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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

There is an incredible amount of art and music available to you this July. Stay cool and enjoy the arts of all kinds with best wishes, from SUZANNE, CORSO, BEI, LESLIE, ANNA PIA, VANNI, ANN and MARIO.



Once again this summer, three of the top museums in Florence are promoting their collections combined with a social atmosphere, an aperitivo, and late open hours. Can you think of a better way to spend a warm evening in Firenze? At various museums in Florence until September 26, 7-10pm, sip a cocktail while enjoying rooms in Florence’s greatest museums after hours. Visit the Accademia every Wednesday, the Uffizi every Thursday, and the Bargello every Tuesday from August 6. Reservations are highly recommended;

The Galleria dell’Accademia Aperitivo ad Arte is every Wednesday from 7-10pm, from June 5 until September 25 for a total of 17 nights. The public will have access to are the Gallery of Prisoners with the Tribuna of David. The aperitivo will be offered in a flowered courtyard of the museum adjacent to the museum bookshop.

The Uffizi Gallery and Palazzo Vecchio event is every Thursday from 7-10pm, from June 6 until September 26 for a total of 17 nights. The exhibition areas to which the public will have access to the Sale del Cinquecento including works by Raphael, Bronzino, Allori, Vasari, Andrea del Sarto, Rosso Fiorentino, and Pontormo. The aperitivo will be held on the terrace above the Loggia dei Lanzi.

From August 6 to September 24 the Aperitivo ad Arte will also return to the National Museum of the Bargello. Here, it will be every Tuesday from 7-10pm, the exhibition areas to which the public have access are the Sala di Michelangelo, Rinascimento, and the Sala di Donatello. The aperitivo will be offered in the courtyard of Museum. Worth noting are some scheduled performances by the Compagnia delle Seggiole about the secrets of the Bargello and the seven centuries of its place in Florentine history.

Participation in the evenings costs €15 and need to be reserved at no additional cost, by calling 055-294883. If you are an ATAF card holder, you are entitled to a 30% discount.

Galleria dell’Accademia – Via Ricasoli 58-60,

June 5 – September 25, 2013, Wednesdays, 7-10pm

Galleria degli Uffizi – Piazzale degli Uffizi

June 6 – September 26, 2013, Thursdays from 7-10pm

Museo Nazionale del Bargello – Via del Proconsolo 4, Firenze

August 6 – September 24, 2013, Tuesdays from 7-10pm


Set on the south hills of Florence, just minutes away from the small village of Tavarnuzze and just a fifteen minute drive to Florence, is a dream villa in its own parkland. This stylishly refurbished freestanding villa, is set on a hilltop and surrounded by six acres of private park. It has a main house (4 bedrooms/six bathrooms, plus a detached cottage (one bedroom). There are a formal dining room, a fabulous kitchen with space for informal meals, a library, a kids’ playroom, and a pool. This is the place to rent for a month, six months or a year.

See the video: http://youtu.be/gMgWMJzl534 .

For more information click this link.


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 videos curated by The Fake Factory.

Check the schedule: 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.


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.


A couple from Torino and their young son Eduardo have arrived just in time for the summer blast of heat. Thankfully they arrived with the idea of an organic gelato experience that includes cones made by hand in the shop. (The experience of a warm cone with cold ice cream is sublime.) They named their gelateria after their son. It is located at the corner of Piazza del Duomo and Via del Proconsolo.

The fruit flavors (try the fresh peach and the Williams pear) are creamy without milk, the zabaione has a hint of Marsala, and the chocolate comes in three intensities. The fresh lemon sorbet is the best in town.

BEST BOOK FOR JULY – Italian Ways: On and Off the Rails from Milan to Palermo by Tim Parks

The best-selling author of Italian Neighbors returns with a wry and revealing portrait of Italian life—by riding its trains.

Tim Parks’s books on Italy have been hailed as "so vivid, so packed with delectable details, [they] serve as a more than decent substitute for the real thing" (Los Angeles Times Book Review). Now, in his first Italian travelogue in a decade, he delivers a charming and funny portrait of Italian ways by riding its trains from Verona to Milan, Rome to Palermo, and right down to the heel of Italy.

Parks begins as any traveler might: "A train is a train is a train, isn’t it?" But soon he turns his novelist’s eye to the details, and as he journeys through majestic Milano Centrale station or on the newest high-speed rail line, he delivers a uniquely insightful portrait of Italy. Through memorable encounters with ordinary Italians—conductors and ticket collectors, priests and prostitutes, scholars and lovers, gypsies and immigrants—Parks captures what makes Italian life distinctive: an obsession with speed but an acceptance of slower, older ways; a blind eye toward brutal architecture amid grand monuments; and an undying love of a good argument and the perfect cappuccino.

Italian Ways also explores how trains helped build Italy and how their development reflects Italians’ sense of themselves from Garibaldi to Mussolini to Berlusconi and beyond. Most of all, Italian Ways is an entertaining attempt to capture the essence of modern Italy. As Parks writes, "To see the country by train is to consider the crux of the essential Italian dilemma: Is Italy part of the modern world, or not?"

BEST BOOK FOR KIDS FOR JULY – Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein

Kyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, (if not the teachers), and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library.

Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high.

In this cross between Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and A Night in the Museum, Agatha Award winner Chris Grabenstein uses rib-tickling humor to create the perfect tale for his quirky characters. Old fans and new readers will become enthralled with the crafty twists and turns of this ultimate library experience.


Until September 22 at the Bargello Museum, via del Proconsolo 4, there will be music and damce. It is an intimate evening in an evocative space under the stars.

The courtyard of the beautiful Bargello Museum will be filled with musical, dance and theatre performances all summer. Highlights among the more than 70 events include classical music on July 6, 17, 26-31 and the Florence Dance Festival (June 2 – July 24).

See http://www.polomuseale.firenze.it/it/eventi/evento.php?t=5190c674f1c3bc300c00001c for details.


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.



SHOW & TELL – An Event Especially for Expats

On July 2, 7pm at Rari, Lungarno Ferrucci 24, the 5th annual ToscanaIN English night event, in collaboration this year with The Florentine and Yelp, brings us back to elementary school with 'Show & Tell'! Come to this networking event with an object that tells a tale - don't worry, it's not hard! Speak, for 1-3 minutes in English, about a thing that you made, or got on a trip, or received from your grandma. You'll get a prize from Yelp just for participating, and then we'll all move on to getting to know each other over a satisfying apericena for only 10 euro.

Sign up is required at http://www.yelp.it/events/firenze-5th-annual-toscanain-english-night-show-and-tell

Dates are July 1 – July 5, 9 am – 2 pm in the fabulous monumental gardens of the Corsini Palace.

Camp will be led by Ron Scot Fry (http://ronscotfry.com), artistic director of the Optimist Theater Milwaukee (http://www.optimisttheatre.org) , founder of Milwaukee Shakespeare in the Park, and an educator specialized in bringing Shakespeare alive to children throughout the US. Stage combat training will be led by Candace Marie

Hackett – (http://www.cmhackett.net/about.htm) actress, vocalist, and renowned fight director, who has choreographed and trained fighters from dozens of theatrical productions from Florida to Oregon.

Camp is open for kids for 6 – 16 years of age, and will focus on acting the bard, movement, voice, and stage combat skills.

Following their week with us, the guest artists will be moving on to Dynamo Camp, a camp in the foothills of the Abetone mountains, dedicated to giving kids with serious illnesses the chance to be a kid instead of a diagnoses.

FESTA would like to especially thank the Parents of FESTA, our Friends at Dynamo Camp, and the Princess Georgiana Corsini for making this year’s Camp Shakespeare possible!

Please contact us to reserve your spot in this year’s Camp Shakespeare! Email shakespeare@festatheatre.com or call us at 338-918-0867

NEW “GRAND MUSEO DEL DUMO” PASS – Will this save you money?

The Opera del Duomo, which cares for the cathedral, the baptistry, and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, has come up with a plan to save you money. They are going to consolidate the tickets for all of the entries (Museo, Cupola, Baptistry, Campanile, Santa Reparata (Duomo crypt), which used to total 23euro, but now will be a 24-hour ticket for everything for 10 euro. It seems that if you only wanted to climb the dome, this is not such a good deal, but if you want to do all things Duomo, you are in luck. Stay tuned for more details.

The ticket is to be on sale at the Centro Arte e Cultura (across from the door to the Baptistry), the Campanile di Giotto, and the Museo. (Be aware that the Museo is set to mostly close (except for the Doors of Paradise and Michelangelo’s The Disposition) for reconstruction until 2015.)

SAMURAI! – Japanese Armor from the Stibbert Collection

Seventy Japanese masterpieces from the collection of Frederick Stibbert are on display in an exciting exhibition that takes visitors into the exotic world of the Samurai – not only brave warriors, but also refined patrons of weapons and armor. This is an exhibit for young and old alike at one of P&F’s favorite museums.

The magnificent armor and extravagant helmets – as many contemporary artists and designers have interpreted- were the starting point for an exhibition that highlights the materials and craft techniques through which the Japanese artists were able to create true works of art. Here the power of the steel is made even more fascinating through the contrasting of iridescent silk ornaments, tanned skins and bright lacquers.

Impressive armor, imaginative helmets, terrible blades, saddles and stirrups are complemented by unusual shapes, painted and gilded folding screens, and brilliant colored lacquer boxes. And the Samurai legacy: ready for battle at any time for his noble lord, as well as the appreciation for objects of refined elegance.

The Japanese collection of Frederick Stibbert (1838-1906) is one of the most important collections outside of Japan. Stibbert was among the first collectors to take an interest in works from the Land of the Rising Sun during the mid-nineteenth century, and the collection is stunning in the richness and importance of the works, which it preserves.

Stibbert Museum, Via Federigo Stibbert, 26 - Tel. 055.475520

Samari! until November 3, 2013

Hours: Monday-Wednesday 10-14, Friday-Sunday 10-18, closed on Thursdays

Admission: € 8 (full) 6 € (reduced) including the visit of the museum


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 sunset, 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 and enjoy the beauty of Florence from above. There is even a photography contest that goes with “A Roof With A View”. 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.)

Go to this site for all of the details: http://www.firenzeturismo.it/en/firenze-territorio/a-roof-with-a-view.html

Click on the link about the photo contest, too.

http://www.firenzeturismo.it/images/stories/terrazze-con-vista/2013/depliant_terrazze_2013.pdf (for the list of terraces)


After last year’s sold out show, Roberto 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. Benigni has 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 over 150 shows, with an estimated audience of over one million spectators.

From 20 July until 6 August, Benigni will interpret the verses of Dante (Inferno, Cantos 23 to 34) 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/


The Palatine Gallery at the Palazzo Pitti

Before mid-September take yourself over to the Pitti Palace to view the incredibly well conceived exhibit all about the subjects of Dreams and their depiction in Renaissance art.

The theme of dreaming does in fact take on a particular significance in ancient mythology and in the Renaissance cultural setting, as demonstrated by its widespread occurrence in the figurative arts and, in particular, in works of a religious nature or those involving the rediscovery of ancient myths. Whether prophetic or premonitory, illustrated by celebrated episodes from the Old Testament (the Pharaoh’s dreams explained by Joseph the Hebrew, Jacob’s dream, etc.), the dream is presented first and foremost as the manifestation and revelation of another world. It also reveals, from a profane perspective, the inductive and speculative possibilities held out to the human spirit; it transfigures the quotidian experience and reveals its erotic dimension; it comes to occupy a valuable place in the theory and practice of art, being no less attentive to oneiric activities than to literature, philosophy or medicine.

“The unusual (in Italian exhibitions) iconographic and iconological approach will enable the public to see from a fresh perspective such famous works as The Knight’s Dream by Raphael in the National Gallery of London, which will be shown for the first time alongside Raphael’s principal source, the Latin poem, the Punica by Silius Italicus, published in Rome between 1471 and 1472” (Alessandro Cecchi).

The exhibition is divided into sections, the first of which define and precisely situate the context in which the dream is revealed: at night, in sleep. The starting point of the exhibition is the Night, represented in all its complex symbology and in particular by means of some of the many sculptural and painted works based on Michelangelo’s Night, which he sculpted in the New Sacristy for Julius de’ Medici’s funerary monument.

This is followed by the section entitled The Transmigration of the Soul, which highlights works related to sleep. This is followed by others relating to the classical myths such as the Frieze in the Medici Villa at Poggio a Caiano by Bertoldo, but also literary works such as the celebrated Hypnerotomachia Poliphili by Francesco Colonna, in which dreaming plays a key role.

The section on Life is a dream is of fundamental importance; it is based on the exceptional iconographic

success of a drawing by Michelangelo, the Dream or the Vanity of human life, as demonstrated by the large number of versions and copies that it has inspired, including those by Giulio Clovio, Francesco del Brina, Battista Franco, etc.

The penultimate section on Enigmatic dreams and nightmarish visions introduces disconcerting works that are difficult to interpret, such as the print depicting The Doctor’s Dream by Albrecht Dürer where it is difficult to decide whether the artist has represented a dreamer tempted by Venus or the dangers of sloth; or Cybele who makes fun of an alchemist who has fallen asleep at his crucible. Other nightmare scenes are inhabited by the Devil as Separator, the great Transgressor and bringer of nightmares, who appears when day gives up its sovereignty and the darker side of things appear -- which brings us to visions of hell and the Temptations of Saint Anthony, by Bosch, Brueghel, Jan Mandijn and Met de Bles.

The exhibition concludes with a reference to Dawn considered during the Renaissance as the space-time of true dreams (represented by a painting by Battista Dossi) to finally open out to the Awakening (with the Awakening of Venus by Dosso Dossi, Bologna, Collezione Unicredit Banca) as an expression of the paradigmatic and complementary cyclical nature of time.

Full Price: € 13,00

Reduced: € 6,50


Tuesday to Sunday: 8.15-18.50

Closed Mondays.


Need to find a quiet spot in the hubub of Florence? Love modern art? An exhibit of jewelry as art objects, Preziosa, including works by international artists, both well-established and emerging which, if not exactly wearable, are inventive and beautiful, including a necklace incorporating an actual turbine, one made out of buttons, and scaly, snake-like rings. See www.preziosa.org for more.

Until July 20 in Piazza San Pancrazio


In the intimate courtyard of the Bargello Museum, from June 26-July 27, there is a journey into the new age of movement and dance. This year’s festival celebrates modern, post-modern and contemporary dance through a new generation of choreographers and great international dance companies, including the Parsons Dance Company from New York and the Spanish Interferencia Danza. The historic Bargello Museum will provide the backdrop to these multimedia shows, which will feature over 250 artists. Visit www.florencedance.org for the program.


Villa La Pietra is the outstanding historical villa and home of the New York University Florence program. Bequeathed to NYU in 1994 by Sir Harold Acton, the Florentine study abroad campus consists of five historic villas and 57 acres of gardens and olive groves. Villa La Pietra, the Acton Collection, and the Garden are maintained as they were by the Acton family and serve as an inspiration to all whom live and study on the campus. Villa La Pietra also has one of the best summer programs for students and visitors alike. It’s called The Season.

The Season is a summer celebration of creative collaboration and exploration conducted throughout the grounds of Villa la Pietra and its extraordinary and scenographic gardens. Artists, writers, musicians, poets, actors and public intellectuals are given time and space to nurture and hone their craft, experiment, collaborate across disciplines, and to create and present new works or the reinterpretation of classics. Well-known figures and emerging talents work together, in classes and workshops or experimental laboratories, and present their work before an audience of Italians and Americans invited to the gardens of Villa la Pietra for a surprising and elegant evening.

The intimacy and immediacy of the interaction between audience and artist contributes to the creative process and provides a unique experience for both. Performances often end with an open dialogue and the conversation between performers and the public continues at a reception in the gardens under the stars. The Season explores the creative process in all its forms, inviting selected artists to reflect on their craft in special dialogues with students and the public.

High production quality, innovation and the intimacy of the Season's Community have played a vital role in the incubation of new talent and the celebration of culture, which has been part of the City of Florence's identity for centuries. It has also been the source of new innovative and cutting-edge work that has traveled from La Pietra to New York and around the world.

Check out the schedule at: http://www.nyu.edu/global/lapietra/season/ or call 055 500 7212 and ask to have a brochure sent to you. Email: lapietra.reply@nyu.edu


Palazzo Strozzi, until 18 August 2013 (On July 11, be in the Palazzo Strozzi Courtyard

The new exhibition at the Strozzi Palazzo, organized by the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi and the Musée du Louvre, proposes to illustrate, in theme-based sections, the origin of what is still known today as the "miracle" of the Renaissance in Florence, doing so principally through masterpieces of sculpture, the branch of figurative art in which that new season first saw the light of day.

The first section is devoted to the rediscovery of the ancient world during the "rebirth" that occurred between the 13th and 14th centuries – from Nicola Pisano to Arnolfo di Cambio and their successors – and following assimilating the expressive richness of the Gothic style, especially of French origin, the two panels depicting the Sacrifice of Isaac by Lorenzo Ghiberti and Filippo Brunelleschi and the model of Brunelleschi's Dome of Florence Cathedral represent the fundamental starting point of the Early Renaissance .

Arranged around the city's absolute symbol – the wooden model of Brunelleschi's Cupola for Santa Maria del Fiore – the exhibition offers a retrospective of sculpture that was also to have a crucial impact on the development of the other figurative arts, in a direct debate with its classical predecessors, from the tombs of the Humanists, to the inspiration provided by ancient sarcophagi, to the rebirth of the equestrian monument and the carved portrait. The carved portrait, which started to become popular towards the middle of the century – in the marble busts of Mino da Fiesole, Desiderio da Settignano and Antonio Rossellino – heralds the transition from fiorentina libertas to the private patronage that was soon to lead to the hegemony of the Medici family. In this context, the exhibition – which opened with the evocation of Brunelleschi’s dome – closes with the evocation of the most illustrious private residence of the Renaissance in the shape of a Wooden Model of Palazzo Strozzi. (text from the official website.)

Info: Tel. + 39 055 2645155

Opening times

Daily 9.00-20.00

Thursdays 9.00-23.00

Tickets sold until one hour before closing time.

Tickets: Full price € 12.50; Concessions € 8.50, 8.00

Thursday Squared (the second Thursday every month at Palazzo Strozzi – it’s free and it’s in the courtyard) On July 11 find Creatives in the Courtyard - Build Yourself An Evening – What you enjoy in a city isn't its seven or seventy-seven wonders, it's the answer it provides to a question you ask of it (I. Calvino)

What secrets or desires does the place of your dreams conceal? Design, invent and built your own part of the city in the courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi. Also, Acoustic Carpet - ABOVE THE TREE (you’ll know when you see it)

Avant-garde and folk, tribalism, tension and shamanism. The fantastical figure of half man/half chicken behaves in an instinctive way, and his performances transform themselves into scientific experiments. Not to be missed.


At Piazza Santo Spirito on July 21 is the Fierucolina del Grano. This one, as the name suggests will focus on grains and breads, but there will be hand-woven dresses and linens, beeswax candles, naturally scented soaps and oils, home-baked bread and cakes, ceramics, wine, olive oil, hand-carved wooden salad bowls and more. www.lafierucola.org.

Another Fieruculina is at the Vecchio Conventino, Via Giano della Bella, 20 on July 14.


This summer at the Florence synagogue every Thursday there will be a lecture followed by an “apericena” of Jewish-inspired food followed by a musical event. It all takes place in the garden in front of the synagogue on Via Luigi Carlo Farini, starting at 7pm. Check for details: http://www.balagancafe.it/programma.html

THE PRODIGIOUS SHOEMAKER – Legends & Fairy Tales On Shoes And Shoemakers

There is a new exhibition that just opened at the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum, where various artists interpret the fabulous role of shoes in legends, myths and fairy tales. Curated by Stefania Ricci, Sergio Risaliti and Luca Scarlini, the exhibition portrays various artists’ interpretations on the universe of shoes: from the original manuscript of Federico Garcìa Lorca’s “La zapatera prodigiosa” to writers and poets such as Hamid Ziarati, Michele Mari and Elisa Biagini, Argentine-Italian composer Luis Bacalov and Milanese visual artist Liliana Moro; all works focus on a brilliant point-of-view of a lady’s second best friend.

From April 19th, 2013 to March 31st, 2014

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum – Piazza Santa Trinità 5


The Fulgor makes one of their theaters available for Original Sound movies, seven days a week, three show times a day. Call to find out what is showing in English. Via Maso Finiguerra – Tel. 055 238 1881


The Odeon is still presenting original sound movies, but with less frequency. Visit the web site or stop by the theater for the most recent schedule. www.odeonfirenze.comPiazza Strozzi, Tel. +39.055.214068 or +39.055.295051

July 1


July 2, 3, 4


July 5, 6, 7


July 9


July 11, 12, 13, 14


July 15, 16, 17


July 16


July 19. 20, 21, 22


July 23, 24, 25, 26



Taking shopping to the next level, Be Vintage Selection at Stazione Leopolda from July 3-5, is a hymn to dressing vintage and being inspired by styles of the past, to standing out from the crowd and reinforcing your own unique personality. Check out new designers, an exhibit on vintage vehicles, concerts, drinks and more. See www.pittimmagine.com.


On July 1, the famed VIP butcher of Panzano, Dario Cecchini will be hosting with the Tuscan Wine School a tasting of fine meats and wines. Bring you favorite bottle to be part of the fun.

The Tuscan Wine School is an initiative to have a connection year-round with people in the city – be they travelers or locals – and the wine regions around Tuscany. The school is run by expats who have come to love Tuscany’s wines and who’ve seen a need for such a place in Florence. It is a fun kind of “school” where you can choose a light class of just one hour, a two-hour in-depth class on Tuscan wines or a whole week of studies to the subject. The Tuscan Wine School also run professional WSET courses that award international wine diplomas. All the classes in English and serves the best possible wines from small unique producers that are selected from throughout the region.

The Tuscan Wine School also provides entertaining and educational wine tours in the Chianti Classico region.

For more information, visit the website www.tuscanwineschool.com or pass by to meet then any afternoon of the week in Via de' Bardi 23R, Florence.



The 15th Edition of the Festival Orchestre Giovanili kicks off in Florence on June 28 and runs through July. The concerts are free to attendees.

The International Florence Youth Orchestra's Festival was created in 1999 to allow young musicians from Europe and beyond the opportunity to participate in an intense and quality Italian musical experience. The Festival is held each July and culminates in a total of 50-75 concerts given by 15-20 orchestras distributed throughout the beautiful region of Tuscan. The Festival aims to represent as many different cultures and nationalities as possible and encourages applications from all international youth and student symphony orchestras. This year the festival is dedicated to Gustav Mahler.

The Festival is open to all international youth chamber and symphony orchestras, which are free to choose their own programs ranging from baroque to contemporary music. Eligibility for the Festival is assigned according to concert program and musical level, but high standard youth groups are generally able to participate. During the Festival each orchestra performs three or four concerts. The main festival venue in Florence is the beautiful Piazza della Signoria, the Church of S. Stefan and the others in some of the most beautiful venues in towns such as: Lucca, Arezzo, Siena, Viareggio, Montecatini Terme, San Gimignano, Venezia, Pisa, Padova, Montepulciano, Modena, Perugia, Cortona, and Spoleto.

Find the full schedule here: http://www.florenceyouthfestival.com/2013.html


Patti Smith, an American singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist, will be in concert in Prato on July 26. Smith became a highly influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 debut album Horses. Called the Godmother of Punk, her work was a fusion of rock and poetry. Smith’s most widely known song is Because the Night, which was co-written with Bruce Springsteen and reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1978. In 2005, Patti Smith was named a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture, and in 2007, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. On November 17, 2010, she won the National Book Award for her memoir Just Kids. Check http://www.ticketone.it for tickets.


Parco Sculture del Chianti kicks off its 2013 Musical Evenings at the Amphitheatre on Tuesdays from 4 June through 27 August, 19:00

See http://www.chiantisculpturepark.it/program2013.htm for the program of the 2013 season concerts

MUSICA DA VINO – Music at the Winery

Each evening will have a different theme and program, which will be linked together by impresario John Wregg. He believes passionately that explanation is one of the keys to enjoyment of the classic arts. July 25 will be an evening of Operatic Vignettes.

Dinner will include wine, antipasto prepared freshly; meats from the Gambassi family of Poggibonsi, including their renowned porchetta; primo sale pecorino all rounded off with Il Piano’s Vin Santo with cantucci.

Cost: 30 euro per person. Reserve at: http://www.musicadavino.com/index.html or

Tel : (0039) 3492253295 – Claudia ( English & French spoken)

Fax : (0039) 0577 940551

E-Mail : musicadavino@gmail.com

Web Site : musicadavino.com


di Carlesi Paolo e Carlesi Paola s.s.

Loc. Montauto

053037 San Gimignano (SI)


The 76th Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Festival, with our own conductor Zubin Mehta, will host numerous star players and conductors, including Jader Bignamini conducting music by Verdi and Rossini (July 6), and Honna Tetsuji Bùi Công Duy and the Symphony Orchestra of Vietnam, playing Beethoven on July 11. The opera in July will be Orfeo all'Inferno by Jacques Offenbach (19-25 July), More than 70 events, with a stimulating and multi-disciplinary offer including operas, concerts, ballets, cinematographic works, books, conferences, publications and children's activities. It’s an extraordinary international exhibition. Go to the website at www.maggiofiorentino.com for all of the details.

Ticket Office Teatro Comunale

Corso Italia 16 - Firenze - fax: +39 055 287222 Tues. - Fri. 10:00-16:30 & Sat. 10:00-13:00

Tickets on line www.maggiofiorentino.com tickets@maggiofiorentino.com


The Lucca Summer Music Fest is one of the most famous in Tuscany, pulling big names from all over the world. There is a little something for everyone. Diane Krall, Earth, Wind & Fire, Leonard Cohen, Bryan Adams, and Neil Young, and more, from July 6 to July 30. (See schedule below in Outside Florence.)For details, see www.summer-festival.com .


This year one of the best opportunities for great opera under the stars is the Opera Barga Festival will get under way on July 5 with a tribute concert for Bruno Maderna and Luciano Berio, two of the most prominent twentieth-century Italian composers, in a co-production with Contempoartensemble of Florence. It will be followed by a series of chamber music concerts, masterminded by Simone Bernardini, a Berlin Philharmonik first violin, performed in and around Barga at open-air venues including Chiostro S. Elisabetta just below the Duomo.

On July 13 and 14, at the Teatro dei Differenti in Barga, Opera Barga Festival will stage the late seventeenth-century oratorio La caduta di Gerusalemme by Giovanni Paolo Colonna, a highly regarded composer of his time.

The best of opera on a midsummer’s evening in one of the most beautiful villages in Tuscany surely warrants a drive out to Barga, nestled in the Garfagnana area to the north of Lucca.

From July 5 to 21

For more information, see www.operabarga.it (in Italian); operabarga@gmail.com; 058/3723250


The Scola di Musica di Fiesole has a summer concert (Le Feste Delle Music III) schedule that runs through July. Download the schedule at: http://www.scuolamusica.fiesole.fi.it/index.php?file=onenews&form_id_notizia=218

MUSIC AT LA FOCE – Incontri in Terra di Siena

From July 19 to 28, Incontri in Terra di Siena, celebrating its 25th year, was founded in 1989 in memory of Antonio Origo and his wife Iris, the well-known Anglo-American writer. After moving to the area southeast of Siena in 1924, the Origos dedicated their lives to the development and progress of the Val d'Orcia and its people.

Based at Villa La Foce and the nearby medieval castle, Castelluccio, Incontri's aim is to spread the appreciation of music and art through concerts, meetings, and artistic events held in the many beautiful neighboring towns that include Pienza, Radicofani, Cetona, Città della Pieve and San Quirico d'Orcia. Art and music is a meeting ground for the awareness of many issues, from the understanding and collaboration between peoples to increased cultural interaction between America and Europe and the challenge of musical and literary education for the young.

Antonio Lysy, grandson of Antonio and Iris Origo, is both an internationally-acclaimed cellist and current professor at UCLA, as well as being Incontri's Artistic Director and its principal founder. In past seasons, he has invited renowned artists Pascal Rogé and Kathryn Stott to be guest Music Directors while musicians such as Charles Dutoit, Maurizio Pollini, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Hans Werner Henze are on the Incontri's Honorary Board.

See this years schedule at: http://www.itslafoce.org/?action=home


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


Until September 22 at the Bargello Museum, via del Proconsolo 4, Florence

The courtyard of the beautiful Bargello Museum will be filled with musical, dance and theatre performances all summer. Highlights among the more than 70 events include classical music on July 6 and 17 and the Florence Dance Festival (June 2 – July 24).

See http://www.polomuseale.firenze.it/it/eventi/evento.php?t=5190c674f1c3bc300c00001c for details.


From June 26-November 3, there is a new exhibit at Uffizi Gallery – The Grand Prince. Marking 300 years since the death of Grand Prince Ferdinando de' Medici, this exhibit celebrates the life of one of the most important collectors and patrons of the arts in the history of the Medici, including sections on iconography, art collected by the Prince, renovations he commissioned in Florence, and Florentine statuary. For more, see www.unannoadarte.it .


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 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 sunset, 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 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.)

Go to this site for all of the details: http://www.firenzeturismo.it/en/firenze-territorio/a-roof-with-a-view.html


Parco Sculture del Chianti kicks off its 2013 Musical Evenings at the Amphitheatre on Tuesdays from 4 June through 27 August, 19:00 See http://www.chiantisculpturepark.it/program2013.htm for the program of the 2013 season concerts.




Experience the extraordinary opening of the Porta del Cielo (Door of Heaven) – or, at least, Siena’s version of it. Until October 27, 2013, if you happen to visit Siena, don’t miss this spectacular opportunity.

For the first time, after extensive renovation, it will be possible to take a tour of the walkways in the vault of the Duomo of Siena. Internal passages, balconies (both inside and outside) and hidden attic spaces will be open to small, guided groups. Until now, these parts of the Cathedral were accessible only to the architects and builders in charge of maintaining the structure over the centuries.

The two massive towers on each side of the façade of the Duomo house spiral staircases that lead up into the roof where there is a series of walkways and rooms that provide astonishing views of both the interior of the Duomo and the city of Siena outside.

You will be able to look down onto the marble intarsia floor of the main nave and understand its design in a way that until now could only be done through photographs. You will be able to traverse the walkway over the main altar and almost reach out and touch Duccio di Buoninsegna’s stained glass rose window. Finally, you will be able to walk along the balcony inside the dome of the cathedral from which there is a fabulous view of the high altar.

The visiting itinerary “from above” will thus permit visitors to better understand the dedication of the Cathedral of Siena to the Assumption of the Madonna, and the strong connection the people of Siena have had with their ‘patron’ for centuries: Sena vetus civitas Virginis.

The exterior views extend over the Basilica of St. Domenico, the Medici Fortress, the entire dome of the chapel of St. John the Baptist and the landscape of the surrounding Sienese hills.

The Door to Heaven Guided Tour (La Porta del Cielo)

6 April – 27 October 2013

Reservations required: tickets per person €25, groups of max 17 people €400. Tel +39 0577 286300 (Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm) or email: opasiena@operalaboratori.com

For all of the details of what to wear and what to consider before taking the tour see the official website:


PISA – Music Under the Tower

Head to Pisa on July 1, 4, 8 and 11 to enjoy classical music in the classical setting of the cloisters of Pisa's Museo dell'Opera del Duomo at Music Under the Tower. Check full schedule at www.opapisa.it

FIESOLE – Estate Fiesolana

Estate Fiesolana-Music, Dance, Theater, and art come together at perhaps the best-known festival in the area and is famous for its rich calendar of events and international star lineup. Part of the Estate Fiesolana, is the jazz lineup with Gilberto Gil, Dave Holland and Eric Johnson, the summer program celebrating music, theater, dance and art. Be sure to attend at least one event, if only to enjoy the amphitheater and a cool breeze on a summer evening. From June 02 to July 31; see www.estatefiesolana.it for more information.

Events are held in Fiesole, Vaglia and Florence.

For the entire calendar see http://www.estatefiesolana.it/opencms/opencms/it/calendario/ .

AREZZO – Arezzo Wave Love Festival

With more than 100 events: July 10 to 14 in downtown Arezzo and Civitella in Val di Chiana, the 27th edition of Arezzo Wave Love Festival. After five years of traveling Italy (Florence, Livorno, Lecce), the Italian music festival returns for a second year 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 Max Gazzè, Marta sui Tubi, Ministri, Fedez, Luca Agnelli, “30 Years of Ortodossia” with Massimo Zamboni, the flute of Roberto Fabbriciani, 77 Bombay Street, Grimus, Rangleklods, as well as art and cultural events such as Fabrizio Barca with journalist Tommaso Cerno allo author Eraldo Pecci., peace manifestations, and more.

Created under the banner of "Chic … & Cheap!!," Arezzo Wave Love Festival 2013 will, in large part, offer free admission and will require paid entrance tickets for "special" concerts that will nonetheless be affordable.

The festival offers as an anti-crisis solution through the opportunity to buy a special subscription ticket of 20 euros to watch all of the events taking place on the Main Stage. But to watch the four nights of music by entering the stadium before 20:00 will free!

All the information: www.arezzowave.com


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

6th July: Diana Krall

8th July: LITFIBA

9th July: Leonard Cohen

10th July: Bryan Adams

11th July: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

13th July: Thirty Seconds to Mars

18th July: Lucca talent with Boccherini Orchestra (free event)

19th July: Mark Knopfler

20th July: Alessandro Siani

21st July: Renzo Arboni

22ndJuly: Earth Wind & Fire

25th July: Neil young & Crazy Horse

27th July: Sigur Ros

28th July: Pino Daniele and Marcus Miller

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

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


The Festival delle Colline, celebrating its 34th year, from July 3 to July 31, this popular festival in Prato features internationally renowned artists performing all'aperto. Music ranges from African rhythms to orchestral sounds. Find the complete schedule at www.festivaldellecolline.com .


Henri Cartier-Bresson at Lu.C.C.A. (Lucca Center of Contemporary Art until November 3rd.

Discover the life and fabulous photography of Cartier-Bresson, the French photographer considered to be the father of modern photojournalism. His personal, candid and absolutely unique photos capture moments in history and were the beginnings of street photography. Visit www.luccamuseum.com for more.


The Chianti Star Festival until August 11 at Palazzo Malaspina,

Science and art unite in this celebration of the Chianti area and dissemination of scientific culture. Meet OpenLab professors and researchers dedicated to the relationship between art and science, see an international contemporary art exhibit and watch films which explore what happens when art meets science.

Visit http://eng.chiantistarfestival.com for more information.


At the Monteriggioni Festival (July 5-7 and 12-14) costumes, taverns, minstrels, acrobats, jesters, stilt walkers, sword swallowers, storytellers and pageants are only part of the fun. The small town of Monteriggioni will go back to medieval times for two weekends only. With many multilingual performances, visitors from across the globe are welcome. Find out more at www.monteriggionimedievale.it .


June 27-July 6

Various vineyards in Tuscany

A feast for the eyes, ears and taste buds, Melodia del Vino combines fine wines and top quality live music in beautiful locations in Tuscany. This year will take in the extraordinary buried cellars of Cantina Antinori and the medieval Banfi castle, and will include international stars such as young Ukrainian pianist Alexander Romanovsky and French ‘cellist Henri Demarquette. Visit www.melodiadelvino.it for the full program.

MERCATINO DI APRILANTE - Artisanal Crafts Market

Sun. 7 (morning to afternoon) visit 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 which vendors show up, you'll find honey and pecorino (sheep's milk) cheese makers, hand-embroidered linen makers, boutique wineries and 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 or S. Donato. 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.


On Sun. 7, as on every first Sunday of the month, from 8 am to sunset, you can enjoy a visit to Fiesole with the added fun of perusing the stands filled with bric-brac and antiques. Piazza Mino. For info phone 0555978373.


Tuscan Traveler’s Italian Food Rules written by Ann Reavis has been published! Find a copy at The Paperback Exchange at Via delle Oche, 4r, or at BM Bookshop, Borgo Ognissante, 4.

ITALIAN FOOD RULE: Pear & Pecorino Go Together

There is an ancient Italian saying from the days when the farming system was such that 50% of the farmer’s crop went to the landowner and 10% went to the church – al contadino non far sapere quant'è buono il cacio con le pere – don’t tell the farmer how good cheese tastes with pears. Since the farmer milked the ewes, made the cheese and picked the pears, the landowners and priests had a right to fear their portions would be shorted.

One of the world’s leading experts on food and culture, Massimo Montanari, wrote a 128-page book, entitled Il Formaggio con le Pere: La Storia in un Proverbio (Cheese with Pears: The History in a Proverb), which unravels the origin and use throughout history of the saying.

The right cheese with the right fruit is the key to Italian food pairing. The proper cheese is an aged percorino, made from sheep’s milk, salty with a stronger flavor than cow’s milk cheese. (There are some Italians who argue for a younger creamier cheese, but they still agree that it must be pecorino.)

The pears must be mature, but crisp – sweet, but not mushy. Some claim Bartlett pears are best, but no one puts up much of an argument unless you try to substitute another fruit.

This is a white on white dish because Italians always peel their fruit before eating it. The dish can be presented as pear crescents alternated with thin slices of pecorino or the pears can be cubed and the pecorino shaved (not grated) in curls on top of the fruit or finally the pear and cheese can be cut in equal sized cubes and tossed together. One daring Italian tried to solve the problem of over-ripe pears by creating a fruit sauce to spread on cheese. Try it on your Italian friends at your peril.



A shout out to Victor Caulfield for the great write-up on him in the latest The Florentine (June 20-July 9)!

For all of those Australian and New Zealand expat residents or visitors to Florence, who want to know what is going on in the community, join Victor Caulfield, President of Australians & New Zealanders In Florence (ANZIF), for one of their monthly events. They just had an very exciting Anzac Day 2013 in May and enjoyed High Tea in June and are celebrating the 1933 flight of Bert Hinkler in Casentino on July 27. If you would like to get their eNewsletter, send an email to: australians.florence@gmail.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 .

Email from June 2013:

Your website has been a marvelous source of information for me as I've conducted my "due diligence" leading up to our sojourn in Florence. The same can be said for your newsletter...which I read faithfully. Thanks so much for your help!

Mike B.


Music, music, music is in the summer air this July. Enjoy the opera. Symphony, dance and tunes in Florence and under the Tuscan stars.

All the best,

Pitcher and Flaccomio