal remains of the museum, other dinosaurs will be on display, among them the Glyptodon and Thylacinus.

The exhibition features 40 hyper-realistic reconstructions on a 1:1 scale of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals, some of them colossal in size. Also, as part of the exhibition, there are 9 murals with prehistoric animals and paleoenvironmental reconstructions; 110 illustrated information panels; 120 works by internationally renowned Italian illustrators of paleontology art; and the exhibition of fossils, molds and tools needed to build the reproduction of a dinosaur, and a 3D paleontology aquarium

In conjunction with the exhibition are an array of cultural events, such as guided tours, informational lectures, and conferences with special initiatives.

Florence Museum of Natural History

March 1 to September 2


two adults and up to two children aged 4-18

children aged 11-18; senior (over 65)

children aged 4-10; students

children under 4; disabled people and their accompanists;
3 teachers/accompanists per class.

The entrance fee is cumulative for access to the exhibition, the Geology and Paleontology Section and the Botanic Garden Section.

Geology and Paleontology Section , Via G. La Pira, 4

BOTANICAL GARDEN Section on P.A. Micheli, 3


ROBERTO CAPUCCI – Colors: My Great Karma

Take a springtime walk through the Bardini Garden and at the top of the hill go to the Villa Bardini and on the top floor you will arrive at the wonderland that is the Roberto Capucci Foundation Museum. The new exhibition is called Colors: My Great Karma – the philosophy of this unique designer, who invites the audience on a journey into his world of colors. On display are 28 dresses in 3 colors emblematic of his production: green, red and purple.

Among the dresses is Bougainvillea, a famous dress-sculpture presented for the first time in 1989 at the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna in Rome, a masterpiece in pleated taffeta green circular elements in shades of green and cyclamen that recreates gracefully sculptural glamour with the color and charm of the plant that inspired it.

Enter the Bardini Garden at Via dei Bardi, 1/r or the Villa Bardini at Costa San Giorgio, 2.

8:15am to 6:30pm


SIENA – Palio

Each year on July 2nd and August 16th, the Palio of Siena takes place in Italy. Ten bareback jockeys circle the main piazza three times on horses they may have met just four days earlier; while the actual prize may be the Palio, a silk painted banner, there's much more at stake. The competition between neighborhoods has roots going back centuries, and established rivalries add further dimension to the race. The historical procession preceding the race is unlike any parade ever experienced.

The race itself lasts less than 2 minutes, but that explosion of activity marks the culmination of a four-day crescendo of fascinating events, starting with the selection of the horses and concluding with the breathless gallop of the race. On a deeper level, for the Sienese people, the Palio is part of their lives 24/7, 365 days a year. They are either strategizing, preparing, or participating when they’re not celebrating victory or gnashing their teeth in defeat.

FIESOLE – Estate Fiesolana

The Estate Fiesolana (“Summer in Fiesole”) is one of the most pleasant events of the hot season: a festival offering shows in the breathtaking setting of the Roman amphitheatre on the hill of Fiesole. During the summer, this historic theatre in the archaeological area of Fiesole becomes an enviable setting for music, theatre and dance performances. The Estate Fiesolana 2012 runs throughout July with concerts of classical and jazz music, but also includes the Fiesole Prize for Masters of Cinema: the 2012 Prize is for the Neapolitan actor Toni Servillo. All his films will be projected in Florence, at the Murate - free entrance.

The Summer Festival has two main themes: jazz and classical music. Top stars for the jazz section such as Richard Galliano, Dave Holland and Gilberto Gil. For the Classical section many concerts are scheduled in different locations: many concerts are performed by young players of the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole.

Venues: Archeological area in Fiesole, Chiesa di Sant'Alessandro and Cloister of the Chiesa di San Francesco on the top of the hill. Pratolino and Florence (Murate).

Website: http://www.estatefiesolana.it/opencms/opencms/it/

Tickets are on sale at the Teatro Romano every day from 10 am to 6.30 pm - phone nr. 055 5961293.

Tickets also at: www.boxol.it and NUOVO BOX OFFICE, Via delle Vecchie Carceri, 1, (inside the Murate). Tel 055 264321.

PISTOIA BLUES – Over Thirty Years of Great Music

David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Carlos Santana, Frank Zappa, Pat Metheny and Patti Smith: these are only some of the big name artists who have participated in the Pistoia Blues Festival, surrounded by the beautiful architecture of the Duomo Square, for the joy of a public who comes from all over to take part. It is the central event of July in Pistoia.

The celebration has taken place since 1980 when the inauguration of the first Italian festival dedicated to blues took place and Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Fats Domino, Dizzy Gillespie, the Italians, Roberto Ciotti and Pino Daniele participated - an edition that was no doubt memorable. In the following years, however, there have been many talented artists who have come to perform. The original show has altered over time with different formulations, but the event structure has remained the same.

The concerts spread over the span of three evenings, accompanied by collateral initiatives, readings, jam sessions, and different areas of the city, activities that, along with the classic artisan market in the historical centre, make the ambience even more animated and fascinating during this period.

Pistoia Blues, however, is not only a cultural event. For years the organizers have been involved in the promotion and appreciation of young musicians. This commitment has been strong for almost the last 20 years in Obiettivo BluesIn, a free contest for emerging artists and bands all over Italy: the best have the honour of performing on the historical stage of the Duomo square during the Festival.

The festive air that one senses in the city during the days of the event constitute a fundamental part of its success. “The surroundings of the event, with the parallel events and the market – notes Tarfuro – make the centre come alive and has a positive economic impact on the merchants; therefore, we want to continue to develop and renew this aspect of Pistoia Blues, improving more and more the quality of what is offered at the market booths and continuing to involve new cultural spaces.”

Website: http://www.pistoiablues.com/edizione-2012/programma.php

AREZZO – Arezzo Wave Love Festival

With more than 100 events: July 12 to 15 in Arezzo, the 26th edition of Arezzo Wave Love Festival. After five years of traveling Italy (Florence, Livorno, Lecce), the Italian music festival returns to the city where it was born. Expect lots of music but also theater, literature, comics, dance, art and new art, electronics, children's area, and a new section dedicated to spirituality and a surprise concert Sunday morning at dawn. Expect to see Caparezza and Yann Tiersen, Crookers and Bandabardò, Malika Ayane and Nina Zilli, Fuel Fandango and Batida, Don Gallo and Dori Ghezzi, comics by Diabolik, dance performances of Sosta Palmizi, films of John Belushi, sufi songs, peace events, and more.

Created under the banner of "New agreements against the crisis," Arezzo Wave Love Festival 2012 will, in large part, offer free admission and will require paid entrance tickets for "special" concerts that will nonetheless be affordable. In accordance with the ideas of the artistic director Mauro Valenti the festival this year will be a mix of familiar names and talents and new ones that waiting to be discovered by the general public. An example of this are the Dutch group Mala Vita; the organic dance music of the Spanish group, Fandango Fuel (July 12); the rock'n'roll tunes of Dutch DeWolff (July 13); the Magnificent Lady of Slovenia (July 14); and the psychodelic folk-pop of Vadoinmessico (July 14). In short, these new talents will make musical progress at Arezzo Wave.

Arezzo Wave will involve the entire city and is divided into three main stages: the Main Stage at the Stadio Comunale, the Wake Up Stage and the Stage Pshycho set up to Colle del Pionta. Among the guests who will perform on Main Stage are Il Teatro degli Orrori and Caparezza (July 12), Ewert and The Two Dragons, Erica Mou, Malika Ayane, Nina Zilli e DeWolff (July 13), Orchestra multietnica, Mc2, Yann Tiersen e Crookers (July 14), Radiodervish, A67, Caravan Palace e Bandabardò (July 15).

The festival offers as an anti-crisis solution through the opportunity to buy a special subscription ticket of 30 euros to watch all of the events taking place on the Main Stage. Also, the cost entrance to watch the 4 nights of music by entering the stadium before 20:00 will be only 20 euros!

More Information: www.arezzowave.com


The Lucca Summer Festival has taken place in Lucca in Tuscany since 1998 and normally starts the first week end of July and lasts until the third week end of July. This is the line up confirmed so far:

4th July: Blink 182
7th July: Laura Pausini
14th July: Norah Jones
15th July: Kasabian
19th July: Gossip
20th July: Franco Battiato
21st July: Duran Duran
28th July: Tony Bennet & Georgia
29th July: Toto

For more information see the website: http://www.summer-festival.com/summer/index.php

LUCCA – Cartasia: Paper in Crisis and Rebirth

Until July 29, Lucca historic center

Modern art lovers after seeing the exhibit at the Accademia, head to Lucca for more. Lucca is known by many as a center for papermaking, and has the only biennial of contemporary art that is always focused on paper. This year’s theme is “Crisis and Rebirth”, embracing ideas about sustainability and recycling. Seven young contemporary artists compete for a prestigious prize, and their gigantic works are on display in Lucca's piazzas with smaller pieces shown in partner museums around town. For more information, see www.cartasia.it.

TEXTILE MUSEUM IN PRATO – Fabric is Everything

“Fabric is Everything” (Il tessuto è tutto) is likely the most important cultural event dedicated to contemporary textiles ever organized in Italy. The title, a quotation from the great master of style Yohji Yamamoto, is a declaration of love for fabric, the raw material and key element of quality and beauty in any fashion product. The exhibit runs until September 2012.

This belief has led the Prato Textile Museum (Museo del Tessuto) to develop this tribute to the excellence of its manufacturing district, proposing the latest results in research and innovative technology, creativity and style within the museum space.

Over 200 fabrics are displayed in a playful and dreamy exhibition in the former industrial area of the Cimatoria Campolmi, which has been transformed for the occasion into a kind of modern "wonder room" that immerses visitors in an all-encompassing world of materials and colors.

Prato Textile Museum

Via Santa Chiara 24

Phone: +39 0574 611503
Fax +39 0574 444585

Opening hours:

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 10am-3pm
Saturday: 10am - 7pm
Sunday: 3 - 7pm free entrance
Closed on tuesday

Last entrance 40 minutes before closure time

PRATO – Festival delle Colline

Until July 26, in various locations in the province of Prato, the 17th edition of the Festival delle Colline rolls out a schedule of unmatched theater and music. With the theme “In a Different Way” the organizers offer a lineup of events where you will find a swing band that blends the sounds of Shanghai and Paris in four different languages, groups with flamenco and jazz influences, and much, much more. The locations are equally diverse: museums, historic villas, churches, libraries, parks and city streets all serve as a stage. Many events are free and the rest are under 10 euro. For the full schedule of music and theatre events, see www.festivaldellecolline.com

ARCHEOLOGICAL NIGHTS – Le Notti dell’Archeologia

Channel your inner Indiana Jones at over 100 museums, parks and archeological sites around Tuscany that will stay open into the wee hours with events, guided tours and tons of activities for kids. Le Notti dell'Archeologia runs until July 31. For information: http://www.regione.toscana.it/nottidellarcheologia



To sip a cappuccino after lunch is a direct and major violation of an Italian Food Rule. Italians believe the fresh whole milk that makes up over half of the contents of this drink plays havoc with digestion. To order a cappuccino after 10am, unless you are breakfasting after said hour, is seen as suspect behavior worthy of at least a slight frown, advancing to a worried shake of the head, and can escalate to outright ridicule.

To the Italians, milk is almost a meal in itself. So having a cappuccino at the neighborhood bar in the morning on the way to work or school requires no other food to be considered a complete breakfast. (A small pastry may be included, but not always.) Cappuccino is more milk than coffee, so it is full of calories. Perhaps the reasoning is that slender Italians (the ones that don’t order the pastry) are more likely to burn off the calories through the day. Drunk later, those pesky calories stay on the hips.

Some say that cappuccino is best in the morning because the milk has lactose (a sugar) and the body absorbs the lactose and milk fat quickly, so the carbohydrate energy is available immediately before the caffeine stimulant kicks in.

The real reason behind the Food Rule, however, is that Italians are firmly convinced that drinking milk after any meal will mess up the ability to digest food properly. So having a cappuccino at any time after lunch, or after dinner, in Italy is unthinkable. Tourists, therefore, shouldn’t be shocked when the waiter refuses to grant their cappuccino requests “for your own health.”

To read more, go to TuscanTraveler.com:



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 .


This July we recommend that you beat the heat by closing your windows and shutters by 9am and by opening them wide at 9pm. Sleep during the day and enjoy Florence and Tuscany at night.

All the best,

Pitcher and Flaccomio