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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

Many think May is the best time to be in Florence. The rain ends, but it’s not too hot and the gardens are spectacular. Music fills the air throughout the city. Enjoy the sun while there is still a cool breeze, with best wishes, from SUZANNE, CORSO, BEI, LESLIE, ANNA PIA, VANNI, ANN and MARIO.



Please join Suzanne for a special charity event: Concerto dell’orchestra Sinfonica e Coro del Conservatorio “L. Cherubini” on May 11 at 8:30pm at the Church of Santo Spirito (come at 7:30pm for an aperitivo in the cloisters.

Program (in Italian):

Giacomo Puccini – Requiem per viola, coro e archi

Ludvig Van Beethoven – Fantasia corale op.80 per pianoforte, coro e orchestra.

Pianista - Sergio Costa

Antonin Dvorak – sinfonia n. 9 in Mi minore “Da nuovo mondo”

Direttore - Paola Ponziano Ciardi

Maestro del coro - Francesco Rizzi

Suzanne has tickets (30 euro each) (+39 055 2343354) and the funds go to the support of “Amici di Santo Spirito onlus”.


The Casa del Lupo is a luxury apartment in a central location with fabulous views (the bell tower of the Palazzo Vecchio), great light, a terrace, AND a solarium! What more would you want? (Yes, there is an elevator.)

It is designer decorated with an eclectic mix of furnishings from oriental to Italian modern. The bathrooms and the kitchen have Carara marble. It has high ceilings, many with wood beams. The floors are mainly parquet floor and the solarium guarantees sun every day, perfect for the Spring.

Casa del Lupo has two bedrooms furnished with King-sized bed and one room with two single bed. There is also air conditioning, heating, window screens, internet connection, telephone, television with satellite, alarm system, oven, microwave, side-by-side refrigerator & freezer with icemaker, wine refrigerator, coffee maker, taps for still/sparkling water, sink with garbage disposal, dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, 2 safes, iPod/MP3 player hookup with built-in speakers in living/dining/kitchen. Linen and kitchenware are supplied.

Splurge a bit and enjoy the historic center in comfort.

For more information click this link.

MUSEUM FOR MAY – The Dream And The Glory At The Stibbert

The Armory Of Frederick Stibbert Through His Masterpieces

Until 6 September 2015

Stibbert Museum, Via Federigo Stibbert 26

Looking for a knight in armor or just interested in armor. Go to the Stibbert Museum. The exhibition is a tribute to Frederick Stibbert (1838-1906) and his work: the extraordinary museum that bears his name and contains one of the largest collections in the world of ancient weapons and armor.

The Dream And The Glory, showcases some of the masterpieces collected by Stibbert worldwide, through an exhibition that not only highlights the beauty and the particularities of the armor, but introduces the visitor to the cultural atmosphere in the nineteenth century that brought this collector to amass such an amazing group of objects relating to war and armor.

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

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

(May 16 come paint and draw in the Stibbert Park (see below).


From Thursday, May 14 through Sunday, May 17, Giorgiana Corsini and Neri Torrigiani invite you to celebrate the opening of Artigianato e Palazzo. The 21st 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 90 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.

Artigianato E Palazzo

Giardino Corsini, Via della Scala, 115

Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th May

Opening times 10 am to 8.30 pm

Entrance € 8,00. Reduced tickets € 6,00. Children 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 FUN FOOD PLACE FOR MAY – Primo Piano at the Mercato Centrale

A year ago 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.

The year has shown the place to be a fabulous success. Last month the pizza was named BEST OF FLORENCE and the addition of juicy Chianina hamburgers are wowing tourists, students, and Florentines, alike.

Open: 10am to midnight.

BEST BOOK FOR MAY – My Life as a Street Painter in Florence, Italy by Kelly Borsheim

Florence, Italy, birthed the Italian Renaissance. Hundreds of years later, American sculptor Kelly Borsheim traveled to Florence, fell in love with the city, and found herself immersed in the old art of painting directly on the street. The book focuses mainly on the large temporary artworks in pastel and chalk, street paintings of famous art masterpieces created between 2007 and 2010 by Kelly and her colleagues in Florence, as well as in other parts of Italy. The city began to change during these years and Kelly chronicles the struggles of the street painters for the ability to continue their form of art for public enjoyment. This visual journey includes over 330 images.

BEST BOOK FOR KIDS FOR MAY – Who Was Leonardo da Vinci? by Roberta Edwards (Author), True Kelley (Illustrator)

Leonardo da Vinci was a gifted painter, talented musician, and dedicated scientist and inventor, designing flying machines, submarines, and even helicopters. Yet he had a hard time finishing things, a problem anyone can relate to. Only thirteen paintings are known to be his; as for the illustrated encyclopedia he intended to create, all that he left were thousands of disorganized notebook pages. Here is an accessible portrait of a fascinating man who lived at a fascinating time—Italy during the Renaissance.


Until May 20, 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

Until May 20

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)



On May 16, starting at 10am, artists of all levels, from Sunday sculptures to professional painters, are invited to paint and draw in the sunny fresh air of the Stibbert Park outside the Museo Stibbert (see Best Museum for May). Bring your own materials and set up your open-air studio. The park is on the edge of the historic center and has beautiful long and short vistas.

At 5pm, the museum’s Limonaia will host a pop-up public exhibition of all the work created during the day.

The event is free and open to all, but booking is required by email: incontri.stibbert@gmail.com

Stibbert Museum, Via Federigo Stibbert 26 (ATAF bus #4 from the SMN train station)


Notte Blu celebrates Europe with 27 hours (one for each state in the EU) of events from May 6 to 10.. While it doesn’t get nearly as much press as her big sister Notte Bianca, Blu, the more serious, less partying sister , 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. This is the sixth year of Notte Blu and the theme this year is Cooperation and Food.

For a full list of the interesting events scheduled, visit the official website here:



On Sun. 17, 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


All through May, Florence will be hosting #Dante750 (first # in the P&F Newsletter) events to celebrate 750 years of the Divine Poet’s fame. The morning of May 14 is sure to be a major highlight: at 10am, festivities will kick off in piazza Santa Croce, featuring flag throwers, readings and more. A memorial wreath will be laid on the base of the poet’s statue in the square. For further information, call 329/4132868.


May 4-6: Avengers – Age of Ultron

May 1-3, 14-17: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2

May 11-13: The Gunman

May 18-20: Ex Machina


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.

An Incredulity Toward Metanarratives

Post-modern Movies

Defining Post-modernism is notoriously problematic. Jim Collins' catalogue raisonné of post-modern aesthetics goes some way to providing a checklist of features that may or may not constitute elements of the post-modern:

1. lists of things and permutations, rather than a series of events in causal interaction which derive from an origin and move step by step toward a conclusion [parataxis];

2. middles without explicit beginnings or ends;

3. inconclusiveness, indeterminacy [lack of closure];

4. surface, randomness, and possibility [magic realism];

5. diversity and plurality without hierarchy;

6. fragmentation, dissonance, admixture, layering;

7. incongruity, rather than unity or purity;

8. multiple media, eclecticism, pastiche, intertextuality;

9. pop culture, stereotypes, cult of the everyday;

10. quotation, distance;

11 detachment, self-consciousness. [self-reflexivity]

Throw in the familiar concepts of Intertextuality, Parody, Pastiche, Prefabrication, Bricolage, and Simulation and perhaps a common theme might emerge from this selection of 30 years of Post-modernism, and counting...

Non-English language films are subtitled.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015. 20.00

Film: PULP FICTION by Quentin Tarantino, 1994 crime

Wednesday, May 13, 2015. 20.00

Film: MULHOLLAND DR. by David Lynch, 2001 sui generis oneiric mystery

Wednesday, May 20, 2015. 20.00

Film: DEAD MAN by Jim Jarmusch, 1995 western

Wednesday, May 27, 2015. 20.00

Film: MOULIN ROUGE! by Baz Luhrman, 2001 musical

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 06, 2015, 18.00

Lecture in Italian: Carlo Sisi

The art historian and museum director Carlo Sisi, currently in charge of the Museo Marini in Florence, speaks in Italian about anti-establishment artists in the 19th century.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015, 18.00

Lecture: Damien Wigny

Author of three highly acclaimed guide books to Florence, Siena and Arezzo, Damien Wigny examines the connection between Byzantium (Constantinople, Istanbul) and the art of 14th-century Siena.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 18.00

Lecture-recital: Dennis Lee and Chee-Hung Toh

The Malayan pianist Dennis Lee and his wife, the Chinese pianist Chee-Hung Toh, perform music for four hands on our restored Bechstein mezza-coda.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015, 18.00

Lecture in Italian: Philippe Daverio

The art critic, journalist and television presenter Philippe Daverio speaks in Italian on the subject of one of the chapters in his latest book, Il secolo spezzato delle avanguardie, published by Rizzoli.


Spring has sprung and Florence has the flowers to prove it! Until May 11, international floriculture showcase FloraFirenze will be in bloom at former racetrack Le Mulina (take a bus ATAF #17C from Santa Maria Novella station or the Tramvia and get off at the Casine stop and walk down river). For the full program, visit www.florafirenze.com .

ON THE ROAD – 150 Years at the Bargello

Mass movement was a major element of medieval civilization—from travel and trade to pilgrimage. With this exhibition, ‘The Middle Ages on the Road,’ the Bargello celebrates its 150th anniversary as a museum. Exploring the theme of movement through maps, artworks, travel items and everyday objects, the show sheds light on the impact of war, the centrality of faith and the prevailing worldviews during the Middle Ages.

Until June 21

Museo Nazionale del Bargello, via del Proconsolo 4


Globally branded the ‘happiest 5k on the planet,’ the Color Run is coming to Florence! On May 23, wear white and acquire a rainbow while you run: all along the course, sideline cheerleaders douse the runners with colorful powders. Your goal is to make the most kaleidoscopic finish! There are still some slots open and the exact afternoon starting time is not yet confirmed. Register at Universo Sport at piazza del Duomo 6/7/8r—but act fast, 15,000 people have already signed up. See: http://thecolorrun.it/firenze/

Starting point: Cascine Park

Then go to:


May 23, 11am–10pm

Borgo Ognissanti is hosting a block party! From bakeries and boutiques to galleries and ethnic eateries, the street offers plenty for everyone. The 8-euro ticket buys tastes of five specialties from neighborhood shops, including food, wine and gelato. Children under 6 eat free. The party includes special hours, 9.30am to noon, for visiting the Ghirlandaio Last Supper fresco at the Ognissanti church; funds will be collected to restore a stone low relief of the Madonna, which fell from the nearby San Giovanni di Dio building on April 17.


Power And Pathos. Bronze Sculpture Of The Hellenistic World runs at the Palazzo Strozzi from 14 March−21 June 2015. This is major exhibition showcasing some of the ancient world's most important masterpieces of sculpture with exhibits from leading Italian and international museums. The exhibition uses 50 bronze sculptures to tell the story of the spectacular artistic developments of the Hellenistic era throughout the Mediterranean basin. Under Alexander the Great Hellenistic sculpture saw the birth of a genre known as "portraits of power", but at the same time it also revolutionized the style of Classical art by imbuing its figures with pathos, or expressiveness.

Monumental statues of gods, athletes and heroes will be displayed alongside portraits of historical figures, in a journey allowing visitors to explore the fascinating stories of these masterpieces' discovery while also probing the production and casting processes and the finishing techniques adopted.

Palazzo Strozzi is in Piazza Strozzi.

Tickets: €11, €9 reduced

Monday to Friday 9.00-13.00, 14.00-18.00

Tel. +39 055 2469600, Fax +39 055 244145, prenotazioni@palazzostrozzi.org

Website: www.palazzostrozzi.org


April 3–May 30 at the Eduardo Secci Contemporary Gallery, via Maggio 51r

This chic venue in via Maggio is hosting ‘Diramante,’ the first of a two-part showcase of works by Maurizio Donzelli. This thoroughly of-the-moment exhibition explores how beauty is making a comeback in contemporary art—Donzelli’s recent work figures prominently in this international conversation. Curated by Bartholomew F. Bland, who was behind the much-lauded American Dreamers show at the CCC Strozzina in 2012, the show at Eduardo Secci is the first part of the exhibition: in June, the gallery’s Pietrasanta location will host part two. For more information, call 055/283506 or visit www.eduardosecci.com .


What does the future hold for Florence—and for the whole of the European Union? This is a central theme of the Festival d’Europa (May 6-10), a major event prompting reflection on the Europe of tomorrow. The festival touches down in dozens of locations, with a packed program of concerts, lectures, exhibitions, film screenings and more. Many English-friendly events will take place at the festival-within-a-festival Notte Blu, headquartered at the Le Murate complex but also touching the whole Sant’Ambrogio area, the RFK Center, the British Institute, La Cité Libreria-Café and more. For the full program of events, visit festivaldeuropa.eu .


BEST MUSIC AND DANCE FOR MAY – The Maggio Musicale Festival

The Maggio Musicale Festival turns 78 this year! The 78th 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.

The first half of the month will give you a taste of what is to come:

3 May FIDELIO, 15:30

4 May THE HEIRESS, 17:00 and LANG LANG, 20:30

5 May FIDELIO, 20:30






11 May THE INNOCENTS, 17:00




15 May DENIS MATSUEV, 20:30

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

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 – St. Francis in Art and Literature

The Accademia’s first 2015 exhibition starts in the medieval era, exploring the origin of one of the greatest religious and cultural phenomena in Western and world history: the Franciscan movement. The movement made an incredible contribution not just to religion but to art as well, as it spread like wildfire to the East as far afield as China itself, and Franciscan friars commissioned works for their churches and convents.

Accademia Gallery until October 2015


British sculptor Antony Gormley’s exhibition ‘Human’ explores the connections between art, anatomy and space. Winner of the 1994 Turner Prize and knighted in 2014, Gormley chose Forte di Belvedere for its powerful past and defensive functions. The show features life-size sculptures widely and purposefully dispersed throughout the site, ‘encouraging the viewer to think again about who they are and how they negotiate the spaces around them’—as Gormley intended. For more information, call 055/2768558.

Until September 27

Forte di Belvedere, via di San Leonardo 1

AMICO MUSEO – Friendly Museum Experience

The annual AmicoMuseo experience brought to you by the Region of Tuscany offers family activities, special events and guided visits. Highlights include the Europe-wide Night at the Museum on May 16, during which many museums in Florence and around Tuscany will offer free entry and extended evening hours. For further details and all participating venues, see theflr.net/amicomuseo2015.

May 16–June 2 at various museums in Florence and Tuscany



This year the Mille Miglia skip Florence for the first time in decades!! On Sat. 16, 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 (May 14-17). But to see it you will have to go to Siena Pisa or Lucca.

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.

I SEGNI DELLA GUERRA – Signs of War in Pisa

March 28, 2015 - July 5, 2015

One hundred years from the entrance of Italy in World War I, Palazzo Blu dedicated an exhibition of photographs and documents dedicated to the conflict that opened and put its mark on twentieth century Italy.

Palazzo Blu, Lungarno Gambacorti 9, Pisa

Visit www.palazzoblu.it for more information.


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 24 to May 10 and then September 19 to October 4.

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


May 30-31 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 11:30am to 7:30pm and Monday, 11:30am to 6:30pm.

May 30-31 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.


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


Arte vera e gentile is a special exhibit running through May at the Museo del Tessuto in Prato. A fascinating selection of artifacts, precious embroideries, laces and fabrics from the Renaissance to examples from the 20th Century, conserved in order to keep the traditional techniques alive.

Via Puccetti 3 59100 Prato (PO) - Italia

Tel. +39 0574 611503

Fax +39 0574 444585

Web Site: www.museodaltessuto.it

FREE DAY TRIPS – That’s Prato

Sundays from May 3–July 5

Various locations in Prato, with free transport provided from Santa Maria Novella

Explore the best of Prato this summer! From villas and castles to contemporary art and industry, this Tuscan city brims with cultural heritage and hidden spots. Enjoy exclusive guided visits in English to many of these places—for free! You pay only for museum tickets. For the full calendar and to register, see www.thatsprato.com .


Linari Classic is delighted to announce its 2015 programme. This year the dates of the Festival will be the 14th, 16th, 18th, 20th and 23rd July. The music festival’s beautiful venues include Sant'Appiano, Volpaia, Paneretta and Nipozzano. The Musical Director, Joris van Rijn and other great musicians will open the Festival at Sant'Appiano. Linari will have again Jayson Gillham along with our young, exceptional Italian violinist. The Nash Ensemble are returning for concerts on the 18th and 20th July. The Schubert Ensemble Trio are coming back for our final concert on the 23rd July.

Situated between Florence and Siena, Linari is a medieval hilltop 'Borgo' in the Chianti Classico area, one of the most enchanting parts of Tuscany. The first Linari Classic Musical Festival was created and established in 2003 by Airdrie Armstrong Terenghi. She is now the Festival's principal organiser and Artistic Director, and works in collaboration with the renowned musician and Festival musical director Joris Van Rijn. Every summer at Linari, the concerts range from Early to Contemporary classical music. The musicians are professionals from around the world.

Their wonderful musicians journey to Linari each year for the sheer joy and pleasure of performing and living in such exotically beautiful settings, and in the presence of the most appreciative audiences. Performance settings include picturesque local churches such as Sant'Appiano, ancient castles and private villas such as Villa Gamberaia. See the website at http://www.linariclassic.com/ for their locations section for more information on directions and contact details.


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