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Palazzo Pitti

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Rent, Sell and Manage Properties in Florence and Tuscany

In March a lot of the focus in Italy is going to be on the new government and the new pope, but that doesn’t mean that nothing is happening in Florence and Tuscany. Read on with best wishes, from SUZANNE, CORSO, BEI, SANDRA, ANNA PIA, VANNI, ANN and MARIO.


BEST EXTRAVAGANZA FOR MARCH – Scoppio del Carro on Easter Sunday

Between 10 and 11 o'clock on Easter Sunday morning (the last day of March), a tradition that has played out annually over the last 500 years will be celebrated in front of the Duomo in Florence. The Scoppio del Carro, or Explosion of the Cart, is a mixed pagan/religious ceremony. Marking both Easter and Spring, the successful ignition of the cart guarantees good crops, a successful harvest, stable civic life and bountiful trade, as well as signifying the passage of new holy fire to light those extinguished on Good Friday.

A thirty-foot carved and painted wooden cart (the present version is over 150 years old) is pulled by flower-bedecked white oxen from Porta al Prato to Piazza del Duomo. A mechanical dove ‘flies' down a line through the open doors of the cathedral, picks up ‘fire' at the altar, returns to the cart and ignites the explosion of one of the best daytime fireworks display in the world. It was during the pontificate of Leo X (Giovanni de'Medici, 1513-1521), the ‘colombina‘ - the mechanical bird, shaped like a dove with an olive branch in its beak - was used for the first time. At the Gloria of the Easter Mass, the deacon uses holy fire kindled from the stone chips - obtained during the crusades of 1099 from the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem - to light a fuse attached to the dove.


In many countries, March 8 is celebrated as International Women’s Day. In Italy it is known as Festa della Donna and the symbol is the bright yellow mimosa flowers. Fifteen million bunches of mimosa are bought each year to honor the women of Italy. Teresa Mattei, a partisan in WWII, who held the rank of Company Commander in the Garibaldi Youth Front, who, came up with the idea of mimosa for Festa della Donna. It had been proposed that violets be the flower, but she said it should be a flower available, growing wild in March, to the poorest of the poor. She was the youngest person elected to the Constitutional Assembly after the war and was also the national leader of the Union of Italian Women.

Women’s Day has its roots in two events that took place outside of Italy. On March 8, 1857 a strike by garment workers in New York, led to the formation of the first women's union in the United States (ironically, the U.S. is one country that does not celebrate International Women’s Day). Sixty years later Russian women led a strike calling for "bread and peace" during the twin horrors of World War I and the Russian Revolution. In 1945 the Union of Italian Women declared that this special date, March 8, should be set aside to celebrate womanhood across the country.


If you plan to bring the family to Florence for a year, this is the place you want to have. With a panoramic view of the city in the valley below, this three- bedroom, three-bathroom apartment (on three levels) is in a dream location. This confortable apartment is completely refurbished and has its own garden. You will need a car – it is located about 2 miles out of Florence.

For more information click this link.

BEST THEATER FOR MARCH – The Vagina Monologues

March 8 and 9, 9pm. Tasso Hostel Theatre House, via Villani 15

Based on playwright Eve Ensler’s interviews with more than 200 women, this internationally popular, award-winning play celebrates women’s sexuality and strength with humor and grace. The production will be in both English and Italian, with proceeds going to Artemisia, a Florence-based association combating violence against women. See: http://vspot.vday.org/vday/events/51504-florence-italy-tvm-2013for details on the plays;

and see www.artemisiacentroantiviolenza.it to learn more about Artemisia.

BEST DEAL FOR MARCH – Free Museums for Women

Free Entry for Women! On Friday, March 8 - Women's Day - Italy is offering women free entry into all state-run museums. Florence will also open the city-run museums to women of all ages. So celebrate the wonderful women in your life. Follow tradition and give them a sprig of yellow mimosa, and be sure to also spring for champagne and something glittery or silky.


"Territory, seasonality and high quality products, especially biological and biodynamic grown on our farm or coming from nearby farmers" This is what Vivanda, a small organic-food and wine café offers its customer in a cozy spot near Santo Spirito. They only use fresh and biological seasonal products from local productions. Meat too comes from Tuscan farms, which are respectful of the welfare of their animals.

Vivanda is an organic cafe and wine bar with something for everyone; vegetarians, vegans and meat lovers. If you come by for lunch you will pay just 10 euros and have a starter and a main course. The menu changes regularly but offers, among other things, a tasty vegetarian burger.

The room is tiny (about 20 covers) with an urban décor. The wine list includes more than 120 organic labels. The dishes look beautiful and are served on recycled plates. Sustainability is indeed one of the most important things at Vivanda, where water is served in recycled bottles after being cleaned, and cups, forks and knives are made of recyclable materials. Vivanda has no service at the tables. You need to go to the cashier and order your food and get it when it's ready. The system, however, works well and the staff is enthusiastic and hospitable.

Try the Tuscan cold cuts from Sergio Falaschi’s Norcineria Falaschi and the fennel salad with oranges. They make their pasta every day. Taste the ravioli with a lemon sauce, or couscous, or gnudi. Finished with a light and tasty cheesecake and a glass of zibibbo, a sweet wine from Sicily.

The prices for both food and wine are extremely reasonable.

Vivanda is located at Via Santa Monaca 7r - Tel. 055 238 1208

BEST MARKET FOR MARCHArts & Crafts Market In A Convent

Take a walk out of the historic center and find a piece of hidden Florentine past with the arts, crafts, and hand-grown products of today. Every month (Sunday, March 10) there is a market in the cloister of an old convent in the San Frediano district, just across the viale from Piazza Tasso.

The Old Convent/SAM Space (arts and craft) is the Fondazione's base. Between 1893 and 1896 the Monastery of Saint Teresa delle Carmelitane Scalze was built. In 1917 the nuns left the convent and the building became a military hospital. In 1920 the building was sold to the Florentine Artistic Society Gusmano Vignali. This was the start of its history tied to art, work, and social history of the San Frediano district. In 1921 the space is sold to Cavalier Paolo Uzielli, who leased the spaces to make workshops of sculpture, engraving, or places for teaching and perfecting artistic handicraft. Many famous artists found a home here: Pietro Annigoni, Agostino Giovannini, Edoardo and Ferdinando Fallaci, among others. Today it's property of the Florence municipality and hosts about 20 workshops.

Vecchio Conventino, Via Giano della Bella 20, Tel: 055 232 2269,

Web Site: http://www.fondazioneartigianato.it/en/come-into-the-convent.html

BEST MUSEUM EXHIBITS FOR MARCH – From Boldini To De Pisis: Two Exhibits from Ferrara

The masterpieces of the damaged Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery of Ferrara, damaged in last year’s earthquake, are being hosted in Florence at the Villa Bardini Museum and the Modern Art Gallery in the Pitti Palace.

These exhibits include the works of artists such as Giovanni Boldini, Gaetano Previati, Achille Funi, Carlo Carrà, Roberto Melli and Filippo de Pisis.

The early works will be at Villa Bardini: from Gaetano Turchi’s historical romanticism to the nineteenth-century paintings by Giovanni Boldini. At the Modern Art Gallery, instead, visitors will see Boldini’s twentieth-century works as well as Previati’s symbolist art and Filippo De Pisis’s intimate and existential painting.

The exhibitions continue until May 19.

Opening hours at the Modern Art Gallery: Tuesday – Sunday 8:15am – 6:50pm (last admission at 6pm) closed on Monday

Ticket price: full price ticket € 13,00; reduced ticket € 6,50 for EU citizens between 18 and 25 years of age, free for EU citizens under 18 and over 65

Opening hours at Villa Bardini: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 7.00pm (last admission at 6pm) closed on Monday

Ticket price: full price ticket € 8,00; reduced ticket € 6,00 only for ACI and Touring club members and for those who have the ticket for the Boboli Gardens; reduced ticket € 4,00 for school groups

BEST BOOK FOR MARCH – The Vatican Diaries by John Thavis

For more than twenty-five years John Thavis held one of the most fascinating journalistic jobs in the world: reporting on the inner workings of the Vatican. His daily exposure to the power, politics, and personalities in the seat of Roman Catholicism gave him a unique, behind-the-scenes perspective on an institution that is far less monolithic and unified than it first appears. Thavis reveals Vatican City as a place where Curia cardinals fight private wars, scandals threaten to undermine papal authority, and reverence for the past is continually upended by the practical considerations of modern life.

Thavis takes readers from a bell tower high above St. Peter’s to the depths of the basilica and the saint’s burial place, from the politicking surrounding the election of a new pope and the ever-growing sexual abuse scandals around the world to controversies about the Vatican’s stand on contraception, and more.

Perceptive, sharply written, and witty, The Vatican Diaries will appeal not only to Catholics (lapsed as well as devout) but to any readers interested in international diplomacy and the role of religion in an increasingly secularized world.

BEST BOOK FOR KIDS FOR MARCH – The Curse of the Coins by Dianne Ahern

Curse of the Coins is the third book in a series designed to help young readers discover elements of faith through stories of mystery, adventure, and travel. Set in modern Italy, this book takes Sister Philomena (the Pope’s special agent!) and her niece and nephew (who just happen to be staying with her in the convent this summer) on a hunt through Rome to find the lost 30 pieces of silver that Judas was paid to betray Christ. Readers will learn about the Sistine Chapel, the great basilicas of Rome, the Passion of Christ, the lifestyle of Romans, Italian words and phrases, and famous works of art and architecture in the Vatican and Rome.

The author, Dianne Ahern is a Patron of the Arts in the Vatican Museums and takes advantage of her Patron privileges and yearly trips to Italy to conjure up stories of adventures for her characters of Sister Philomena, Delaney, and Riley. It was after her first Vatican visit in 1999, when Dianne looked into the eyes of Pope John Paul II, held his hand, and kissed his ring, that she was inspired to write books for Catholic children. The Adventures series places fictional characters in real settings to teach about the Church. Her books on the Sacraments prepare children and families for these most important events.

FORZA VIOLA!! FOR MARCH – Florentine Calcio

P&F Sports Reporters Simon Clark & Anne Brooks bring you February’s Florentine Calcio results and the upcoming schedule for March.

Forza Viola! We’ve had more downs than ups recently but when we are good, we are fantastic! Just ask Inter Milan. Goodness knows what the new arrivals during the transfer window are thinking! Stand-out capture is Giuseppe Rossi from Villareal; at 26, he already has 16 international caps and, if he stays fit, he’ll win a load more. 5mn euros went on bringing in 20 year-old Rafal Wolski, a Polish midfielder, from Ligea Warsaw and 21 year-old Mathias Vecino from Montevideo.

The other Big Name is Malian star, Momo Sissoko from Paris St Germain (on loan, option to buy). Add defender Marvin Compper from Hoffenheim and Marcelo Larrondo from Siena - the 24 year-old Argentine forward is said to be a coming talent. We off-loaded two to Genoa - plucky Cassani (not in Montella’s style) and an Olivera who never did much for us except kick the opposition. We sit sixth. Forza Montella!

Fiorentina’s Results

Week 23: Fiorentina-Parma WON 2-0

Week 24: Juventus-Fiorentina LOST 0-2

Week 25: Fiorentina-Inter WON 4-1

Week 26: Bologna-Fiorentina LOST 1-2

Serie A. Parma, Pizarro and a perfectly-pitched performance pleased the populace. They were lively early on; Viviano had the goalkeeper’s jersey once more and showed what he can do – one save was world-class and there were no clangers. We took over with an inch-perfect header from Toni (from a superb Cuadrado cross) and a poach by Jovetic (too fast for their defence) – a combo signalling old times come again. We had too much quality and, by the end, we were all over them with the irrepressible Cuadrado a candidate for man of the match. That’s the way to do it!

A reality check for a young team. Juventus in Turin, Pirlo pulling the strings as only he in Italy can and a devastating fleet of attackers – undoubtedly one of the two Serie A teams standing head and shoulders above the rest. For 40 minutes we matched them and might have gone ahead - a perfect move spoilt only by Jovetic’s poor control. Their first was an unstoppable rocket; the second should have been disallowed since Matri wasn’t properly dressed when he shot (his boot had come off). By half-time, Montella’s body language said he could read the writing on the wall. Thereafter, we were playing for pride and everyone could walk off with head held high – especially Viviano (a reputation rehabilitated), the never-say-die Cuadrado and Ljajic (a mesmerising slalom through Juve’s defence). But it’s just a question of time!

Inter at the Franchi and fab, Fab, FAB! Suddenly we are irresistible once more as we utterly dominate an Inter who look increasingly shell-shocked as the game goes on. With Aquilani back alongside Pizarro and Borja Valero, our best mid-field sparks our forwards into life. We rip their defence apart for a Ljajic header on 13 minutes; around the half-hour, Jovetic fires in a magnificent second; Aquilani’s stunning back-heel sets up another for Jo-Jo on a plate on 55; then Ljajic curls in a perfect fourth. Cassano’s late consolation goal hardly merits any Milanese celebrations. We have hammered them. It could have been six or seven!

And a trip across the Apennines for Bologna. This is disappointing to say the least. We could have gone fourth but stick in equal sixth; once more, no Pizarro and no accuracy. It was obvious Bologna were up for this from the third minute when Viviano needed a post to help his save, Still, a superb breakaway move saw Aquilani tee up Ljajic to give us the lead. Then it was all Bologna. First we presented them with a free header, then poor defending let in a second. Fiorentina kept pouring in the shots but wide of the mark; in the dying seconds, Toni managed to lift a certain equaliser over the bar!

We need to maintain the form we showed against Inter, not the pale imitation we turned out at Bologna. The home games with Chievo and Genoa should be six points in the bag and it would be good to stamp our authority on Cagliari. The big one this month is the game in Rome against Lazio but there’s no reason to expect less than a draw. Forza Vincenzo!

THE FIORENTINA SCHEDULE: March includes a break for internationals so just the four games:

Week 27: 3 Mar/home Fiorentina-Chievo

Week 28: 10 Mar/away Lazio-Fiorentina

Week 29: 17 Mar/home Fiorentina-Genoa

Week 30: 30 Mar/away Cagliari-Fiorentina


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

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

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

BEST KODAK MOMENT FOR MARCH – Flags Waving in Piazza Signoria

Celebrating 40 years, the Bandierai degli Uffizi, the official flag wavers of Florence and the Calcio Storico Fiorentino (the Historic Soccer Games) will celebrate with an exhibition in Piazza Signoria on Sunday, March 2 at 3:30pm.

BEST PARADE FOR MARCH – Florentine New Year

Most of the world parties on January 1st, and the Chinese New Year happens between late January and mid-February, but Florence has its own New Year on March 25 every year. Until 1750, in Florence the beginning of the calendar year fell on March 25 and roughly coincided with the arrival of spring. This date also indicated the day of Christ's conception with the Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, exactly nine months before the birth of Jesus. Although the Gregorian calendar was introduced in 1502, the Florentines continued to celebrate Capodanno Fiorentino on March 25 for another two centuries and still today, celebrations begin in the early afternoon (3pm), with costumed dignitaries and flag-waving groups parading through the streets of the city carrying the emblem of Florence, a red lily on a white field. The procession starts at the Palagio di Parte Guelfa and continues to the church of the Santissima Annunziata where all the citizens and the authorities pay tribute to the Madonna. A market runs all day in the square outside the church.



The name keeps it simple, but from Saturday, March 9 through Monday, March 11, at the Stazione Leopolda, there will be three days of sampling, discovering, buying, and events dedicated to excellence in taste and food lifestyles. TASTE N. 8 is the Italian fair dedicated to good eating and good living attended by the top figures in the international gastronomic and catering trade as well as an increasingly growing public of passionate foodies. Growing in popularity, TASTE N. 8 will present 250 specialist and niche companies presenting their products to the public, as well as the exhibition spaces, which will fill the Alcatraz area of the Stazione Leopolda, with a series of special projects and events. This year, ten food bloggers will write about the events from beginning to end. Check out the interviews with the chosen bloggers on the website.

TASTE N. 8 is an amusing and absorbing experience for members of the gastronomic and catering trade as well as the general public, who can embark on a multi-sensorial journey to discover the myriad ways in which we express and experiment with taste today:

Taste Tour: an itinerary that gives visitors a chance to sample Made In Italy products to learn more about the gastronomic treasures of the country: from cream of black truffle soup to fish matriciana, from Chianti salame to tuna bresaola, from handmade dry egg pasta drawn through gold dies, to Pecorino cheese with saffron, balsamic vinegar chocolates and Taggiasche olive jam;

Taste Tools: view the most modern food and kitchen design utensils, clothing and technical/professional equipment for the table and kitchen;

Taste Shop: a shopping area where you can buy everything that you see and taste during the tour - a kind of department store of exclusive food products; and

Taste Ring: A series of talk shows and meetings with the protagonists of food culture, top experts and VIPs from the world of food, dedicated to the hottest and most curious food lifestyle themes, unexpected combinations between food and the various aspects of social, economic and cultural life.

Start here: http://www.pittimmagine.com/en/corporate/fairs/taste.html

Stazione Leopolda, V.le Fratelli Rosselli, 5. Hours: 10.30 a.m. - 8.00 p.m. (Monday 9.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m.). Admission: 10 euro. For general information visit:. www.tastefirenze.it (Also click on the link for Fuori di Taste (‘Beyond Taste' but also a pun on fuori di testa or ‘out of your mind') to obtain information about the dozens of events that precede and compliment Taste N. 8.)

FROM THE SKY TO THE EARTH – Free Exhibit at Medici Riccardi Palazzo

Since Florence was one of the most prolific European centers for meteorology and seismology, the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), in collaboration with the Province of Florence and the Ximenian Observatory, offers the exhibition “From the Sky to the Earth: meteorology and seismology in Florence from the 19th Century to Today”. The exhibition will take place in the Carriage Gallery of Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence. It’s free and can be reached from either Via Cavour or Via Ginori.

The preparation involves the realization of a chronological path that puts together seismological and meteorological instruments, as well as geomagnetic and gravimetric instruments. There are over one hundred instruments, from thin thermometers used by meteorologists to some seismic instruments with mass of more than 1,000 kg and a weather plane. The exhibition stretches to the present time featuring the latest instruments in use in the various sections, and a video recorded in the hall seismic in Rome where INGV monitors daily the seismical activity.

Italy has one of the oldest traditions of the world in the meteorological and seismological fields. In the middle of the 1600s the first meteorological network, including Italian and foreign observers, was set up in Florence. Later, in the first half of the 1700s, the first attempts to record earthquakes began – at first with simple seismoscopes, and then over the next two hundred years with increasingly sophisticated tools.

Over the past 25 years, INGV has developed a systematic approach aimed at recovering and promoting the scientific and cultural observatories, instruments, and documentation of this unique scientific tradition.

NORMA E CAPRICCIO – Spanish Artists In Italy In The Early Mannerist Period

Galleria degli Uffizi - 5 March - 26 May

“Thus I also say that no nation and no people (other than one or two Spaniards) can perfectly assimilate or imitate the Italian manner of painting (which is that of ancient Greece) without being immediately and easily recognized as foreigners, however much they may try or work at it”. These words, spoken by Michelangelo Buonarroti and recorded by Francisco de Hollanda in his Roman Dialogues (Lisbon, 1548), provided the inspiration for the first exhibition at the Uffizi Gallery ever devoted to the work of those Spanish artists who came to Italy between 1500 and the 1520s to partake of the effervescent cultural climate in Florence, Rome and Naples.

This exalted group of artists, who were prompted to travel by their thirst for first-hand contact with the fundamental works of Italian artists, included such personalities as Alonso Berruguete, Pedro Machuca, Pedro Fernández (better known as the “Pseudo-Bramantino”), Bartolomé Ordóñez and Diego de Silóe, who hailed from various different parts of the Iberian peninsula - Palencia, Toledo, Murcia and Burgos - and who proved capable of forging careers for themselves as leading players in European ‘Mannerism’.

Italian art historical sources readily acknowledge their dominant position on the international scene in the 16th century. Giorgio Vasari, for instance, in his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects, places Berruguete on the same level as Rosso and Pontormo in the study of Michelangelo's and Leonardo's work, while Pietro Summonte, a celebrated scholar from Campania, also mentions the work of Ordóñez and De Silóe in a letter on the most important monuments in Naples, dated 1524.


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



March 14 - 20 HITCHCOCK


Located in Piazza Strozzi. See website for times: http://www.cinehall.it/pagine/odeon%20original%20sound.asp

The Odeon has CANCELLED the film, SIBERIAN EDUCATION by Gabriele Salvatores and put in its place the following (check back at the web site to see if times have been posted):

Fri 1: ARGO

Sat 2: ARGO

Sun 3: ARGO




BEAST OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (USA 2012 – 91’) by Benh Zeitlin with Quvenzhané Wallis

Faced with both her hot-tempered father's fading health and melting ice caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love.

Thu 7 17.00 - 18,45 - 20.30 – 22. 30

Fri 8 17.00 - 18,45 - 20.30 – 22. 30

Sat 9 17.00 - 18,45 - 20.30 – 22. 30

Sun 10 17.00 - 18,45 - 20.30 – 22. 30

Wed 13 17.00 - 18,45 - 20.30 – 22. 30

Thu 14 17.00 - 18,45

ANNA KARENINA (UK 2012 – 130’) by Joe Wright with Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson

Set in late-19th-century Russia high-society, the aristocrat Anna Karenina enters into a life-changing affair with the affluent Count Vronsky /.

Mon 11: 16.00 – 18.30 – 21.00

Tue 12: 16.00 – 18.30 – 21.00

March 15 to 24: Florence Korea Film Fest

March 26-31: Hong Kong Film Festival

ORIGINAL LANGUAGE FILMS – Talking Movies at the British Institute

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. Check the web site at www.britishinstitute.it/en/events/default.asp for times, dates, and detailed information or stop by the library for a brochure.

On the occasion of his 90th birthday, Talking Pictures presents an array of Franco Zeffirelli's work in his various guises as film producer, film director, stage designer, production designer, costume designer, and screenwriter. Zeffirelli is most acclaimed for his work in theatre and opera, his literary adaptations, most notably Shakespeare but also Charlotte Bronte, and his autobiographical film Tea With Mussolini. In opera, Zeffirelli often collaborated with Placido Domingo and the tenor features in all of the opera films, both those filmed as theatrical productions and those made as films in their own right. Many thought the casting of Mel Gibson as Hamlet was to say the least daring if not downright bizarre but in Zeffirelli's hands Shakespeare's play gets a creditable outing on film. Jane Eyre was less successful but is nonetheless eminently watchable. The season concludes with Zeffirelli's unchallenging but delightful Tea With Mussolini, filmed locally (Florence and San Gimignano) and candidly revealing the director's early life during World War II. (from official website)

Wednesday, March 06. 20.00

Film: Hamlet

(1990) (feature film), Mel Gibson, Glenn Close, Alan Bates, Helena Bonham Carter, Ian Holm

Wednesday, March 13. 20.00

Film: Jane Eyre

(1996) (feature film), William Hurt, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Joan Plowright, Anna Paquin

Wednesday, March 20. 20.00

Film: Tea With Mussolini

(1999) (feature film), Cher, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, Maggie Smith, Lily Tomlin


Every Wednesday at 18.00 from September to June there is a lecture, concert or other event in the Sala Ferragamo in the Harold Acton Library followed by an informal drinks reception.

Wednesday, March 06. 18.00

Lecture: Edoardo Rialti

‘There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West': Tolkien's The Hobbit

Wednesday, March 13. 18.00

Lecture: Francesca Centurione Scotto

Italians in London: from Caesar to Forte

Wednesday, March 20. 18.00

Lecture: John Hoenig

‘A Dance to the Music of Time': the influence of the Ballets Russes on the monumental decorative paintings of Henri Matisse

Wednesday, March 27. 18.00

Concert: Sinforosa Petralia

A recital on the pianoforte


March 1–3. Fortezza da Basso. Like to bike? The world of two wheels takes center stage at this must-go event for cycling fans. Especially since 2013 is the year of bicycling in Florence and Tuscany. In September, the UCI Road World Championships will take place in the heart of Tuscany, filling a gap in cycling’s history. 2013 will be the first time Tuscany hosts a road World Championships despite the fact that it is steeped in cycling tradition and has produced some of the greatest cycling names of all times.

The UCI president said, "We can’t talk about the history of Tuscany’s cycling without mentioning the duo of Gino Bartali, and Fiorenzo Magni. Bartali, prominent both sides of the second World War, was the biggest rival of the great Fausto Coppi. I am delighted to return to Italy for the 2013 edition of the World Championships. The fact that Florence has been awarded these Championships for 2013 is a demonstration of the high esteem that cycling, and the UCI, has for Italy.”

Get ready at Fortezza da Basso. With new products and technologies on display, the chance to test bikes and accessories, bike jumping, exhibition spaces, workshops on bike repair, training sessions, conferences, lectures and a host of events for kids and families, bike owners and enthusiasts are sure to be entertained and discover new possibilities in the world of bicycles. See www.bicifi.it for the full program and to book tickets.


From March 18 to April 6, stop by B&M Books and Fine Arts on Borgo Ognissanti, 4r, to see an fabulous exhibition of Florentine watercolorists. On Friday, March 18, from 6:30pm to 8pm there will be a reception for the artists to open the exhibit. John Werich, the new owner of the bookshop, invites one and all.


For lovers of the Stibbert Museum, there is now a yearlong, frequent entry card – Friends of Stibbert. For 15 euro for students and 35 euro for everyone else, the holder will gain free entrance for a year.

See the following for more information:


The museum was created by Frederick Stibbert (1838-1906). His father was English, his mother Italian. Frederick was born in Florence but was sent to England, as a young boy, to study. His father, Thomas, was a colonel of the Coldstream Guards, and his grandfather Giles had been Governor of Bengal, in India. Giles accumulated an incredible fortune, which passed on to Frederick when he was 21 years old.

He started to collect immediately upon his coming of age and ended up transforming his house in a real museum “which has cost me a great deal of money and much care and effort”, as he wrote on his will. When Frederick died he left the museum to the municipality of Florence, to improve the knowledge of history for the benefit of future generations. Today the museum is a Foundation according to Stibbert's last will.


This fabulous exhibit is closing April 1st . Fifty years after her death, “Marilyn,” is at the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum, where a visitor can see that the Florentine shoemaker made the star’s shoes for many of her most famous movies, including a pair of red stilettos covered in Swarovski crystals.

Ferragamo once wrote that the “women who come to me can be divided into the Cinderella, the Aristocrat, and the Venus ... Venus is usually a great beauty, of glamour and sophistication, yet under a glittering exterior she is often a homebody, loving simple things.” Monroe, who wore a size 6, was definitely in the Venus category. The exhibit contains not only her shoes but also the costumes she wore in many of her movies and dresses designed (not by Ferragamo) for special events. The film clips, alone are worth the price of admission.

The most interesting room of the exhibition seeks to show the close connection between Marilyn and Florentine Renaissance culture. There is Stern’s famous picture of Marilyn standing on the beach wearing a cardigan, her bare legs slightly crossed, alongside a reproduction of Botticelli’s La Primavera. There is the Roman marble bust of the dying Alexander, which the photographer Cecil Beaton drew upon in his quest to represent the “spiritual intensity” of Marilyn’s face. Parallels are drawn between images of Monroe and the sensuous nudes of Canova and Boucher. Then there is an extraordinary pairing of Tom Kelley’s famous Playboy nude of Monroe against a red satin background and the penitent Magdalene by the 17th-century Florentine painter Francesco Furini, both women holding a similar pose and an air of languid sensuality.

Entrance fee € 5,00

Hours: open Wednesday to Monday, 10 am-6pm

closed Tuesday, 1 January, 1 May, 15 August, and 25 December.

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum

Via dei Tornabuoni 2

Tel 055 35621



The Amici della Musica of Florence presents various concerts at the Teatro della Pergola. Works by Haydn, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, and Berio are only a small sample of what will be performed. See the schedule for concerts at http://www.amicimusica.fi.it/.

Amici della Musica - Concert Season Highlights for March:

Sat 2 March: Pianist Jin Ju, playing Chopin

Mon 4 March: Andrea Lucchesini, Pietro De Maria, Andrea Dulbecco, and Luca Gusella Rendono

playing music by Luciano Berio.

Sat 9 March: Violinist Nicolai Znaider with pianist Robert Kulek

Sun 10 March: Quartet Casals playing Schubert.

Sat 23 March: Murray Perahia, piano playing Haydn, Bach, Shubert and Chopin

Teatro della Pergola, Via della Pergola, info: 055/609012 – 055 607440 - 055 2264333, and www.amicimusica.fi.it


March 8, 9pm at Obihall.

The talented duo from Croatia, aptly called 2 Cellos, have arranged and recorded cello-only covers of everything from Michael Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal’ and Coldplay’s ‘Clocks’ to Elton John’s ‘Candle in the Wind’ and Rihanna’s ‘We Found Love.’ Luka Šuli? from Slovenia and Stjepan Hauser stretch their cellos’ capacity to the max, creating large, soaring, whispering or passionate sounds depending on the piece, resulting in a most exciting performance.

Obihall, via F. De Andrè/Lungarno Aldo Moro, See: http://www.obihall.it/

IRLANDA IN FESTA - The Color and Taste of Ireland

March 12 to 14, starting at 7:30pm, at Saschall promises some good Irish fun. This year the Celtic fair will feature the music of WHISKY TRAIL, CHRIS STOUT & CATRIONA Mc KAY and THE WEST WIND. Irish culture, food, music and dancing are presented each night. Join the festivities - everyone is a bit Irish at the Irlanda In Festa.

Obihall (ex-Saschall), Lungarno Moro. Admission: 12 to 15 euro. Info: http://www.obihall.it/

Tel. 055 6503068.

MUSEO IN MUSICA – Classical Music at the Palazzo Pitti

On March 10, 13, 20 and 27 at 5pm in the Sala di Bona della Galleria Palatina Palazzo Pitti, the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole will present classical music in concert. See http://www.uffizi.firenze.it/it/eventi for details. For more info: 055 597851 or 055 2388611

Entry is free with reservations: galleriapalatina@polomuseale.firenze.it

CONCERT AT THE VIPER THEATRE – Thechno, Rock, & Heavy Metal

March 14 Max Gazzé (recently seen performing at the San Remo Festival)

Viper Theatre, via Pistoiese, Florence, www.viperclub.eu


March 5 ORT Concert - Peter Rundel, conductor, and Jörg Widmann, clarinet

March 14 Symphony orchestra from Luzern, Lionel Bringuier, director, and Dmitri Maslennikov cello

March 21 ORT Concert - Daniel Kawka, conductor, Chen Guang, piano

Teatro Verdi, Via Ghibellina, 99

Info: http://www.teatroverdionline.it/cartellone/musical/my-fair-lady-dal-21-02-13-al-24-02-13.html


March 7 & 8 Director Andrea Battistoni, Soprano Sabina von Walther, Mezzosoprano Marina De Liso, Tenor I Matthias Stier, Tenor II Francisco Corujo and Bass Christian Senn with the Orchestra & Chorus of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino performing Schumann and Schubert

March 14 & 15 Director Nikolaj Znaider with Pianist Saleem Abboud Ashkar performing Brahms

March 28 & 29 Easter Concerts

Ticket Office Teatro Comunale

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

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


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

THE SPRINGTIME OF THE RENAISSANCE – Sculpture And The Arts In Florence 1400-1460

Palazzo Strozzi, 23 March-18 August 2013

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

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

At that time the writings of the great Humanists, singing the praises of the Florentine Republic's political achievements, its economic power and its social harmony, were spreading the legend of Florence as the heir to the Roman Republic and as a model for other Italian city-states. Monumental public sculpture (by Donatello, Ghiberti, Nanni di Banco, Michelozzo and others in those veritable beehives of innovation that were the city's major construction sites, the Cathedral and Orsanmichele for example) is the first and loftiest testimony to this exaltation of Florence and its leading citizens, while it also had a profound influence on the painting of such artists as Masaccio, Paolo Uccello, Andrea del Castagno and Filippo Lippi.

Other themes of classical antiquity were assimilated and transformed through sculpture in this new language that gave voice not only to the city's creative fervor but also to its spiritual and intellectual mood. The search for a 'rational' space and Brunelleschi's discovery of perspective were implemented in their most advanced forms precisely in the art of sculpture, in Donatello's bas-reliefs, for instance the predella of the St George and Herod’s Banquet in Lille, and their echo reached well into the middle part of the century in the work of Desiderio da Settignano and Agostino di Duccio in an ongoing dialogue-cum-debate with painting, including that of the classical era. From the 1420s on, the new standards of sculpture perfected by the great masters and illustrated by a number of masterpieces – like Donatello's Pazzi Madonna from Berlin and the Fiesole Madonna, formerly attributed to Brunelleschi but now given to Nanni di Banco – spread via a seemingly endless output of bas-reliefs for private devotion (in marble, stucco, polychrome terracotta and glazed terracotta), which fostered the widespread propagation of a taste for the 'new' beauty in every level of society. At the same time, the most prestigious artistic commissions in Florence began to focus on venues of solidarity and of prayer (churches, confraternities and hospitals) where sculpture once again played a leading role.

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


Tel. + 39 055 2645155

Opening times

Daily 9.00-20.00

Thursdays 9.00-23.00

Tickets sold until one hour before closing time.

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


More than 100 works by Salvador Dalí, the master of surrealism, are displayed in this exhibit on the ground floor of the Palazzo Medici Ricardi. Among them are lesser-known and as-yet-poorly understood works, such as great bronze sculptures, rare graphics, surrealist furniture and glass objects, as well as Dalí's illustrations and reinterpretations of surrealist literary texts.

February 1-May 25, Palazzo Medici, Via Cavour 3, Florence

Exhibit website: www.thedaliuniverse.com, for more information.

UFFIZI GALLERY AND ITS RED ROOMS – New Home of Michelangelo’s Doni Tondo

In January 2013, the Uffizi moved the only Michelangelo painting in its collection from the west wing where it had hung for decades and gave it a new home on a red wall of the Sale Rosse. The Doni Tondo now keeps company with the early 16th century painters Potormo, Bronzino and Raphael.

The Sale Rosse are a suite of nine rooms (56–66) on the piano nobile of the Uffizi, opened in June 2012. The rooms display some ancient Roman sculpture and Florentine paintings from the early 16th century, most of which was formerly displayed elsewhere in the gallery. They overlook the courtyard and have large windows providing excellent lighting. Each room has a bright red wall on which the most important works are displayed.

The first room, the only one entirely painted crimson, has an impressive display of early-Imperial Roman replicas of famous Hellenistic sculptures. They include a marble replica of the Capitoline Spinario, the Farnese Hercules, and the Gaddi torso. They have been exhibited here to underline the influence that they had on Florentine painters of the early 16th century, notably Andrea del Sarto, whose works are hung in the first two rooms. His three chiaroscuro scenes, on show for the first time, show his skill and interest in representing the Classical style.

Rosso Fiorentino is for the first time given a room to himself (60) and the portraits by Pontormo are now in Room 61, including his famed portrait of Cosimo il Vecchio, dressed from head to foot in crimson, which used to hang in the Tribuna, and his very fine portrait of Maria Salviati, the mother of Cosimo I. Maria was widowed at the age of 27 and devoutly dressed as a nun for the rest of her life, hence her portrayal as such here.

Rooms 64 and 65 display all the great Medici family portraits by Bronzino, which include his masterpieces, most of which were formerly in the Tribuna – here they can be seen in a far better light. Amongst them are the newly restored refined portraits of Bartolomeo Panciatichi and his wife Lucrezia, fittingly displayed on either side of the “Panciatichi” Holy Family. Eleanor of Toledo, in a splendid velvet dress with her son Giovanni, is well known to all, whereas the delightful young Medici children are the crowd pleasers. The highlight for young and old is the full-length nude portrait of the dwarf Morgante, which was such a hit at the Strozzi’s exhibition of Bronzino last year (the painter’s masterful answer to whether sculpture or painting is the most versatile and thus, “nobler” art), is displayed in the center of Room 65.

The last room (66) has a superb group of paintings by the greatest master of this period, Raphael. His famous portrait of the first Medici pope, Leo X, with his two cousins whom he created cardinals, hangs beside his self-portrait and his court portraits of the Gonzaga and Della Rovere. The most evocative painting of all in this set of rooms is his famous Madonna del Cardellino (“Madonna of the Goldfinch”), which was restored a few years ago.


MERCATINO DI APRILANTE - Artisanal Crafts Market

Sun. 3 (morning to afternoon) visit Panzano-in-Chianti. The first Sunday of each month the weekly town market held in Panzano is expanded with artisan booths of all sorts. Depending on which vendors show up, you'll find honey and pecorino (sheep's milk) cheese makers, hand-embroidered linen makers, boutique wineries and antique dealers and much more. To visit Panzano by car from Florence or Siena, take Route 222, the "Chiantigiana" highway passing through the Chianti wine area. From the west, there is a road connecting with the highway at Tavarnelle or S. Donato. This pretty road passes the monastery of Badia a Passignano. It is also possible to reach Panzano by SITA bus from Florence. The trip takes about one hour.

TARTUFO MARZUOLO – Certaldo & San Giovanni d’Asso

Get your fill of March white truffles at the 20th Sagra del Tartufo Mazuolo in Certaldo from March 15 to 17 and 22 to 24. Or go to the 11th edition of the truffle festival at San Giovanni d’Asso on the 9th and 10th. Or take in both because truffle season doesn’t return until next fall.


On Sun. 3, as on every first Sunday of the month, from 8 am to sunset, you can enjoy a visit to Fiesole with the added fun of perusing the stands filled with bric-brac and antiques. Piazza Mino. For info phone 0555978373.

MUVE - Museum of Glass in Empoli

Located in the picturesque surroundings of the ancient Salt Store, restored for the occasion, the Museum of Glass in Empoli (Museo del Vetro di Empoli – MUVE) was inaugurated in July 2010. The exhibition is spread over two floors, running through the history of glass production in Empoli, already active in the fifteenth century, but flourishing since the mid-18th century and especially in the 19th century, thanks also to the strategic position of Empoli on the way from Florence to Pisa, connected by the railway by the middle of the century.

Common objects, such as flasks, carboys and bottles, are on display along with tools, documents, photographs and advertising images that illustrate the changes in the production of glass in the area. On the second floor, interesting pieces of artistic glass reflect the fine craftmanship of Tuscany glassworkers in the 20th century. The tour is then enriched by evocative visual and sound effects designed to recreate the atmosphere of historic glasswork.

Address: Empoli, via Ridolfi, 70-74

Tel:0571 76714

Opening Hours:From Tuesday to Sunday: 10 a.m.-7.00 p.m. Closed on Monday.

Tickets:Full price: € 3.00; half-price ( groups min. 15 persons): € 1.50; reduced (EU citizens under 18 and over 65, Every Sunday, from 15 to 19, free admission.

VISIT PRATO FOR VINTAGE FASHION – The Irresistible Charm Of Past

At the Prato Textile Museum, you can enjoy the walk down memory lane in fashion. The exhibition is dedicated to the issue of fashion vintage. It offers a journey into the world and history of one of the most contemporary trends of fashion. The exhibition explains how the re-use of garments in the past gave to second hand clothing an irresistible charm, generating a proper fashion phenomenon.

Opened in 1975 in Tullio Buzzi Technical Institute, Prato Textile Museum has the cultural mission of providing an extensive permanent collection of items testifying to the history of local textile production since the beginning of the 12th century. Prato Textile Museum is now a flourishing center for the promotion of the local industrial district, a district that comprises around 8,000 companies and employs over 40,000 people. Since May 2003 Prato Textile Museum has been housed in the converted Campolmi textile mill, a symbol of the local textile manufacturing industry, located in the center of the city of Prato.

Prato Textile Museum

Via Puccetti 3 59100 Prato (PO) Italy

Phone: +39 0574 611503

Fax +39 0574 444585

Opening hours:

Tuesday - Friday: 10am-6pm

Saturday - Sunday: 10am - 7pm

Closed on Monday

Last entrance 45 minutes before closure time


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


The headlines are full of the “horsemeat scandal” raging throughout a number of countries in Europe. But not in Italy. Or, at least, not yet. It is important to keep in mind the scandal is about mislabeling, not about eating horsemeat, per se. Someone is making money from selling a less expensive meat as something it is not. People who eat the mystery meat found in frozen lasagna, rather than making their own with ground meat from a trusted butcher, are waking up to the fact that there is fraud in the food production pipeline that stretches from Eastern Europe to France, Britain, Switzerland, Ireland and Sweden – so far. But that doesn’t mean that people in those countries don’t choose to eat horsemeat.

In Europe and Japan, it is a staple and in Sweden horsemeat out-sells mutton and lamb combined. Residents of Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Iceland, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, and Switzerland all consume horsemeat. But Italy surpasses all other countries in the European Union in horsemeat consumption.

The meat itself is similar to beef, although many say it is slightly sweeter in taste (somewhere between beef and venison) and has a less complex flavor. That said, many Italians argue that it is a more healthy option than beef, being both lower in fat and having a higher content of protein, iron, Omega-3, Vitamin B-12 and glycogen.

It is an inexpensive meat and used to be the red meat for the poor, but now is consumed by all economic classes. One reason for the increased consumption came about 10 years ago with the fears of BSE (mad cow disease) in beef – the disease is not found in horses.

Don’t worry if you are afraid that you might not recognize the difference between horse and beef in the market. In 1928, Italian legislation was passed to prohibit the sale of horsemeat together with other meats in the same stores. In the big food markets, horse meat is sold at a specialty stand by specialist horse butchers. The Roman Catholic Church prohibited eating horsemeat in the 8th century, and the taboo still remains, but is not followed by many catholic Italians. On a menu, keep an eye out for the words cavallo or equino, and in Sardinia the dialect word for horse is cuaddu.

Horsemeat is used in a variety of Italian recipes: as a stew called pastissada (typical of Verona), served as steaks, as carpaccio (raw), or made into bresaola (cured). Even classic Italian mortadella sausage can be had in a horsemeat variety. Minute shredded strips of salted, dried and smoked horsemeat called sfilacci are popular in the Veneto region. A long-cooked stew called pezzetti di cavallo combines cubed horse meat with tomato sauce, onions, carrots and celery. Horsemeat sausages (salsiccia di equino) and salamis are traditional in northern Italy. In Sardinia, sa petza ‘e cuaddu is one of the most popular meats and sometimes is sold in typical kiosks with bread. Donkey is also cooked, for example as a stew called stracotto d’asino and as meat for sausages e.g. mortadella d’asino. The cuisine of Parma features a horsemeat tartare, called pesto di cavallo, marinated in lemon juice with fresh garlic and chopped parsley.

Today, in Tuscany, consumption of horsemeat is rare, although there is one stand in the Mercato Centrale of Florence where specialty horse butcher, Nicola Ricci, has sold a wide variety of products for decades; as did his father before him. In the 1960s there was a total of five horsemeat stands in the huge Florence market.

Florence has one restaurant, Piazza del Vino, which offers a horse steak. In Lucca, the trattoria Da Giulio, regularly has marinated raw cavallo alla tartara on the menu. Visitors to the north and south of Italy have many more chances to try horsemeat, if they are so inclined. It’s a regional Italian food with a tradition that stretches back through the centuries.


Invitation to Newsletter Readers & Friends:

The Pitcher & Flaccomio Newsletter would like to invite readers and friends of readers to submit announcements of upcoming events that may be of interest to visitors and residents of Florence and Tuscany, provide shopping tips, and/or comments on what’s “right” or “wrong” in Florence (or the Newsletter). We can’t promise to put every announcement in the newsletter, but we appreciate your support, interest and messages.

Please send an email to info@pitcherflaccomio.com or newsletter@pitcherflaccomio.com .


Start by celebrating women and go out with a bang with the Scoppio del Carro.

All the best,

Pitcher and Flaccomio