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Palazzo Pitti

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Rent, Sell and Manage Properties in Florence and Tuscany

Many think May is the best time to be in Florence. Not only are the gardens in bloom, but also in some of the most spectacular gardens there are markets for traditional arts and crafts. Enjoy the sun while there is still a cool breeze, with best wishes, from SUZANNE, CORSO, BEI, LESLIE, ANNA PIA, VANNI, ANN and MARIO.



Eataly opened in December now has competition from two new food/book/product venues.

RED – Read, Eat, Dream (RED), the new Feltrinelli bookstore in Piazza della Repubblica opened in April with the cooperation of the University of Gastronomic Sciences, directed by Carlo Petrini of Slow Food fame. The aim is ensuring a link between books and foods from Tuscany.

RED, a huge store of four floors, offers a range of 20,000 book titles, as well as music, home video, travel accessories and a 70 seats restaurant. According to the Feltrinelli CEO, Stefano Sardo, the investment in Florence is about 1.5-2 million euros. After opening in Milan, Florence is the second new conception store based on the combination of books and food: upcoming openings should be in Rome, Bologna and Naples.

The menu runs the gamut from traditional options like Florence’s famed lampredotto to mixed platters, pasta dishes and pizzas. Many products can be purchased to enjoy at home. Carefully selected suppliers, nice decor, comfortable chairs makes RED a place to spend hours relaxing over a book or snacking on something tasty. Open every day from 9 am to 11 pm.

Primo Piano – Also in April was the inauguration of the first floor above the food market, PRIMO PIANO DEL MERCATO CENTRALE. Imagine a fancy food court, combining tasting stands, shops and a cooking school. 3000 square meters with 500 seats (including a bank & Fiorentina shop) and twelve different food stands; open seven days a week, from 10am to mid-night. The décor is modern with clean lines in the 150-year-old market. The stands serve Italy’s favorites: mozzarella di bufala, pizza from the south, a Chianti wine tasting corner, a beer stand, a gelato & chocolate stand, veggie stand where you can get freshly squeezed juice and vegetable soup puree, fresh seafood, fresh pasta, bread and much more. There is also a library. The pizza was perfectly crispy, asparagus risotto bursting with flavor and the coccoli (fried bread) perfectly crispy and steaming. You can spy on the chefs in action and ask for advice.


Want a two-bedroom/two-bathroom apartment with views of the Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens? And a bit of history? This top floor (elevator) spacious abode is in the building where between 1868 and 1869 Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote The Idiot. It is furnished with a mixture of modern, traditional and antique pieces. There are stained hardwood floors in the living room and bedrooms and tile floors and modern appliances in the kitchen. The living room has an artistic wood-burning stove. Near the best shopping in Florence as well as the outdoor market at Santo Spirito, this apartment will give you a true sense of living in the Renaissance City.

For more information click this link.


MUSEUM FOR MAY – The Stibbert Does It, Again!

The Stibbert Museum, due to its location is one of the best empty museums in Florence; the perfect place to go to escape the crowds. Not only does it consistently offer exciting special exhibits, but it also has an adjoining park for the perfect springtime picnic. This summer it is offering an exciting exhibit of ancient Islamic arms and armor.

The exhibition presents 500-year-old military arms and armor from the Islamic section of the Stibbert Museum (late 15th-early 19th century). The pieces are unique for the metalworking techniques employed and are embellished with gems and damascening in gold and silver. Armor from the Turkoman/Mamluk area is followed by examples of Persian armor, elegant swords from Moghul India decorated with precious stones, and elaborate firearms and famous swords with their silver inlays from the Caucasus. One room is dedicated to 19th-century collections of Islamic works, with treasures kept by collectors like Franchetti, Carrand, Ressman and Bardini. They are works of the highest quality made by famous armorers, conceived to be used on the battlefield or worn at parades, which were bought by Stibbert in the second half of the 19th century, making his one of the rarest collections of Islamic arms and armor in the world.

The exhibit will be open until November 9, 2014.

The Stibbert Museum can be found on Via Stibbert, 26 in Florence.

For more information, see http://www.museostibbert.it/


From Thursday, May 15 through Sunday, May 18, Giorgiana Corsini and Neri Torrigiani have invited Prince Jean and Dianne of Luxembourg to celebrate the opening of Artigianato e Palazzo. The 19th Edition of the famous garden party is something not to be missed.

During the four days of Artigianato e Palazzo the many artisans and craftsmen located throughout the garden will do practical demonstrations of how they create their artistic products. Over 80 artisan shops will be set up in the midst of the greenery and flowers of the Corsini Garden and inside the splendid Limonaie (the lemon-houses).

The garden of the Corsini Palace is a fabulous Florentine “secret garden” created in the 16th century by Gherardo Silvani. Some visitors go for the garden, others for the artists, and others for both. A full range of food and drink are also offered for picnics under the trees.


Giardino Corsini, Via della Scala, 115

Thursday 15th to Sunday 18th May

Opening times 10 am to 8.30 pm

Entrance € 8,00. Reduced tickets € 6,00. Childeren under 12, free.

Tickets are on sale at reduced pre-sale prices on: www.boxol.it

For information on the Exhibition:

Tel. +39 055 2654589



Facebook: artigianatoepalazzo

BEST BOOK FOR MAY – The Borgias: The Hidden History by G. J. Meyer

The mention of the Borgia family often conjures up images of a ruthless drive for power via assassination, serpentine plots, and sexual debauchery. This is partially owing to propaganda spread by contemporary rivals of the Borgias, nineteenth-century Renaissance historians, and even films and television shows, including the current eponymous series on cable. Meyer doesn’t avoid some of the juicy bits about the private and public lives of some of the family, but he convincingly looks past the mythology to present a more nuanced portrait of some members and their achievements. Meyer is particularly focused on the career of Rodrigo Borgia, who reigned as the much-maligned pope Alexander VI. As Meyer acknowledges, Alexander was hardly an exemplary Christian, and he could play tough in the dangerous world of Italian and European power politics. Yet he was a skilled and experienced diplomat, and he showed remarkable courage and coolness under the threat of the French invasion of Italy. Other Borgias are treated with similar evenhandedness in this well-researched and surprising study.

BEST BOOK FOR TEENS FOR MAY – Changeling by Philippa Gregory

The year is 1453 and all signs point to it being the end of the world. Accused of heresy and expelled from his monastery, handsome seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is recruited by a mysterious stranger to record the end of times across Europe. Commanded by sealed orders, Luca is sent to map the fears of Christendom and travel to the very frontier of good and evil.

Seventeen-year-old Isolde, a Lady Abbess, is trapped in a nunnery to prevent her from claiming her rich inheritance. As the nuns in her care are driven mad by strange visions, walking in their sleep, and showing bleeding wounds, Luca is sent to investigate and driven to accuse her.

Forced to face the greatest fears of the dark ages—witchcraft, werewolves, madness—Luca and Isolde embark on a search for truth, their own destinies, and even love as they take the unknown ways to the real historical figure who defends the boundaries of Christendom and holds the secrets of the Order of Darkness.

BEST MUSIC AND DANCE FOR MAY – The Maggio Musicale Festival

The Maggio Musicale Festival turns 77 this year! The 77th season of Florence's historic opera company promises to be the best yet.

The Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra, founded in 1928 by Vittorio Gui as the Stabile Orchestrale Fiorentina. One of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious opera, symphonic music and ballet festival, along with Bayreuth and Salzburg festivals. Its year of birth is 1933.

First established as a three-year event, in 1937 it became a yearly festival held in the month of May as a tribute to and in memory of the ancient Calendimaggio festivity, when Firenze (the ancient Fiorenza, the flower city) celebrated the month of flowers with dancing, music and plays, and the streets were decorated with laurel festoons and garlands of flowers (Dante saw Beatrice for the first time during the 1274 Calendimaggio “dressed in the noblest color”).

The first home of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Festival, which is made up of an orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta since 1986, a chorus and MaggioDanza ballet company, was the Comunale Theatre. This will be the last year: the Teatro Comunale will close and the Maggio Festival will be held at the new opera theater, Nuovo Teatro dell’Opera di Firenze.

Among the names who have participated in the festival over the years are von Karajan and Muti, Maria Callas, Pietro Mascagni and Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinskij, and stage designers of the caliber of Luchino Visconti, Franco Zeffirelli and Giorgio De Chirico.

A Gala of extraordinary festivities on May 10, conducted by Zubin Mehta, will be the grand welcome to Florentines and a worldwide public for the official opening of the Opera di Firenze.

The Gala, in which opera and ballet alternate, creates an evening designed to showcase all of the Maggio’s artistry, with Verdi's Otello directed by Gregory Kunde, La Valse by Maurice Ravel, choreographed by Davide Bombana and interpreted by the dancers of Maggiodanza, and with Alessandra Ferri, prima ballerina, the pride of Italian ballet, famous throughout the world, who has returned to Florence with Christopher Wheeldon; Soprano Fiorenza Cedolinis will sing Puccini’s Tosca and the Orchestra and Chorus of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, which begins this evening an artistic journey in their new home, the exciting new Opera House of Florence. This will be the last Maggio Musicale season in the old Communale Theater.

See the two-month festival calendar on the Maggio’s website: http://www.maggiofiorentino.com/?q=node/1852


From May 12 to 17 you should spend part of every day in the Iris Garden above Florence, breathing in fresh air, avoiding the crowds and restoring your spirits. It’s free. Expect beautiful flowers, meticulously refined over generations by the careful hands of their keepers. Even if you're not passionate about flowers it should be a refreshing splash of early summer color in a beautiful city. In May, gardeners from all over the world flock to Florence to admire stunning blooms, as the renowned Iris Garden opens its gates to the public for the International Iris Competition. This year the competition celebrates its 58th Edition. The closing prize-giving ceremony is held at Palazzo Vecchio.

The Iris Garden of Piazzale Michelangelo was created in 1954. The Garden, initially designed by the architect G. Zetti, was inaugurated in May 1957. It was enriched, in the meantime, by donations made by numerous foreign growers and also by a large collection of historic Irises from the Presby Memorial Garden of Montclair (New Jersey), USA. In 1967, a small lake was constructed in the lower area of the garden to allow cultivation of the Japanese and Louisiana irises in the surrounding boggy land. Specialists, botanists, hybridizers and horticulturists from different foreign nations visit and work in the Garden because of the scientific interest it has as an important stock of germ plasma of the Iris family.

The Florence Council, in collaboration the Italian Iris Society, have held a famed International Iris Competition for tall and bearded irises every year since 1954. Over 150 new varieties are on display. The Competition is 'anonymous', that is, each plant entered is labelled with initials so that the Jury knows the name of the variety and of the hybridizer only after having finished judging. A classification of merit is established and some special prizes are awarded, on the basis of particular characteristics of the individual variety. The winner of the first prize receives a Gold Fiorin. A Special prize offered by the Florence Council is awarded to the red variety, which is most similar to the Iris depicted on the banner of the City.

Web: www.irisfirenze.it

Ph. +39 055 483 112

Piazzale Michelangelo

7 - 12 May

Opening Hours: Daily 10am-12.30pm & 3pm-7pm


Join the commemoration of Savonarola's death, May 23, in Piazza della Signoria and parade in historic center, 10am to noon. The annual commemoration of Fra' Girolamo Savonarola's death with La Fiorita, a floral ceremony, will begin with mass at 10am in the priori chapel of Palazzo Vecchio and continue with a traditional costume parade that will loop the historic center and return to Piazza della Signoria at 11am. After a brief speech on this Florentine tradition, flowers will be left on Savonarola's tomb, and the parade will proceed to the Arno, where flowers will be symbolically thrown into the river.

Girolamo Savonarola Dominican friar and puritan fanatic, became moral dictator of the city of Florence when the Medici were temporarily driven out in 1494. Sent to Florence originally a dozen years before, he made a reputation for austerity and learning, and became prior of the convent of St Mark (where his rooms can still be seen). A visionary, prophet and formidably effective hellfire preacher, obsessed with human wickedness and convinced that the wrath of God was about to fall upon the earth, he detested practically every form of pleasure and relaxation.

His opponents called Savonarola and his followers ‘Snivellers’ and he grimly disapproved of jokes and frivolity, of poetry and inns, of sex (especially the homosexual variety), of gambling, of fine clothes and jewellery and luxury of every sort. He denounced the works of Boccaccio, nude paintings, pictures of pagan deities and the whole humanistic culture of the Italian Renaissance. He called for laws against vice and laxity. He put an end to the carnivals and festivals the Florentines traditionally enjoyed, substituting religious festivals instead, and employed street urchins as a junior gestapo to sniff out luxurious and suspect items. In the famous ‘bonfire of the vanities’ in 1497 he had gaming tables and packs of cards, carnival masks, mirrors, ornaments, nude statues and supposedly indecent books and pictures burned in the street. The friar also disapproved of profiteering financiers and businessmen.

Not surprisingly, Savonarola made many powerful enemies. Among them was the Borgia pope, Alexander VI, who had good reason to feel uncomfortable with the Dominican’s denunciation of the laxity and luxury of the Church and its leaders, and who eventually excommunicated the rigorous friar. On Palm Sunday in 1498 St Mark’s was attacked by a screaming mob and Savonarola was arrested by the Florentine authorities with two friars who were among his most ardent followers, Fra’ Domenico and Fra’ Salvestro. All three were cruelly tortured before being condemned as heretics and handed over to the secular arm by two papal commissioners, who came hotfoot from Rome for the purpose on May 19th. ‘We shall have a fine bonfire,’ the senior commissioner remarked genially on arrival, ‘for I have the sentence of condemnation with me.’

On the morning of May 23rd a crowd of Florentines gathered in the Piazza della Signoria, where a scaffold had been erected on a platform (a plaque marks the spot today). From the heavy beam dangled three halters, to hang the friars, and three chains, to support their bodies while they were subsequently burned to ashes. Wood for the burning was heaped up below. Some of the crowd screamed abuse at Savonarola and his two companions, who were formally unfrocked and left in their under-tunics with bare feet and their hands tied, before their faces were shaved, as was the custom. It is said that a priest standing near asked Savonarola what he felt about this approaching martyrdom. He answered, ‘The Lord has suffered as much for me,’ and these were his last recorded words.

Fra’ Salvestro and Fra’ Domenico were hanged first, slowly and painfully, before Savonarola climbed the ladder to the place between them. The executioner made cruel fun of him and then apparently tried to delay his demise so that the flames would reach him before he was quite dead, but failed, and Savonarola died of strangulation at about 10am. He was forty-five years old. With the piles of wood below the scaffold set alight, the flames quickly engulfed the three dangling bodies while a trick of the heat made Savonarola’s right hand move so that he seemed to be blessing the spectators. Some of them burst into tears, but others, including excited children, sang and danced delightedly around the pyre and threw stones at the corpses. What little was left of the three Dominicans was thrown into the River Arno. (www.historytoday.com).



Notable Women: Artists, Photographers, Creators

Wednesday, May 7, 6pm

Villa Il Palmerino, Via del Palmerino 8/10, Florence

Martha Ladly – Professor at OCAD University, Toronto

This seminar and round-table discussion features several outstanding women photographers: Julia M. Cameron, Claude Cahun, Marcel Moore, and Francesca Woodman. Special focus on the eras of Vernon Lee and Lola Costa at Il Palmerino. Event in English. Limited places; please RSVP.

Private Mythologies – Storytelling Walk / WorkshopSaturday, May 10, 9am to 4pm

Villa Il Palmerino – Via del Palmerino 8/10, Florence

Martha Ladly - Professor at OCAD University, Toronto

Gianandrea Facchini - Founder and CEO at Buzzdetector, Web and Social Media Listening

Stefania Chipa - Cultural Marketing and Social Media Consultant. Basilica Santa Croce, Natural History Museum, Florence

Explore memory and storytelling by creating personal narratives using digital technology. Walk along the private trail leading from Il Palmerino to Villa Il Treppiede, the historic home of Elisabeth Chaplin. Event in English and Italian. Admission: 40 euro; Lunch included. We thank the Fiesole School of Music for their collaboration.

Women Artists Of The Renaissance And Baroque

Wednesday, May 14, 6pm

Villa Il Palmerino – Via del Palmerino 8/10, Florence

Adelina Modesti – Art historian, La Trobe University, Melbourne

Lecture on Italian women artists in the early modern period: Sofonisba Anguissola, Properzia de’ Rossi, Lavinia Fontana, Artemisia Gentileschi and Elisabetta Sirani. Issues discussed include: academy access, training and education, patronage and reception. Event in English. Limited places; please RSVP.

Plein Air Painting / Workshop

Saturday, May 17, 10am to 4pm

Villa Il Palmerino – Via del Palmerino 8/10, Florence

Sandra Walkeen – American figurative artist

During this hands-on outdoor course, participants will learn simple plein air set-ups and how to create appropriate color palettes, how to organize and capture the shapes, values and light source. For the ultimate beginner to the advanced student. Event in English and Italian. Admission: 60 euro; Lunch and materials included.

Please note: Unless otherwise specified, events are in Italian and admission is free.

Press and Public Relations: linda@advancingwomenartists.org – http://www.advancingwomenartists.org – tel. 347/4891086

For information or reservations: info@palmerino.it http://www.palmerino.it – tel. 339/8944725


Until 20 July 2014

Palazzo Strozzi is hosting Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino. Diverging Paths of Mannerism until 20 July 2014, a major exhibition devoted to the work of Pontormo and of Rosso Fiorentino, the two painters who were without question the most original and unconventional adepts of the new way of interpreting art in that season of the Italian Cinquecento which Giorgio Vasari called the 'modern manner'.

Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino trained under Andrea del Sarto while maintaining a strongly independent approach and enormous freedom of expression. Pontormo, always a favourite with the Medici, was a painter open to stylistic variety and to a renewal of the traditional approach to composition. Rosso Fiorentino, on the other hand, was more tightly bound to tradition, yet at the same time he was fully capable of flights of originality and innovation, influenced also by Cabalistic literature and esoteric works.

Mirroring the precepts underlying the Bronzino exhibition, this exhibition opted for a broad and multifaceted overview of the two great painters' masterpieces, according priority to the formal splendour and lofty poetry of Pontormo and of Rosso Fiorentino so that the exhibition appeals in its clarity not only to the specialist but also to a wider audience thanks to themed sections set out in chronological order.

Introducing the exhibit, in the first room of Palazzo Strozzi, are three overwhelmingly large frescos, supported by deep maroon arched temporary walls that create the effect of walking into a dimly lit basilica. The three frescos, of equally large proportions, create a closed space, with two flanking the sides and one looming opposite the entrance. Del Sarto painted the first fresco in 1511; Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino completed the other two shortly after in 1513 and 1514. All three were made for SS. Annunziata, thusly the ecclesiastical atmosphere is fitting. Spotlighting illuminates the frescos dramatically, increasing the feeling of being in a religious setting, which these images were originally produced for.

The second room is dedicated to the workshop of Del Sarto, including images produced by Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino and Fra Bartolomeo. Already, the divergence of styles between the two protagonists is visible.

The following rooms are dedicated solely to the individuality of the artists, Pontormo and Rosso and the wall texts comment on their evolved styles. One of the final rooms, titled Rosso and Pontormo between the sack of Rome and the Siege of Florence, opens to the beautifully conserved masterpiece by Pontormo The Visitation or Visitazione painted between 1528 and 1529. Clearly, this painting is one of the most important of the exhibition. Since its drastic restoration, it revealed Pontormo’s vibrant use of color and elements that had been lost.

The final room exhibits three large and beautiful tapestries, modeled after designs by Rosso and Pontormo. The largest, Combat of the Centaurs and the Lapiths 1539 to 1544, rests on a slanted surface, allows the textiles to rest but also reflects the light off of the detailed and intricately woven gold and silver wefts.

The exhibition design combines the contemporary concept of simplicity through the dramatic spotlighting and the comfort and feel of a traditional museum. Dark and muted altar-like structures are beneath the works, suggesting to the visitor the ecclesiastical connotation of the majority of the works. The bold maroon, which serves as a backdrop for the paintings, almost reminds the viewer of a textile background that compliments the Renaissance culture.

A unique and unrepeatable event bringing together for the very first time a selection of masterpieces by the two artists in Italian and foreign collections, many of them specially restored for the occasion.

You can download a pdf of an English language guide to the exhibition here:


Monday to Friday

9.00-13.00; 14.00-18.00

Tel. +39 055 2469600

Fax +39 055 244145


While you are at Palazzo Strozzi don’t miss: The Palazzo Strozzi unveils Family Matters: Portraits and Experiences of Family Today (CCC Strozzina, 14 March-20 July 2014), which presents the works by contemporary artists that encourage an investigation into the images and dynamics of family in the contemporary world.

And there is still more: The Greeting by Bill Viola

The Greeting, a video which the artist first presented at the Venice Biennale in 1995, will be on show at Palazzo Strozzi alongside the work of art that inspired it, Pontormo's Visitation from the church of San Michele Arcangelo in Carmignano. The event will mark the return of this great contemporary artist to Palazzo Strozzi after the CCC Strozzina's first exhibition, Emotional Systems, in 2007, in which his Observance (2002) played an extremely important role.

The Greeting is the first work in which the artist relates directly to the work of the old masters. His aim is not to recreate Pontormo's Visitation (which depicts the meeting between Mary, who is pregnant with Jesus, and St. Elisabeth, who is pregnant with St. John the Baptist) but to use the Florentine master as "a guide for doing something new." Viola has created a choreography of contemporary characters interpreting a scene from traditional Christian iconography using these great masterpieces of the past as his models. The figures are stripped of their religious symbolism and provided with a new context in a new dimension. What we see here is neither a literal transposition of the story from the Gospel of Luke nor yet Pontormo's interpretation of that story, but a touching and original vision of a meeting that becomes a timeless and universally poetic metaphor for the very essence of the human condition.


This exhibit, lead and organized by the Associazione Osservatorio dei Mestieri d’Arte at the Ente Cassa di Risparmio in Florence, presents the artistic creations of Tuscan goldsmiths and foreigners who work in the region. Another section, housed at the Horne Museum, will instead see certain works of this tradition “converse” with the works of the Herbert Horne collection. The many provocative and unusual displays are all meant to shed a new and unique light on both the contemporary and the antique.

The attention of the two shows focuses, in particular, on these artists that create jewelry as a wearable sculpture, as an artistic expression; the artists whose work is unrepeatable, and who desires a continuous search for the secret to beauty, sensibility, and innovation.

The exhibit will run until October 15, 2014 at the Exhibition Space of the Ente Cassa di Risparmio on Via Bufalini, 6 (free); and at the Horne Museum on via de’ Benci, 6 (ticket).

For more information, see http://www.entecarifirenze.it/ and http://www.museohorne.it/


Notte Blu celebrates Europe with 27 hours (one for each state in the EU) of events from May 8 to 10.. While it doesn’t get nearly as much press as her big sister Notte Bianca, Blu, the more serious, less partying sister (although there will be opera and tango on the 8th), holds her own with free lectures, concerts, gallery exhibits, video screenings and more. This year, most of the excitement will take place at Le Murate, the former convent turned cultural hub in Florence. For a full list of the interesting events scheduled, visit the official website here: http://lanotteblu.unimap.eu/


The Rooms Of The Muses at the Galleria degli Uffizi until 11 May 2014

The famed orchestra conductor Francesco Molinari Pradelli (1911-1996), in the course of his numerous travels throughout his professional career, collected baroque art which is housed in the Bologna Molinari Pradelli Collection. This special exhibit is part of Un Anno ad Arte 2014.

Born in Bologna in 1911, he attended the “Gian Battista Martini” music school, studying piano under the guidance of Filippo Ivaldi and orchestra conducting under Cesare Nordio, and completing his musical training in Rome. In 1938, from his very first performances, the press defined him as a “conductor with a glowing future, while Arturo Toscanini commended him as a young man “with talent who will go places”. In Rome, he distinguished himself in conducting concertos with soloists like Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli and Wilhelm Kempff. In the 1940s, he performed on the podiums of Milan, Pesaro, Trieste, Bologna and Florence, directing in particular, works by Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Wagner. His international success began with a 1949 tour in Hungary and then on to the most important theatres in Europe and America, with a repertory of thirty-three concertos and twenty-eight operas, from 1938 to 1982.

In the 1950s, the Maestro began to cultivate a growing passion for painting, first for nineteenth-century works, and then discovering an interest for Baroque painting. He developed a very original attraction for still-life, a genre that was just then beginning to garner interest from scholars, in which he combined the pleasure of owning artwork, aesthetic appreciation and the desire for knowledge, stimulated by museum visits in the cities his professional career took him to.

His collection of some two hundred paintings that in time lined the walls of his Bologna home and later, the Villa at Marano di Castenaso, was admired by the greatest art historians of the XX century, from both Europe and America. As the exhibition documents with a selection of one hundred paintings, the Maestro rigorously preferred seventeenth- and eighteenth-century painting, collecting works from the various Italian schools.


One of the many events to celebrates the 100 years of the Civic Archeological Museum of Fiesole, this exhibition for the first time shows what was found in the recent excavations carried out in the Piazza Garibaldi area of Fiesole, supplementing finds previously excavated here from the late 19th century onwards.

The recent discoveries from about 40 burials in the extensive fortified settlement – which was of great strategic importance in the control of communication routes in central Italy and comprised over 100 tombs – have taken Fiesole to the forefront of Longobard archeology. On display are various objects from the Longobard grave furnishings unearthed and some tomb reconstructions.

The exhibit will run until October 30, 2014.

The Civic Archeological Museum of Fiesole may be found on Via Portigiani, 1 in Fiesole.


On Sun. 18, pop around to Piazza Santo Spirito and admire the crafts and organic food fair. This one, as the name suggests will focus on food, plants, and Spring gardening. Your will also find handmade ceramic whistles for kids, antiques, food, hand-woven dresses and linens, beeswax candles, naturally scented soaps and oils, home-baked bread and cakes, ceramics, wine, olive oil, hand-carved wooden salad bowls and more. www.lafierucola.org


May 5-7 The Grand Budapest Hotel

May 8-11 Japan Film Festival

May12-14 Noah

May 15-18 Grace of Monaco

May 22-24 “Film A Sorpresa”

May 26-29 Dragon 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.

Celebrating Bogie

An American cultural icon, voted by the American Film Institute as the greatest star in American cinema, and winner of an Academy Award, Humphrey Bogart stands head and shoulders above any competition heading in his direction. With his unique hard-boiled style, this most romantic of cynics captivated audiences across the globe, gracing many a noir with his inimitable presence, but avoiding the kind of typecasting that was an ever present danger for practitioners of his craft. He made each role his own in a career spanning thirty years and some eighty movies, and is remembered with a fondness rare in movie history.

This brief Talking Pictures homage starts with his first big success, THE MALTESE FALCON (1941), the first of several collaborations with director John Huston, the others in this series being THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1948), alongside Huston's father Walter, and THE AFRICAN QUEEN (1951) opposite Katherine Hepburn. His Private Detectives Sam Spade in THE MALTESE FALCON and Philip Marlowe in THE BIG SLEEP (1946) can be said to set the standard for screen characterisations of the noir fiction specialists Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler.

In CASABLANCA (1942) Bogart's Rick Blaine stole hearts worldwide with his tough vulnerability, nobility and sacrifice, partnering the equally memorable Ingrid Bergman. His most successful partnership, both on and mostly off the screen was with Lauren Bacall, whom he met on the set of TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT (1944), based on Ernest Hemingway's novel.

"Himself, he never took too seriously-his work most seriously. He regarded the somewhat gaudy figure of Bogart, the star, with an amused cynicism; Bogart, the actor, he held in deep respect... In each of the fountains at Versailles there is a pike which keeps all the carp active; otherwise they would grow overfat and die. Bogie took rare delight in performing a similar duty in the fountains of Hollywood. Yet his victims seldom bore him any malice, and when they did, not for long. His shafts were fashioned only to stick into the outer layer of complacency, and not to penetrate through to the regions of the spirit where real injuries are done... He is quite irreplaceable. There will never be another like him" (John Huston's eulogy at Bogart's funeral in 1957).

Wednesday, May 07, 2014. 20.00


Wednesday, May 14, 2014. 20.00


Wednesday, May 21, 2014. 20.00

Film: THE BIG SLEEP 1946

Wednesday, May 28, 2014. 20.00


LECTURE SERIES – British Institute of Florence

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

Wednesday, May 07, 2014, 18.00

Lecture: Nigel Beevor

Nigel Beevor, son of Kinta Beevor (A Tuscan Childhood) and grandson of Lina Waterfield (A Castle in Italy), describes his grandparents’ life in Tuscany before the First World War, their journalism and painting.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 18.00

Lecture: Shafquat Towheed

Dr Shafquat Towheed of the Open University is Director of the ‘Reading Experience Database’, an exciting project that records the experience of readers over the period 1450-1945: in this talk he concentrates on Britain and Italy.

Friday, May 16, 2014, 17.00

Presentation: Paolo Granata, Alyson Price, Sanni Tengvall and Mark Roberts

The new app based on Susan Horner’s 1861-1862 diary is presented by the British Institute’s collaborators at the University of Bologna and by the BIF’s own Mark Roberts and Alyson Price.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 18.00

Lecture: Melissa Pritchard

Melissa Pritchard discusses the life of Vernon Lee (Violet Paget, 1856-1935), and reads from her own new novel Palmerino.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014, 18.00

Exhibition: Portraits from the Atelier of Charles H. Cecil

George William Clark, Rupert Knox and Isabella Watling are young British painters, training in Florence in the Atelier of Charles H. Cecil: their exhibition will run for a month.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 18.00

Lecture: Lynn Catterson

The sleuthing art historian Lynn Catterson returns to the subject of the 19th-century Florentine antiquarian, Stefano Bardini.


Once in a while, Florence’s biggest museums throw open their doors, stay up late, for free. Luckily for May visitors, one of those special nights falls on the 17th. Known as the Notte dei Musei, from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. visitors enjoy free entry to museums across Italy. Last year, participating institutions in Florence included the Accademia, the Uffizi, the Galleria Palatina at Palazzo Pitti, Palazzo Vecchio, the San Marco Museum, and a smattering of Medici villas: Poggio a Caiano, Cerreto Guidi, and Petraia. Now, we might be jumping the gun a bit. This year’s lineup is still being firmed up, and Florence’s participation is yet to be announced. But considering the city’s heavy involvement in 2013, we’re confident this year will be just as special.

La Notte dei Musei (105 open museums across Tuscany) is done in conjunction with Amico Museo, a production by the Region of Tuscany in collaboration with the European Union.

See the website (in Italian) here:



On Sat. 17, 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. 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.

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.



May 10 is your last chance to enjoy a concert of Gregorian chanting in the hauntingly beautiful Santa Croce for free this year. Now, entering the basilica gratuito is reason enough to show up at church on a Saturday night, but the music from the talented choir makes this event a must-see. The concert starts at 9 p.m., and entry is free until seats are filled.

Best to show up a bit early to ensure you get a spot. For more details on the overall program, click here:



The Amici della Musica of Florence present various concerts at the Teatro della Pergola. 

23 May at 8:30pm at the New Opera House in cooperation with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Kristian Zimerman, pianist, performing Beethoven.

See the schedule for concerts at http://www.amicimusica.fi.it/ .

Amici della Musica - Concert Season

Teatro della Pergola

info: 055/609012 – 055 607440 - 055 2264333


Not to worry! … here are a bunch of events or exhibits that will still be happening in late May and June:

EXHIBIT AT THE ACCADEMIA GALLERY – Getting Reacquainted with Michelangelo

Ri-conoscere Michelangelo: Sculpture by Buonarroti in Photographs and Paintings from the XIX Century to the Present

To celebrate the 450th anniversary of the death of Michelangelo Buonarroti, the Galleria dell’Accademia of Florence and Fratelli Alinari I.D.E.A. S.p.A. have collaborated to present an exhibition that validates the complex theme of the renewed interest and admiration for Michelangelo from the 19th century until today. The exhibition highlights the work of sculptors, painters and photographers who have looked to the figure of Buonarroti and his work as the iconographic point of reference in their own work.

The exhibition seeks to highlight the decisive role photography has played in consolidating the critical and iconographic successes of Michelangelo and, as a consequence, the celebration of his myth. Photography has played, since its very origins, an important role in celebrating one of the most renowned artists of the Italian Renaissance, with a selection of images of his timeless sculptures as monuments of the collective memory.

Featuring works by Eugène Delacroix and Auguste Rodin, as well as other authors who worked with the then-new photographic medium from its very beginning, including the early work of Eugène Piot, Édouard-Denis Baldus, the Alinari brothers, and John Brampton Philpot, to name only a few. By approaching the content from a contemporary view through the work of other artists, the exhibition analyzes how the photograph was used for documentation, but also as an interpretation tool creating new viewpoints.

Michelangelo’s mastery has been recognized for centuries and can be seen here in the work of 20th-century artists such as Henri Matisse, Carlo Mollino, as well as in the more recent photographic studies from Herbert List, Horst P. Horst, Helmut Newton, Frank Horvat, Youssef Nabil, and many more.

Want more Michelangelo? Through April, the Museo Casa Vasari in Arezzo has the exhibition The Relationship Between Michelangelo and Vasari in his Letters and Drawings, while the Casa Buonarroti in Florence will host two exhibitions about this great artist, The Power of Myth – The Plans for the Facade of San Lorenzo in Florence 1900-1905 (March 18 – June 2, 2014) and Michelangelo and the Twentieth Century (June 18 – October 20, 2014).

THE FIGURE OF FURY – Jackson Pollock at Palazzo Vecchio

Until 27 July 16 at both the Palazzo Vecchio and the Church of San Firenze (at the old Justice Hall), works of Pollock's "talk" to The Genius of Victory, one of the most famous works of Michelangelo. Also drawings provided by the Metropolitan Museum in New York and some of Pollock's paintings and engravings granted by international museums and private collections and a series of graphic works. Second section in the deconsecrated church of San Firenze: multimedia with interactive spaces and educational apparatus.

Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria - 9am-midnight, Thu 9am-2pm - 10 euro, rid 8; deconsecrated church of San Firenze, Piazza San Firenze - 5 euro, rid 2 – Both tickets (Palazzo Vecchio + deconsecrated church of San Florence) 12 euro, rid 9 - info 055 2768325 - www.pollockfirenze.it


Until July 13 at the Bargello

Painting and sculpture, drawings and prints, bronzes, medals by Baccio Bandinelli sculptor and teacher (1493-1560). Masterpieces such as the Bacchus of the Pitti Palace, the bust painting of Cosimo I and the youthful Mercury in the Louvre; Leda and the Swan (from Paris) and the Portrait of Baccio Bandinelli by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

National Museum of the Bargello

Via del Proconsolo, 4 - 055 2388606 - 8.15am to 1.50pm (closed on I/III/V Sun and II/IV Mon of the month) - www.unannoadarte.it



The Tuscan Archipelago National Park this year is celebrating its fifth edition of the Tuscany Walking Festival. “Taking advantage of all the benefits Mother Nature has to offer means living a

better life.” The program runs from April 21 to October 12.

The philosophy of the festival: regaining the benefits of Mother Nature. Photography, painting and contemporary art lovers, and hobby lovers in general, will be given special treatment. During the festival a Convention will be held on the subject of the environment and the happiness it can give, with many innovative ideas and suggestions on how to live better. The Park has also published new brochures: as well as the guide to the most characteristic excursions in the Park, translated into three foreign languages, there is a brochure about the fascinating history of the Tuna fishing nets in Enfola, and a small guide for excursions on horseback, and by bike.

Website: http://www.tuscanywalkingfestival.it/en-GB/home.html

MERCATINO DI APRILANTE – Artisanal Crafts Market

Sunday, May 4 (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.


May 18-19 Go to Pietrasanta and the Cloister of S. Agistino where 70 wine producers from all over Italy with over 150 wines along with tasty treats to compliment the vino. Sunday 111:30am to 7:30pm and Monday, 11:30am to 6:30pm.May 24-25 is the weekend for the most important wine tourism event in Italy. The wineries of the Wine Tourism Movement open their doors to the public. See www.movimentoturismovino.it for times and locations.


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

ITALIAN FOOD RULE: Don’t Use Bottled Italian Salad Dressing

To dress a salad in Italy is simplicity itself: bring a bowl of salad greens (preferably one to three varieties of radicchio tossed together – that’s all) to the table, add some of the best extra-virgin olive oil available, a small splash of red-wine vinegar or lemon juice, a generous sprinkle of salt and a bit of fresh ground black pepper; toss again and serve on a salad plate (don’t infect the leafy greens with left-over pasta sauce or juice from the ossobuco).

Note that the ingredients are added to the salad greens sequentially, not shaken into a vinaigrette. The French invented vinaigrette.

Once you master the way to dress an Italian salad, the only debate left is whether inexpensive balsamic vinegar (not the costly traditional DOP ambrosia from Modena) is an acceptable substitute for red-wine vinegar. Purists would say emphatically, “No”, but the number of Florentine neighborhood restaurants that bring the sweeter version of vinegar to the table seems to argue for, at least, an acceptable option to the Food Rule.

Italian Dressing, known and loved in the United States (as well as Canada, the U.K. and most of the British colonies), is a vinaigrette-type salad dressing, consisting of water, vinegar or lemon juice, vegetable oil, chopped bell peppers, usually sugar or high fructose corn syrup, and various herbs and spices including oregano, fennel, dill, dried oleoresin paprika and salt. Onion and garlic are often added to intensify the dressing’s flavor. Usually it is bought bottled (containing also, xanthan gum, calcium disodium edta, and sulfiting agents) or prepared by mixing oil and vinegar with a packaged flavoring mix consisting of dehydrated vegetables and herbs.

North American-style Italian dressing, and especially Creamy Italian, which consists of the same ingredients, but with buttermilk or mayonnaise added to make it creamy, is not acceptable to the Italian palate. (”Che schifo” or Che esagerazione!” say Italians.) Don’t ask for it in a restaurant in Italy or, particularly, from the cook in an Italian home.

Italian Dressing is not sold in Italy. Needless to say, you will also not find the following dressings in any Italian kitchen: Thousand Island, Ranch, Blue Cheese, Russian, Louis, Honey Dijon, French, Ginger Honey, and, perhaps surprisingly, Caesar Salad Dressing.

Caesar Dressing is much more American than Italian. It is reported that Caesar Cardini created the salad and the dressing in Mexico. Caesar (born Cesare) came from near Lago Maggiore in northern Italy. He and his brother Alex emigrated to the U.S. after World War I. The Cardini family lived in San Diego, but operated a restaurant in Tijuana to circumvent Prohibition. Supposedly, on July 4th in 1924, the salad was created on a busy holiday weekend at Caesar’s Restaurant. Caesar was short of supplies, so he concocted this salad with what was on hand: romaine lettuce and croutons dressed with parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, egg, garlic, black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. A bit of a showman, he prepared it at the table. This was the only thing truly Italian about Caesar Salad – a salad should be dressed at the table or right before it comes to the table.

Try being Italian for a while – leave the salad dressing bottles in the fridge and simply add a bit of extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to some fresh leafy salad greens. You will be surprised by what you taste for the very first time.


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 .


This May we recommend that you stay in town and enjoy the iris garden up by Piazzale Michelangelo and the Corsini’s private garden filled with artisans. Spring is in full bloom in Florence and in Tuscany!

All the best,

Pitcher and Flaccomio