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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 May 2010
WELCOME
May – Rain and sun, then sun and rain, seems to have been the perfect recipe for a beautifully green and vibrant Tuscan landscape. Wisteria blooms drape over walls and brilliant red poppies and purple iris shoot out from the grass along country roads.

This month marks the beginning of a busy time in Florence with lots happening in town and out. In this issue we cover art, ice cream and flower festivals, the fabulous Mille Miglia vintage car rally, plus sport and artisan events, movies, lectures and more. Thanks to Simon and Anne for their mention of two great Jazz festivals, movie discount news and their overview of the Beato Angelico experience in Pontassieve.

SUZANNE, CORSO, BEI, SANDRA, LORI, ANNA PIA, KIMBERLY and MARIO wish you a Spring in full bloom.

PITCHER & FLACCOMIO REPORT
RENT AND PURCHASE BIKES in FLORENCE

The city of Florence offers bicycles to rent. For anyone coming into town with a car, this is the easiest way to explore or run errands around Florence. Take advantage of the growing number of public parking lots in the nearby outskirts, where it is easy to park your car and pick up a rental bike for toodling through town. Some bikes have child seats mounted, and baskets. It is a fun way to show a friend your favorite spots in town. The cost per day is 8 euro, or 4 euro for 5 hours. A full day costs only 2 euro if can show you have residency in Florence or the Province of Florence. You will need to present an id card or passport. Here are some rental stands to look for:

Santa Maria Novella train station: from Mon. to Sat. from 7:30 am to 7:00 p.m, Sun. from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Piazza Ghiberti: Monday to Saturday 8:30 am to 7:00 pm

Campo di Marte train station: from Monday to Friday 7:30 to 9:30 am and 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Piazza Santa Croce: Monday to Friday 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

USED BIKES FOR SALE: 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.

MESSAGE FROM FITC

As a part of Stratford Upon Avon's celebration of Shakespeare's 446 birthday, FITC was invited to create a video of the famous balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. As always we strive to bring theatre arts and creativity into a more direct conversation with the residents and visiting community of the city and, for this reason, created an open event that reflects the international status of Florence. As a result the video, beautifully shot and edited by SideWAYS, was considered one of the highlights of Stratford's festival.

With this project FITC launches a new relationship not only with the Cultural Commission of Stratford Upon Avon but also with THE GLOBAL THEATRE PROJECT. The GTP is a new not-for-profit institution in the United States specifically created to support the work of FITC in Florence and to extend that work to a higher level of production, community programming, education and international exchange and collaboration. You can view the video here: http://www.youtube.com/user/FITCtheatre.

We thank Palazzo Strozzi Foundation and James Bradburne for their support and collaboration on this project.

Bari Hochwald

Producing Artistic Director

Florence International Theatre Company

NEWS FROM OUR FRIEND PAULA CARRIER

The Empire Strikes Back! A post-empirical gastronomic re-discovery of British cuisine focusing on tradition and influence from around the world. “I’m tired of hearing people say that English food is rubbish so I’ve decided to do something about it and offer the best of English cuisine in a pub-lunch type atmosphere.” On Friday 21 May come for a Traditional Pub Dinner with local beer tasting.?

Starter: Prawn cocktail

Main: Fish & chips with mushy peas & tartare sauce or Bangers & Mash with red onion gravy & peas. Vegetarian option on request.

Dessert: Chocolate fudge cake with vanilla ice cream?

Water, wine and coffee included, beer not included.?

Price: € 30.00 (no credit cards, cash or cheques only). Location: Villa del Molino “DULCAMARA”, via Dante da Castiglion 2, Loc. Cercina (5 min. from Careggi). RSVP required. Tel. 335.6591939, paula_carrier@yahoo.co.uk

VASARI CORRIDOR IS OPEN TO ALL – A Tuscan Traveler’s Tale

Our friend Ann Reavis writes lovely vignettes about Florence and Tuscany, here is her inside scoop about one of the world’s best (and least) known hallways.

The Vasari Corridor, also known as the Percorso del Principe (Path of the Princes), is open to the general public until July 2010 on a limited schedule. A special part of the city’s historical heritage that has been under the control of few select guides and museum officials (often costing the visitor more than 100 euro for a short tour) has been declared open to all by the new mayor of Florence.

Visitors to Florence know that to miss the Uffizi, the Ponte Vecchio with its famous gold merchants, and the gaudy splendors of the Pitti Palace is to miss Florence’s best-known sites. What many tourists do not know is that along this same sightseeing path they also have a unique opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Renaissance nobility. Here they can view a vast collection of paintings usually reserved for the pleasure of a select few. It is called the Vasari Corridor.

The Vasari Corridor is an aerial passageway that connects the Palazzo Vecchio on one side of the River Arno to the Palazzo Pitti on the other. It passes over roofs and bridge of the Ponte Vecchio, and through galleries, mansions and churches. At over 500 meters (.33 miles), it is the longest single passageway of paintings and portraits in the world. In 2010, the Italian Cultural Ministry and the City of Florence, urged on by Mayor Renzi, created a special “Prince’s Itinerary”, Il Percorso del Principe, as a guided tour to introduce the public to the Vasari Corridor. Still relatively unknown, it is one of the most exceptional and, until recently, hidden treasures of Renaissance architecture and art. Tour participants not only see a fabulous art collection, but also are shown a hidden route with unique views and unexpected secret glimpses of the classic Florentine cityscape while walking above the heads of tourists swarming the streets below.

In the 1540’s, Cosimo I, an enlightened despot who ruled Florence and all of Tuscany, lived with his Spanish wife Eleonora di Toledo and their children above the “shop” in the Palazzo Vecchio, the Florence City Hall. Eleonora was in charge of the family finances and disliked living in the Palazzo Vecchio. In 1549, she found a house she did want, and so purchased the Palazzo Pitti from the debt-encumbered Pitti family, rivals of the Medici clan. She had the palace remodeled and enlarged. The façade grew to over 670 feet in length, becoming the grandest of the Renaissance palaces and the seat of the Medici dynasty for the next 200 years.

Eleonora moved her family out of the city hall, thus forcing Cosimo to commute almost half a mile through the city streets to the government offices. A man with many enemies and one who did not mix well with the general public, Cosimo had to travel with a contingent of bodyguards. Each day they had to traverse a narrow chaotic bridge, the Ponte Vecchio, which in the 1500’s was lined with malodorous tanneries and butcher shops.

Using the occasion of his son Francesco’s 1565 wedding to Joanna of Austria as an excuse, Cosimo commissioned his architect Giorgio Vasari to design an above-ground walkway from his home to the offices. Vasari, a true man of the Renaissance – architect, painter, author and art historian – took only six months to design and direct the building of the Corridor. Cosimo did not own all of the property between the Palazzo Vecchio and the Palazzo Pitti. Vasari thus had to get permission to build the Corridor through other people’s towers, mansions and businesses. When the Mannelli family refused permission for the corridor to pass through their tower, situated at the south end of the Ponte Vecchio, Vasari designed the passageway to be built around, but attached to, il torre dei Mannelli.

Cosimo claimed that the architectural wonder was for the amazement of the wedding guests and to remind the citizens of Florence of his power and authority, but he also gained an escape route from either home or office and a way to spy on the Florentines from above many of the busiest thoroughfares. The Corridor was also eventually used as a nursery for many generations of Medici children; and the elderly, infirm and lazy could be wheeled through the corridor in basket chairs. Apparently, however, the stench of the Ponte Vecchio remained a problem because in 1594, Cosimo’s son Fernando decreed that the butchers and tanners would be ousted and replaced by gold- and silversmiths.

The Percorso del Principe Tour begins in the courtyard of the Palazzo Vecchio. It always numbers less than 20 participants and lasts about two hours. The tour group meets in the courtyard of the Palazzo Vecchio, proceeds to the Hall of the Five Hundred, Il Salone dei Cinquecento, where an Italian-speaking guide presents a short history lesson regarding the Medici, the Palazzo Vecchio and the Vasari Corridor.

In 2010 until July 7, tours are available four times on Wednesdays (9:30, 11:30, 2, & 4), two times in the morning on Thursday (9:30 & 11:30) and two times in the afternoon on Fridays (2 & 4). Tickets to the Percorso del Principe cost 19 euro and allow you to stay in the Boboli Garden at the end of the tour.

Tours are given only in Italian, but the viewing of the Palazzo Vecchio, Uffizi hallways and the Vasari Corridor is so interesting it’s worth the wait as explanations are made to Italian-speaking visitors.

Reservations should be made well in advance by calling +39 055.294.883 or through the Florence museum web site www.polomuseale.firenze.it. (The title of the tour is Percorso del Principe and the person taking your reservation will likely not understand if you say “Vasari Corridor”.) If you are in Florence, tickets can be bought without reservation (if available) at the ticket office on the back of Orsanmichele on Via Calzaiouli or the ticket office at the Pitti Palace. Ann’s article is well worth reading in its entirety. See her sites www.friendinflorence.com or www.tuscantraveler.com

MAGGIO MUSICALE

The Maggio Musicale Fiorentino program for the season features DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN by Richard Strauss presented by the award-winning pair Mehta–Yannis Kokkos. The oldest music festival in Italy, and one of the most famous, the Maggio Musicale in Florence was founded in 1933 and features two months of opera and concerts (see ONSTAGE SELECTIONS below). For full details of the program, please visit the Maggio Musicale website. http://www.maggiofiorentino.com

NEWS FROM ST. JAMES

The Great 50 Days of Easter: St. James is celebrating the Easter Season by having an event at the Rectory and Rector's Garden each Thursday until Pentecost. Reserve these dates May 6, 13 and 20 on your calendar at 7:00 PM. Church members and guests are invited.

Book Sale: The book sale continues at St. James - Come to the undercroft for a wide selection of books, all just 1-2 euro. All proceeds go to charity. Expand your library and contribute to a good cause at the same time!

Annigoni's Legacy: Exhibition of Works by Maestro Pietro Annigoni - An exhibition of paintings and drawings by Maestro Pietro Annigoni, from the collection of the Angel Academy of Art in Florence, will be held at Villa Bardini, from May 13 through May 30. Opening hours are 9:30-17:30, Monday to Sunday. Villa Bardini, Via Costa San Giorgio 2 Tel: 055 200 55206

Food Bank and Thrift Shop Need Your Support - Donations of clothing, blankets, linens, and toys can be dropped off at the office between 10 and 12 Tuesday to Friday. Your donations of food items such as canned tomatoes, beans, long shelf life milk, pasta, and rice are also greatly appreciated. You can leave these items in the basket inside the Church. Please donate what you don't need to those who do!

Earmark your "5 x 1000" to "Amici di St. James in Florence" http://stjames.it/donate/5x1000. If you pay taxes in Italy, you can support our non-profit association "Amici di St. James in Florence" by using the "5 x 1000" line on your tax return. Simply sign the relevant box on your tax return form and indicate the 'codice fiscale' (tax ID number) for Amici di St. James in Florence: 94138720480. There is no financial implication to you for doing this; funds from the "5 x 1000" that are not specifically allocated for non-profit associations are left to the government.

Thank you for your ongoing support. St. James, Via Rucellai 9, info@stjames.it, www.stjames.it.

FOOTBAAAALLL!! by Simon Clark and Anne Brooks

Forza Viola!..........We do things differently in Firenze; instead of making a choice, we are ending the season with a bang AND a whimper! Limply, we fail to win any of our April games AND something implodes within the club’s vital organs. Rumours of poached Prandelli aren’t new; media always speculate about winning coaches. The word is that Juventus want a change; Prandelli is ex-Juve – QED! Out of this come questions about contract renewals and the commitment of the Mister and the Owners; out of that explodes a sordid spat, conducted via press releases and websites. As is the way in football, there is a resignation; unusually, it’s the President who resigns and the coach who stays with a contractual commitment to 2011. Andrea della Valle takes the chair. What was all that about? The curva pledges its support for the shirt. That’s as it should be – the club is bigger than any individual. BUT where will Prandelli be in the medium future?

April Results

Week 32: Parma-Fiorentina DRAW 1-1

Week 33: Fiorentina-Inter DRAW 2-2

Coppa Italia: Fiorentina-Inter LOST 0-1

Week 34: Atalanta-Fiorentina LOST 1-2

Week 35: Fiorentina-Chievo LOST 0-2

Serie A. Week 32 and we have a tough nut to crack – away at Parma; the Ducali are breathing down our necks and the della Valle/Prandelli maelstrom hasn’t been the best preparation for the squad. We start tentatively but then Jovetic brilliantly sends De Silvestri through for his debut Serie A goal on 22 minutes. After that, it’s a proper battle with fate intervening around 70 minutes as a loose ball pings around our penalty area before falling for ex-Viola star, Bojinov, to level the score. Defeat avoided but we could have used all three points especially.....

.....with Inter next at the Stadio. It turned out to be a great advertisement for football; the 40,000 on a cool Saturday evening had their passions sublimated. It finished 2-2 with both sides rapping the woodwork, both keepers proving their worth, both defences forced into last-ditch clearances. Inter wanted the win to avoid ceding top spot to Roma. For the opening minutes, it looked like we might get a lesson in football but, with national manager Lippi in the stand by Andrea della Valle, Montolivo drove the Viola forward. On 10 minutes, he released Comotto whose fine pass saw Keirrison race clear to fire us into the lead – and we came THAT CLOSE to extending our lead! Twice, Gila was denied at the very last; not for nothing did Lucio, Inter’s centre-back, get voted “man of the match”. We kept the lead till the 74th minute when Inter launched two raids down the right wing at high pace, each stretching our back-line beyond their capabilities; suddenly, we are 2-1 down. Montolivo & Co don’t give up; within 5 minutes, a Marchionni corner is too hard to deal with and Kroldrup buries the equaliser. That’s how it finished. Phew!

The following Sunday should have seen us collect three points but instead highlighted our inconsistency as we fell 1-2 to Atalanta. True, they were battling relegation but if we can hold off the likes of Inter and give Roma the run-around, then teams at the bottom should be there for the taking. Unfortunately, Mr Hyde turned up for the first half and he wasn’t playing very well at all. So we let them have a quick goal and then did little to suggest that we knew how to do something about it. In the second half we stirred our stumps and were looking like we meant business when they went 2-0 in front; admittedly it was an overhead strike that left Frey helpless. Five minutes later, we were back in it as an intelligent cross from Keirrison fell to Montolivo 20 metres out and he drilled it in like a Clydeside riveter working on an Atlantic liner. No way could we get a second – 3 more points down the drain and European qualification slipping away.

Week 35 brings Chievo to the Stadio and an end to Fiorentina ambitions. What can we say? Through the first half, it looked a question of when we would score (after Frey’s miraculous double-save). Then Vargas’s penalty was saved; shortly after, Chievo took the lead. After that, the Flying Donkeys looked sharper and slotted in a second. We looked threatening but never turned threat into reality! Story of pretty much all our defeats, come to think of it.....

Coppa Italia The second leg of the semi-final. Our second game at home to Inter in 4 days and it matters; if we make the final and Roma are our opponents, they are already in the Champions League and so the Europa Cup place will be ours. Dream on! Inter are in front from the first leg and just don’t want to lose; their mission is 99% to keep us at bay. We give it everything, building a head of steam when – out of the blue – Eto beats the offside trap and they are two-up on aggregate. Inter pack their defence but we already look like we’ve run out of ideas and we have to leave the Stadio and go for a gelato.

Mathematically, it ain’t over; if we win our remaining games and the teams above us lose all theirs, we could make the Europa Cup; the competition for also-rans – who wants that? Anyway, the odds are implacable. It may be that not playing European football for a year will be no bad thing – we have physical and spiritual rebuilding to undertake........................... Forza Viola!

BUYING TICKETS - Ticket information – seating plan, prices, ticket outlets – is on the “biglietteria” section of the club’s website [www.it.violachannel.tv ]. Basically, tickets can be purchased at official box offices and holders of TicketOne lottery franchises. Sources include:

CHIOSCO DEGLI SPORTIVI, via degli Anselmi (between the Piazza Repubblica post office 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 Luigi Alamanni 39 (close to SMN station). Tel 055 264321

FELTRINELLI FIRENZE, Via de’ Cerretani 39/32R

THE FIORENTINA SCHEDULE: Following a very poor couple of months, it would be good if we could finish with some style and some points. Milan are vulnerable but Siena can be a handful and are fighting hard against relegation (once again) while Bari are no pushover at home and lurk close behind us.

May Fixtures

Week 36: 2 May Milan-Fiorentina

Week 37: 9 May Fiorentina-Siena

Week 38: 16 May Bari-Fiorentina

JAZZ IN HISTORIC PLACES by Simon Clark and Anne Brooks

Two of Europe’s top jazz festivals have announced their 2010 programmes for striking venues. First up, the 24th Glasgow International Jazz Festival focuses on the rock & wrought iron of the Old Fruitmarket, squatting in the historic Merchant City. The Festival runs 18-27 June with Suzanne Vega anchoring the first weekend and a finale from Wynton Marsalis and his Lincoln Centre Orchestra. In between come jazz stalwarts like Stan Tracey (who turned “Under Milkwood Suite” into music), Keith Tippet, Lonnie Smith and Mose Allison (he wrote “Young Man Blues”; listen to The Who Live At Leeds); the best of contemporary – Tord Gustavsen, Arun Ghosh, Gwilym Simcock, Polar Bear, Ryan Quigley (paying homage to Maynard Ferguson) and Martin Taylor (celebrating Django Reinhardt’s centenary). There’s heritage with the RAF Squadron Big Band, Chris Barber and Carol Kidd singing Gershwin; Scottish talent with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, the sensational acapella Brassjaw [www.brassjaw.co.uk] and the latest HomeGrown Showcase. Plus a strand of French music, the poetry events, the photography exhibitions, the Fringe events and so on into the late night jam sessions when anybody, but anybody, might turn up and blow. See www.jazzfest.co.uk.

Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) is the only carrier flying direct between Tuscany and Scotland. Flights go from Pisa to either "Glasgow" Prestwick (25 miles from Glasgow but the train runs from the airport) or Edinburgh (one-hour bus or train journey to Glasgow).

Then there’s Fiesole. Estate Fiesole kicks off on 27 June just as Glasgow ends but there is time for a breather before this year’s Vivere Jazz hits the Roman amphitheatre. The opening gig, established keyboard legend Chick Corea with rising star Stefano Bollani, is on 5 July. On the 12th, live citizens and Roman ghosts are blessed by the great McCoy Tyner with saxophone giant Joe Lovano; multi-percussionist Trilok Gurtu joins the magical Cuban, Omar Sosa on 15 July. See www.eventimkusicpool.it

RECIPE OF THE MONTH

ZUCCHINE TRIFOLATI - A super-easy vegetable to prepare. Add a diced ripe tomato for a simple variation. Serves 6-8.

4-6 zucchini, quartered lengthways, then cut into 1-inch pieces

1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 Tbs. chopped parsley

2-3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

1 ripe tomato, diced (optional)

salt and freshly ground pepper

Put all ingredients in a sauce pot over medium heat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until done (8-10 minutes).

THUMBS UP – THUMBS DOWN “Our Readers Right”

Our “Thumbs up, Thumbs down” column is your chance to write us and share your own ideas and information, or to toot the horn of businesses, events and those Florentine situations that strike you as either wonderful or terrible. Please note: all opinions are (usually) strictly those of our readers. Lend us your thoughts!

A couple of Thumb’s Ups from Simon and Anne: We like the original language film shows at the Odeon in Piazza Strozzi. We like them even more now we’ve discovered that a discount on seats is available to holders of Feltrinelli book store’s “Carta Piu” loyalty card. It meant we could afford an extra gelato!

Anne and Simon also recommend the personal chef services of their neighbors Carlotta and Fiammetta who can make and serve special meals in your home. Reach them for info at cell number 347 3754010 or carlottaefiammetta@libero.it.

And BEATO ANGELICO AT PONTASSIEVE - In the Palazzo Municipale’s Sala delle Colonne until 27 June and not to be missed! Subtitled “paintings & sculpture of Renaissance Florence”, the show is framed around one glorious painting that alone makes a trip worthwhile. Fra Angelico’s “Madonna & child” gazes over the hall with a serenity recalling another Uffizi jewel – Filippo Lippi’s wonderful “Madonna with child & two angels”; if you liked that, you’ll adore this! The Angelico masterpiece, on loan from the Uffizi, was painted for the altarpiece of Pontassieve’s own church of St Michael. The Sala delle Colonne, a nicely-proportioned space, displays it alongside a score of other Renaissance pieces – the Big Names are here but look out for the lesser-known works that reward the eye and deepen appreciation of what was going on in 15th century Florence. It’s open 09.30-12.30 and 15.00-19.30 but afternoons only on Fridays and closed Mondays; entry is 6 euros basic. Check www.commune.pontassieve.fi.it Trains run regularly from SMN; exit into the station square, head right and watch for signage up the hill to the piazza.

Kim gives an enormous Thumb’s Up to the great kids at Florence’s best kept secret lunch room I Ragazzi di Sipario. Hidden off the back corner of a quiet courtyard halfway down Via de’ Serragli, this ex-social center now houses the sunny work of 40 disabled young adults who prepare and serve quick, delicious, inexpensive lunches daily for their lucky customers. Meals run about 10 euros and generally include your choice between 3 daily special primi, 3 secondi, contorni, fruit or dessert, coffee, water and wine. Check it out. You will thank us. Ristorante I Ragazzi di Sipario - Via de' Serragli n.104 - Tel. 055.22.80.924. Open Monday to Friday from 12:15 to 2:30 pm.

FLORENCE NEWS

IRIS GARDEN

Open until May 20th, don’t miss the Iris Garden located just off a nearly hidden corner of Piazzale Michelangelo. This is your chance to visit one of Florence’s loveliest undiscovered treasures, where nearly 3,000 iris, collected and nurtured over the last 50 years by the Italian Iris Society, blast into bloom each May.

The iris’ link to Florence goes way back. The white iris against a red background was the city’s symbol until 1250 when the Guelph party came to power. To emphasize that a political change had occurred in Florence, the Guelphs inverted the color scheme: the white iris became bright red on a white field, creating the city’s coat-of-arms, still used today. Piazzale Michelangelo. Open daily including Sundays, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm, 3:00 – 7:00 pm. info: 055 483112 www.irisfirenze.it. Free entrance.

FABBRICA EUROPA 2010

From Thurs. 6 to Tues. 25 Florence once again turns its focus on intercultural contemporary exchange through a series of events and projects involving artists from Europe, Asia and around the world. This is an investigation into the intercultural dialogue made possible by art, and specifically the relations between Europe and the East that have been complex and fluctuating; sometimes intense and enthusiastic, other times difficult. The XVII edition of Fabbrica Europa will focus on the investigation by means of the instruments of contemporary artistic creation, the pathways, the links, the hints, and also the differences, between the West and the East. On stages represented by music, dance, theatrical events, installations, workshops and meetings between artists and professionals from more than 20 countries, Fabbrica Europa seeks common roots, encounters and clashes, exchanges and migrations. The events will take place at Stazione Leopolda and other spaces. Viale Fratelli Rosselli 5, Porta al Prato. Open 7:00 pm to 1:00 am. Admission ranges from 10-25 euro. Visit www.fabbricaeuropa.net for the latest info on scheduling and locales.

I PROFUMI DI BOBOLI

From Thurs. 6 to Sun. 9 enjoy a stroll through the Boboli Garden’s Orto della Botanica Inferiore, smelling the scents and perfumes of flowers and all things flowery. This will be the fourth edition of the Flower and Scent Show and Market, featuring cosmetics, essential oils, soaps and candles plus food, drinks and bling for the home. Entry to the show includes visits to the Garden, the Silver museum, Costume museum and Porcelain museum, and to the Bardini Gardens. Boboli Garden, Orto della Botanica Inferiore. Open 1:30 to 8:00 pm Thursday, open 10:00 to 8:00 pm the other days. Note: after 5:30 the only entry to the Garden will be through the Via Romana gate.

MILLE MIGLIA: VINTAGE CAR RALLY.

On Sat. 8, listen for the roar of powerful motors and the applause of the crowd as Tuscany hosts a leg of the fabulous Mille Miglia vintage car rally. Towns like Pienza, Montalcino, Castellina, Panzano, Greve, Impruneta, Florence, Vaglia and Barberino will become a moving car museum. Eighty years after its inception, the Mille Miglia epitomizes the passion people hold for cars in the pursuit of adventure, excitement and discovery. It is also the easiest and most fun vintage car show ever attended. You can sit in one spot and enjoy the noisy, colorful show going by.

Nearly 400 automobiles are registered this year, including Alfa Romeos, BMWs, Aston Martins, Maseratis, Jags, Ferraris and more; each beauty from 30 to 80 years old. On Saturday, watch for the classic Freccia Rossa sign (a red arrow with 1000 Miglia written on it) marking the route, and find yourself a good observation spot.

Coming up from Rome, the rally should hit Buonconvento starting around 11:30, the cars are expected in Piazza del Duomo of Siena at 1:00, then on to Castellina-in-Chianti, hitting Panzano around 1:30, and arriving around 2:30 in Florence, then on to Vaglia and Barberino di Mugello.

The ruote into Florence will travel along Via San Felice a Ema, Viale del Poggio Imperiale, Viale Torricelli, Piazzale Galileo and Viale Macchiavelli. The cars will enter the historical centre at Porta Romana, then travel down Via Romana, Via Maggio, Ponte a Santa Trinità, Lungarno degli Acciaioli, Via Por Santa Maria, Via Vacchereccia, Piazza della Signoria, Via dei Leoni, Via de' Castellani, Lungarno Diaz, Lungarno delle Grazie, Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia, V.le A Gramsci, and V.le Matteotti to Piazza Libertà.

It was Enzo Ferrari who defined it "the world's greatest road race". From the starting line in Brescia, to the much-awaited appointment with Rome, and finishing with arrival back in Brescia, the Mille Miglia rally meets the enthusiasm of the cities it passes through and the fervor of the crowds lining the streets.

GUARDAFIRENZE WALK/MARATHON

On Sun. 9, starting at 9:30 am in Piazza del Duomo, take part in the 38th edition of the Guardafirenze marathon/walkathon. There will be 3, 6 and 10 km routes, each of which “meanders” through historical downtown Florence. The paths all start and end at the Duomo, touching on Porta Romana, Piazza della Signoria, the Ponte Vecchio and even allowing for the drop dead view from Piazzale Michelangelo. Sign-ups open until May 7. For further info contact: Firenze Marathon, Tel: 055/5522957, email: staff@firenzemarathon.it

ARTIGIANATO E PALAZZO

From Fri. 14 to Sun. 16, the Corsini Garden on Via della Scala will once again host a myriad of artisans and their wares. This fair does not feature simple kiosks where you can view and purchase the final products, but it aims to show, to tell, to demonstrate the steps involved in producing some of the world’s finest crafts. Over 80, carefully chosen master craftsmen and women, from Tuscany, Italy and beyond, gather in this the 16th edition. You will meet furniture restorers, cameo and mosaic makers, silk weavers, a Japanese ceramicist, soap makers, bijoux creators. Should you wish to linger, you can dine in an open-air restaurant, or enjoy afternoon tea in one of the prettiest, hidden gardens of town. Well worth a visit. Giardino Corsini. Via della Scala 117. Open 10:00 am to 8:30 pm. Ticket: 8 euro. www.artigianatoepalazzo.it

TROFEO MARZOCCO

Sat. 15 come enjoy a great show and competition in Piazza Santa Croce, between Italy’s best “sbandieratori” flag bearing teams. The “Sbandieratori del Corteo Storico della Repubblica Fiorentina” are hosting this trophy challenge, and are integrally connected to the history of Florence. They carry flags which once represented the principal ministries and legal offices of the powerful 16th century Florentine Republic. Their competitions involve originality and stunning performances. The origin of flag waving is found in the job of the flag-bearer in ancient militaries. These flag-waving forbearers were highly athletic, following a regimen of maneuvers and throws in perfect harmony with each other. From these strictly military displays, flag waving came to be performed at important celebrations where the intense routines with colorful flags would give a taste of the spectacular to a feast. The flag-bearer must have fluid and elastic movements while performing a variety of twirls and throws with style and elegance. Some of the names given to these movements include: "Velata", "Molinello", "il Salto del Fiocco", "Scambio diritto ed incrociato", "il Rovescio", "Passaggio sottogamba ed intorno al collo ed alla vita", "Onda": these are traditional base configurations which you see reoccurring throughout all flag waving performances. Piazza Santa Croce. 3:30 pm.

FESTA DEL GRILLO

On Sun. 16 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.

COURTYARDS AND GARDENS OPEN FLORENCE

On Sunday 23 Florence opens the doors to secret gardens and plant-filled courtyards. Visit Tuscany’s historic private homes in this one-a-year chance to take a free peek into the hidden corners of our favorite city and country locations. Visitors will be accompanied by concerts in some locations, and a guide in order to get a better understanding of what they are viewing. In town you can see the lush Giardino San Francesco di Paola on piazza San Francesco di Paola 3, the Giardino Torrigiani, via del Campuccio 53 or Palazzo Antinori di Brindisi on via dei Serragli 9, Palazzo Pandolfini on via San Gallo 74, Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai on piazza SS. Annunziata 1 and the Giardino Capponi, via Gino Capponi 26, to name a few. Nearby to Florence visit the Villa il Palagio on viuzzo di San Felice a Ema 1, Villa i Collazzi on via Volterrana 1, Giogoli or Villa Il Poggio, via Belforte 19 - Villamagna, Bagno a Ripoli. Visits will be possible from 10 am - 1 pm/3 pm - 7 pm. The long and luscious list of open doors can be found here: http://www.adsitoscana.it/img/toscana_esclusiva_2010_comunicato.pdf. Associazione Dimore Storiche Italiane. Borgo Santi Apostoli 17. Tel. 055 212452. Adsi.toscana@virgilio.it.

LA FIORITA: ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF FRA GIROLAMO SAVONAROLA.

On the 23rd day of each May (Sunday), Florence remembers Fra Savonarola with a solemn mass held in the Capella dei Priori in Palazzo Vecchio. After the ten o’clock mass, a small parade of civil and religious authorities, move out to Piazza della Signoria where a round stone plaque marks the spot where Savonarola and his cohorts where hung, then burned. Palm fronds and rose petals are laid on the plaque, before the group moves on to the Arno, where more flowers are tossed in memory of one of Florence’s most infamous leaders. Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria, from 10:00 am.

THE FIRENZE GELATO FESTIVAL

From Friday 28 to Monday 31 Florence will be the world’s Gelato Capital, as the city is transformed into an open-air “maxi gelateria”. Stroll through Piazza S.S. Annunziata and over to Piazza della Repubblica accompanied by tastes of the best frozen wares that Italy’s gelatai have to offer. Entry is (obviously) free, and a tasting card can be purchased for 10 euros (ten tastes).

Confronting the gelato question from every side, both artisan and industrial treats will be presented. And given that the average Italian family apparently spends 82 euros a year on gelato, given that gelato is a part of Florence’s history; invented they say by the architect Buontalenti for the court of Cosimo il Primo, and most of all… given that it is widely known to be “un alimento perfetto, perfetto per tutte le diete”, we say Bring it On!

Since conferences will be held in Palazzo Vecchio, a Gelato Village and Gelato University will inhabit Piazza S.S. Annunziata, and both Piazza Strozzi and Piazza della Repubblica will be involved, it might actually be difficult to miss the fun. Each day except Monday (when things will wind down around 3:00 pm) watch for Gelato events, clowns and street bands from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm throughout the center.
Special dinners, events, workshops and classes can be booked through the official website at http://www.firenzegelatofestival.it/site/home.asp.

EXHIBITS AROUND FLORENCE

CARAVAGGIO AND CARAVAGGESQUES IN FLORENCE

From May 22 to October 10, three of Florence’s most important museums (the Pitti Palatine Gallery, the Uffizi and Villa Bardini) unite forces to offer a fascinating overview of the works and influence of one of Italy’s greatest masters Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.

Born in 1573 in the town of Caravaggio, this artist’s life is as turbulent as his personality. We know he had numerous run-ins with the law and was arrested on several occasions. For example, in 1606 a bet over a game of tennis led to an argument, at which point Caravaggio drew his sword and killed his opponent. We also know that Caravaggio's artistic influence was widespread: outside Italy he inspired painters as diverse as Georges de La Tour and members of the Utrecht School, e.g. Gerrit van Honthorst – artists who in turn later influenced Rembrandt. Caravaggio was particularly celebrated for his use of chiaroscuro, a technique using light and dark to achieve a 3-D effect.

While many aspects of this artist’s life remain a mystery, what we do know is that splendid paintings by Caravaggio - the Bacchus and the Medusa - reached the Uffizi towards the end of the XVI century. Others (two or three) were purchased by the Grand Dukes who proved to be early and staunch admirers - especially Cosimo II - of the controversial painter and of his followers. The presence of important artists in Florence such as Artemisia Gentileschi, Battistello Caracciolo and Theodoor Rombouts, and direct dealings with artists like Gerrit Honthorst, Bartolomeo Manfredi and Jusepe Ribera gave rise to an intense Caravaggesque "season" which left an extraordinary number of paintings in Florence itself.

Gerrit Honthorst (who painted the Adoration of the Shepherds, today in the Uffizi Gallery, though heavily damaged by the Via dei Georgofili bombing of 1993) was the protagonist of one of the most important episodes of the fortune of Caravaggesque painting outside of Rome; the unfinished decoration of the Guicciardini Chapel in the church of Santa Felicita. Honthorst was commissioned to execute the work with Cecco del Caravaggio and Spadarino. This exhibition presents a landmark virtual reconstruction of the work. In addition, on this the IV centennial of Caravaggio's death, the show will include more than one hundred paintings, both famous and less famous, in the light of research, with new attributions that have modified our view of this outstanding master. Galleria Palatina at the Pitti Palace, the Uffizi, Villa Bardini. Hours: the usual hours of each venue. Ticket: a cumulative ticket for the three venues will cost euro 25.00. For info and reservations: tel. 055 294883. www.unannoadarte.it.

DIAITA: Heath rules in the manuscripts of the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana

Until June 26 the historic Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Piazza San Lorenzo, hosts an exhibition concerning lifestyle and diet as strategies to ensure physical and mental well-being; the type of knowledge that has often survived in the realm of traditional medicine. The concept of a ‘life regime’ in the classical world was expressed by the term díaita/diaeta, whose meaning was far broader than our “diet” of today, encompassing areas not determined automatically by nature, that humans could plan of their own accord such as one’s relationship with air and water, food and drink, motion and rest, sleep and wakefulness, sexuality, love and passion.

The theme is as fashionable today as it was in the past. During the Italian age of princely courts and wealthy merchants, the elite’s interest in preserving their health inspired the Regimina sanitatis - an offspring of the classical tradition enriched by contact with the Arab world – that is contained in the manuscripts on display, all from the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, in Latin, Greek or Italian Vernacular and dating from the XII to the XVI centuries. Some are particularly interesting: the Treatise on Cooking by Apicius that witnesses the specific importance of eating; the Tacuinum sanitatis by Ibn Butlan; and the Regime del Corpo by Aldobrandino da Siena. Important among others is the Compendium of the Nature and Properties of Food by Barnaba from Reggio in a parchment manuscript copied between the 13th and 14th century. Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Piazza San Lorenzo 9. Hours: Monday-Saturday: 9:30 am -1:30 pm. Info: tel. 055 210760, bmleventi@beniculturali.it. For guided tours: tel. 055290184, eventi@operadarte.net

PRECIOUS AND BEAUTIFUL: CAMEOS AND INTAGLIOS OF THE MEDICI

Running to June 27, the Museo degli Argenti at the Pitti Palace hosts an exhibition illustrating the Medici family passion for gem collecting, a fascinating aspect of the rediscovery of antiquity which characterized the Renaissance. The complex history of this collection, starting from its formation by Cosimo, Piero and, especially, Lorenzo de’ Medici, was celebrated and admired by a host of men of letters and artists.

Beginning in the first half of the XV century, cameos and intaglios were much sought after by popes, princes and cardinals, on several occasions giving rise to disputes between collectors ready to spend large sums to secure themselves a desired piece. The art of carving gems required the use of rare and costly materials, as well as master artisans with extraordinary technical capabilities, considering that the slightest error could nullify months or even years of hard work. Secondly, special magical and mysterious virtues were attributed to cameos and intaglios depending on the type of material utilized and on the subject. Moreover, their small dimensions and ease of transport made them ideal gifts for illustrious personages and an excellent form of investment; capital to draw on in moments of difficulty. It is no wonder that in the XV century the Medici developed a fixation for carvings on precious and semiprecious stones, which they sought out, forming one of the most important collections in history, a source of great prestige for the family.

Alongside the gems in the show, are a variety of illuminated codices, medals, drawings, paintings and sculptures, which show the great fortune enjoyed by the specimens that belonged to the Medici. Lorenzo Ghiberti, Donatello and Sandro Botticelli are just a few of the artists who found inspiration in the depictions found on the Medici gems. In many cases, these are faithful translations of the models, but there are also works in which the elements drawn from the carved stones are enriched with totally new aspects, as we can find in several drawings by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti who in the Medici gems not only found a repertory of forms but also an instrument for the recovery of the sense of balance and the measure of proportions characteristic of classical art. Museo degli Argenti - Pitti Palace. Hours: 8:15 am – 5:30 pm (March), 8.15 – 6:30 pm (April, May, June). Closed 1st and last Monday of each month. Tickets: 7 euro. www.unannoadarte.it

DE CHIRICO, MAX ERNST, MAGRITTE, BALTHUS: A look into the Invisible

Until July 18, Palazzo Strozzi hosts another fascinating exhibit. This time we get to explore the early years of the career of De Chirico and the influence of his first works on movements such as Surrealism and the Neue Sachlichkeit. De Chirico was born in 1888 in Greece and partly raised there, where his engineer father designed and built railway lines. Having studied in Munich, at the age of twenty-one and fascinated by the work of the Symbolist painter Arnold Böcklin, he began painting a series of strange and unusual cityscapes. Displayed in Paris after 1911 they were enthusiastically greeted by painters and poets from Picasso to Paul Éluard, and very soon De Chirico became one of the heroes of Surrealism. This phase of his work – the so-called metaphysical painting – lasted up to around 1918. Subsequently De Chirico changed direction. He had a prolific artistic career, and lived to 90, almost as long as Picasso. He died in 1978. Hours: Daily 9 am-8 pm, Thursday 9 a.m-11 p.m. Reservations: prenotazioni@cscsigma.it.

LECTURES IN ENGLISH

The British Institute Weekly Cultural Programme. Every Wednesday (usually) 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 drinks reception. British Institute Library, Lungarno Guicciardini 9. http://www.britishinstitute.it/en/index.asp.

Wednesday 12 - Matthew Licht: A reading of recent short stories. Matthew Licht's collection of stories, The Moose Show, was nominated for the Frank O'Connor Prize in 2007. His next collection, Justine, Joe & The Zen Garbageman, will be published this summer. Westways, a novel based on fantastic behind-the-scenes adventures of American actress Mae West, produced in collaboration with the artist Rita McBride, is due out soon in Germany. Popularly known as The Least Blind Blues Singer in the USA, Matthew Licht will read two recent stories, one of them set in Florence, the other inspired by an incident in an infamous London pub.

Thursday 20 - Peter Stanford: Back in step with Europe: why the secular British are shaking off their post-Reformation distaste for pilgrimage. Once Britain boasted some of the grandest Christian shrines in Europe attracting visitors from all corners of the continent. But after the Reformation, the shrines were destroyed. While the sight of groups carrying crosses remained familiar in Italy, Spain and Ireland, in Britain such public acts of Christian witness were no longer seen. But now, as writer and broadcaster Peter Stanford chronicles in his new book, The Extra Mile: a Twenty First Century Pilgrimage, the British are rediscovering in troubled times the ancient habit of pilgrimage. He describes his year-long journey round eight holy places including Stonehenge, Lindisfarne, Walsingham, Iona, Glastonbury and Holywell. This talk is sponsored by HDI Insurance Group.

Wednesday 26 - Sue Brown: Joseph Severn and the rewards of friendship. The young painter Joseph Severn accompanied his dying friend John Keats to Rome in 1820, and his letters tell us everything we know about the poet's last days. In the 1820s and 30s Severn was at the heart of the lively British community in Rome. As British Consul there (1861-72), he entranced visitors with his fallible memories of Keats. For the Victorians he was a paragon: today he is controversial. Sue Brown's biography, Joseph Severn, A Life, published in 2009, offers the first full assessment of his life, work and ebullient character.

ORIGINAL LANGUAGE FILMS

Odeon Theatre, Piazza Strozzi 2. Phone: 055 214 068. www.cinehall.it

Thursday 6 - IRON MAN 2 (with Italian subtitles) by Jon Favreau with Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson 3.00 - 8.15 - 10.30 pm

Monday 10 -THE GHOST WRITER (with Italian subtitles) by Roman Polanski with Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Kim Cattrall, Olivia Williams, James Belushi. 3.30 – 5.50 – 8.10 – 10.30 pm

Tuesday 11 - THE GHOST WRITER. 3.30 – 5.50 pm

Thursday 13 - THE MESSENGER by Oren Moverman. With Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton, Jena Malone, Steve Buscemi. 4.30 - 6.30 - 8.30 - 10.30 pm

Friday 14 - ROBIN HOOD (with Italian subtitles) by Ridley Scott with Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, William Hurt, Mark Strong, Mark Addy. 3.00 - 5.30 - 8.00 - 10.30 pm

Saturday 15 - ROBIN HOOD (with Italian subtitles). 3.00 - 5.30 - 8.00 - 10.30 pm

Sunday 16 - ROBIN HOOD (with Italian subtitles). 3.00 - 5.30 - 8.00 - 10.30 pm

Monday 17 - ROBIN HOOD (with Italian subtitles). 5.00 - 8.00 - 10.30 pm

Tuesday 18 - ROBIN HOOD (with Italian subtitles). 5.00 - 8.00 - 10.30 pm

Friday 21- ROBIN HOOD (with Italian subtitles). 5.00 - 8.00 - 10.30 pm

Saturday 22 - ROBIN HOOD (with Italian subtitles). 5.00 - 8.00 - 10.30 pm

Sunday 23 - ROBIN HOOD (with Italian subtitles). 5.00 - 8.00 - 10.30 pm

Monday 24 - GREEN ZONE by Paul Greengrass with Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Brendan Gleeson, Khalid Abdalla, Amy Ryan. 3.45 - 6.00 - 8.15 - 10.30 pm

Tuesday 25 - GREEN ZONE - by Paul Greengrass with Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Brendan Gleeson, Khalid Abdalla, Amy Ryan. 3.45 - 6.00

In IRON MAN 2, the world is aware that billionaire inventor Tony Stark is the armored Super Hero Iron Man. Under pressure from the government, the press and the public to share his technology with the military, Tony is unwilling to divulge the secrets behind the Iron Man armor because he fears the information will slip into the wrong hands.

THE GHOST WRITER recounts the story of The Ghost, British ghostwriter hired to complete the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang. But the day after his assignment starts, Lang is accused of authorizing the illegal seizure of suspected terrorists and handing them over for torture by the CIA—a war crime. The Ghost quickly discovers that history is decided by whoever stays alive to write it.

In THE MESSENGER, Will is a U.S. Army officer who has just returned home from a tour in Iraq is assigned to the Army’s Casualty Notification service and partnered with a fellow officer to bear the bad news to the loved ones of fallen soldiers. When he finds himself drawn to Olivia, to whom he has just delivered the news of her husband's death, Will’s emotional detachment begins to dissolve and the film reveals itself as a surprising, humorous, moving and very human portrait of grief, friendship and survival.

Just in case you didn’t know… ROBIN HOOD chronicles the life of an expert archer from the time of his service in King Richard's army against the French, to the moment of Richard's death, when Robin travels to Nottingham, a town suffering from the corruption of a despotic sheriff and crippling taxation, and beyond, as he falls for the spirited widow Lady Marion.

The GREEN ZONE is set in the chaotic early days of the Iraqi War. During the U.S.-led occupation of Baghdad in 2003, Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller and his team of Army inspectors were dispatched to find weapons of mass destruction believed to be stockpiled in the Iraqi desert. Miller must hunt through covert and faulty intelligence hidden on foreign soil for answers that will either clear a rogue regime or escalate a war in an unstable region.

ONSTAGE SELECTION

Theatre info: Teatro Comunale, Via Solferino 15. Tel. 055 27791. Teatro della Pergola, Via della Pergola 12/32, Tel. 055 2479651. Teatro Verdi, Via Ghibellina 99, tel. 055 212320. Teatro Saschall , Lungarno Moro 3, tel. 055 6504112. Teatro Goldoni, Via Santa Maria 15. Tel. 055 229651. Teatro Romano, Fiesole, Tel. 055/59187. Mandela Forum, Viale Paoli 3, tel. 055 678841. Stazione Leopolda. Viale Fratelli Rosselli 5. St. Mark’s Church. Via Maggio 16. Tel. 055 294764. Church of Orsanmichele, Via dei Calzaiuoli. Tel. 055-210305. Teatro Puccini, via delle Cascine 41, tel 055 362067. Chiesa S. Stefano al Ponte Vecchio, piazza S. Stefano 5. Viper Theatre, Via Lombardia 1.055/318056, www.viperclub.eu. Auditorium FLOG, Via M. Mercati, 24/b, 055/210804, www.flog.it Sala Vanni, Piazza del Carmine 14. Teatro Everest, Via Volterrana 4/b, tel. 055. 23 21 754. info@teatroeverest.it, www.teatroeverest.it. Teatro Politeama Pratese, Via G. Garibaldi, 33 – Prato. Tel: 0574/603758, www.politeamapratese.com. Purchase tickets for theatre, concerts and other events at the following ticket agencies: BOX OFFICE: Via Alamanni, 39 (alongside the train station). Open Monday 3:30-7:30 pm, from Tuesday to Saturday 10:00-7:30 pm. Tel. 055/210804. ARGONAUTA VIAGGI, Lungarno Torrigiani 33/B, Tel.055/2342777. Many tickets can be pre-purchased via www.ticketone.it, www.boxol.it.

Friday 7

ALARMEL VALLI in THE FORGOTTEN SEED - Indian dances. Teatro Goldoni.

Saturday 8

DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN by Richard Strauss. Conducted by Zubin Mehta. Directed by Yannis Kokkos, choreography by Marco Berriel. Teatro Comunale.

Sunday 9

FLORENTINE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA – Conducted by Piero Roman. Music of Saldicco, Mozart, Wieener, Haydn. Chiesa di Orsanmichele. 9:00 pm.

Monday 10

SÄCHSISCHE STAATSKAPELLE DRESDEN – Conducted by Zubin Mehta. Rudolf Buchbinder, piano. Music of Brahms, Strauss. Teatro Comunale.

FLORENTINE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA – Conducted by Piero Roman. Music of Saldicco, Mozart, Wieener, Haydn. Chiesa di Orsanmichele. 9:00 pm.

MARCO MENGONI – winner of the third edition of Italy’s ´X Factor´. Saschall. 9:00 pm

Thursday 13

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT - elegant pianist, guitarist and singer. Teatro Comunale. 9:15 pm.

Friday 14

JAZZ ORCHESTRA CONSERVATORIO CHERUBINI. Music of Richie Beirach, Wayne Shorter plus student works. Teatro Everest - via Volterrana, 4b – Galluzzo. 9:00 pm.

DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Conducted by Zubin Mehta. Directed by Eike Gramms. Teatro Comunale.

Saturday 15

IRENE GRANDI – Florence’s own rocker. Teatro Verdi. 8:45 pm.

Sunday 16

FIORELLA MANNOIA – Acustic repertoir. Teatro Verdi. 8:45 pm.

DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Conducted by Zubin Mehta. Directed by Eike Gramms. Teatro Comunale.

IMPERMANENCE – Choreography by Guillaume Cote and Zdenek Konvalina. Music by Guillaume Cote. MaggioDanza. New creation, first performance. Teatro Goldoni.

Monday 17

GIOVANNI ALLEVI – Young, talented Italian composer, back at the piano. Teatro Verdi. 8: 45 pm.

Tuesday 18

GIOVANNI ALLEVI – Young, talented Italian composer, back at the piano. Teatro Verdi. 8: 45 pm.

IMPERMANENCE – Choreography by Guillaume Cote and Zdenek Konvalina. Music by Guillaume Cote. MaggioDanza. New creation, first performance. Teatro Goldoni.

Wednesday 19

DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Conducted by Zubin Mehta. Directed by Eike Gramms. Teatro Comunale.

IMPERMANENCE – Choreography by Guillaume Cote and Zdenek Konvalina. Music by Guillaume Cote. MaggioDanza. New creation, first performance. Teatro Goldoni.

Thursday 20

NOAH AND THE WHALE – Indie-rock extravaganza. Cinema Odeon. 9:30 pm. 055.214088 - www.odeon.intoscana.it

ELISA - Nelson Mandela Forum. 9:00 pm.

BALLET NATIONAL DE MARSEILLE, NEW CREATION – Choreography by Frederic Flamand. New creation, first performance in Italy. In collaboration with Fabbrica Europa. Stazione Leopolda.

Friday 21

DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Conducted by Zubin Mehta. Directed by Eike Gramms. Teatro Comunale.

BALLET NATIONAL DE MARSEILLE, NEW CREATION – Choreography by Frederic Flamand. New creation, first performance in Italy. In collaboration with Fabbrica Europa. Stazione Leopolda.

Saturday 22

BALLET NATIONAL DE MARSEILLE, NEW CREATION – Choreography by Frederic Flamand. New creation, first performance in Italy. In collaboration with Fabbrica Europa. Stazione Leopolda.

Sunday 23

IMPERMANENCE – Choreography by Guillaume Cote and Zdenek Konvalina. Music by Guillaume Cote. MaggioDanza. New creation, first performance. Teatro Goldoni.

Monday 24

DANIEL BARENBOIM piano – Music of Chopin on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Chopin. Teatro Comunale.

Tuesday 25

ORCHESTRA DEL MAGGIO MUSICALE FIORENTINO – Conductor: Zubin Mehta. Daniel Barenboim, piano. Music by Bartok, Chopin. Teatro Comunale.

Wednesday 26

VERDI REQUIEM IN PIAZZA SIGNORIA – Organized by relatives of the victims of the Uffizi bombing. 10:00 pm. Free.

GOTAN PROJECT – The Parisian trio that fuses tango and electronica. Saschall. 9:15 pm.

Friday 28

CONSERVATORIO CHERUBINI JAZZ ORCHESTRA – A Don’t-miss evening of jazz with the amazing Tuscan saxophonist Dario Cecchini and friends. Teatro Everest - via Volterrana, 4b – Galluzzo. Tel. 0552321754 - www.teatroeverest.it. 9:00 pm

TUSCANY NEWS
IRIS GARDEN

Open until May 20th, don’t miss the Iris Garden located just off a nearly hidden corner of Piazzale Michelangelo. This is your chance to visit one of Florence’s loveliest undiscovered treasures, where nearly 3,000 iris, collected and nurtured over the last 50 years by the Italian Iris Society, blast into bloom each May.

The iris’ link to Florence goes way back. The white iris against a red background was the city’s symbol until 1250 when the Guelph party came to power. To emphasize that a political change had occurred in Florence, the Guelphs inverted the color scheme: the white iris became bright red on a white field, creating the city’s coat-of-arms, still used today. Piazzale Michelangelo. Open daily including Sundays, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm, 3:00 – 7:00 pm. info: 055 483112 www.irisfirenze.it. Free entrance.

FABBRICA EUROPA 2010

From Thurs. 6 to Tues. 25 Florence once again turns its focus on intercultural contemporary exchange through a series of events and projects involving artists from Europe, Asia and around the world. This is an investigation into the intercultural dialogue made possible by art, and specifically the relations between Europe and the East that have been complex and fluctuating; sometimes intense and enthusiastic, other times difficult. The XVII edition of Fabbrica Europa will focus on the investigation by means of the instruments of contemporary artistic creation, the pathways, the links, the hints, and also the differences, between the West and the East. On stages represented by music, dance, theatrical events, installations, workshops and meetings between artists and professionals from more than 20 countries, Fabbrica Europa seeks common roots, encounters and clashes, exchanges and migrations. The events will take place at Stazione Leopolda and other spaces. Viale Fratelli Rosselli 5, Porta al Prato. Open 7:00 pm to 1:00 am. Admission ranges from 10-25 euro. Visit www.fabbricaeuropa.net for the latest info on scheduling and locales.

I PROFUMI DI BOBOLI

From Thurs. 6 to Sun. 9 enjoy a stroll through the Boboli Garden’s Orto della Botanica Inferiore, smelling the scents and perfumes of flowers and all things flowery. This will be the fourth edition of the Flower and Scent Show and Market, featuring cosmetics, essential oils, soaps and candles plus food, drinks and bling for the home. Entry to the show includes visits to the Garden, the Silver museum, Costume museum and Porcelain museum, and to the Bardini Gardens. Boboli Garden, Orto della Botanica Inferiore. Open 1:30 to 8:00 pm Thursday, open 10:00 to 8:00 pm the other days. Note: after 5:30 the only entry to the Garden will be through the Via Romana gate.

MILLE MIGLIA: VINTAGE CAR RALLY.

On Sat. 8, listen for the roar of powerful motors and the applause of the crowd as Tuscany hosts a leg of the fabulous Mille Miglia vintage car rally. Towns like Pienza, Montalcino, Castellina, Panzano, Greve, Impruneta, Florence, Vaglia and Barberino will become a moving car museum. Eighty years after its inception, the Mille Miglia epitomizes the passion people hold for cars in the pursuit of adventure, excitement and discovery. It is also the easiest and most fun vintage car show ever attended. You can sit in one spot and enjoy the noisy, colorful show going by.

Nearly 400 automobiles are registered this year, including Alfa Romeos, BMWs, Aston Martins, Maseratis, Jags, Ferraris and more; each beauty from 30 to 80 years old. On Saturday, watch for the classic Freccia Rossa sign (a red arrow with 1000 Miglia written on it) marking the route, and find yourself a good observation spot.

Coming up from Rome, the rally should hit Buonconvento starting around 11:30, the cars are expected in Piazza del Duomo of Siena at 1:00, then on to Castellina-in-Chianti, hitting Panzano around 1:30, and arriving around 2:30 in Florence, then on to Vaglia and Barberino di Mugello.

The ruote into Florence will travel along Via San Felice a Ema, Viale del Poggio Imperiale, Viale Torricelli, Piazzale Galileo and Viale Macchiavelli. The cars will enter the historical centre at Porta Romana, then travel down Via Romana, Via Maggio, Ponte a Santa Trinità, Lungarno degli Acciaioli, Via Por Santa Maria, Via Vacchereccia, Piazza della Signoria, Via dei Leoni, Via de' Castellani, Lungarno Diaz, Lungarno delle Grazie, Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia, V.le A Gramsci, and V.le Matteotti to Piazza Libertà.

It was Enzo Ferrari who defined it "the world's greatest road race". From the starting line in Brescia, to the much-awaited appointment with Rome, and finishing with arrival back in Brescia, the Mille Miglia rally meets the enthusiasm of the cities it passes through and the fervor of the crowds lining the streets.

GUARDAFIRENZE WALK/MARATHON

On Sun. 9, starting at 9:30 am in Piazza del Duomo, take part in the 38th edition of the Guardafirenze marathon/walkathon. There will be 3, 6 and 10 km routes, each of which “meanders” through historical downtown Florence. The paths all start and end at the Duomo, touching on Porta Romana, Piazza della Signoria, the Ponte Vecchio and even allowing for the drop dead view from Piazzale Michelangelo. Sign-ups open until May 7. For further info contact: Firenze Marathon, Tel: 055/5522957, email: staff@firenzemarathon.it

ARTIGIANATO E PALAZZO

From Fri. 14 to Sun. 16, the Corsini Garden on Via della Scala will once again host a myriad of artisans and their wares. This fair does not feature simple kiosks where you can view and purchase the final products, but it aims to show, to tell, to demonstrate the steps involved in producing some of the world’s finest crafts. Over 80, carefully chosen master craftsmen and women, from Tuscany, Italy and beyond, gather in this the 16th edition. You will meet furniture restorers, cameo and mosaic makers, silk weavers, a Japanese ceramicist, soap makers, bijoux creators. Should you wish to linger, you can dine in an open-air restaurant, or enjoy afternoon tea in one of the prettiest, hidden gardens of town. Well worth a visit. Giardino Corsini. Via della Scala 117. Open 10:00 am to 8:30 pm. Ticket: 8 euro. www.artigianatoepalazzo.it

TROFEO MARZOCCO

Sat. 15 come enjoy a great show and competition in Piazza Santa Croce, between Italy’s best “sbandieratori” flag bearing teams. The “Sbandieratori del Corteo Storico della Repubblica Fiorentina” are hosting this trophy challenge, and are integrally connected to the history of Florence. They carry flags which once represented the principal ministries and legal offices of the powerful 16th century Florentine Republic. Their competitions involve originality and stunning performances. The origin of flag waving is found in the job of the flag-bearer in ancient militaries. These flag-waving forbearers were highly athletic, following a regimen of maneuvers and throws in perfect harmony with each other. From these strictly military displays, flag waving came to be performed at important celebrations where the intense routines with colorful flags would give a taste of the spectacular to a feast. The flag-bearer must have fluid and elastic movements while performing a variety of twirls and throws with style and elegance. Some of the names given to these movements include: "Velata", "Molinello", "il Salto del Fiocco", "Scambio diritto ed incrociato", "il Rovescio", "Passaggio sottogamba ed intorno al collo ed alla vita", "Onda": these are traditional base configurations which you see reoccurring throughout all flag waving performances. Piazza Santa Croce. 3:30 pm.

FESTA DEL GRILLO

On Sun. 16 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.

COURTYARDS AND GARDENS OPEN FLORENCE

On Sunday 23 Florence opens the doors to secret gardens and plant-filled courtyards. Visit Tuscany’s historic private homes in this one-a-year chance to take a free peek into the hidden corners of our favorite city and country locations. Visitors will be accompanied by concerts in some locations, and a guide in order to get a better understanding of what they are viewing. In town you can see the lush Giardino San Francesco di Paola on piazza San Francesco di Paola 3, the Giardino Torrigiani, via del Campuccio 53 or Palazzo Antinori di Brindisi on via dei Serragli 9, Palazzo Pandolfini on via San Gallo 74, Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai on piazza SS. Annunziata 1 and the Giardino Capponi, via Gino Capponi 26, to name a few. Nearby to Florence visit the Villa il Palagio on viuzzo di San Felice a Ema 1, Villa i Collazzi on via Volterrana 1, Giogoli or Villa Il Poggio, via Belforte 19 - Villamagna, Bagno a Ripoli. Visits will be possible from 10 am - 1 pm/3 pm - 7 pm. The long and luscious list of open doors can be found here: http://www.adsitoscana.it/img/toscana_esclusiva_2010_comunicato.pdf. Associazione Dimore Storiche Italiane. Borgo Santi Apostoli 17. Tel. 055 212452. Adsi.toscana@virgilio.it.

LA FIORITA: ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF FRA GIROLAMO SAVONAROLA.

On the 23rd day of each May (Sunday), Florence remembers Fra Savonarola with a solemn mass held in the Capella dei Priori in Palazzo Vecchio. After the ten o’clock mass, a small parade of civil and religious authorities, move out to Piazza della Signoria where a round stone plaque marks the spot where Savonarola and his cohorts where hung, then burned. Palm fronds and rose petals are laid on the plaque, before the group moves on to the Arno, where more flowers are tossed in memory of one of Florence’s most infamous leaders. Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria, from 10:00 am.

THE FIRENZE GELATO FESTIVAL

From Friday 28 to Monday 31 Florence will be the world’s Gelato Capital, as the city is transformed into an open-air “maxi gelateria”. Stroll through Piazza S.S. Annunziata and over to Piazza della Repubblica accompanied by tastes of the best frozen wares that Italy’s gelatai have to offer. Entry is (obviously) free, and a tasting card can be purchased for 10 euros (ten tastes).

Confronting the gelato question from every side, both artisan and industrial treats will be presented. And given that the average Italian family apparently spends 82 euros a year on gelato, given that gelato is a part of Florence’s history; invented they say by the architect Buontalenti for the court of Cosimo il Primo, and most of all… given that it is widely known to be “un alimento perfetto, perfetto per tutte le diete”, we say Bring it On!

Since conferences will be held in Palazzo Vecchio, a Gelato Village and Gelato University will inhabit Piazza S.S. Annunziata, and both Piazza Strozzi and Piazza della Repubblica will be involved, it might actually be difficult to miss the fun. Each day except Monday (when things will wind down around 3:00 pm) watch for Gelato events, clowns and street bands from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm throughout the center.
Special dinners, events, workshops and classes can be booked through the official website at http://www.firenzegelatofestival.it/site/home.asp.

EXHIBITS AROUND FLORENCE

CARAVAGGIO AND CARAVAGGESQUES IN FLORENCE

From May 22 to October 10, three of Florence’s most important museums (the Pitti Palatine Gallery, the Uffizi and Villa Bardini) unite forces to offer a fascinating overview of the works and influence of one of Italy’s greatest masters Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.

Born in 1573 in the town of Caravaggio, this artist’s life is as turbulent as his personality. We know he had numerous run-ins with the law and was arrested on several occasions. For example, in 1606 a bet over a game of tennis led to an argument, at which point Caravaggio drew his sword and killed his opponent. We also know that Caravaggio's artistic influence was widespread: outside Italy he inspired painters as diverse as Georges de La Tour and members of the Utrecht School, e.g. Gerrit van Honthorst – artists who in turn later influenced Rembrandt. Caravaggio was particularly celebrated for his use of chiaroscuro, a technique using light and dark to achieve a 3-D effect.

While many aspects of this artist’s life remain a mystery, what we do know is that splendid paintings by Caravaggio - the Bacchus and the Medusa - reached the Uffizi towards the end of the XVI century. Others (two or three) were purchased by the Grand Dukes who proved to be early and staunch admirers - especially Cosimo II - of the controversial painter and of his followers. The presence of important artists in Florence such as Artemisia Gentileschi, Battistello Caracciolo and Theodoor Rombouts, and direct dealings with artists like Gerrit Honthorst, Bartolomeo Manfredi and Jusepe Ribera gave rise to an intense Caravaggesque "season" which left an extraordinary number of paintings in Florence itself.

Gerrit Honthorst (who painted the Adoration of the Shepherds, today in the Uffizi Gallery, though heavily damaged by the Via dei Georgofili bombing of 1993) was the protagonist of one of the most important episodes of the fortune of Caravaggesque painting outside of Rome; the unfinished decoration of the Guicciardini Chapel in the church of Santa Felicita. Honthorst was commissioned to execute the work with Cecco del Caravaggio and Spadarino. This exhibition presents a landmark virtual reconstruction of the work. In addition, on this the IV centennial of Caravaggio's death, the show will include more than one hundred paintings, both famous and less famous, in the light of research, with new attributions that have modified our view of this outstanding master. Galleria Palatina at the Pitti Palace, the Uffizi, Villa Bardini. Hours: the usual hours of each venue. Ticket: a cumulative ticket for the three venues will cost euro 25.00. For info and reservations: tel. 055 294883. www.unannoadarte.it.

DIAITA: Heath rules in the manuscripts of the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana

Until June 26 the historic Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Piazza San Lorenzo, hosts an exhibition concerning lifestyle and diet as strategies to ensure physical and mental well-being; the type of knowledge that has often survived in the realm of traditional medicine. The concept of a ‘life regime’ in the classical world was expressed by the term díaita/diaeta, whose meaning was far broader than our “diet” of today, encompassing areas not determined automatically by nature, that humans could plan of their own accord such as one’s relationship with air and water, food and drink, motion and rest, sleep and wakefulness, sexuality, love and passion.

The theme is as fashionable today as it was in the past. During the Italian age of princely courts and wealthy merchants, the elite’s interest in preserving their health inspired the Regimina sanitatis - an offspring of the classical tradition enriched by contact with the Arab world – that is contained in the manuscripts on display, all from the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, in Latin, Greek or Italian Vernacular and dating from the XII to the XVI centuries. Some are particularly interesting: the Treatise on Cooking by Apicius that witnesses the specific importance of eating; the Tacuinum sanitatis by Ibn Butlan; and the Regime del Corpo by Aldobrandino da Siena. Important among others is the Compendium of the Nature and Properties of Food by Barnaba from Reggio in a parchment manuscript copied between the 13th and 14th century. Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Piazza San Lorenzo 9. Hours: Monday-Saturday: 9:30 am -1:30 pm. Info: tel. 055 210760, bmleventi@beniculturali.it. For guided tours: tel. 055290184, eventi@operadarte.net

PRECIOUS AND BEAUTIFUL: CAMEOS AND INTAGLIOS OF THE MEDICI

Running to June 27, the Museo degli Argenti at the Pitti Palace hosts an exhibition illustrating the Medici family passion for gem collecting, a fascinating aspect of the rediscovery of antiquity which characterized the Renaissance. The complex history of this collection, starting from its formation by Cosimo, Piero and, especially, Lorenzo de’ Medici, was celebrated and admired by a host of men of letters and artists.

Beginning in the first half of the XV century, cameos and intaglios were much sought after by popes, princes and cardinals, on several occasions giving rise to disputes between collectors ready to spend large sums to secure themselves a desired piece. The art of carving gems required the use of rare and costly materials, as well as master artisans with extraordinary technical capabilities, considering that the slightest error could nullify months or even years of hard work. Secondly, special magical and mysterious virtues were attributed to cameos and intaglios depending on the type of material utilized and on the subject. Moreover, their small dimensions and ease of transport made them ideal gifts for illustrious personages and an excellent form of investment; capital to draw on in moments of difficulty. It is no wonder that in the XV century the Medici developed a fixation for carvings on precious and semiprecious stones, which they sought out, forming one of the most important collections in history, a source of great prestige for the family.

Alongside the gems in the show, are a variety of illuminated codices, medals, drawings, paintings and sculptures, which show the great fortune enjoyed by the specimens that belonged to the Medici. Lorenzo Ghiberti, Donatello and Sandro Botticelli are just a few of the artists who found inspiration in the depictions found on the Medici gems. In many cases, these are faithful translations of the models, but there are also works in which the elements drawn from the carved stones are enriched with totally new aspects, as we can find in several drawings by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti who in the Medici gems not only found a repertory of forms but also an instrument for the recovery of the sense of balance and the measure of proportions characteristic of classical art. Museo degli Argenti - Pitti Palace. Hours: 8:15 am – 5:30 pm (March), 8.15 – 6:30 pm (April, May, June). Closed 1st and last Monday of each month. Tickets: 7 euro. www.unannoadarte.it

DE CHIRICO, MAX ERNST, MAGRITTE, BALTHUS: A look into the Invisible

Until July 18, Palazzo Strozzi hosts another fascinating exhibit. This time we get to explore the early years of the career of De Chirico and the influence of his first works on movements such as Surrealism and the Neue Sachlichkeit. De Chirico was born in 1888 in Greece and partly raised there, where his engineer father designed and built railway lines. Having studied in Munich, at the age of twenty-one and fascinated by the work of the Symbolist painter Arnold Böcklin, he began painting a series of strange and unusual cityscapes. Displayed in Paris after 1911 they were enthusiastically greeted by painters and poets from Picasso to Paul Éluard, and very soon De Chirico became one of the heroes of Surrealism. This phase of his work – the so-called metaphysical painting – lasted up to around 1918. Subsequently De Chirico changed direction. He had a prolific artistic career, and lived to 90, almost as long as Picasso. He died in 1978. Hours: Daily 9 am-8 pm, Thursday 9 a.m-11 p.m. Reservations: prenotazioni@cscsigma.it.

LECTURES IN ENGLISH

The British Institute Weekly Cultural Programme. Every Wednesday (usually) 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 drinks reception. British Institute Library, Lungarno Guicciardini 9. http://www.britishinstitute.it/en/index.asp.

Wednesday 12 - Matthew Licht: A reading of recent short stories. Matthew Licht's collection of stories, The Moose Show, was nominated for the Frank O'Connor Prize in 2007. His next collection, Justine, Joe & The Zen Garbageman, will be published this summer. Westways, a novel based on fantastic behind-the-scenes adventures of American actress Mae West, produced in collaboration with the artist Rita McBride, is due out soon in Germany. Popularly known as The Least Blind Blues Singer in the USA, Matthew Licht will read two recent stories, one of them set in Florence, the other inspired by an incident in an infamous London pub.

Thursday 20 - Peter Stanford: Back in step with Europe: why the secular British are shaking off their post-Reformation distaste for pilgrimage. Once Britain boasted some of the grandest Christian shrines in Europe attracting visitors from all corners of the continent. But after the Reformation, the shrines were destroyed. While the sight of groups carrying crosses remained familiar in Italy, Spain and Ireland, in Britain such public acts of Christian witness were no longer seen. But now, as writer and broadcaster Peter Stanford chronicles in his new book, The Extra Mile: a Twenty First Century Pilgrimage, the British are rediscovering in troubled times the ancient habit of pilgrimage. He describes his year-long journey round eight holy places including Stonehenge, Lindisfarne, Walsingham, Iona, Glastonbury and Holywell. This talk is sponsored by HDI Insurance Group.

Wednesday 26 - Sue Brown: Joseph Severn and the rewards of friendship. The young painter Joseph Severn accompanied his dying friend John Keats to Rome in 1820, and his letters tell us everything we know about the poet's last days. In the 1820s and 30s Severn was at the heart of the lively British community in Rome. As British Consul there (1861-72), he entranced visitors with his fallible memories of Keats. For the Victorians he was a paragon: today he is controversial. Sue Brown's biography, Joseph Severn, A Life, published in 2009, offers the first full assessment of his life, work and ebullient character.

ORIGINAL LANGUAGE FILMS

Odeon Theatre, Piazza Strozzi 2. Phone: 055 214 068. www.cinehall.it

Thursday 6 - IRON MAN 2 (with Italian subtitles) by Jon Favreau with Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson 3.00 - 8.15 - 10.30 pm

Monday 10 -THE GHOST WRITER (with Italian subtitles) by Roman Polanski with Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Kim Cattrall, Olivia Williams, James Belushi. 3.30 – 5.50 – 8.10 – 10.30 pm

Tuesday 11 - THE GHOST WRITER. 3.30 – 5.50 pm

Thursday 13 - THE MESSENGER by Oren Moverman. With Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton, Jena Malone, Steve Buscemi. 4.30 - 6.30 - 8.30 - 10.30 pm

Friday 14 - ROBIN HOOD (with Italian subtitles) by Ridley Scott with Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, William Hurt, Mark Strong, Mark Addy. 3.00 - 5.30 - 8.00 - 10.30 pm

Saturday 15 - ROBIN HOOD (with Italian subtitles). 3.00 - 5.30 - 8.00 - 10.30 pm

Sunday 16 - ROBIN HOOD (with Italian subtitles). 3.00 - 5.30 - 8.00 - 10.30 pm

Monday 17 - ROBIN HOOD (with Italian subtitles). 5.00 - 8.00 - 10.30 pm

Tuesday 18 - ROBIN HOOD (with Italian subtitles). 5.00 - 8.00 - 10.30 pm

Friday 21- ROBIN HOOD (with Italian subtitles). 5.00 - 8.00 - 10.30 pm

Saturday 22 - ROBIN HOOD (with Italian subtitles). 5.00 - 8.00 - 10.30 pm

Sunday 23 - ROBIN HOOD (with Italian subtitles). 5.00 - 8.00 - 10.30 pm

Monday 24 - GREEN ZONE by Paul Greengrass with Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Brendan Gleeson, Khalid Abdalla, Amy Ryan. 3.45 - 6.00 - 8.15 - 10.30 pm

Tuesday 25 - GREEN ZONE - by Paul Greengrass with Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Brendan Gleeson, Khalid Abdalla, Amy Ryan. 3.45 - 6.00

In IRON MAN 2, the world is aware that billionaire inventor Tony Stark is the armored Super Hero Iron Man. Under pressure from the government, the press and the public to share his technology with the military, Tony is unwilling to divulge the secrets behind the Iron Man armor because he fears the information will slip into the wrong hands.

THE GHOST WRITER recounts the story of The Ghost, British ghostwriter hired to complete the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang. But the day after his assignment starts, Lang is accused of authorizing the illegal seizure of suspected terrorists and handing them over for torture by the CIA—a war crime. The Ghost quickly discovers that history is decided by whoever stays alive to write it.

In THE MESSENGER, Will is a U.S. Army officer who has just returned home from a tour in Iraq is assigned to the Army’s Casualty Notification service and partnered with a fellow officer to bear the bad news to the loved ones of fallen soldiers. When he finds himself drawn to Olivia, to whom he has just delivered the news of her husband's death, Will’s emotional detachment begins to dissolve and the film reveals itself as a surprising, humorous, moving and very human portrait of grief, friendship and survival.

Just in case you didn’t know… ROBIN HOOD chronicles the life of an expert archer from the time of his service in King Richard's army against the French, to the moment of Richard's death, when Robin travels to Nottingham, a town suffering from the corruption of a despotic sheriff and crippling taxation, and beyond, as he falls for the spirited widow Lady Marion.

The GREEN ZONE is set in the chaotic early days of the Iraqi War. During the U.S.-led occupation of Baghdad in 2003, Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller and his team of Army inspectors were dispatched to find weapons of mass destruction believed to be stockpiled in the Iraqi desert. Miller must hunt through covert and faulty intelligence hidden on foreign soil for answers that will either clear a rogue regime or escalate a war in an unstable region.

ONSTAGE SELECTION

Theatre info: Teatro Comunale, Via Solferino 15. Tel. 055 27791. Teatro della Pergola, Via della Pergola 12/32, Tel. 055 2479651. Teatro Verdi, Via Ghibellina 99, tel. 055 212320. Teatro Saschall , Lungarno Moro 3, tel. 055 6504112. Teatro Goldoni, Via Santa Maria 15. Tel. 055 229651. Teatro Romano, Fiesole, Tel. 055/59187. Mandela Forum, Viale Paoli 3, tel. 055 678841. Stazione Leopolda. Viale Fratelli Rosselli 5. St. Mark’s Church. Via Maggio 16. Tel. 055 294764. Church of Orsanmichele, Via dei Calzaiuoli. Tel. 055-210305. Teatro Puccini, via delle Cascine 41, tel 055 362067. Chiesa S. Stefano al Ponte Vecchio, piazza S. Stefano 5. Viper Theatre, Via Lombardia 1.055/318056, www.viperclub.eu. Auditorium FLOG, Via M. Mercati, 24/b, 055/210804, www.flog.it Sala Vanni, Piazza del Carmine 14. Teatro Everest, Via Volterrana 4/b, tel. 055. 23 21 754. info@teatroeverest.it, www.teatroeverest.it. Teatro Politeama Pratese, Via G. Garibaldi, 33 – Prato. Tel: 0574/603758, www.politeamapratese.com. Purchase tickets for theatre, concerts and other events at the following ticket agencies: BOX OFFICE: Via Alamanni, 39 (alongside the train station). Open Monday 3:30-7:30 pm, from Tuesday to Saturday 10:00-7:30 pm. Tel. 055/210804. ARGONAUTA VIAGGI, Lungarno Torrigiani 33/B, Tel.055/2342777. Many tickets can be pre-purchased via www.ticketone.it, www.boxol.it.

Friday 7

ALARMEL VALLI in THE FORGOTTEN SEED - Indian dances. Teatro Goldoni.

Saturday 8

DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN by Richard Strauss. Conducted by Zubin Mehta. Directed by Yannis Kokkos, choreography by Marco Berriel. Teatro Comunale.

Sunday 9

FLORENTINE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA – Conducted by Piero Roman. Music of Saldicco, Mozart, Wieener, Haydn. Chiesa di Orsanmichele. 9:00 pm.

Monday 10

SÄCHSISCHE STAATSKAPELLE DRESDEN – Conducted by Zubin Mehta. Rudolf Buchbinder, piano. Music of Brahms, Strauss. Teatro Comunale.

FLORENTINE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA – Conducted by Piero Roman. Music of Saldicco, Mozart, Wieener, Haydn. Chiesa di Orsanmichele. 9:00 pm.

MARCO MENGONI – winner of the third edition of Italy’s ´X Factor´. Saschall. 9:00 pm

Thursday 13

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT - elegant pianist, guitarist and singer. Teatro Comunale. 9:15 pm.

Friday 14

JAZZ ORCHESTRA CONSERVATORIO CHERUBINI. Music of Richie Beirach, Wayne Shorter plus student works. Teatro Everest - via Volterrana, 4b – Galluzzo. 9:00 pm.

DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Conducted by Zubin Mehta. Directed by Eike Gramms. Teatro Comunale.

Saturday 15

IRENE GRANDI – Florence’s own rocker. Teatro Verdi. 8:45 pm.

Sunday 16

FIORELLA MANNOIA – Acustic repertoir. Teatro Verdi. 8:45 pm.

DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Conducted by Zubin Mehta. Directed by Eike Gramms. Teatro Comunale.

IMPERMANENCE – Choreography by Guillaume Cote and Zdenek Konvalina. Music by Guillaume Cote. MaggioDanza. New creation, first performance. Teatro Goldoni.

Monday 17

GIOVANNI ALLEVI – Young, talented Italian composer, back at the piano. Teatro Verdi. 8: 45 pm.

Tuesday 18

GIOVANNI ALLEVI – Young, talented Italian composer, back at the piano. Teatro Verdi. 8: 45 pm.

IMPERMANENCE – Choreography by Guillaume Cote and Zdenek Konvalina. Music by Guillaume Cote. MaggioDanza. New creation, first performance. Teatro Goldoni.

Wednesday 19

DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Conducted by Zubin Mehta. Directed by Eike Gramms. Teatro Comunale.

IMPERMANENCE – Choreography by Guillaume Cote and Zdenek Konvalina. Music by Guillaume Cote. MaggioDanza. New creation, first performance. Teatro Goldoni.

Thursday 20

NOAH AND THE WHALE – Indie-rock extravaganza. Cinema Odeon. 9:30 pm. 055.214088 - www.odeon.intoscana.it

ELISA - Nelson Mandela Forum. 9:00 pm.

BALLET NATIONAL DE MARSEILLE, NEW CREATION – Choreography by Frederic Flamand. New creation, first performance in Italy. In collaboration with Fabbrica Europa. Stazione Leopolda.

Friday 21

DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Conducted by Zubin Mehta. Directed by Eike Gramms. Teatro Comunale.

BALLET NATIONAL DE MARSEILLE, NEW CREATION – Choreography by Frederic Flamand. New creation, first performance in Italy. In collaboration with Fabbrica Europa. Stazione Leopolda.

Saturday 22

BALLET NATIONAL DE MARSEILLE, NEW CREATION – Choreography by Frederic Flamand. New creation, first performance in Italy. In collaboration with Fabbrica Europa. Stazione Leopolda.

Sunday 23

IMPERMANENCE – Choreography by Guillaume Cote and Zdenek Konvalina. Music by Guillaume Cote. MaggioDanza. New creation, first performance. Teatro Goldoni.

Monday 24

DANIEL BARENBOIM piano – Music of Chopin on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Chopin. Teatro Comunale.

Tuesday 25

ORCHESTRA DEL MAGGIO MUSICALE FIORENTINO – Conductor: Zubin Mehta. Daniel Barenboim, piano. Music by Bartok, Chopin. Teatro Comunale.

Wednesday 26

VERDI REQUIEM IN PIAZZA SIGNORIA – Organized by relatives of the victims of the Uffizi bombing. 10:00 pm. Free.

GOTAN PROJECT – The Parisian trio that fuses tango and electronica. Saschall. 9:15 pm.

Friday 28

CONSERVATORIO CHERUBINI JAZZ ORCHESTRA – A Don’t-miss evening of jazz with the amazing Tuscan saxophonist Dario Cecchini and friends. Teatro Everest - via Volterrana, 4b – Galluzzo. Tel. 0552321754 - www.teatroeverest.it. 9:00 pm.

All our best, The Staff of Pitcher and Flaccomio

Newsletter compiled by Kim Wicks

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

All the best,

Staff
Pitcher and Flaccomio

http://www.pitcherflaccomio.com/
 
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