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IMPORTANT INFORMATION » Our Monthly Newsletter ITA -

Palazzo Pitti

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

June - Tuscany hits a wonderful summer stride in June. The streets of Florence and the piazzas of Tuscan towns fill with life. In the hills, red poppies, multicolored roses and yellow flames of Scotch broom brighten and scent the summer air.
Tuesday June 2 is a national holiday (celebrating the birth of the Italian Republic) and Wednesday June 24 is the “Festa di San Giovanni”, a local holiday in Florence only (see St. John celebration info below). In this issue, we share our selection of new exhibitions, renowned fashion and wine fairs, movies, and antique markets plus the candle-lit Arno in Pisa and an update on the fabulous Linari Classical Music Festival.
Sent with a ray of Tuscan summer sun from SUZANNE, CORSO, SANDRA, LORI, ANNA PIA, KIMBERLY and MARIO.


Florence International Theatre Company would like to announce the official opening of Florence Art Crawl which brings an opportunity to experience the city in a way never before offered. Through various forms of art - photography, theatre, music, and more - our guests will join us in a creative experience while we 'crawl' through the streets and alleyways of one of the lesser-known parts of the city: Oltrarno.
Florence Art Crawl #1 is the Nighttime Photographic Art Crawl of Oltrarno, a full evening (Monday through Saturday, 7 pm to 10.30/11pm) which begins with a five-course dinner at a very 'local' eatery in San Frediano. Following dinner, with the Art Crawl Host, you will create images of this neighborhood at night that can be put on the website and have the possibility to be a part of an annual publication.
Florence Art Crawl is a terrific way to support the work of Florence International Theatre Company while having a fun night out! And, although the site is in English, with advanced notice a crawl can be conducted in Italian, French, Spanish or German!
A Note From the Producing Artistic Director - I am pleased to announce this new project which has been in development for the last two years. The idea of the Art Crawl came to me originally as a counter to the Pub Crawls which outraged many Florentine residents when they came to their attention in the newspapers, and which add to the drinking culture of the city at night. I, and all of us at FITC, strongly believe that the arts should be more engaged and active during the evenings with all populations of the city center, including tourists. In this way a balance to the heavy drinking culture in centro will be created which involves the local and international visitors and residents while giving something positive to the city and supporting local artists and arts organizations.
We ask for your help in launching this project which will be a way of giving your support to FITC by spreading the word to your friends, family and colleagues both here in Italy and abroad, by contacting us with any ideas you have for developing relationships with tourist operators and conference planners, etc. and by considering a Florence Art Crawl as a unique occasion for your future plans of celebration or work-related events. For info: www.florenceartcrawl.com.
Thank you, (and Suzanne, thank you EVER so much for being such a supporter of FITC and our new project for guests of the city.)
Bari Hochwald
Producing Artistic Director, Florence International Theatre Company. Tel. 055 213 788, or 334 835 7826, www.florencetheatre.com
June 10, Wednesday, 6:15 pm - LECTURE: Erik Jones, "Implications for Europe of the Obama Victory". Villa La Pietra/NYU. Via Bolognese 120 (bus #25). RSVP required. Write kristina.paccione@gmail.com. Admission free, refreshments follow. Erik Jones is a professor of International Relations at the prestigious Johns Hopkins School of International Studies in Bologna (known as SAIS). Erik was our first speaker in 2005 and we are very happy to invite him back. He will present his just-published book The 2008 U.S. Presidential Elections: A Story in Four Acts and is gearing his lecture to an audience of Americans living in Europe. (www.jhubc.it/facultypages/ejones).
June 16, Tuesday, 7:30 pm - CHAPTER MEETING. Caffe degli Artigiani, Via dello Sprone 16/red (at corner with via Toscanella: cross Ponte Vecchio to Oltrarno, turn right onto Borgo S. Jacopo, then left onto via Toscanella – 5 min walk from bridge). You pay only for what you want to eat/drink. The focus of this chapter meeting will be Advocating From Abroad. We’ll talk about the Americans Abroad Caucus, healthcare advocacy, and more. All in a lovely section of the Oltrarno on a street where artisans still flourish. Please write Cathleen if you have a special topic you’d like us to consider.
June 18, Thursday, 6:30 pm - FILM: Crude Impact. Brac - Café/bookstore, Via dei Vagellai 18/red (off via dei Benci near Arno). You pay only for what you want to eat/drink. 1 euro donation to DAF. Our film series continues! Crude Impact by Jay Wood chronicles the collision of our insatiable appetite for oil with the rights and livelihoods of indigenous cultures, other species and the planet itself. Thanks to DAF member Pam Coleman for suggesting and obtaining this film.
June 25, Thursday, 6:15 pm. LECTURE: Alan Kuperman, “Wishful Thinking Will Not Stop Genocide: How to Improve Humanitarian Intervention". Syracuse University, Piazza Savonarola 15. Free snacks, cash wine bar. 1 euro donation to DAF. Alan Kuperman taught at SAIS in Bologna and now teaches at the LBJ School of the University of Texas as a professor of Public Affairs. He was also Legislative Director for Congressman Charles Schumer of New York and has a longstanding interest in human rights violations and humanitarian intervention. (www.utexas.edu/lbj/faculty/alan-kuperman).
Looking Forward to July: DAF is working with the American Consulate of Florence and the Tuscan-American Association to help plan this year’s Fourth of July picnic at Villa Demidoff. Our responsibility is to make sure the party feels authentically American. We’ll be organizing games like three-legged races, egg-on-a-spoon runs, and much more in order to involve people of all ages in the fun! We’re also organizing a mini version of the USA Street Fair to showcase some of the services available to the English-speaking community in Florence. We need volunteers on July 4th! Please write Cathleen.
There will be NO chapter meeting in July or August. We will resume our chapter meetings on Saturday, September 19, from 11am-12:30pm at Cal State (via Leopardi 12). How You Can Help: Would you like to volunteer at any of the lectures or films you’ve seen above? Just write us and we’ll find a way to put you to work!
Thank you,
Cathleen Compton, Chair, cathleen.compton@gmail.com. www.democratsabroad.org
FOOTBAAAALLL!! by Simon Clark and Anne Brooks
Forza Viola!..........The final month of the season. Five games remaining and qualification for the Champions League beckons. We hold fourth place just ahead of Genoa. But never mind the Genovese. All we have to do is overcome our own demons. Playing as we did against Roma, we can destroy anyone but, sometimes, the most challenging opponents are our own doubts and nerves. Breathe deeply……….
May’s Results:
Week 34: Fiorentina-Torino WON 1-0
Week 35: Catania-Fiorentina WON 2-0
Week 36: Fiorentina-Sampdoria WON 1-0
Week 37: Lecce-Fiorentina DREW 1-1
Week 38: Fiorentina-Milan LOST 0-2
Serie A. Coming off the back of our destruction of Roma, we can’t expect a repeat; we just need to keep things under control and avoid a slip-up against relegation-battling Torino……….and the Viola did what was necessary, largely keeping the opposition quiet and getting in a deal of shooting practice. We could, however, have eased spectators’ nerves by converting more than one of the chances. The goal itself was a gem – Vargas running onto a long ball from Kuzmanovich, sliding it under the advancing goalkeeper and rounding him to pop it into the empty net. That was the Peruvian’s second goal in successive matches; he is transformed from the somewhat hesitant defender of the opening games. Mind you, Torino did have a stoppage-time score ruled out – incorrectly – for offside. Who cares? The referee decides, not the cameraman or studio-bound commentators.
Week 35 and we take a trip to Sicily and Catania. Easy-peasy! The Sicilians are already safe and have little or nothing left to play for. The Viola did most of the attacking and latterly had their goal under constant siege. A Gilardino assist for a Jovetic strike from the corner of the penalty area calmed everyone’s nerves in the 11th minute and from then on the three points belonged to us, Zauri pouncing on a defensive error to bang in a second right on the final whistle. At the same time, Genoa are stuttering – they manage only a draw at Atalanta.
Back to the Stadio for the visit of Sampdoria and the return of Giampaolo Pazzini. The young striker had garnered fine reports since leaving Fiorentina and has been called up to the full national squad. Maybe it’s something about the Stadio Franchi but Pazzini delivered for Sampdoria pretty much what he used to deliver for Fiorentina – plenty of effort, fine positional play and no goals! Samp could shelter behind the excuse of being weary after losing the midweek Italian Cup final to Lazio on penalties but they didn’t greatly worry us. Gilardino played the role of chief executioner on this occasion, nipping in front of his marker and turning in a high-velocity cross from Vargas (a man who only plays at top speed). The result means that only Genoa (held to a draw again) can catch us and that one more point – just a single point – will confirm us in that all-important fourth place. Indeed, Florence is dreaming about finishing third or even second to avoid the Champions League qualifying rounds and go straight to the group stage. Our destiny is, as they say, in our own hands – or, rather, in Sebastien Frey’s hands and everyone else’s heads and feet!
Week 37 and the penultimate game of the season. On the face of it, this should pose no problems – a Top Four team plays the side at the foot of the league. Lecce, however, still have a mathematical chance of Serie A survival and they are one of only two teams this season to have beaten us at the Stadio. This is not going to be easy….and our inner doubts began to show, fans’ certainty to unravel. While Genoa are engaged in a titanic struggle at Torino, a struggle from which they eventually emerge victorious, we go 1-0 down in the 50th minute as our entire defense goes AWOL for a moment or two. We try hard, we try too hard. We’re too tense and the machine is overheating, unsurprising in the 35 degree temperature. But help is at hand. If nothing else is working, look to a player holding out for an improved contract. Prandelli brings on Jorgensen. In the 89th minute, the Dane burrows into the Lecce penalty area, gets a fortunate rebound from a defender and buries the ball in their net. One-one. A draw. One point. We are in the Champions League and the fans go wild.
Well, we were looking for a two-goal margin with Milan, and that's what we got....but the wrong way round! The Viola gave it a good shot but Milan came to play it safe. Very experienced, very organized, very patient and ready to smother Gilardino whenever the ball came his way, their composure edged our enthusiasm - though the score line was a little harsh. We sparkled through a goalless first half. if we had taken just one of those three clear chances, who knows what might have happened? Montolivo was running the show, the defense looked solid - but a Flamini drive smacking against the bar came as a warning. The danger was always that as we pushed forward we left ourselves vulnerable at the back. And so it proved. In the second half, Kaka punished us. We surged upfield and Pato plundered another. Game over. Given that it was one of the few last-day games with anything at stake, it was notable for being played in a sportsmanlike manner throughout and for the high quality of the refereeing. So there we are, another fine season, entry to the Champions League and a strong sense of the Viola project continuing to build momentum.
What happens now? The players can take a bit of a break but attention focuses on the next campaign, on who we will be playing in the Champions League and on what moves will take place in the forthcoming transfer window. Director of Football, Pantaleo Corvino has pledged that no-one will be leaving. Why would they when we can offer the highest available level of football next season and a crack at the Scudetto? Presumably only for the sake of money but Real Madrid and Arsenal are said to be sniffing around Felipe Melo, for example. Frey, Montolivo and others appear committed and we will keep our fingers crossed. So who will be coming in? The word was that Crespo, out of favor at Inter and out of contract at the end of the season, had tipped us the wink but then it transpired that Genoa had made a better offer. Corvino and Prandelli continue the search and we will try and keep you abreast of rumors and reality…..Forza Viola!
THE FIORENTINA SCHEDULE: The season being over, there are no games scheduled. A new round of friendlies will come along in late July as the preface to the 2009-2010 Scudetto campaign. However, we will kick off next season properly with the Champions League qualifiers. The initial draw will take place in Switzerland later this month but we don't come in for a while. We reckon the Viola will be playing someone over two legs 18-19 and 25/26 August. Let's pray for the champions of Iceland - anywhere unaccustomed to Tuscany's August temperatures! 

Macedonia Estiva - Summer Fruit Salad.
1 ripe pineapple
1 baby watermelon
6-8 ripe nectarines
1 basket blueberries
1 basket raspberries
1 cup sugar
½ bottle sparkling wine-prosecco, spumante
Mint leaves
Fruit sorbet of your choice
Cut pineapple, nectarines and watermelon into small (half inch) pieces and place in a large bowl. Add sugar and macerate at least an hour and up to half a day. Just before serving add the berries, and the half bottle sparkling wine and toss with the mint leaves. Serve with a scoop of fruit sorbet. My favorites are lemon and raspberry. Serves 12.
This month our recipe comes from Sahna Wicks of A Tuscan Welcome catering and cooking school (wicks@katamail.com).



Surfs up in sunny Florence! All summer long check out the beach scene Arno-style just below Piazza Poggi. Get a snack at the bar kiosk, and wander down to catch some rays on a sandy, new beach. Open from 10:00 am til late night. Lungarno Serrestori. Tel. 335 6630341. Check their site for activities and upcoming events. www.piazzart.com
Until June 16th, climb up the hillside below Piazzale Michelangelo to the Giardino delle Rose for one of the loveliest views in Florence. The garden was developed in the late 1800’s, when architect Giuseppe Poggi was designing numerous public spaces to celebrate Florence as the new capital of Italy. The terraced garden site was chosen specifically for its drop-dead wonderful vistas of Palazzo Vecchio, the Duomo, Arno and the entire historical centre. There are over 1000 varieties of roses, plus other flowering plants. Access the garden by strolling up from the San Niccolò neighborhood through the medieval San Miniato gate. At the base of a long staircase called Via San Salvatore al Monte, you can enter the garden at the lower gate directly on your left, or two hundreds yards up, halfway to the Piazzale Michelangelo. Other gates are accessible from the zigzagging Viale Giuseppe Poggi which connects Piazzale Michelangelo and Piazza Poggi at the Arno. Open until June 16 (and maybe longer). Viale Giuseppe Poggi 2, tel. 055 262 5305. Open seven days a week from 8 am – 8 pm. Free entry.
From Thurs. 4 to Thurs. 11 a new collaboration between Polimoda International Institute for Fashion Design & Marketing and the most prestigious boutiques, historical venues and exhibition spaces in Florence will light up the city with a series of fashion installations, exhibitions, conferences and shows.
“It is indeed an original and innovative project – explains Polimoda Dean Linda Loppa – aimed at connecting the great names of the fashion system and young generations”. Fashion Week opens on June 4th in Palazzo Spini Feroni, with the conference “The XX Century’s Archives of Fashion”. There will be 20 renowned window displays of Polimoda Fashion Design students’ creations, organized as a path across the city centre, from Via dei Tornabuoni to Piazza della Repubblica, from Via Por Santa Maria to Piazza Antinori, from Piazza del Duomo to Via Roma.
The event “Polimoda New Talent” will take place on June 5th, 6th, 10th and 11th, from 3 to 7 pm, at the historical Giubbe Rosse Café where young fashion designers, graphic designers, entrepreneurs, journalists, photographers and web designers will have the opportunity to present their personal, creative ideas to Dean Loppa, and see them published on the new Polimoda website.
An exhibition “The Sculpture of Fashion” will take place at the Marino Marini Museum where 19 students of the patternmaking course will interpret today’s fashion designers, bringing together art and the research of new volumes in sync with the human body. On June 10th Villa Bardini will host a conference “The Garden of Fashion”, while the Florence National Library will be the ideal background for an exhibition of the fashion design students’ garments.
Thanks to collaboration with the most exclusive Florentine night clubs, “Polimoda Fashion Nights” on the evenings of June 4th and 8th will be animated by events and free-access parties around town. Finally, on June 8th, Saschall Theatre will host “Fashion Show 2009”, where 70 Polimoda Fashion Design students will present their final works: a double appointment, at 4 and 9 pm, when the creativity, research and talent of these future designers will hit the runway. To see the full calendar of appointments of Polimoda Fashion Week: www.polimoda.com.
On Sat. 13, Sun. 14 and Wed. 24, Piazza Santa Croce will host the traditional, rough-and-tumble Calcio Storico tournament. For those unfamiliar with the game, just imagine a seemingly disorganized mix of football, soccer, rugby and something you weren’t supposed to play as kids. Throw 52 of Florence’s toughest guys out onto a hot playing field and watch them have at it. This, at least, is what it appears. In reality, guys from the four neighborhoods of town, train carefully throughout the year to best represent their teams on the field. This season the teams will join forces and play “friendlies”. With much pageantry beforehand, and the color and life of the game and crowd, it should be fun for all. Games start at 5 pm. Tickets can be organized through the Box Office, via Alamanni 39/R, tel. 055/21.08.04.
From Mon. 15 to Sat. 20 a series of events will be held by the non-profit restArte Foundation to raise money toward the restoration of the Ammannati Courtyard in the Pitti Palace. Invitations to many of the following events may be booked through the foundation website www.restarte.org.
On Tuesday 16 at 10:00: Palazzo Pitti Treasure Chest – exhibitions and screenings of Florence's cultural heritage and works of art stored in Palazzo Pitti. Images of frescoes, architectural drawings, paintings, jewellery, accessories, furnishings, utensils, crystals, porcelain and statues will be projected on screens inside the courtyard. Music will accompany the images. At 8:30 pm: The Art of Wool - an event dedicated to fashion and to the merchants that sponsored many works of art, including the imposing Duomo of Florence. A film will be shown documenting the lives of Brunelleschi, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Ammannati: the architect who dedicated himself to the courtyard which he gave his name to.
On Wednesday 17 there will be special tours of the Medici corridor. Besides visiting the prestigious Vasari corridor and its works of art, visitors can admire the artistic beauty of Palazzo Pitti and the Uffizi. Art history experts will accompany four groups of visitors on the tour.
Saturday 20 June is a day aimed at public involvement. A Palazzo Pitti tournament will have teams representing the various areas of Tuscany competing in traditional games and competitions (6:00 pm) including flag throwers, musicians and drummers. Later in the evening there will be competitions in knife throwing, crossbow, archery, jousting, stone races, sack racing and falconry, and a reproduction of Florence's old market, complete with artisans and merchants. Jugglers, fire-eaters, jesters and acrobats will provide entertainment. The day finishes with a banquet and a concert by Paolo Vallesi and Rossini.
From Tues. 16 to Fri. 19 Florence is the place to be, as she opens her doors once again to the “beautiful people” of the men’s fashion world. Undercover will be the special guest at this the 76th edition of Pitti Immagine Uomo. On the evening of Wednesday 17, Japanese designer Jun Takahashi - the mind behind the Undercover brand - will present the world premiere of his menswear Collection S/S 2010 in the exceptional location of the Giardino di Boboli of Palazzo Pitti. One of the biggest names on the international stage, Undercover is known for his look that starts from an authentic Japanese street fashion and develops into an evocative presentation centered on emotions. There will be many special projects and previews at the Fortezza this month: from Brooks Brothers’ debut showing, to the return of Allegri’s three collections including the main line by Francesco Scognamiglio, to the first total look and new styling by beachwear brand Vilebrequin, plus, the return of big names such as Lardini and Malo in this preview of men’s fashion for the Spring/summer 2010 season.
The exhibitions are reserved to dedicated fashion buyers. In order to get an entrance card it is necessary to show your official invitation at the Reception desk. If you do not have an invite you can fill out a registration form and show an official document certifying your business activity. Fortezza da Basso and other locales. Tues. 16 to Fri. 19. Open from 9 am- 8 pm. www-pittimmagine.com.
On Sat. 20 Florence’s 70th annual nighttime 10 kilometer run will start and end in the beautiful Piazza San Giovanni at the Duomo. Race into the Florentine night, past the city’s major monuments. Gather at 7:00 and take off soon after on either a competitive 10k run or a non-competitive 4k Family Run. Participants receive a T-shirt commemorating the event. Admission: 10K - 8 euro; 4K - 5 euro. Registration and payment must be sent in by June 19 to the Società di San Giovanni Battista, via del Corso 1, open 10.00 – 12.00 and 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm from Monday to Friday. Tel. 055/294174. e-mail: sangiovannibattista@interfree.it
Sun. 21 in Piazza Santo Spirito take advantage of this “extra” fair to enjoy all the goodies for one last time til September (since the usual Fierucolina remains on hold during the months of July and August). Browse Piazza Santo Spirito and pick up all kinds of natural and organic products, from fresh cheeses, to jams, clothing, and handmade items of all sorts. Open 9 am - 7 pm.
To celebrate St. John’s day, Wed. June 24 is a local holiday in Florence (only). Banks and such will be closed. To make up for it, the city puts on a spectacular display of fireworks. Find a spot that gives you a good view toward Piazzale Michelangelo before the 10:00 pm starting time, and enjoy the show. Other events during the day include a morning (9:00 am start) stroll of costumed figures through the historical center, a river race on the Arno (afternoon), and the Calcio Storico Big Game in Piazza Santa Croce (5:00 pm).
From Thurs. 25 to Sat. 27, kids will have a fashion showcase of their own at Pitti Bimbo, the world preview of children’s clothing, accessory and design collections for the 2010 spring/summer season. With more than 400 firms vying for display space, Pitti Bimbo is growing and becoming ever more international. The new entries at this edition include Les Petites Marie, Loppa, Olive and Moss, Chi ama Chi, Moschino Junior and Murphy&Nye confirming the event's weight in the world of junior fashions. Same ticketing plan as for Pitti Uomo above. Thurs. 25 to Sat. 27. Fortezza da Basso and other venues around town. Open from 9 am- 8 pm. www-pittimmagine.com.
'NOTTARNO” Notte Bianca (White Night in the Oltrarno)
On Sat. 27 why not wander down to the Oltrarno neighborhood of Florence. It is going to be ALIVE all night long (or nearly). From 9:00 pm to 3:00 am, the streets and squares will be filled with fun as restaurants, bars and shops keep doors wide open to host special events, shows, and tastings. Radiating out from Piazza Santo Spirito, you’ll find action from San Niccolo’ to San Frediano to Piazza Tasso and back. Florence Dance will perform in Piazza Pitti, there will be live music in Piazza Santo Spirito, and comedians in Piazza del Carmine.
Until Sept. 27, an exhibition dedicated to the great American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, in the twentieth anniversary of his death, will illuminate the Accademia Gallery. For the first time works of this renowned artist of photography will be exhibited with universal icons of art like the David, flanked by the Prisoners, and paintings by masters from the fourteenth century to the full Renaissance.
From its very title, Robert Mapplethorpe, Perfection in Form, the show expresses the profound principle that associates Mapplethorpe with the great Renaissance masters and, in particular, with Michelangelo: the search for balance, the precision and clarity inherent to ‘Form’ that tends toward perfection by means of the geometric rigor of volumes defined by line and sculpted by light. In Mapplethorpe’s own words: “I look for perfection in form … I am trying to capture what could be sculpture”. The photographer confessed his fascination for the art of Michelangelo, stating: “If I had been born one hundred or two hundred years ago, I might have been a sculptor, but photography is a very quick way to see, to make sculpture”.
The material is grouped into four sections addressing the single theme of Form; Geometry of Form, Fragment as Form, Repeating Form, and Sculptural Form. Michelangelo’s David and the four Prisoners, as terms of comparison, in addition to four drawings and a wax model also by Michelangelo, reflect off 93 works by Mapplethorpe that include human subjects as well as numerous still-lifes, where Mapplethorpe confirms his attention for the study of light and shadows on the object, giving it a clear placement in space.
Accademia Gallery. Via Ricasoli 58. Open Tues-Sun 8:15 am-6:50 pm; last admission 30 min. before closing. Ticket: 10 euro. Closed Monday. Firenze Musei Tel. 055. 2654321
Until Sept. 30 the Uffizi Gallery hosts a fascinating special exhibit. With the extinction of the Medici dynasty (1743), Florence did not lose its prestige as capital of culture and the arts, thanks to the government of the Lorraines, who gave the city the international profile required by Enlightenment policies. This exhibition is the first overall panorama of the principal artistic events of the eighteenth century in Florence, with 120 paintings, sculptures, art objects and furnishings, works from the entire century, recording the changes in taste from the late Baroque period to Neoclassicism.
The show starts with commissions made by Cosimo III and the Grand Prince Ferdinando de’ Medici, that opened the city to “foreign” artists like Sebastiano Ricci and Giuseppe Maria Crespi. They favored sculpture (with personalities like Giovan Battista Foggini and Massimiliano Soldani Benzi), and developed the manufacture of tapestries and semiprecious stone work.
Following the Medicis, Peter Leopold of Lorraine brought the European version of Rococo and Neoclassicism to Tuscany, along with the reformist spirit that accompanied the theories of the Enlightenment even in the figurative arts. A new elite of patrons took shape in Florence. In this context, the families of the Florentine aristocracy held a conspicuous role: the Gerinis for the diffusion of the veduta (landscape), the Ginoris for their famed porcelains of Doccia, the Corsinis for their constant relations with pontifical Rome. In this climate of civic and cultural fervor, the Frenchmen François-Xavier Fabre, Bénigne Gagnereaux, Louis Gauffier and Jean-Baptiste Desmarais came to Florence, driven from Pontifical Rome after the murder of the diplomat Nicolas de Basseville. With them came the international version of neoclassicism, thus contributing to the “reform” of the portrait, the veduta and the historical painting, on the eve of the instatement of the Napoleonic court (1799). Uffizi Gallery. Ticket: 10 euro. Open Tuesday to Sunday 8,15 – 18,50. Closed Monday. Firenze Musei Tel. 055. 2654321
Until July 12 the Bargello National Museum pays tribute to Gian Lorenzo Bernini and his exceptional qualities as a portraitist. With the bust of Costanza Bonarelli, the Bargello possesses the most exciting and famous testimony of the breakthrough that Bernini (1598-1680) brought to the genre of portrait sculpture. The show sheds light on the most significant phase of the artist’s activity, represented by Costanza Bonarelli, the Portraits of Urban VIII and of Scipione Borghese, and of other personages of the papal court. It concentrates on the portraits that Bernini sculpted from his early youth and is divided into two sections: Bernini the Portraitist: the Beginning and Rise, and The “Talking Portraits” (1630-1640).
Portrait sculpture had an extraordinary diffusion in Rome in the first half of the seventeenth century, with much innovation occurring in little more than twenty years, between 1615 and 1640. Thanks to Bernini, it progressed from stern and stiffly formal images to figures which seem to breathe and even converse with the viewer. They are the so-called “talking portraits”.
Bargello National Museum. Until July 12. Ticket: 7.00 euro. Open Tuesday to Sun 8:15 – 6:00 pm.
Until August 30, at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence pays homage to the human and intellectual epic of one of its most ingenious sons. Galileo’s first celestial discoveries date to exactly 400 years ago, and to mark this fourth centenary the United Nations has declared 2009 the International Year of Astronomy. The exhibition proposes a journey through time and space that begins with the mystical and poetic visions of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. It moves on to the Greek cosmogonies, characterized by the ingenious homocentric spheres of Eudoxus, through the planetary architectures of Ptolemy and Arab astronomy, revoking the Christian interpretations and finally arriving at the heliocentric theories of Copernicus that inspired Galileo and Kepler, the scholars who – together with Newton – made a decisive contribution to the definitive consolidation of the new concept of the universe.
Enhanced by informative videos, the itinerary is illustrated by archaeological finds, beautifully-fashioned scientific instruments, celestial atlases, paintings (spectacular frescoes from Pompeii never shown before, in addition to Botticelli, Rubens and Guercino), sculptures, precious illuminated codices and specially-built working cosmological models. Among the most spectacular exhibits are the monumental astronomical tapestry of Toledo, the Farnese Atlas, the mysterious painting Linder Gallery Interior, displayed here for the first time, and Galileo’s telescope.
Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza Strozzi. Until August 30. Open daily 9:00 am – 8:00 pm, Thursday until 11:00 pm. Tickets: € 10.00. Tel. 055 2645155. For bookings: tel. 055 2469600. prenotazioni@cscsigma.it
Until June 21, the Palatine and Modern Art Galleries of the Pitti Palace host Pietro Benvenuti (Arezzo, 1769 – Florence, 1844). Benvenuti was the leading protagonist of Tuscan art in the years that marked the passage from neoclassicism to romanticism. He studied at the Fine Arts Academy of Florence and completed his training in Rome where he painted his first important studio trials: the Judith for the Cathedral of Arezzo and the Martyrdom of the Blessed Signoretto Alliata for the Cathedral of Pisa.
Elisa Baciocchi (whose brother Napoleon Bonaparte received the principality of Lucca and Piombino, and then the government of the entire Tuscany) appointed Benvenuti court painter, and in 1807 she summoned him to direct the Academy of Florence, an office he maintained until his death. The Napoleonic parenthesis was the period of several monumental compositions (The Death of Priam, The Oath of the Saxons, Elisa and the Artists), which precluded to the great decorative undertakings planned to modernize the Pitti Palace, the Room of Hercules in particular (in the wing today occupied by the Palatine Gallery), terminated during the Restoration.
Benvenuti was also an extraordinary portraitist. In Tuscany, he represents the style that prevailed in the middle-European ambit, both in bringing the character of the personages into focus, and in the setting. His classicist vocation is fully expressed in the composition of mythological themes, which the painter prepared with exquisite drawings that often assume the value of autonomous works. Leopold II of Lorraine commissioned him to complete the decorations in the dome of the Chapel of the Princes in the Church of San Lorenzo.
So the exhibition illustrates Benvenuti’s artistic history, presents his most important works, and compares them with those of his early teachers, and those by Italian and foreign artists (from Giani to Sabatelli to Thorvaldsen), encountered in Rome in the eccentric and experimental Accademia dei Pensieri (Academy of Thought). The Sala Bianca of the Gallery of Modern Art presents the paintings of the Napoleonic years (mainly portraits and mythological themes). The set up revolves around the large painting of Pyrrhus, presented to the public for the first time after a long and complex restoration that has revealed its stylistic components drawn from the study of David and Canova.
The exhibition itinerary also includes the Room of Hercules and ends with a section dedicated to the paintings of the years of the Restoration, genre paintings for the most part of a historical-literary matrix with inflections of a troubadour flavor. The particular interest of these works emerges from the comparison with several paintings with an explicit romantic adhesion by contemporaries Luigi Sabatelli and Giuseppe Bezzuoli. They are the proof that the classicist maestro Benvenuti at least in part shared the instances of truthfulness advanced by the next generation of the “moderns”, especially the Macchiaioli. Palatine Gallery and the Modern Art Gallery, Piazza Pitti 1. Hours: 8:15 to 6:50 pm. Closed Monday. www.polomuseale.firenze.it. Info: 055 294883.
Until July 12, the Pitti Palace Silver Museum hosts a show featuring the art of antiquity reflected in twentieth-century and present-day art. Paintings and sculptures that have passed through the centuries (from the Etruscans to the Classical Age, from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance), are proposed in comparison with Picasso and Dali, Modigliani and De Chirico, Soffici, Marino Marini, Vangi, Mitoraj, Theimer, Guadagnucci and Franco Angeli.
The more than 130 works on show include a series of significant parallels of the applied arts: between the glass manufactures by Ercole Barovier and Carlo Scarpa and extraordinary pieces from the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, between ceramics by Giò Ponti and those from the National Archaeological Museums of Florence and Rome, between twentieth-century jewels and several wonders from antiquity and the Medici collections in the Pitti Palace.
The exhibition visually represents the innovative force and great expressiveness of twentieth-century art, juxtaposed with an historical Neoclassicism. Already present in Picasso’s works from the early XX century (the exhibition presents the Repas Frugal from the Victoria and Albert Museum of London), the return to origin became a creative drive also for a generation of Italian artists. After the disruptive experiences of the turn of the century, Carrà, Severini, Soffici, De Chirico, Morandi, and Modigliani chose this road to reconnect with roots and traditions. Even foreign artists were influenced by the allure of our past: in the Birth of Liquid Desires dated 1931-32, and on loan from the Guggenheim Museum of Venice, Salvador Dalì presents a surreal atmosphere, and literally cites the famous Cornelian with Apollo, Marsias and Olympus, which once belonged to Lorenzo the Magnificent. Silver Museum. Palazzo Pitti. Piazza Pitti 1. Hours: 8:15 to 5.30 pm. Closed Monday. www.polomuseale.firenze.it. Info: 055 294883.
Until June 14, the Alinari National Museum of Photography hosts works by Carlo Mollino, Italian architect and designer whose skill as a photographer was only rediscovered some years after his death in 1973. Mollino held photography in high esteem, it was a great passion and favorite means of expression. He was a photographer who advocated retouching, as documented in his treatise The Message from the Dark Room. Mollino often painted on his photos or negatives. Alinari National Museum of Photography. Piazza Santa Maria Novella. Open from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. Closed Wednesday. Entry: euro 6. www.alinarifondazione.it.
This ongoing show at the newly restored Villa Bardini, features Pietro Annigoni, who died in 1988, leaving a legacy that we can now begin to explore in depth. A selected portion of the 6000 works of art recently donated by the artist’s family will be on show, changing annually to enable his public to eventually view the entire collection. Painting in a Renaissance style, Annigoni’s portraits graced the cover of Time magazine five times during his life. Visit the museum today, to enjoy an introduction to the artist’s works, as this year we will be shown paintings (and lithographs, designs and memorabilia) dating to the beginning of his career. Villa Bardini, Costa San Giorgio 2 and Via dei Bardi 1r. Museum hours: October 1 through March 31: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. From April 1 through September 30: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Tel. 055-2638599. www.bardinipeyron.it.
Theatre info: Teatro Comunale , Via Solferino 15. Tel. 055 27791. Teatro della Pergola, Via della Pergola 12/32, Tel. 055 2479651. Teatro Verdi, Via Ghibellina 99, tel. 055 212320. Teatro Saschall , Lungarno Moro 3, tel. 055 6504112. Teatro Goldoni, Via Santa Maria 15. Tel. 055 229651. Teatro Romano, Fiesole, Tel. 055/59187. Mandela Forum, Viale Paoli 3, tel. 055 678841. Stazione Leopolda. Viale Fratelli Rosselli 5. St. Mark’s Church. Via Maggio 16. Tel. 055 294764. Church of Orsanmichele, Via dei Calzaiuoli. Tel. 055-210305. Teatro Puccini, via delle Cascine 41, tel. 055 362067. Chiesa S. Stefano al Ponte Vecchio, piazza S. Stefano 5. Teatro Politeama Pratese, Via G. Garibaldi, 33 – Prato. Tel: 0574/603758, www.politeamapratese.com. Purchase tickets for theatre, concerts and other events at the following ticket agencies: BOX OFFICE: Via Alamanni, 39 (alongside the train station). Open Monday 15,30-19,30, from Tuesday to Saturday 10,00-19,30. Tel: 055/210804. Fax: 055/213112, INTERNATIONAL STUDIO, Chiasso de’ Soldanieri, Tel. 055/293393, ARGONAUTA VIAGGI, Lungarno Torrigiani 33/B, 055/2342777.9187. Many tickets can be pre-purchased via www.ticketone.it or www.boxol.it or www.classictic.com/en or www.festivalopera.it.
Every day
ORGAN CONCERT. Chiesa S. Maria de' Ricci, Via del Corso. Daily at 9:15 pm; Saturdays at 6:00 pm.
Wednesday 3
MICHELE MARIOTTI - Appointed as Principal Director of the Bologna Teatro Comunale just over a year ago, thirty-year-old Michele Mariotti is one of the most promising Italian conductors of the younger generation. For his debut at the Teatro del Maggio he’s chosen an all-Schubert programme ranging from the sacred repertoire, with the famous Deutsche Messe for chorus, wind ensemble and organ, to the symphonic, performing the Zauberharfe (Magic Harp) overture - the same one as for the incidental music to Rosamunde - alongside the Third Symphony in D Major. Teatro Comunale. 8:30 pm.
Monday 8
HELMUTH RILLING - 200 years after the death of Haydn on 31st May 1809, the German conductor Helmuth Rilling, one of the most famous specialists in Baroque and late eighteenth-century repertoire, conducts the Maggio Orchestra and Choir in one of the Austrian composer’s greatest oratorios and masterpieces - Die Schöpfung - The Creation - ten years after the last, memorable performance by Wolfgang Sawallisch. Teatro Comunale. 8:30 pm.
Thursday 11
ROBERTO CACCIAPAGLIA TRIO - Roberto Cacciapaglia’s new trio presents his latest work Canone degli Spazi (Universal Classic), performed live for the first time. The album came out on 23 January last, and contains 12 hitherto unpublished compositions that contribute to enriching the artistic research into the power of sound that the Milanese composer and pianist has been pursuing for many years. Compared with the original orchestration for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, this performance features solo instruments with Roberto Cacciapaglia, piano, Silvia Longauerova, cello and Gianpiero Dionigi, keyboard and electronics, giving preference to an essential, direct, intimate and deep sound and to making and transmitting music with an intensity and concentration that go beyond the written score. "When I’m at the piano, composing”, explains Cacciapaglia, “before I touch the keyboard and start to play, I remain still. I start from silence and from the silence, the sound appears”. The sense of the new album Canone degli Spazi is sound that crosses all boundaries, as summarized in the words of the composer himself, who states: “Sound can help us discover that the space within ourselves has no limits, just like the space outside us, and that there is really no difference between them. Sound passes through walls, even the walls of our mind, and crosses space and time". Piccolo Teatro (Comunale). 9:15 pm.
Friday 12
CLAUDIO ABBADO • ORCHESTRA MOZART - The long-awaited return of Claudio Abbado four years after his last, triumphant appearance at the Teatro della Pergola, marks the opening of the festival of youth orchestras at the Maggio Festival, with the great conductor directing the Mozart Orchestra. This orchestra was set up by Carlo Maria Badini as a special project for the Accademia Filarmonica of Bologna and he has been in charge of it ever since the first concert, held on 4 November 2004. The highly attractive programme offers Schubert’s Tragic symphony alongside Mozart’s penultimate symphony, the G Minor. Teatro Comunale. 8:00 pm.
Monday 15
AIDA - by Giuseppe Verdi, Opera in four acts. Libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni. Set and costumes design by Igor Mitoraj. Aida was commissioned to Verdi by the Egyptian Kediveh in order to celebrate the opening of the Suez Canal. It is the opera of political disenchantment: the great scenic and choreographic impact refers to melodrama heritage, but the opera reveals his hopeless melancholy and lost illusions. Tickets: 25 to 75 euro. Boboli Garden. 9:15 pm.
Tuesday 16
FIREFLY - Another first dance performance at the 72nd Maggio is Firefly, a new work created by Anthony Heinl, former Momix dancer and for many years assistant choreographer to Moses Pendleton, for MaggioDanza, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Dance Company, directed by Vladimir Derevianko. Teatro Comunale. 8:30 pm.
Wednesday 17
FIREFLY (See Tues. 16)
Thursday 18
FIREFLY (See Tues. 16)
Friday 19
ALESSANDRO QUARTA • DIMITRI NAÏDITCH - The instrument that best embodies the essence of classical music is the violin. Its very construction harks back to a centuries-old tradition, with workmanship and materials that have remained unchanged and have been secretly handed down by generations of makers of stringed instruments. When we think of the violin we immediately think of the great symphonic repertoire, of chamber music and of the hundreds of virtuoso performers who over the centuries have excited audiences in all of the world’s concert halls with their mastery. And let’s not forget the diabolical notoriety of the violin, which has supplied material for the imagination of writers and musicians for at least two centuries. That’s all we have to say at the moment. But there’s an unexpected and hitherto unexplored side to it – a dark side, possibly, but certainly a highly fascinating one. Alessandro Quarta takes the bold step of entering an “other” world to tell us everything we have never been brave enough to imagine it was possible to hear from a violin. Piccolo Teatro (Comunale). 9:15 pm.
Monday 22
CLAUDIO BAGLIONI - in Florence with his new show "Gran Concerto: Storia musicale di un amore che non dura tutta la vita ma la cambia per sempre". The show will take place in the outdoor theater of the Boboli Gardens. Tickets: 34 to 69 euro. 9:15 pm.
Tuesday 23
Wednesday 24
MICHAEL NYMAN - Michael Nyman is one of the most versatile and popular composers of his generation: he writes for opera groups, the cinema, and dance and theatre companies. The Piano Sings is his latest CD for solo piano as well as being the first production for the MN Records label, which Nyman himself heads. The album is a collection of well-known pieces reworked in versions for solo piano, never before published, taken from the soundtracks created by the composer over the last ten years and starting with the Oscar-winning Piano Lessons. On his solo tour Nyman performs pieces from the album, which includes, as well as Piano Lessons, the soundtracks for The End of the Affair, the Diary of Anne Frank, Gattaca and Wonderland. For this performance, Michael Nyman has chosen to draw his inspiration from several documentaries to present his music: first of all a film made by the composer himself, shot in London’s Brick Lane area; then there are two 1920s silent films describing daily life in two very different cities, Paul Strand and Charles Sheeler’s New York in the elegant, vibrant documentary Manhattan, and Nice, as portrayed in the surrealist comedy A Propos de Nice by Jean Vigo. Images of these two films will provide the background for the composer’s very evocative music. Teatro Comunale. 8:30 pm.
Thursday 25
AIDA by Giuseppe Verdi. (See Monday 15).
Thursday 25
BRUNO BARTOLETTI • SAMUEL RAMEY - Here we have Bruno Bartoletti, one of the conductors who has made history at the Maggio and who was also recently awarded honorary citizenship of Florence, and the American baritone Samuel Ramey, one of the great voices of our times and a protagonist of the Rossini Renaissance, in a programme that brings together three Italian composers - Boito, Pizzetti and Petrassi – each of whom, in their respective eras, attempted to renew the language of music. The literary works from which the pieces performed are derived are also particularly interesting: the Prologue in Heaven from Goethe’s Faust, the music for D’Annunzio’s La Pisanella and finally, the Coro di Morti from the text by Leopardi. Teatro Comunale. 8:30 pm.
Friday 26
GIANANDREA NOSEDA • OGI - The Maggio festival of youth orchestras continues with the appearance of the OGI, the Orchestra Giovanile Italiana, which came into being in 1980 from the advanced training courses at the Fiesole Music School, under the direction of Gianandrea Noseda, currently Musical Director of the Turin Regio Theatre, Principal Conductor of the Manchester BBC Philharmonic and Artistic Director of the Stresa Settimane Musicali. The programme is devoted to music from Eastern Europe with the symphonic poem Hakon Jarl by Smetana, the tribute to Tchaikovsky by Stravinsky in his ballet Le baiser de la fée and Dvórak’s Eighth Symphony. Teatro Comunale. 8:30 pm
Monday 29
RICCARDO MUTI • ORCHESTRA CHERUBINI - La Stagione Armonica, this showcase for the most important Italian youth orchestras concludes with the Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini inspired and founded in 2004 by Riccardo Muti - a musician of fundamental importance in the history of the Maggio Musicale, of which he was Principal Director from 1969 to 1981. For the Cherubini orchestra’s debut at the Maggio, Muti has chosen to perform the very rare Missa defunctorum by Giovanni Paisiello, which he will also present at the Salzburg Felsenreitschule in the context of the Pentecost Festival, and at the Ravenna Festival. The first version of the Missa defunctorum dates back to 1789 (the year of the French revolution): Paisiello composed it for the funeral of Prince Gennaro di Borbone, who died of smallpox on 1 January of that year. In 1799, following the restoration of the Bourbons and the establishment of the Neapolitan Republic, Paisiello reworked his score for the funeral rites that took place in Naples for Pope Pius VI, who died in exile in France in the wake of the Napoleonic conquests. For the papal obsequies Paisiello (who, it was said, had originally embraced the revolutionary cause and then become reconverted to the Bourbon faith) added two brand-new double choruses and – maybe the composer’s irony? – a funeral Symphony composed two years previously to commemorate the death of Napoleon’s general Lazare Hoche. Teatro Comunale. 8:30 pm.
Odeon Theatre, Piazza Strozzi 2 (across from Colle Beretto Bar). Phone: 055 214 068.
Thursday 4 - SPECIAL EVENT: MARATHON CHE: “Part One + Part Two” - at 7.30 p.m. – Che: Part One (with Italian subtitles). At 9.30 p.m. - Buffet Cuban Style (call to reserve 055 214068). At 10.15 p.m. – Che: Part Two (with Italian subtitles). Special Price All Inclusive € 15.00.
Monday 8 - Elegy by Isabel Coixetc - with Penelope Cruz, Ben Kingsley, Dennis Hopper. 6.00 – 8.30 – 10.30 p.m.
Tuesday 9 - Death Defying Acts by Gillian Armstrong with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Guy Pearce, Timothy Spall. 5.00 – 6.50 – 8.40 – 10.30 p.m.
Thursday 11 - Gran Torino by Clint Eastwood (with Italian subtitles) with Clint Eastwood, Bee Vang, Ahney Her. 5.30 – 8.20 – 10.30 p.m.
Monday 15 - The Boat That Rocked by Richard Curtis with Gemma Arterton, January Jones, Kenneth Branagh. 5.30 – 8.00 – 10.30 p.m.
Tuesday 16 - Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian by S. Levy with B. Stiller, A. Adams, O. Wilson. 5.00 – 6.55 – 8.45 – 10.35 p.m.
Thursday 18 - Choke by Clark Gregg with Sam Rockwell, Anjelica Huston, Kelly MacDonald. 5.00 – 6.55 – 8.45 – 10.35 p.m.
Steven Soderbergh’s movie Che will be shown in one marathon screening. Benicio Del Toro stars as Che Guevara in a controversial biopic that neither glorifies nor demonizes the South American revolutionary (BENICIO DEL TORO WINNER CANNES FESTIVAL 2008 – BEST ACTOR).
Elegy is a touching story based on a Philip Roth novella of the love of an older man (American Literature professor) for a much younger woman (Cuban-American student) and its complications (1 NOMINATION GOLDEN BERLIN BEAR 2008).
In Gillian Armstrong’s Death Defying Acts, Guy Pearce is mythical escapologist Harry Houdini on tour in England in 1926, embroiled in an affair with Mary MacGarvie, Scottish con-artist.
Another solid performance as both star and director comes from Clint Eastwood in his Gran Torino, a challenging story of racism and crime and the difficult road to multicultural tolerance.
Richard Curtis writes and directs The Boat That Rocked, his affectionate comedy about illegal 1960s radio stations broadcasting from ships in the North Sea.
The sequel to Night at the Museum (2006) is Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian in which a host of the world’s biggest museum’s characters come to life to comic effect.
Choke features Victor, a sex addict and con-man and his deranged mother Ida in a dirty sex comedy based on a novel by Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club). (SPECIAL JURY PRICE SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2009)
British Institute, Sala Ferragamo in the Harold Acton Library, Palazzo Lanfredini, Lungarno Guicciardini 9. All lectures begin at 6 pm and are followed by an informal drinks reception. Free admission.
Wednesday 3 - Francesca White -The Figures of Virgil and Dante in the Illuminated Manuscripts of the Divine Comedy. The earliest illuminated manuscripts of the Divine Comedy were produced within two decades of the poet's death, and were decorated with a degree of elaboration usually reserved for Scripture. Francesca White will describe the layout and arrangement of these beautiful manuscripts, and will show how the figures of Virgil and Dante (e.g. in the Chantilly MS) reflect the commentary of Guido da Pisa.
Wednesday 10 - Laura Macy - The Italian Madrigal and Renaissance Games. The Italian madrigal first became popular in the late 1520s, contemporary with the publication of Castiglione's Il Cortegiano. The coincidence is telling for, despite its use in contemporary drama and state occasions, the early madrigal was essentially meant for amateurs to sing as a part of an evening's recreation. It served similar functions to the numerous word games that were hugely popular in Italian Renaissance court society. Laura Macy is a former Editor in Chief of the Grove Dictionaries of Music, published by Oxford University Press.
Wednesday 17 - Kate Bolton -A Portrait of Ethel Smyth. Ethel Smyth (1858-1944) was an English composer and writer who was also active in the women's suffrage movement, and her chorus March of the Women could be heard in the streets of London during processions by the Women's Social and Political Union. She was awarded honorary doctorates in music and was created a Dame in 1922. Her music has been praised for the excellence of its orchestration as well as for its power and grandeur. Kate Bolton is a musicologist and broadcaster currently based in Florence.
Wednesday, July 1 - Tessa Murdoch - Pietre Dure in the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Sir Arthur Gilbert's (1913-2001) fascination with micro mosaics led him to collect pictures, gold boxes, and furniture decorated with stone mosaic, an ancient art revived under the Medici at the Opificio in Florence in 1588. Tessa Murdoch, Deputy Keeper of Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass at the V & A, is lead curator for the new Gilbert Galleries which open at the Museum on 29 June. She has written the essay on Italian mosaics in the V & A's forthcoming Introduction to the Gilbert Collection.


Daily until Saturday 6, the Chianti area is holding a very special event. The Classico è program means more than 100 wineries will be opening their doors from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 6 p.m for visits and tastings. Take advantage to discover a great many of the area's best wineries including Panzanello, Le Fonti, Casaloste, Renzo Marinai, Savignola Paolina, La Novella and Vignamaggio to name a few of the numerous participants. See the official site for the full list of wineries, guided tastings, participating restaurants and special events. http://www.classico-e.it
Held in Fiesole on Sunday 7 (the first Sunday of each month), an open-air market celebrates antiquities and vintage objects in the newly reopened central piazza of this pretty hilltop town. Sun. 7. Piazza Mino, Fiesole. Open: 8:00 am to sundown. Info: Tel. 055.055. www.comune.fiesole.fi.it.
“Artisan wares market”: Sun. 7 (morning to afternoon). Panzano-in-Chianti. The first Sunday of each month the weekly town market held in Panzano is expanded with artisan booths of all sorts. Depending on who chooses to show up, you’ll find honey and pecorino (sheep’s milk) cheese makers, hand-embroidered linens, boutique wineries, antique dealers and much more. To visit Panzano by car from Florence or Siena, take Route 222, the "Chiantigiana" highway passing through the Chianti wine area. From the west, there is a road connecting with the highway at Tavarnelle. This pretty road passes the monastery of Badia a Passignano. It is also possible to reach Panzano by SITA bus from Florence. The trip takes about one hour.
Every year on the night of June 16th (Tues.), the streets running alongside the river Arno through Pisa are lit with the enchanting glow of 70,000 candles. On this, the eve of the feast day of Pisan patron saint, San Ranieri, candles are set afloat on the Arno and fixed onto wood frames that accentuate the lines of the palazzi, bridges, churches and towers reflecting off the slowly moving river. Oil lamps light the Leaning Tower and crenulations of the city walls surrounding the Piazza dei Miracoli as well. Top the evening off with a spectacular fireworks display, and you have a pretty magical reason to visit Pisa.
On Sat. 20 in Piazza Mino, Fiesole meet the hands that forged our past. Artisans and artisanal food producers present their wares for sale. From 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.
From Sat. 20 to Sunday 28, the town of Montelupo Fiorentino celebrates the past and present of its most important industry: ceramics. In the 1400 and 1500’s the city was the centre of ceramic production for Florence and beyond. Last year, Montelupo inaugurated a wonderful Ceramics Museum. For one week in June, the streets fill with ceramicists and artists demonstrating their trade. Music and food round out the agenda. Daily from 6:00 pm to midnight. Sunday 10:00 am to midnight. For info on how to get to Montelupo and much more: www.tuscany.name
Special season opening concert to be held Friday 26 at Linari Church (S. Stefano, at 7:00 pm, phone 055 8068022 for info). The official classical concert season will then run from July 20 to August 7, in the tiny, medieval village of Linari, situated between Florence and Siena. Linari is hilltop “Borgo” in the Chianti Classico area, one of the most enchanting parts of Tuscany. This music festival presents a rich program of classical music, ranging from the Baroque Era to the Twentieth century executed by young and talented musicians from Australia, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States, many of whom perform in some of the world's great orchestras. A special feature of the festival is the opportunity to join your friends and the performers over a meal at the end of most of the concerts.
The first festival was held in the summer of 2003 at the initiative of Airdrie Armstrong Terenghi, organizer and artistic director working with Joris van Rijn, music director. There are around ten concerts every summer. Ranging from medieval castles and churches to town piazzas and private villas, the unique venues provide an extra dimension to a musical experience.
Artistic Director Armstrong Terenghi tells us: “Amongst many other delights this year, four composers will be featured in the concert series as they are celebrating significant anniversaries: the 250th anniversary of Handel’s death; the 200th anniversary of Haydn’s death; the 200th anniversary of Mendelssohn’s birth; and the 350th anniversary of Purcell’s birth.
Another special event in 2009 is the inclusion of a composer born in Volterra in 1737, Francesco Zanetti. Age seventeen Zanetti became Maestro di Cappella at Volterra, and early in 1760 he assumed the same position at Perugia Cathedral. A master of the harpsichord, organ, and violin, he composed not only a substantial amount of church music but also several operas and chamber works. For the first time we have access to his original manuscripts and some of these compositions will be played on the 4th August at Il Moro near Impruneta in the Chamber Music Room where Zanetti himself performed.”
Please note that a few concerts and suppers have limited numbers so please book early. Bookings will open for members on June 15 and for the general public on July 1. New booking telephone number: 327 221 5301. For updated information on the programme please check: www.linariclassic.com.
THE DELLA ROBBIA: A Renaissance Dialogue Between the Arts.
Until June 7, Arezzo’s Museum of Medieval and Modern art of Arezzo presents the industrious Della Robbia family. From the early 1400's to near the end of the 1500's, this family produces glazed earthenware works that still speak to us today, with grace, charm and silent sweetness.
Starting with Luca della Robbia, through the ingenious, secret formula for creating and glazing the terra cotta masterpieces attributed to this family, sculpture, architecture and painting dialogue with the so-called "decorative arts (gold-smithing, glasswork, enamels, etc). In order to better explain this moment in art history of sharing and comparing that bred genius, alongside the Della Robbian production, will be works by artists contemporary to the family (Donatello, Ghiberti, Andrea del Verrocchio, Filippo Lippi, Ghirlandaio, Perugino, Desiderio da Settignano and others).
Arezzo, Museo Statale d’Arte Medievale e Moderna, Via San Lorentino 8. Open: daily from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. Ticket: 10.00 euro. For info: www.mostradellarobbia.it
Over five centuries ago, Filippo Lippi ascended three stories of scaffolding in the dark recesses of Prato’s cathedral. Today, the three-tiered frescoes, which cover the walls and vaults of the main chapel with stories of St. John the Baptist and St. Stephen, are visible in renewed splendor after seven years of restoration. Small, guided tours of the fresco cycle now allow the public to come face to face with Lippi. Prato Cathedral. Open Mon. to Sat. 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission: 4 euro with audio guide. Small, guided tours available by calling 0574/24112.

All our best,

The Staff of Pitcher and Flaccomio

Newsletter compiled by Kim Wicks

Pitcher & Flaccomio Newsletter Copyright 2009

Direttore responsabile Mario Spezi -  Pubblicazione con iscrizione n. 5697 del 23\01\09 presso il Tribunale di Firenze