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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 2011

It's one big party in Florence on June 24th. Parades, historical soccer, cannon blasts and fireworks, and so much more. Listen for drums and trumpets and follow the costumed revelers to the Baptistry and then on to Piazza Signoria for the flag-waving extravaganza and then further on to Santa Croce for the hard-fought battle between the finalists of the calcio storico. After dinner go down to the river to enjoy a huge fireworks display.

For the first half of June, head out into the Chianti Classico region for food, wine and festivities.

Wishing you a June filled with festivals and fireworks from SUZANNE, CORSO, BEI, SANDRA, LORI, ANNA PIA, ANN and MARIO.


BEST EXTRAVAGANZA FOR JUNE - CALCIO STORICO (HISTORICAL SOCCER)Testosterone abounds when four teams of 27 youths apiece face each other during the Calcio Storico. This entertaining 15th-century-style tournament of fighting and football is held in Florence's Piazza Santa Croce. The game itself is said to originate from an ancient Roman ball sport, which became the sport of princes and noblemen in the golden age of the Tuscan capital.

Today, it is fiercely fought between the four Florentine quarters: San Giovanni (Green), Santa Maria Novella (Red), Santo Spirito (White) and Santa Croce (Blue). Clad in medieval garters and pantaloons, players seem more preoccupied with attacking each other than putting the ball anywhere, though the rules of the game are fairly complex. The aim is to seize the ball and put it in the net (which runs the entire width of the pitch) by whatever means available. Precision is everything, as misses and interceptions provide points for the other team.

Following the semi-finals, the final match takes place on 24 June and winners are rewarded with a mass of steaks equivalent in weight to the more traditional prize of a white calf or bistecca alla fiorentina, which was historically butchered for the occasion. (Text from http://www.whatsonwhen.com)

The Whites will play the Reds on June 18. The Blues will play the Greens on June 19. The winners of these two matches will play for the Victory on June 24, Festa del patrono San Giovanni.

Tickets are available at Box Office Via delle Vecchie Carceri, 1, Italy (inside the Murate) with info at:


P&F PICK APARTMENT RENTAL FOR JUNE - A Cook's Delight in Central Florence

Calling all cooks! The Lillium apartment has a great open style kitchen that is equipped with a wine cooler, large cooktop, and marble work surface that makes cooking for friends a joy. Mix in the apartment's contemporary style, patio for enjoying a bottle of Prosecco before dinner, two double bedrooms, two bathrooms, air conditioning, and internet and you have the crem della crem for your stay in Florence.

Conveniently located between the Duomo, the Mercato Centrale (central food market), and the Accademia Gallery. Available for rentals from 1 week up to 12 months.


BEST EXHIBIT FOR JUNE - Treasures of the Czars at the Pitti Palace

2011 is the year that honors the cultural ties between Italy and Russia. On occasion of this, the Museo degli Argenti (The Silver Museum) in Palazzo Pitti inaugurates on May 27 a show entitled "Treasures of the Kremlin" featuring the large collection of Russia's oldest museum that gathers royal treasures, objects from the courts, ceremonial items and things linked to Russia's greatest Czars.

Over 150 artworks from the collection of the Armory of the Kremlin will be on display at Palazzo Pitti. The Armory collection is one of Russia's oldest and largest; it gathers regal treasures, everyday and ceremonial objects used in the Russian court that are linked to the some of Russia's most powerful Czars. From the 12th century to the 18th century, the Armory was Russia's 'room of treasures': a collection that boasts numerous masterworks from different centuries that were bought by the reigning Czars or donated by ambassadors in visit. Jewels, armor, and lacework from Byzantine, Russia, Persia, Turkey and Europe are on display. All these objects helped enrich the Czars' courts. When in the 18th century the court moved to Moscow from St. Petersburg, the Armory began collecting objects used in public ceremonies.

The exhibition at Palazzo Pitti displays a number of works and objects for the most prolific era of the Armory, when it was the 'room of treasures' of the Czars. A host of jewelry is on show, including clothing with silver accents, rings, bracelets, and necklaces, many of which cameos and engraved items with precise stones. A small section highlights Byzantine works, many of which are icons, from the collection of the Cathedral of the Kremlin. In the 15th century artistic workshops were established inside the Kremlin: the main technique used was filigree, which was very important in ancient Russia. Works from the 16th century which belonged to the 'classical period' are also on display: golden filigree and golden works, used largely in iconic representations, jewelry and religious relics. (Text from http://www.turismo.intoscana.it) For information: http://www.unannoadarte.it/

MUSEUM FOR JUNE - Museo Galileo, the History of Science Museum

The Museo Galileo is home to the only surviving instruments designed and built by Galileo himself. The most important are two original telescopes and the objective lens of the telescope with which Galileo discovered Jupiter's moons. More generally, the Museum is the repository for the priceless scientific collections of the two dynasties that once ruled Florence: the Medici and the House of Lorraine.

The Museum is still known as the Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza (Institute and Museum for the History of Science). The new designation Museo Galileo, adopted in 2010, emphasizes the central role of the Galilean heritage in the Florentine institution's activities and cultural profile. The Museum is not only a showcase for an invaluable legacy of instruments and experimental apparatuses. It operates as an institute engaged in research and documentation, offering scholars from around the world the resources of its specialized library, also available online.

Check the web site for a mini-guide in English that you can copy off and bring with you.

Web Site: http://www.museogalileo.it/en/index.html

Opening hours

9.30-18.00 (Tuesdays 9.30-13.00)

Closed: January 1 and 6, Easter, May 1, June 24, August 15, November 1, December 8, 25 and 26.

Entrance fees

Full fee € 8,00
7-18 years old, over 65 years old € 5,00
under 6 years old free access
Family ticket (2 adults + max 2 children under 18) € 20,00

Tickets are sold until 30 minutes before closing time.


This classic trattoria, open since 1869, is always packed with diners seated on its long wood benches at this small, narrow restaurant. Sostanza excels at the savory, no-frills cuisine for which Tuscany is famous. Their specialties include Florentine steak, crispy chicken drowned in butter, egg frittata with artichokes and tripe in tomato sauce. These deceptively plain-sounding dishes with sides of Tuscan white beans and roasted potatoes are the backbone of a hand-written menu. Don't be late for lunch: the kitchen stops serving at 2 p.m and book a spot well in advance, since many locals have standing reservations.

Lining the walls of the trattoria are framed scrapbook pages that feature photos and scribbled accolades of celebrity customers - among them poet Ezra Pound, novelist John Steinbeck, artist Marc Chagall, director Steven Spielberg and, the most recent, actor Matt Dillon - all who have made the pilgrimage for one of the best bistecca alla fiorentina in town.

Trattoria Sostanza - Troia
Via del Porcellana, 25r
50123 Florence, Italy
055 212691

RECIPE FOR JUNE - Francesca's Florentine Food: Petti di Pollo al Burro alla Sostanza

Francesca Boni, cooking instructor at FriendInFlorence (www.friendinflorence.com), says, "I've been watching Mario cook up the Petti di Pollo al Burro in Sostanza's small kitchen for years - and savoring the results. Here is the recipe, modified a bit for home cooks because it is unlikely anyone else is cooking with tiny aluminum frying pans on top of hot coals on top of their stove. And, of course, it is always better to have the real thing at Sostanza, but then you have to come to Florence."

Petti di Pollo al Burro
Serves 4

4 chicken half breasts (6 oz. each), boneless, skinned
Kosher salt to taste
1/2 cup flour
3 eggs whisked thoroughly
1 pound unsalted European Style butter, room temperature
1 lemon


Dredge chicken half breasts in flour, shaking off the excess. Dip in egg batter, allowing extra to run off.

Place 4 oz. (8 T) butter in a large aluminum pan over medium heat. When the butter begins bubbling and turns golden brown, add the chicken. Cook 4 minutes on each side.

Add the remaining butter. Continue to cook until the melted butter turns a nutty brown color, about 10 minutes, and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of about 160°. (If the butter becomes too dark - more black than brown - discard it, wipe out the pan and replace it with new butter.)

Remove chicken from the skillet, place in warmed shallow bowls, and pour about one quarter of the butter over each breast. Squeeze a quarter of a lemon over each breast.

Serve immediately. 

BEST GELATERIA FOR JUNE - Gelateria della Passera

Here we are at Piazza della Passera, an amazing food-nest tucked metres off the main tourist routes. You could live in this wee square. There's the famous Trattoria dei Quattro Leoni - serving since 1550; the Osteria Tripperia Il Magazzino - if cow stomachs are to your taste; the delightful "5 e Cinque" - giving vegetarians relief from lampredotto; the Caffè degli Artigiani. Still hungry? The guys at Artigiani spotted a gap and gave us the Gelateria della Passera (telephone 055 215969).

It's premier league. Ices are under the traditional carapina and hold delectable treasures; we enjoyed a fine gianduia, a colossal mind-blowing lemon (where have they been hiding this?), a solid chocolate and an outstanding buontalenti. And the pineapple! It only launched last July, but word is spreading fast; open noon to late seven days. It's quality plus value-for-money as it goes for the highest-heaped-coppa record. (You may have guessed from the "wee" and "ices" that the P&F Newsletter asked Simon Clark & Anne Brooks to select June's gelateria - read on...)

Gelateria della Passera
Piazza della Passera
11am to 8pm

FORZA VIOLA!! FOR MAY & JUNE - Florentine Calcio
P&F Sports Reporters Simon Clark & Anne Brooks bring you May's Florentine Calcio results and a wrap-up of the season.

Forza Viola!.........The end of the season, a sense of treading water; we can't qualify for anything European but no-one can damage us. Those who see their future at the Stadio are making their case; those who want away are in the shop window. We have no idea who falls into which category but, given the certainty with which a mass exodus was predicted by the media when we beat Liverpool in the Champions League, it's a fair bet that next year's squad will look largely the same as this one. We do need a wee injection of goals - notwithstanding what we did to Udinese!

Fiorentina's Results

Week 35: Fiorentina-Udinese WON 5-2
Week 36: Inter-Fiorentina LOST 1-3
Week 37: Fiorentina-Bologna DREW 1-1
Week 38: Brescia-Fiorentina DREW 2-2

Serie A. Oh yes! Arms pumping in the air! Udinese speared and shattered by a resurgent Viola. Cerci is the new Messi! We set out our early stall as Cannon-Man Vargas takes a Cerci cross to volley the goal of the Viola season! On 21 minutes, a Montolivo cross allows D'Agostino to rifle number two; Udinese get one back with a stunner that leaves Boruc no chance; [Artur hasn't let in a goal for which he could be held responsible so far]. 2-1 to us and we are loving it. 51 minutes, D'Agostino slams another; we lead 3-1 and a Behrami fire-bolt could have put us out of sight but for their keeper. Instead, Udinese pick up a second - defensive hesitancy and offside. No worries; Gilardino wastes chances but Cerci makes it 4-2 with a gorgeous chip from a Behrami assist, then takes Marchionni's pass to smack in our fifth with precision. We have been underperforming; Udinese will qualify for the Champions League. Our coach is almost grinning.

A tough one - Inter in the San Siro. A familiar story. We look good; maybe this is our time. Then they get one and immediately another. We pull one back but cede another from a free kick; all the gods are in Inter's dugout this afternoon. Rubbing in salt, their opener comes from ex-Viola starlet - and now slimy worm - Giampaolo Pazzini; fortunately for us, he later shows, one-on-one with Boruc, why we let him go! Our goal - a sorcerer's pass from Santana taken wonderfully by Gila on his thigh before pinging it into the net - is the best of the four! Gila hits the bar, shoots millimetres past the post; he thinks he's in the end-of-season sale! Disappointing result, fine performance; one day we will be able to beat the likes of Inter at their most stubborn.

Our final home game of the season is a damp squib - damp all round as a thunderstorm sweeps the Stadio, keeping the crowd small and sodden. No excuses for not cuffing lowly Bologna, who depend hugely on Marco di Vaio. We run the first half, Cerci continues to blossom; on 20 minutes, he is in the right place at the right time to head in a Vargas cross. Mutu is sprightly and sets up Gilardino but Gila lobs over the bar. We rue that as Bologna seize the second half; they can see this isn't the Viola who thumped Udinese. Frey, given a game instead of Boruc, sees the ball whizz by him only 5 minutes after the break - and the traffic continues to move in his direction. Disaster! Kroldrup clatters Di Vaio in our penalty area and gets a red card; fortunately, Marco (who will finish 5th in the list of Serie A marksmen, balloons his kick over the bar. We could have lost this one but hang on; the red card reduces Bologna to ten men. Damp weather, limp Viola.

Week 38. To Brescia, already doomed to the Black Lagoon of Serie B. We should have strolled away with three points but the draw distils the highs and lows of a hard season. Twice we led, twice we ceded an equaliser. Their first goal was down to Montolivo, stupidly firing a clearance straight at a colleague and handing the goal to a lurking Brescia forward; for their second, Frey - looking rusty - flapped a soft clearance to another Brescia striker. On the upside, we saw a Vargas pile-driver take the lead in the 2nd minute; he struck with his RIGHT foot - the one he normally uses for standing on (he could have had a tripletta). Our second was brilliantly set up by Ljajic for another explosive finish from our new star, Alessio Cerci. Babacar got a start and, while not yet the finished article, looks the real deal; Gamberini, back in the Azzurri squad, looked composed. When Mihajlovic can wrap these players around Jovetic, the Viola should advance!

So there we are! Another season's "climax" with Fiorentina in ninth position. Okay - we will not be travelling around Europe next year BUT it's not so long ago that we propped up the rest of Serie A and diced with relegation in the wake of the Prandelli-della Valle inferno. We ended in the top half of the table and let's not forget that we made the semi-finals of the Tim Cup. A full review of the season in the next Newsletter.....................Alé Viola!


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

CHIOSCO DEGLI SPORTIVI, via degli Anselmi (between Piazza Repubblica and the Odeon cinema). Tel 055 292363.

BAR MARISA, viale Manfredo Fanti 41. Tel 055 572723.
BAR STADIO, viale Manfredo Fanti 3r. Tel 055 576169.
ACF OFFICIAL TICKET-OFFICE, via Dupre 28 (corner of via Settesanti).
NUOVO BOX OFFICE, Via delle Vecchie Carceri, 1, 50122 Firenze, Italy (inside the Murate). Tel 055 264321
FELTRINELLI FIRENZE, Via de' Cerretani 39/32R

BEST BOOK FOR JUNE - I Oprahed by Susan Kelley

Humorist Susan Kelley, a long-time member of the expat Florence community, has always had her finger on the pulse of the issues closest to women's hearts. In the 1980s she wrote a bestselling send-up of rules for the "liberated" and feminist myths: Real Women Send Flowers. In the 1990s and 2000s, in a more serious vein, she wrote about relationships: Why Men Commit; Why Men Stray/Why Men Stay; and The Second Time Around: Everything You Need to Know to Make Your Remarriage Happy.

Now, in I Oprahed, a collection of loosely linked essays that feature her trademark hilarity and empathy, Susan turns her attention to more personal matters: her own experiences balancing a career as a writer and relationship expert (including an appearance on Oprah); living in Florence; marriage to a well known painter; mother- and grandmotherhood; a trip to an AC/DC concert in Paris; and the travails of aging in a youth-oriented culture.

See also: http://www.amazon.com/I-Oprahed-Susan-Kelley/dp/1456588699/


In the good ol' days if you rented an apartment in the precise center of Florence (roughly between Via Proconsolo and Via Tornabuoni from the Duomo to the river) you had the easiest garbage collection service in the city - every night between 7:30pm and 8:30pm you would put out your plastic sack of trash by the front door and it would be gone by morning. In April 2011 all of that changed.

Now there is a schedule. It is an early morning schedule (7:30am to 8am exactly). It requires you to have four different garbage receptacles in you miniscule Florentine kitchen.

Your apartment will have been issued a brown plastic container for organic food waste (for some reason it has open slats in the sides and top so you can enjoy your organic waste). You are to put a biodegradable "plastic" sack in the container and put it outside your street door under the building (home) number on Monday, Thursday and Saturday mornings.

On Tuesday and Friday mornings you put your collected "multi-material" (plastic, glass, cans, and waxed cartons) trash out. Also, on Tuesday, but not Friday, you can put out paper and cardboard (but don't include waxed paper cartons or carbon thermal fax paper or food/oil "contaminated" paper.

On Wednesday, "residual or not differentiated waste" that is described as "tin cans and pots, glass rags, and paper" can be set out in a closed plastic bag.

There is no collection on January 1, May 1, August 15, December 25 and all Sundays.

BEST PARADE IN JUNE -  Corteo di San Giovanni

In celebration of St John's Day (June 24), Festa del patrono San Giovanni, there is a parade of gentry in historical costume in the morning after mass at the Baptistry (about 9am). In the afternoon there is another parade with drummers, trumpeters, nobility on horseback, flagwavers, and the same costumed gentry accompanying the rival costumed historical soccer players to Santa Croce (about 3pm). Listen for drums and trumpets in the morning and afternoon to find the spettacolo.

Also, a parade of colorful boats will be rowing in races on the Arno throuout the day - a river parade.



On Saturday, June 18, Florence's 72nd 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. At 9:00 pm take off on either the competitive 10k run or a non-competitive 4k Family Run. Participants receive a T-shirt commemorating the event. Admission: 10K - 10 euro; 4K - 8 euro. Registration and payment must be submitted by June 18 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.  You may also contact: Firenze Marathon, Tel:055/5522957.  staff@firenzemarathon.it


Founded in 1975, the American International League of Florence Onlus (AILO) began as an informal American association and has since expanded into an international organization with members from many countries around the world. Currently in Florence there are about 200 members - 50% American, 20% Italian and 30% other nationalities. The official language of AILO is English which is used for all meetings and official publications. AILO invites women from all over the world to join the group for its monthly meetings and special events.

The ONLUS in the name stands for organizzazioni non lucrativi di utilità sociale (non-profit organization for social usefulness). The purpose of this organization is to contribute to community well-being through programs of social assistance and fundraising for charity within the city and province of Florence. AILO has raised and donated over 400,000.00 euro to various selected charities.

For more information: http://www.ailoflorence.org/index.html



For residents and visitors of Florence, Amici degli Uffizi offers its members a year-long museum card for 60 euro ($80) for individuals, 100 euro ($134) for families (2 to 4 members included in the one price), and 40 euro ($54) for students. Memberships can be purchased online or at the Amici degli Uffizi Welcome Desk located between Entry Door Nos. 1 and 2 at the Uffizi Gallery.

The best part of having the Amici degli Uffizi card, besides free entry to more than twenty museums, is the ability to skip the line.  At the Uffizi and the Accademia visitors wait for hours unless they have the foresight and the extra 4 euro to make a reservation. With the Amici degli Uffizi card you go to the ticket office, show your card and a photo i.d., and you are given a ticket for immediate entry into the museum.

The Welcome Desk is located between entrances #1 and #2 of the Uffizi museum. Its hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Tel. +39 055 213560 and +39 055 284034)


The new 72-hour (3-day) museum pass - Firenze Card - just went on sale (50 euro) during the last week of March. On the excellent web site that supports the card, it explains:

"Firenze Card is a 72 hours card that gives you admission to 33 of the most important museums in Florence. You will have access not only to permanent collections, but also to exhibitions and all other activities held in that museum without further costs. You have just to show your card at the entrance to the museum's personnel, who will record your entry and let you in. The card can be used just once in each museum, and it will provide free access also to a EU citizen under-eighteens accompanying you To use your card for public transport, just swipe it against the validation machines located on every bus or tram."

See the Firenze Card web site for more information in both Italian and English: firenzecard.it

ACCADEMIA GALLERY - New Special Exhibit: Lorenzo Bartolini

Florence's Academia Gallery is presently showing a special exhibit dedicated to Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850), the artist whose works plays a central role in the development of sculpture in the 1800s in Italy, Europe and the United States. The exhibition, which draws inspiration from the gallery's plaster models on display in the Gipsoteca, will illustrate the excellence with which Bartolini worked.

The exhibit is divided into three sections, which are dedicated to the following: his neoclassical period and his work for Bonaparte; national commissions and the move toward the new values of Purism; his exploration into the truth that Nature holds. Bartolini was also a portraitist and he did portraits for a range of artists and important figures throughout Europe at the time, from musicians to writers and politicians to bankers.

The show pays tribute to Bartolini's artistic style with the over 70 works on display, many of which have never before been on public display in Florence. Noteworthy artworks include a bronzes of Napoleone I (Paris, Louvre) and sculptures of Elisa Napoleone with dog (Rennes, Musée des Beaux Arts), among more. Running until Nov 6, 2011.

UFFIZI GALLERY - Inauguration of New Exhibit: Giorgio Varsari

On June 14, the Uffizi inaugurates the show "Vasari, the Uffizi, and the Duke" (Vasari, gli Uffizi, il Duca), a retrospective on the 5th centenary of the birth of Giorgio Vasari and his role in the building of the Uffizi with Duke Cosimo I de Medici.

From May 20th to July 17th, 201, the CCC Strozzina (Contemporary Culture Centre) at Palazzo Strozzi (downstairs) presents the exihibition Virtual Identities: the thematic approach of the exhibition fosters an analysis of the term ‘identity' in times in with the growing role of digital technologies and new forms of communication. The exhibition presents works and installations by international artists designed to trigger a reflection on the political, social and cultural implications - but also on the impact on personal life - of the new relationship between man and technology under the guise of the "virtual identity" with which we increasingly confront reality, at times without even realizing it.

Opening hours:
from Tuesday to Sunday: 10.00am-8.00pm
Thursday 6.00pm-11.00pm: special free entrance
For any further info, please go to website www.strozzina.org/identitavirtuali

MUV - Music & Digital Art Festival

From June 1 to 5, MUV, the music and video extravaganza, is the happening place to be in Florence. A great festival that explores the world of electronic art and music, the event normally includes music events with some of the greatest DJs in Europe, along with video performances as well as contests of international fame and interesting workshops.

This year the event is taking place in different location (last year it was in the Cascine Area) - the Limonaia of Villa Strozzi (in Via Pisana, 77 in Florence). During the festival, as usual, there is the chance to take part in different seminars and workshops on the topics of visual, digital and electronic arts; also check out the VideoZone. To select the night and the artist that you prefer, check out the program at http://www.firenzemuv.com/.


Climb up the hillside below Piazzale Michelangelo to the Giardino delle Rose for one of the loveliest views in Florence. The garden, which has been closed for two years, 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 site was chosen specifically for its drop-dead wonderful vistas of Palazzo Vecchio, the Duomo, the Arno and the entire historic center. 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 hundred 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.

Viale Giuseppe Poggi 2, tel. 055 262 5305.

Hours: seven days a week from 8 am - 8 pm. Free entry.

LECTURES IN ENGLISH - British Institute of Florence


Every Wednesday at 6:00 pm, the Sala Ferragamo in the Institute's Harold Acton Library hosts a free lecture, concert or other event, followed by an informal reception. The British Institute Library, Lungarno Guicciardini 9.

Wednesday, June 01, 18.00
Lecture: Sheila Barker
Caravaggio, Artemisia, Bernini: new documentary discoveries on baroque art at the Medici Archive Project

Wednesday, June 08, 18.00
Lecture: Mark Roberts
Oscar's loyal friend Reggie: Reginald Turner in Florence

Wednesday, June 15, 18.00
Lecture: Margaret Bruce
A recital on the pianoforte: music by Schubert, Berkeley, Chopin, Janacek and Tucapsky

For more information about each of these lectures go to http://www.britishinstitute.it/en/events/1/weekly-cultural-programme/ and click on the links provided.



The Talking Movies Series at the British Institute Library. Every Wednesday at 8:00 pm, the Sala Ferragamo in the Institute's Harold Acton Library hosts a film, followed by discussion. The British Institute Library, Lungarno Guicciardini 9.

For June, the Talking Movie Series is focusing on the movies created by Nicholas Roeg. Director Roeg (born 1928) has been variously described as iconoclastic, the great conundrum of British cinema, the most Freudian and most Laurentian of modern directors, a romantic nihilist and the Last British Romantic. A polarizing presence in British cinema first as a cameraman and assistant to the likes of David Lean, Francois Truffaut, John Schlesinger and Roger Corman in the 1960s, then as a director most prominently in the 1970s and 80s, Roeg's career has been characterized by almost equal amounts of critical and public praise and vitriol.

Wednesday, June 01, 20.00
Eureka by Nicholas Roeg, 1983

Wednesday, June 08, 20.00
Insignificance by Nicholas Roeg, 1985

Wednesday, June 15, 20.00
The Witches Nicholas Roeg, 1990

Wednesday, June 22, 20.00
Aria by Nicholas Roeg, 1987



Original Language Series - Odeon Theatre, Piazza Strozzi 2. Phone: 055 214 068. www.cinehall.it (Note: if not at the Odeon, then at Cinema ASTRA2)

Monday 6th ODEON
Machete by Robert Rodriguez (Usa 2010, 105') 4.30 - 6.30 - 8.30 - 10.30 pm  

Tuesday 7th ODEON - Tuesday at the movies! by Palazzo Strozzi
The Social Network by David Fincher (Usa 2010, 120') 8.30 pm - FREE ENTRY

Thursday 9th ASTRA2
The Hangover II by Todd Philips (Usa 2011) 5.15 - 8.30 - 10.30 pm

Monday 13th ODEON
X-Men: First-Class by Matthew Vaughn (Usa 2011)6.00 - 8.30 - 10.30 pm Tuesday 14th - only 6.00 - 10.30 pm

Tuesday 14th ODEON - Tuesday at the movies! by Palazzo Strozzi
Rebel Without a Cause by Nicholas Ray (Usa 1955, 111') 8.30 pm - FREE ENTRY

PITTI IMMAGINE UOMO - Fashionable Men take over Florence
From Tues. 14 to Fri. 17 Florence is the place to be, as she opens her doors once again to the "beautiful people" of the men's fashion world. Pitti Immagine Uomo (now in its 80th edition) is the world's most important men's fashion fair, used by the best firms to launch their collections and global strategies worldwide.

Pitti Immagine, the Fondazione Pitti Discovery will proudly present the first edition of Pitti Guest Nation, the project dedicated primarily to the new players on the global economy with the aim of promoting trade and further mutual knowledge between the host and guest countries. The first guest nation, Brazil, a huge country in the midst of great cultural, social and economic changes that make it a leading actor on the international stage. During Pitti Uomo, the best of the country's new fashion talents, contemporary art and culture will be showcased in Florence through a series of events held at some very special locations.

Pitti Immagine has reserved an area within Pitti W (at the Dogana) specifically for new talents in women's fashions from Brazil. The area will showcase a selection of young brands and designers - curated by the fashion consultant Helena Montanarini - who represent the most creative looks in Made in Brazil fashion - and some of them will be making their European debuts here in Florence. The participating brands and designers: Clube Bossa, Gilda Midani, Isabela Capeto, Louloux, Muggia, New Order, Oestudio, Vanessa Montoro, Victor Dzenk.

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. 14 to Fri. 17. Open from 9 am- 8 pm.Web site: www.pittimmagine.com.


Maggio Musicale Opera
The Coronation of Poppea -- Opera in a prologue and three acts
Teatro della Pergola - Saturday, 18 June 2011, h 8:30 pm
Teatro della Pergola - Monday, 20 June, h 8:30 pm
Teatro della Pergola - Wednesday, 22 June, h 8:30 pm

Maggio Musicale Dance
SWAN LAKE - Teatro Comunale
Wednesday, 1 June 2011, h 8:30 pm
Friday, 3 June, h 8:30 pm
Saturday, 4 June, h 8:30 pm
Sunday, 5 June, h 3:30 pm

Piazza della Signoria - Thursday, 30 June 2011, h 9:30 pm FREE

Maggio Musicale Concerts
Andrey Boreyko | Orchestra Giovanile Italiana
Teatro Comunale - Tuesday, 7 June 2011, h 8:30 pm

Liszt Cycle | Alessandro Tardino | Giuliano Graniti
Piccolo Teatro - Wednesday, 8 June 2011, h 8:30 pm

Maggio Altra Musica

I Blame Coco in concerto
Piccolo Teatro, Monday, 13 June, h 8:30 pm

Nicole Mitchell in jazz/Indigo Trio/Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Piccolo Teatro, Tuesday, 21 June, h 8:30 pm

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


Did the heat of May dry up your luck? Don't worry; help is at hand at Florence's Festa del Grillo at Cascine Park, where thousands of "lucky crickets" were sold every year on the Day of Ascension and now, is held in June.

On Sunday, June 2, the Cascine Park hosts a morning to evening Cricket Fair. Welcome spring with an ancient Florentine tradition. Come to the Cascine, browse the kiosks and stands, and take part in a festival that goes back 8 centuries. Though you may be hard put to find a live cricket in a cage (sold until a few years ago as a good luck charm), you will find lots of household goods and Tuscan food specialties. The market is open from approx. 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.


It says it all - Florence Wine Event - takes place in front of the Pitti Palace on June 3, 4 and 5. Over 100 wineries will be offering tastes of their wines from the DOCGs of Chianti, Chianti Classico, Chianti Rufina and Cortona. Friday 4pm to 9pm, Saturday 11am to 9pm and Sunday 11am to 8pm.

Check out the web site for more information http://www.florencewinevent.com/ .


You can find used but carefully repaired bikes, adopted from the City Bike Deposit, at the Ulysse Officina on via Giano della Bella 22 (inside the ex-Conventino). Via Giano della Bella is located just beyond Piazza Tasso. Buses 11, 12, 36 and 37 should get you there. The Officina is open from 1:30 to 5:30, Monday to Friday.


The Marino Marini Museum, in the heart of the historical centre of Florence, between via della Vigna Nuova and piazza Santa Maria Novella, is housed in the ancient church of S. Pancrazio, founded before 1000, deconsacrated in 1809 and used for several activities over a century. The museum was inaugurated in 1988 after the extensive restoration work directed by the architects Bruno Sacchi and Lorenzo Papi.

The new exhibits called forthcoming show the work of two artists. Maria Antonietta Mameli presents an exploration of the real, the poetic idiom of experience where personal contact is missing. Tomoaki Suzuki on the other hand, presents an involvement that includes forms of sharing and participation. this is the focus of the research and work of two artists who, in a sense, stage a scene from the theatre of life, which offers space-time experiences of places and people.  

Museo Marino Marini
Piazza San Pancrazio
May 1 to June 4 - forthcoming
Monday: 10.00 am - 5.00 pm; Wed - Sat: 10.00 am - 5.00 pm
Closed on Tuesday, Sunday and on public holidays
Tickets: adults: € 4, children, seniors: € 2
Website: http://www.museomarinomarini.it/home.php

ST. JAMES' EVENTS - History of the Church

On June 5 at 10am, St. James' resident historian, Horace Gibson, will present the topic of The History of the Church-Community of St. James in Florence. Grab a cappuccino and join Mr. Gibson in the Meeting Room.


CHIANTI CLASSICO É - Chianti Classico Is ...

If you want to get out of Florence, plan to do it between Jun 1 and 12. The Chianti Classico É program gives you almost two weeks of fun, food and wine throughout the Chianti Classico region. See the web site for all of the details: http://www.classico-e.it/ Here's the program:

June 2 - 5
Gallo Nero & Streetfood
Streetfood from all over Italy paired with the Chianti Classico from Barberino Val d'Elsa, Tavarnelle and San Casciano Val di Pesa, plus DOP olive oil workshops and concerts in S. Casciano's big piazza.
San Casciano in Val di Pesa - Piazza della Repubblica Gardens - June 2 and 4, 11 a.m. to 12 midnight - June 3, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. - June 5, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

June 2 - 5
The fragrances of Lamole
Valle di Lamole vintners meet the public in four days of open-air tastings.
Lamole (Greve in Chianti) - Piazza di Lamole - June 2, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., June 3, 4 and 5, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Info: Greve tourist office: 055-8545271

June 2
Chianti Classic(o)
Tasting of Castelnuovo Berardenga wines at the arrival point of the "Chianti Classic" bike race.
For those who have driven the "Chianti Classic" and those waiting at arrival, a tasting booth for the Black Rooster born in Castelnuovo Berardenga.
Goblet + goblet holder 5 €
Castelnuovo Berardenga - 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

June 4
The Whole Steer Dinner
Dario Cecchini and Gioacchino Bonsignore invite the public to a gastronomic tour of the various
parts of the steer. Chianti Classico wines from Panzano vintners. Reservations required: 055 852727. "Solo Ciccia" restaurant Panzano in Chianti (Florence) - 8 p.m.
30€ per person

June 4
Trash & Chic
San Casciano in Val di Pesa - 8.30 p.m. - restaurant La Tenda Rossa.
Three stellar chefs, Natascia Santandrea, Agata Parisella and Claudio Sadler revive Italian 70s cuisine. Reservations: restaurant La Tenda Rossa - 055 826132

June 4
The "Radda in the Glass" seminars for Chianti Classico is
10:00 a.m.
Sangiovese and Aglianico: heroes of two worlds compared
A meeting between Tuscan and Campania vintners. On the one hand the Sangiovese of Chianti Classico, on the other Aglianico and especially that of Taurasi. An encounter/clash with only one winner: the wine.

3 p.m.
Highland Black Rooster
Journalist Gioacchino Bonsignore together with the Enoclub of Siena will guide a theme tasting comparing wines from the highest Chianti Classico zones, the reds from Radda in Chianti and those from Castellina in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti and Lamole. Radda food specialities will accompany the tasting.
Max 40 persons. Admission15 €. (Reservations necessary, check Chianti É web site for links)

June 4 - 5
Radda in the Glass
Tastings of Radda in Chianti wines through the streets of town.
Radda in Chianti- 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday - 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

June 9
Stars & Merchants in Strada
Handicraft mart and music at night.
Strada in Chianti - 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

June 10, 11, 12
Pentecost in Castellina
June 10: dinner beneath vaulted roofs- 8 p.m.
June 11-12: tasting under vaulted roofs - 3 to 8 p.m. / Castellina in Chianti.

June 10 and 12
Neighborhood Olympics
Yesteryear's games and challenges in Piazza Matteotti. Greve in Chianti - www.comune.greve-in-chianti.fi.it
In the context of the Neighborhood Olympics on June 12 you can taste Chianti Classico from Greve in Chianti at a booth set up in Piazza Matteotti.
Goblet + goblet holder 5 €.

June 11
Seminar on Castellina Chianti Classico
Conducted by Daniele Cernilli
Castellina in Chianti / 5 p.m.

June 11
The tastes of red and Black compared
Greve in Chianti / Wine Museum / 4 p.m.
Greve in Chianti wines tasted in the classic way and in the innovative, Leonardo Romanelli and Andrea Gori involve the public and producers in a partly serious, partly facetious tasting experiment, revealing the characteristics of the wines in their entirety!

June 12
Chefs versus Homemakers
For Sunday lunch a very special cook-off - dishes prepared by a representative of Gaiole homemakers and those reinterpreted by two star-winning Italian chefs: Marco Stabile (Ora d'Aria, Florence) and Marco Bistarelli (Il Postale, Perugia).
Gaiole in Chianti / ex cantine Ricasoli, via Ricasoli / 1 p.m.

Divino Tuscany is a celebration of Tuscan winemaking excellence. In Florence, from 2-5 June, 2011, the inaugural event unites top Tuscan winemakers who will present their top-rated wines. James Suckling, former Senior Editor and European Bureau Chief of Wine Spectator and one of the most prominent and influential wine critics, along with IMG Artists, one of the top producers of cultural and lifestyle festivals, including the Tuscan Sun Festival, are uniting to create signature event.

With founding vintners from Antinori, Frescobaldi, Mazzei, Ricasoli, Il Borro, Petroio and Castello Banfi, Divino Tuscany presents a distinctive program highlighting premium wines in one of the world's most important vinicultural regions. Throughout the event, the region's unique wine, food, culture and history will be savored. Suckling has personally selected the wines to be showcased in this exclusive event, having referred to his reporting over the last two decades.

Over the course of four incredible days, Divino Tuscany attendees will have the opportunity to experience an amazing array of tastings, seminars, special dinners and entertainment in one of the most dramatic vinicultural regions of the world. The Divino Tuscany Full Pass Package provides the most exclusive access to the top winemakers of Tuscany. There is an extensive range of Divino events including a concert by superstar violinist Joshua Bell, tutored tastings, as well as many dinners including on opening night, a Gala Dinner, dinners in private Palazzos of well-known Tuscan wine families hosted by the families themselves, and a concluding lunch at Sting and Trudie Styler's house! (Text from Art Viva)

For more information please see: http://tinyurl.com/3m22mzh. You can also email privatetours@artviva.com and visit www.italy.artviva.com for more information about our tours and activities in Italy!


At the Palazzo Comunale, Sala del Basolato, the exhibition focusing on Böcklin, de Chirico, and Nunziante takes centre stage from April 16 to June 19, 2011. These three artists are linked by the same themes, expressions, and artistic sensibilities, and the show covers a period of 130 years of the lives and work of these artists.  The work of Arnold Böcklin not only influenced de Chirico and Nunziante, but it also had an impact on the works of other greats from the 1900s, from Edvard Munch to René Magritte,  from Max Ernst to Salvador Dalí.

At the Museo della Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie, the exhibition, Quiete, Invenzione e Inquietudine. Il Seicento fiorentino intorno a Giovanni da San Giovanni, runs from March 5 to June 12.   Part of the events organized for the far-reaching exhibition, the 17th-century in Valdarno, this show was curated by Mara Visonà and Silvia Benassai, with the help of Lorenzo Pesci. The exhibition focuses on the figure of Giovanni Mannozzi, known as Giovanni da San Giovanni, one of the most original artists in the 1600s in Florence.

The Etruscans come home: From the Louvre to Cortona (Gli Etruschi tornano a casa Dal Louvre a Cortona)
Running from March 5 to July 3, 2011, at Cortona's Etruscan Museum, this far-reaching exhibition is dedicated to the ancient peoples that once inhabited Tuscany: the Etruscans. The exhibition showcases over 40 artifacts from the Paris' Louvre, which have never been seen in Italy before. The success of the exhibition, Masterworks of the Etruscans from the Ermitage, gave rise to a large European database of the Etruscan heritage in continental museums. Following in these lines is the project in Cortona, called Cortona and the Great European Museums, which brought the artifacts from the Louvre to Cortona. The show displays over 40 Etruscan artifacts, never before displayed in Italy, that were found in Fiesole, Arezzo, Chiusi, Perugia, Orvieto, and Civita Castellana.  

On June 4 and 5, the small fortified village of Malmantile (near Lastra Signa), you will be immersed in medieval atmosphere with dames and knights, artists, and artisans will relive the magic of the times that were. There are archery competitions and grand cavalcades of knights on horseback. All of the trattorias and osterias in the town go all out with medieval flavors.

See http://www.festamedioevalemalmantile.it/index.php for the schedule of events.


On the eve of the patron saint's feast day (June 16) Pisa transforms the lungarni (banks of the Arno) into a phantasmagoric fairy-tale setting. The architectural details of the palaces - windows, cornices, balconies - the parapets of the river and the bridges glow in the reflected light of over 70,000 ‘lumini' (small glass lamps burning oil or wax) while thousands of lighted candles float on the waters of the Arno. Sham architecture (‘machines') and a firework spectacle at the Cittadella Vecchia make this event, which dates back to 1688, even more fascinating.


From the warm Spring nights until the brilliant nights of August: the 2011, the astronomic nights of Villa Demidoff at Pratolino have resumed. Get an appointment, with free entrance, to learn the galaxy of our hemisphere and to treat oneself to a magical moment observing Orion and the North Star. 

All the meetings, organized in collaboration with the Osservatorio Astronomico Torre Luciana, will open at 9pm with introduction by the astronomer and astrophysicist Lorenzo Brandi. Then you will pass on to the observation of the sky of the month with both naked eye and telescope. The nights will be held even in case of clouds or overcast, unless there is heavy rain. The entrance is free on booking, but reserved to people over 15 years of age. Check the websites for the scheduled events.

For reservations, call: 055 2760829 (office open Mon., Wed. & Fri. 10am - 1pm

Website: http://www.firenzelowcost.it/en/?p=5329


"Artisan wares market": Sun. 2 (morning to afternoon). Panzano-in-Chianti. The weekly town market held in Panzano is expanded with artisan booths of all sorts. 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 at Badia a Passignano. It is also possible to reach Panzano by SITA bus from Florence. The trip takes about one hour.


The uses of multimedia and the marriage between the arts and today's new technologies: this is the most innovative aspect of the exhibition, L'anima e la musica ('Spirit and Music') in Siena's Santa Maria della Scala Museum Complex, until June 19. Paintings, documents and music will be showcased through various multimedia outlets. Visitors will see in a new way a different kind of historic and cultural realty from the 1800s in Europe. The Romantic Era, seen in a new light, focuses on the Italian Risorgimento


We nominate the April newsletter for a Pulitzer Prize. There was an overwhelming amount of useful information: so much that we printed the newsletter to check off the activities as we did them. Free concerts; concerts at the Verde; dress rehearsal at the Comunale; flower festival; new restaurant to try; etc... Thank you for packing our April with so much fun!
Susan Mazza & Arnie LaGuardia (May 5, 2011)

Thank you Susan & Arnie for your kind words and encouragement. We at Pitcher & Flaccomio hope you return for another month in Florence - perhaps in the fall for the harvest


The festivities of June will give way to the holidays of July and Forentines will get ready to head to the seashore or the mountains. But here in Florence, July is shaping up to being one of the most exciting ever. Join us here.

All the best,

Pitcher and Flaccomio