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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 November 2009

November… the month when Florence and the surrounding countryside begin to settle into the calm that winter brings. With no particular warning, the city of Florence returns to itself. Fewer visitors fill the streets, and Florentines, bundled up against the cooler weather, scurry or stroll about their business. Florence in the winter has a unique charm. With dusk coming earlier each day, the shop windows seem to take on a special, warm glow. The city fills with the scent of roasting chestnuts, and in the countryside, where the vibrant gold and red of autumn makes it seem that a color bomb has gone off, the grapes have been picked, crushed and tucked safely into fermentation tanks. The olives groves are dotted with ground cloth circles as the olives are harvested, tree by tree.

In this issue: autumn food celebrations throughout the area, the latest escapades of the Florentine soccer/football team, events, cinema, music and more.

From a wind-swept but still sunny Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia SUZANNE, CORSO, SANDRA, LORI, ANNA PIA, KIMBERLY and MARIO send greetings for a warm and glowing November to all.

Ciao All, I hope you can help....I need the AIL to make a lot of money at the annual bazaar, so I can ask them for a big contribution to Corri La Vita. Every December 8th the American International Women’s Club organizes a fabulous bazaar, held at the Scuderie Reali near Porta Romana. I’ve volunteered to run the used clothing stand this year, so here I am asking you all to go through your closets (and those of your significant other, kids etc.) to collect the things you no longer need. We are looking for men’s clothing, women’s and children’s clothing, purses, gloves, scarves, evening gowns, cocktail dresses, jewelry (preferable diamonds) and hats. Another idea…. ask your dry cleaner if they have anything in their clothing deposits that they would like to get rid of.
Naturally, please take a moment to be sure that all is clean and in good condition, then give me a buzz. I’ll do pick-ups anywhere, at any hour so please don’t hesitate to call, fax, email or send a message via carrier pigeon. And mark the date (Dec. 8) on your calendar so you can come and buy it all back!
Thanks, and I very much look forward to hearing from you.
(tel. 055 2343354, fax 055 5609916, info@pitcherflaccomio.com)


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Please set aside this date - Wednesday November 4th, 5-7:30pm at Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Sala Luca Giordano, Via Cavour, 1 to join us for our fundraiser, Wine & Wisdom: A Conversation with Bob Shrum. Shrum, the legendary top level Democratic consultant (to people from George McGovern to Ted Kennedy, Al Gore, John Kerry, and the Clintons) will speak on President Obama's First Year in Office on the anniversary of his historic election. I heard Bob speak at NYU last week, and he is excellent - clear, authoritative, very interesting. Much of the evening will be dedicated to question and answer so it will give us a chance for insightful responses to our questions on the latest happenings in Washington. This is a $30/person (or 20 euro) fundraiser for a 100% volunteer organization that asks no dues and accomplishes a great deal. (Make your donation online at www.democratsabroad.org, press on donkey donation box upper left, then select Celebration in Florence from dropdown menu).
DA’s VoteFromAbroad online tool helped more than 6,000 people in Tuscany vote in the last elections and, consequently, DA worldwide made the difference in key races - like Jim Webb (Senate, Va, 2006 - tipped the Senate Democratic), Al Franken (Senate, Minnesota, 2009), Mark Begich (Senate, Alaska, 2009) and, in North Carolina, President Obama’s winning margin of 13,692 votes is largely due to overseas absentee voters. In the House, in both Ohio and Virginia wins can be attributed to margins provided by overseas voters.
Support the good work of Democrats Abroad by attending this event and have a great evening at the same time! Bring a friend! Confirm your attendance by writing me today. If you have questions, please contact me, Cathleen at cathleen.compton@gmail.com. And spread the word – we are hoping for a full house!
Chair, DA Florence. www.democratsabroad.org

Fri. 6 and Sat. 7 the Florentine Press is pleased to invite you to celebrate the presentation of its ground-breaking new release entitled Invisible Women: Forgotten Artists of Florence by Jane Fortune. In this noteworthy book, Author Jane Fortune sheds light on hundreds of remarkable women artists and their thousands of forgotten works, revealing the ‘hidden half' of one of the world's most celebrated cities. From the lofty halls of the Uffizi to the attic storerooms of the Pitti Palace, Invisible Women, leads the reader on a quest whose aim is the restoration, recuperation and rediscovery of famous or unknown works by women artists in Florence's museums.
Jane Fortune is chair and founder of Advancing Women Artists Foundation and The Florence Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, two entities that work to restore and promote works by women artists past and present. As a philanthropist and art collector (particularly women artists), she has served on several museum boards and is currently a member of the Board of Governors of the Indianapolis Museum of Art and a member of the National Advisory Board of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Known in Florence as ‘Indiana Jane' for her efforts to rescue lesser known treasures, she is cultural editor and columnist of The Florentine, Tuscany's English-language newspaper, and author of To Florence, Con Amore: 77 Ways to Love the City. Invisible Women is her second book.
The Florentine Press is happy to present a noteworthy calendar of weekend events where readers and art-lovers can meet the author and learn more about her passionate search to salvage forgotten art. For further information please contact: Tel. 055 2306616 - press@theflorentine.net
Friday, November 6 at 5 pm - Presenting Invisible Women at the Uffizi Official Book presentation Biblioteca degli Uffizi, Loggiato degli Uffizi 1.
Saturday, November 7 at 11:30 am - An extraordinary quest in Florence. The author recounts the story behind the search. Join us for a light brunch, wine and olive oil tasting. Paperback Exchange Bookshop, Via delle Oche 4r.
Saturday, November 7 from 5pm - Up close and personal with the author. Book-signing and afternoon tea. BM Bookshop, Borgo Ognissanti 4r.

If you happen to be in New York on Monday Nov. 9… come to the New York Friends of St. James Benefit Cocktail Party - from 6-8 p.m. at 1105 Park Avenue. Raise a glass to St. James and its new rector ... in the Big Apple! Our favorite church in Florence has just welcomed its new rector, the Rev'd. Canon Mark Dunnam. Join Barbara Crafton, Peter Casparian and other new and old friends of St James at the home of Anne Herrmann to greet Mark and to support the ongoing work of the American Church in the art history capital of the world. Donation: $100/person. R.S.V.P. to Barbara Crafton, bccrafton@aol.com. If you or someone you know, would like to attend, please contact Mo. Barbara Crafton.
The St. James Craft Fair will be held on Sunday November 29.Time: 12:30-4:30 p.m. Location: Undercroft. Do some early Christmas shopping at St. James. Come and enjoy our market of handmade crafts, artisan's works and baked goods. Food and beverages will also be for sale. If you would like a table to sell your crafts, please call Maurizia Marigioli at 055 733 0064. For more about St. James, see www.stjames.it. St. James Church, Via B. Rucellai, 9. Email: info@stjames.it.

Florence International Theatre Company (FITC) is proud to begin its Fourth Season with the talents of one of America's true veterans of the theatre:  Salome Jens in her critically acclaimed performance of the poetry of Anne Sexton in 'About Anne...'.   “A magnificent moment of theatre.  Jens’ rich and brilliant performance gleams in the memory."  The New York Times.  Ms. Jens' career extends from Broadway to her work with theatre innovators such as Elia Kazan and Joseph Papp to theatres throughout the United States.  Television fans will know her from her work on shows such as Falcon Crest, Mary Hartman, Melrose Place and as The Founder in Star Trek - Deep Space Nine.  FITC is also deeply grateful to Pitcher Flaccomio for sponsoring, along with their client Palazzo Rucellai, housing for our visiting artist. English Language Theatre with Italian Subtitles. November 19, 20, 21, 22 (21.00), 21, 22 (16.00), Teatro di Cestello, Piazza di Cestello. Ticket Prices are €18, €16.50 for seniors over 65, €10 for students. Circuito Box Office 055 210 804. Paperback Exchange  Via delle Oche 4/R (advanced sales only)
for further information:  www.florencetheatre.com, info@florencetheatre.com, 055 213 788
Florence International Theatre Company introduces something new to Florence nightlife with 'Late Night with FITC: Teatro Per Nottambuli'. FITC believes theatre after-hours would be a wonderful compliment to the contemporary culture of the city center and, with this idea in mind, inaugurates this new initiative with a production written and performed by French Canadian master puppeteer and clown, Bernard Vandal.  A phantasmagorical world of an everyman,  'Salami! Salami!' is a wordless, adult-oriented  performance that tackles the subject of sexual identity and masculinity.  L'Ardennais, reviewed the premiere at the Charles-Ville-Mézière, Off Festival:  'It is somewhat embarrassing, yet so funny.  Could it have been any other way, when the main concern of the play is the ever-taboo subject of the size of the male genital organ?  Bernard Vandal shows that he began his career on stage as a comic.... a mixing of genres that is also daring, and, ultimately, successful.' November 20, 21 at 11.30 pm. Teatro di Cestello, Ticket prices are €12, €10 for students. Reservations are secured through pre-paid purchase only. Tickets can be purchased through: Circuito Box Office 055 210 804.  Paperback Exchange  Via delle Oche 4/R (advanced sales only). For Adults only!
Bari Hochwald
Producing Artistic Director
Florence International Theatre Company, Tel. 055 213 788. bari@florencetheatre.com, www.florencetheatre.com.

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. Join me for a post-empirical gastronomic re-discovery of British cuisine focusing on tradition and influence from around the world.
Menu for Sunday Nov. 8th (from 1:00 to 3:00 pm): A New Hunger 1 - Traditional Pub Lunch - Starter: blue cheese soufflé with red onion marmalade and melba toast. Main: Roast loin of pork stuffed with peaches, roast potatoes, carrot and celeriac purée and cauliflower cheese OR Steak and Kidney pie with the above veg. OR Vegetarian option on request. Dessert: Fruit crumble with English custard. Water, wine and coffee included. Price: € 30.00 (please indicate your choice of main at time of reservation).
Thanksgiving, Thursday November 26 - Thanksgiving Roast with friends from the American community (from 20:00-22:00). Roast turkey with all the trimmings and more! (Vegetarian option on request). Dessert: Pumpkin and Apple Pie. Price: € 35.00.
Villa del Molino “DULCAMARA”, Via Dante da Castiglione 2. Loc. Cercina. 50019 Sesto F.no Firenze. (5 minutes from Careggi). RSVP REQUIRED. Tel. 335.6591939 paula_carrier@yahoo.co.uk . No credit cards, cash or cheques only.

FOOTBAAAALLL!! by Simon Clark and Anne Brooks
Forza Viola!..........Sometimes you want to scream. Prandelli & Co are discernibly fashioning a squad capable of winning everything. The squad seem to know they can win but they don’t yet believe – or don’t believe enough! Great teams win scrappy games by dint of character; they win when not playing well by understanding how to scrap collectively. Beautiful passing is necessary but not sufficient. Fiorentina can play delightfully but we need the grittier qualities and the ability to conjure a goal out of looming defeat. Not the greatest month in Viola history:

September Results
Week 7: Fiorentina-Lazio DREW 0-0
Week 8: Juventus-Fiorentina DREW 1-1
Champions League: Debrecen--Fiorentina WON 4-3
Week 9: Fiorentina-Naples LOST 0-1
Week 10: Genoa-Fiorentina LOST 1-2

Serie A. Football can be the most frustrating of games. The Viola, brimming with confidence after crushing Liverpool, are playing scintillating football, the new signings meshing-in, older hands re-energised. Yet a final, winning touch keeps eluding us. Lapses in concentration don’t. Week 7 saw us dominate Lazio, another fancied side, at the Stadio. Montolivo ran the show but, when incisive interplay failed to deliver, we lacked the Plan B that used to come on after 75 minutes in the successive shapes of Christian Rigano, Luca Toni and Bobo Vieri. A “fake” 0-0 draw. We’ll not mention the goal that Gilardino scored, that Stadio crowd, TV audience and media alike watched cross the line - later, referee and linesmen were seen, wearing sunglasses, clutching white sticks, leaving with their dogs.
The Big One – Juventus away and a game to savour, especially after wunderkind Stefan Jovetic set up Vargas for the irrepressible Peruvian to put us ahead in the 5th minute. Juve piled forward and grabbed an equaliser on 19 minutes. From then on, it was end-to-end stuff all the way with Buffon and Frey repeatedly showing their class. A 1-1 draw in Turin felt like a Tuscan moral victory. Then things veered off-script. Week 9 brought Naples to the Stadio. The Neapolitans had started the season badly but were brighter under a new manager; they reckoned they could take us. While we had – and spurned – our chances, it was Sebastien Frey who kept us in the game with three world-class saves and an impossible flexing of his body to keep out Quagliarella’s penalty; Clark Kent, eat your heart out! We didn’t get the message. Four minutes to go and the defence nods off; Maggio nips in; no time to get back; we lose at home for the first time this season.
North to Genoa, the team who gazumped us over Crespo. They’ve been falling apart of late but seemed mighty pleased to see us! For the first time, Prandelli started with his so-called “trident” of Mutu, Gilardino and Jovetic. One game isn’t enough to judge but none of them scored; the whole team failed to score enough. Genoa’s opener was magnificent if we ignore the fact of offside! After the break, the trident was dismantled, allowing Vargas and Pasqual to combine in setting up Marchionni for his first Viola goal. Montolivo rattled the bar; Gamberini headed against the post; we let the Genovese in again on 70 minutes – once more looking offside. They win 2-1. Not good, not happy – but not yet a “crisi”!
Champions League. Fiorentina may be firing blanks in Serie A but in Europe we’re igniting a veritable bag of fireworks. For our 3rd group game, off to Budapest and Hungarian champions, Debrecen. You hardly dared look away. They went ahead in the 2nd minute but by half-time, we were 4-2 ahead. Two from Mutu and one from Gila put us 3-1 up before Debrecen got one back with a pile-driver that left Frey no chance; Santana popped in a fourth. Less frenzied in the second half but still nip-and-tuck. Debrecen snared a 3rd at the death but that was that. There are good and bad messages. On the plus side, we now have 6 points and stand second in the group behind Lyons and ahead of Liverpool; Mutu remembered how to score goals. That said, Debrecen are supposed to be the make-weight in our group. Lyons won 5-0; we conceded three goals!
We’re still in European and Scudetto hunts, albeit in Serie A it’s as much due to the failings of others as to Fiorentina’s achievements. Key games are being drawn, preventing for example, Juve stretching away from us; teams like Roma and Milan are, as predicted, struggling to transform teams of champions into champion teams. We’re in 8th position but only two points adrift of Parma in 4th. We need to halt the drift. The team is learning and full of potential – but we need to keep stuffing points in the bag!
Special congratulations to Cesare Prandelli this month, not just for being awarded the Giacinto Facchetti prize but for the style in which he received it. The prize, sponsored by Gazzetta dello Sport and in its fourth year, goes to those who best demonstrate the value of fair play in football. As Prandelli made clear eloquently, humbly and respectfully, he took it on behalf of everyone at the club and in the City who cherished those values ..........Forza Viola!

November could decide the Champions League groups. We’ll be at home to Debrecen (if we don’t win, we don’t deserve to be in the competition) and Lyons; winning the latter would put the burden on Liverpool, our final opponents. If Lyons beat them in France, it could all be over before we cross the Mersey! The Serie A schedule doesn’t get any easier. Two home games should yield 6 points and we especially need to keep ahead of Parma. Nor do we want any slip-ups at Udinese; a draw at a minimum. At the end of the month, another vital test away to the team still most likely to win the Scudetto. Thinking of winning at Inter might be overreaching as José Mourinho builds teams to avoid defeat but a draw at the San Siro would really testify to Fiorentina’s development.

Week 11: (Florence): 1 November Fiorentina-Catania
Champions League: (Florence) 4 November Fiorentina-Debrecen
Week 12: 8 November Udinese-Fiorentina
Week 13: (Florence): 22 November Fiorentina-Parma
Champions League: (Florence) 24 November Fiorentina-Lyons
Week 14: 29 November Inter-Fiorentina

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 P. Repubblica post office and the Odeon cinema). 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

THUMBS UP – THUMBS DOWN - “Our Readers Right”
Our “Thumbs up, Thumbs down” column is your chance to toot the horn of businesses, events and those Florentine situations that strike you as either wonderful or terrible. Please note: all opinions are strictly those of the contributor. Lend us your thoughts!

Dear P & F,
I am sending a quick thank you for this little tid-bit of info that I found in your own Pitcher & Flaccomio fact-filled information sheet provided on arrival in the apartment I rented this Fall. I thought it was worthy of passing on to all.
To understand your electricity consumption with the new electronic meters, press the button on the top right hand side of the meter until the display reads A3 and take note of the reading. If, by pressing the button again you see A2 and pressing again you see A1; this means that your meter keeps track of your consumption over high, medium, and low consumption periods. For a complete understanding of your electricity consumption, you must take note of all three readings if they are available. A1 is the consumption from during peak hours, Mon - Fri 8am to 7pm. A2 is the consumption from during mid level hours, Mon - Fri 7am to 8am, 7pm to 11pm, and Saturday 7am to 11pm. A3 is the consumption from during mid low hours, Mon - Fri midnight to 7am, Saturday 11pm to midnight, Sundays and holidays.
Yours truly,
Erin Funster

Dear Kim,
A big thumbs up to Cinnamon ice cream !!!! Yummy!! At Gelateria Robiglio (il Re del Gelato)on Viale F. Strozzi 8/r. tel. 055-495939.

There is a humble, home recipe that Tuscans might mix up when they have an unexpected hankering for an after-dinner sweet. The “recipe” calls for nothing more than a big dollop of fresh ricotta cheese, a tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of freshly ground coffee beans. Mix these ingredients together and eat. You can play with the amounts in any way you like, or add a bit of liquor (Kahlua, rum, etc.). Doll up the ricotta cream by layering it in a tall glass with whipped cream and crumbled cookies. Some might even think of drizzling on a bit of chocolate syrup.


50 Giorni di Cinema Internazionale a Firenze came together for the first time in 2007 as a project of the Mediateca Regionale Toscana Film Commission to create a single, unique calendar of events uniting a number of already existing Florentine film festivals. The result is an agenda of incredible, high-quality international and alternative films. Documentaries, short films, premiers, meet the artist events and debates animate the 50- day schedule. The November calendar, hosted at the Cinema Odeon, includes the Festival dei Popoli: Festival Internazionale del Film Documentario (an international, cultural film fest from 1 – 7 November), Una Finestra sul Nord (a Finnish film extravaganza from 13 – 15 November), Festival Internazionale di Cinema & Donne (a women’s film festival from 17 – 22 November), Lo Schermo dell'Arte (an international celebration of film and contemporary art from 23 – 26 November) and the Florence Queer Festival (celebrating a gay, lesbian and transgender array of films, videos and other arts from 27 November to 3 December).
The Festival dei Popoli is the oldest European film festival dedicated entirely to documentary cinema. Films include a nod to 1950’s America (Meet Marlon Brando and With love from Truman) by A. e D. Maysles, 1966; Happy Mother’s Day by R. Leacock and J. Chopra from 1963, English “free cinema” (We are the Lambeth Boys by K. Reisz from 1959) and “nouvelle vague” (Gare du Nord by J. Rouch). Don’t miss the musical documentary “Woodstock: Now and Then”.
Next up… a 3-day Finnish film fest: Una Finestra sul Nord. The 'Associazione Culturale Italofinlandese of Florence, in collaboration with Suomen elokuvasäätiö (the Finnish Film Foundation), reopens “a window on the North” with a look at today’s youth in Pelikaanimies (The Pelican Man) by Liisa Helminen, then a comic peek into the world of ecology with Katastrofin aineksia (Recipe for Disaster) by John Webster, and a horror film “Sauna” by A.J. Annila. For further info: suomiseurafirenze@email.it
The Cinema and Women International festival follows, with a celebration that goes beyond directors and actors to include costume designers, photographers and film critics. This fest aims to underline the quality of the women working in a field still dominated by men, at the same time highlighting different points of view for representing the diverse cultures of our world. There will be a homage to Anna Magnani, plus “Il Canto delle Spose”, the story of a friendship between two girls (one Arab and the other Jewish) that manages to overcome the horrors of war.
Lo Schermo dell'Arte International Contemporary Art Film Festival is dedicated to films highlighting art today, from architecture to photography to performance art, from street art to the art market. All films will be projected in their original language with Italian subtitles. Watch for works by artists like Mark Lewis and Alfredo Jaar who have chosen film as a means of expression, Martin Scorsese who narrates how cinema has influenced the work of Cubists Picasso and Braque, and more. The complete program can be found at www.schermodellarte.org. Info 339 5757187, info@schermodellarte.
Finally, the Florence Queer Festival, which is an international look at cinema and the gay, lesbian and transgender world. In one of the more original an innovative film festivals in Italy, this collection seeks to show not only films in the homosexual genre, but to also illustrate the LGBT lifestyle at a human level, where LGBTs are not martians, but a force naturally present in everyday society. Come see Can I Be Your Bratwurst, Please? (USA 1999), and Tote Schwule - Lebende Lesben (Germania 2007). Rosa von Praunheim will be a guest at the Odeon on Saturday 29th presenting the one-man-show “I am a Tomato”. Info: 3478553836 - www.florencequeerfestival.it

On Tuesdays 10 and 24, enjoy a concert at the Accademia Bartolomeo Cristori. In the Oltrarno neighborhood you will find a lovely, small theatre presenting a series of concerts highlighting the fortepiano, and featuring a display of these historical instruments. The fortepiano is an early version of the piano, invented by Italian instrument maker Bartolomeo Cristofori around 1700. It has leather-covered hammers, harpsichord-like strings and a much lighter case construction than the modern piano. The range of the fortepiano was about four octaves at the time of its invention and gradually increased. Mozart (1756-1791) wrote his piano music for instruments of about five octaves. The piano works of Beethoven (1770-1827) reflect a gradually expanding range; his last compositions are for an instrument of about six octaves. (The range of most modern pianos, attained in the 19th century, is 7 1/3 octaves.) ACCADEMIA BARTOLOMEO CRISTOFORI, via di Camaldoli 7/R, tel. 055 22.16.46. Ticket: 10.00 euro. www.accademiacristofori.it.
November concerts:
Tues. 10: MAURIZIO BAGLINI, music of Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert. 9:00 pm.
Tues. 24: RYOKU YOKOYAMA, FUMIYO GOSHIMA, music of Haydn, Beethoven. 9:00 pm

Since 1992, Musicus Concentus has offered a detailed survey of the contemporary music scene. In addition to American and European jazz, Musicus Concentus takes into consideration other musical expressions ranging from European classical to ethnic traditions and electronic music, to define an original program drawing the best from today’s music. Concerts this month (except for the last one) all feature the piano and will take place at the Sala Vanni, in Piazza del Carmine 14. Concert time: 9:15 pm. Tickets: 15 euro. Tel. 055 287347 055 287347 . www.musicusconcentus.com
Friday 27 - GARY LUCAS (guitar) & DEAN BOWMAN (voice): “Chase The Devil", at the Museo Marino Marini. 9:30 pm:

On Sat. 7 and Sun. 8 Piazza SS. Annunziata celebrates Tuscany’s shepherds with kiosks selling their warm wool creations, their fresh and aged cheeses plus demonstration of the shepherd’s arts, tools and lifestyle. The piazza will be animated all day from 9:00 am – 7:00 pm.

On Fri. 13, Sat. 14 & Sun. 15 in Piazza Santa Croce, preview some of Tuscany’s best olive oil as the town of Reggello (located between Florence and Arezzo) offers tastings and purchase of the freshest olive oil to be had. Join local producers as they present this year’s new liquid gold, and buy directly from the source. The party continues in Reggello Sat. 28 and Sun. 29 (see Tuscany News below.)

FORTEZZA ANTIQUARIA – Monthly Antiques Fair
Sat. 14 and Sun. 15 the gardens surrounding the Fortezza da Basso bloom with kiosks selling every sort of antique including furniture, kitchen tools, books, etc.

Sun. 15 wander around Piazza Santo Spirito (9:00 am to 7:00 pm) and indulge in the fresh, new Tuscan olive oil, plus buy live plants and trees for your house and garden. The monthly fair zeros in on autumn goodness with organically grown fruits and vegetables, wonderful Tuscan cheeses and jams.…everything handmade, homemade and produced with care and love.

On Sat. 21 & Sun. 22 check out Piazza della Repubblica for another chance at finding Tuscany’s best olive oil producers available right in the center of town. Bagno a Ripoli brings their olive oil fair into Florence Sat. from 3:00 to 7:30 pm and Sun. from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm.

Thursday 26 is Thanksgiving. A few tips for do-it-yourselfers… cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie filling can be found at Vivimarket on Via del Giglio, or at most Esselunga supermarkets. For your turkey, think ahead and order a whole one from a local butcher or supermarket butcher. Some of the stalls in the Central and Sant’ Ambrogio Markets also have them. Keep in mind… Italian turkeys can be BIG, and Italian ovens are often SMALL. Tell your butcher to not go over a max of 6 or 7 kilos. If you are looking for a restaurant with a special Thanksgiving menu, so far we have heard that Florence’s Savoy Hotel on Piazza della Repubblica will be offering a special menu at lunch and dinner (enquiries.savoy@roccofortecollection.com). And the lovely Four Seasons Hotel is doing a Thanksgiving special meal (for info: tel. 055 2626450). Or join chef Paula Carrier Villa del Molino “DULCAMARA” in Cercina just above Careggi on the 26th for a Thanksgiving Roast. Dinner will be served at 8:00 pm with Roast turkey and all the trimmings plus pumpkin and apple pie. See details above.

Sun. 29 be prepared to join the marathon…. or to dodge and weave your way around Florence as the city gives itself over to nearly 10,00 athletes from around the world. From the starting block in Piazzale Michelangelo, the route descends gently into and through the historical center, covering 42 kilometers, to finish in Piazza Santa Croce. There is a mini-run for kids and families. Starts 9:00 am in Piazzale Michelangelo. For info and to sign up contact www.firenzemarathon.it

The British Institute Weekly Cultural Programme. 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 drinks reception. British Institute Library, Lungarno Guicciardini 9.
Wed. 4 - Peter Vassallo: Florence as a setting in the novels of E.M. Forster and D.H. Lawrence. Peter Vassallo sees E.M. Forster's celebrated novel A Room with a View (1908) as an attempt to engage with Ruskin's Mornings in Florence by privileging the Florentine Renaissance over Ruskin's ascetic Gothic. In this talk he will also examine D.H. Lawrence's treatment of Florence in Aaron's Rod (1922), and the profound effect of this 'male' city on the novel's protagonist Aaron Sisson. This aspect of Florence will be discussed in the light of Lawrence's attitude towards gender relations. Professor Peter Vassallo is Chair of the Institute of Anglo-Italian Studies at the University of Malta, and General Editor of the Journal of Anglo-Italian Studies.
Wed. 11 - Concert: Glen Capaldi: Swing, swing, swing! A tour through the magic world of Porter, Gershwin, Arlen and other composers of the great jazz standards with ! Glenn Capaldi, who says ‘When I sing I'm honest'. Born at Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire, ‘some time after the Second World War', Glen started playing the piano very early and soon discovered the powerful impact of Beethoven. As a jazz soloist he released an album The meteor in the sitting room, and with the Glen Capaldi Combo he recorded Jazzed by that lady. A chance to relax and enjoy an evening of music with a cocktail in your hand.
Wed. 18 - James Bradburne: The Pleasure of Seduction - There is a certain pleasure in letting yourself be seduced-and trompe l'oeil is its ideal form of expression. Trompe l'oeil is distinguished not just by its realism-after all, still life, perspective painting and photography can all claim to be equally realistic-but by its wit. In the best examples, the artist deliberately means to trick you-and to let you know you have been tricked. This lecture celebrates the charm, irony and sometimes irreverence of trompe l'oeil, from antiquity to the present, by looking at the exhibition Art + Illusions, at Palazzo Strozzi from 16 October to 24 January.
Wed. 25 - Candida Cave: The Mitford Sisters - Born into an aristocratic English family in the early part of the 20th century, the Mitford sisters achieved notoriety for their involvement in some of the most significant events of the time: Nancy, the scintillating wit and novelist; Pamela, who managed to maintain her privacy; Diana, admired by Hitler and married to Blackshirt Oswald Mosley; Unity, who shot herself at the outbreak of World War II; Jessica, the ardent communist who went to fight in the Spanish Civil War; Deborah, who as a child wanted to marry ‘the Duke of Right', and did just that. . The playwright and lecturer Candida Cave will consider the lives of these remarkable sisters, who are the subject of her latest play, The Glamour of Evil.

Odeon Theatre, Piazza Strozzi 2. Phone: 055 214 068. www.cinehall.it
During November and part of December, the Odeon cinema is proud to host 50 Giorni di Cinema Internazionale. The various programs of the Festival will offer an opportunity to sample hundreds of excellent films in original language versions, and to meet directors, actors and writers of quality cinema from all over the world. The Odeon Original Sound Program will however continue to offer cinema-goers the chance to see the best current productions. So, some films will be shown at the Astra 2 Cinehall (a 20-minute walk from the Odeon).
Monday 9 - THIS IS IT by Kenny Ortega with Michael Jackson. 4.00 – 6.10 – 8.20 – 10.30 p.m. Cinema Odeon, Piazza Strozzi
Monday 16 – 2012 by Roland Emmerich with John Cusack, Thandie Newton. 3.30 - 5.45 – 8.10 – 10.30 p.m. Cinema Odeon, Piazza Strozzi
Monday 23 - THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR PARNASSUS by Terry Gilliam with Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell. 3.45 – 6.00 – 8.15 – 10.30 p.m. Cinema Astra 2, Piazza Beccaria
Monday 30 - THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS by Grant Heslov with George Clooney, Ewan McGregor. 4.30 – 6.30 – 8.30 – 10.30 p.m. Cinema Astra 2, Piazza Beccaria

This Is It packs plenty entertainment value to live up to its ambitious title, offering Michael Jackson fans a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the performer as he developed and rehearsed his sold-out 2009 concerts that never happened.
2012 is an epic adventure about a global cataclysm that brings an end to the world and tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a fantastical morality tale, set in the present day. It tells the story of Dr Parnassus and his extraordinary 'Imaginarium', a travelling show where members of the audience get the opportunity to choose between light and joy or darkness and gloom.
In The Men Who Stare at Goats, a reporter in Iraq might just have the story of a lifetime when he meets Lyn Cassady, a guy who claims to be a former member of the U.S. Army's First Earth Battalion, a unit that employs paranormal powers in their missions

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. 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 10:0-7:30 pm. Tel: 055/210804. Fax: 055/213112, INTERNATIONAL STUDIO, Chiasso de’ Soldanieri, Tel. 055/293393, ARGONAUTA VIAGGI, Lungarno Torrigiani 33/B, 055/2342777.9187. Many tickets can be pre-purchased via www.ticketone.it, www.boxol.it, www.classictic.com/en or www.festivalopera.it.

Every day
ORGAN CONCERT. Chiesa S. Maria de' Ricci, Via del Corso. Daily at 9:15 pm; Saturdays at 6:00 pm.

Thursday 5
SIMPLE MINDS – come listen for your favorites… Speed Your Love to Me, Promised You A Miracle, Glittering Prize, and New Gold Dream. Saschall.

Friday 6
ELIAHU INBAL conductor, SARAH PAGIN soprano. Music by Beethoven, Mozart. Teatro Verdi. 9:00 pm.
ENCOUNTER WITH STRADIVARI IN FRONT OF DAVID BY MICHELANGELO. The Stradivariuses of the Nippon Music Foundation, one of the most important collections of stringed instruments in the world, are made available to Florence's Teatro del Maggio Musicale for a fundraising concert held in front of Michelangelo's David. Music of Handel, Wieniawski, Dvorak, Pablo de Sarasate, Mendelssohn. Tickets (some including dinner) from 200 to 400 euro. Accademia museum. 9:00 pm. www.maggiofiorentino.com

Saturday 7
VIKTORIA MULLOVA violino, OTTAVIO DANTONE clavicembalo. Music of Bach. Teatro Pergola. 4:00 pm.

Sunday 8
BACH AND DANTE – music and a Dante reading. Sala Vanni, piazza del Carmine, 14. 11:00 am. www.nuovocontrappunto.it
LA PICCOLA VOLPE ASTUTA (The Cunning Little Vixen) – opera by Leóš Janà?ek. Seiji Ozawa conductor. Teatro Comunale. 8:30 pm.
BIG ONE – Pink Floyd cover band. Saschall. 9:00 pm.

Monday 9
LA STAGIONE ARMONICA – Sergio Balestracci conductor. Music of Bach. Teatro della Pergola. 9:00 pm
THE SPAGHETTI WESTERN ORCHESTRA – all the best movie soundtrack music from Morricone and the like. Saschall 9:00 pm.

Wednesday 11
LA PICCOLA VOLPE ASTUTA – opera by Leóš Janà?ek. Seiji Ozawa conductor. Teatro Comunale . 8:30 pm.

Friday 13
LA PICCOLA VOLPE ASTUTA – opera by Leóš Janà?ek. Seiji Ozawa conductor. Teatro Comunale. 8:30 pm.

Sunday 15
LA PICCOLA VOLPE ASTUTA – opera by Leóš Janà?ek. Seiji Ozawa conductor. Teatro Comunale. 3:30 pm.

Monday 16
SKUNK ANANSIE – Skin is back with a Greatest Hits Tour. Saschall. 9:30 pm.

Thursday 19
GIANNA NANNINI with works from the latest album GIANNADREAM. Nelson Mandela Forum. 9:00 pm.

Saturday 21
INGO METZMACHER conductor. Music of Schumann. Teatro Comunale. 8:30 pm.
LIVING COLOUR – live rock/funk. Auditorium Flog. 9:00 pm.

Friday 27
PIETARI INKINEN conductor, MARIELLA DEVIA soprano. Music of Ludwig van Beethoven, Chausson, Debussy, Gustav Mahler. Teatro Comunale. 8:30 pm.
PAOLO NUTINI – he may sound Italian, but this young rocker is Scottish to the socks, with works from his latest “Sunny Side Up”. Saschall. 9:00 pm.

Saturday 28
TOMMY EMMANUEL – an amazing Australian guitarist. Saschall. 9:00 pm

MANIPULATING REALITY - How Images Redefine the World
Until Jan. 17, the new exhibition at the Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina at Palazzo Strozzi poses a question: “What is true and what is real in our daily lives today?” Twenty-three international artists use photography and video-art to manipulate our perception of the visible world and to build new models of reality. The great contradiction that characterizes photography and video-art is that both pretend to record reality while being, at the same time, a falsification of that reality. This ambiguity has increased with the spreading popularity of easy-to-use digital technology and the massive dissemination of images through the mass media and Internet; the conflict between appearance and reality is pushed to its outer edges and demands that the spectator play an active role in defining what he or she is seeing as real.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with entries written by university professors, by experts in the visual arts, and sociologists. Check the names of the artists and the details of the exhibition at: www.strozzina.org/manipulatingreality. CSSS Strozzina, Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza Strozzi. Open Tuesday - Sunday 10.00 am - 8.00 pm. Special free entrance: Thursday 6.00 pm - 11.00 pm. Monday closed. Tickets (valid for up to 5 entries in one month) 5,00 euro. tel. 055 2446761.

ART AND ILLUSIONS - Masterpieces of Trompe L'oeil from Antiquity Till the Present
Until January 24th Palazzo Strozzi offers a most unusual exhibit regarding trompe l’oeil… the art of deceiving the eye. The theme of this show is deception, illusion, and the eternal tension between fiction and reality shown not only in painting, but in sculpture, intarsia, scagliola, pietre dure and porcelain. Showpieces run from faux armoires, half-open, with books inside, to soup tureens and table furnishings in the shape of vegetables, to anatomical and botanical wax models. From ancient Greco-Roman mosaics, to European masterpieces of the 1300s, to today, two hundred works from museums and private collections tell the intriguing and spectacular history of trompe-l’oeil.
The jury is still out over when a work of art should be considered trompe-l’œil and when it’s simply trying to be realistic. What is it that makes a work of art a real trompe-l’œil? One of the keys is obviously the artist’s intention: does he want the work of art to "deceive" the observer or, is his work simply an attempt to reproduce faithfully and in a realistic fashion, as with a still life or an anatomical model?
The exhibit also dedicates a significant amount of space to wall decorations and interiors (detached frescoes from Ancient Rome, where the theme of deception gave life to a school) and to Flemish artists and their innovations in the trompe-l’oeil genre. Among the many curiosities are the famous cabinet called Scarabattolo (from the Opificio delle Pietre Dure), a painting of the late 1600s by the Flemish artist Domenico Remps, showing a collection of natural and artistic objects from the Medici family. There are masterpieces by Mantegna, Titian and Veronese that will induce the visitor to reflect on the duplicity with which spatial interaction is depicted in painting, whilst the 17th century works of Jean-François de la Motte, and the still lifes of the 19th American realists will allow us to explore subjects frequently encountered in optically deceptive painting, such as hanging letters, or panels with papers alongside other objects on them, or the motif of hunting trophies and of various objects hanging on doors and panels. In addition, works by American artists specializing in trompe-l’œil such as Peto, Kaye, Harnett and Haberle will be on display in Europe for the very first time.
And since the eye is not the only thing to be deceived, the exhibition will allow us to experiment with the way in which all of the senses – touch, smell, hearing and taste – can be tricked. For example, special captions and cards designed by celebrated Florentine master perfumer Lorenzo Villoresi will challenge the visitor to verify the ability and the reliability of his sense of smell, while an innovative audio-guide will prove that even sounds can be deceptive. The exhibition staff will be part of the show too: they will not simply help the visitor to discover the wonders of trompe-l’œil, they will also be capable of performing a few card tricks liable to deceive the eye and the brain.
Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza Strozzi. Tel. 055 2645155. Daily 9:00 a.m – 8:00 p.m, Thurs. 9:00 a.m – 11:00 p.m

Until Jan. 10 the Bargello National Museum hosts a retrospective for Ugo Nespolo (the first held in Florence) responding to Florence’s need to promote contemporary art, too. Forty of Nespolo’s creations are on display, ranging from objects in silver and mother-of-pearl, sculptures in wood and bronze to glass-work and books. With this exhibit, the Bargello intends to valorize its extraordinary heritage of so-called “minor” or applied arts, presenting a review of works produced by one of the most famous contemporary Italian artists, some of them dedicated specifically to the Bargello museum. Bargello museum. Ticket: euro 7.00. Hours: Monday – Sunday, 8:15 am to 5:00 pm.

Until Dec. 13 the Uffizi Gallery hosts a fascinating special exhibit. With the extinction of the Medici dynasty (1743), Florence did not lose its prestige as capital of culture and the arts, thanks to the government of the Lorraines, who gave the city the international profile required by Enlightenment policies. This exhibition is the first overall panorama of the principal artistic events of the eighteenth century in Florence, with 120 paintings, sculptures, art objects and furnishings, works from the entire century, recording the changes in taste from the late Baroque period to Neoclassicism.
The show starts with commissions made by Cosimo III and the Grand Prince Ferdinando de’ Medici, that opened the city to “foreign” artists like Sebastiano Ricci and Giuseppe Maria Crespi. They favored sculpture (with personalities like Giovan Battista Foggini and Massimiliano Soldani Benzi), and developed the manufacture of tapestries and semiprecious stone work.
Following the Medicis, Peter Leopold of Lorraine brought the European version of Rococo and Neoclassicism to Tuscany, along with the reformist spirit that accompanied the theories of the Enlightenment even in the figurative arts. A new elite of patrons took shape in Florence. In this context, the families of the Florentine aristocracy held a conspicuous role: the Gerini family for the diffusion of the veduta (landscape), the Ginori family for their famed porcelains of Doccia, the Corsini family for their constant relations with pontifical Rome. In this climate of civic and cultural fervor, the Frenchmen François-Xavier Fabre, Bénigne Gagnereaux, Louis Gauffier and Jean-Baptiste Desmarais came to Florence, driven from Pontifical Rome after the murder of the diplomat Nicolas de Basseville. With them came the international version of neoclassicism, thus contributing to the “reform” of the portrait, the veduta and the historical painting, on the eve of the instatement of the Napoleonic court (1799). Uffizi Gallery. Ticket: 10 euro. Open Tuesday to Sunday 8:15 – 6:50 pm. Closed Monday. Tel. 055 2654321

Until Nov. 15 an exhibition at the Alinari National Museum of Photography celebrates the Centenary of Futurism, when photography was used as a tool for marking and fixing the life of the Futurist Movement and its social events. Futurism in Photography consists of 126 works accompanied by original historical documentation. The exhibition investigates the first formal and anti-naturalistic intuitions of the late 19th century, analyses the revolution introduced by the Fotodinamismo of the Bragaglia brothers and the subsequent creative outcomes that Futurist theories produced in Italian photography. The genres explored include multiple photography, Fotodinamismo, photomontage, photo collage, iconographic manipulation and camouflage of objects, portraiture and photo-performance.
The founder of Futurism and its most influential personality was the Italian writer Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. Marinetti launched the movement in his Futurist Manifesto, which he published for the first time in 1909. Beyond Futurism, which was created around the figure of Marinetti, the exhibit also presents images of the “Futurist culture” that developed freely and independently, with an avant-garde spirit, consciously involving photography as the medium of modernity par excellence, in daily life as well as in artistic creation. Alinari National Museum of Photography, Piazza Santa Maria Novella,14 r. Open: 10:00am – 7:00pm, closed on Wednesday. Tel. 055 216310. www.alinarifondazione.it Ticket: 9.00 euro.

BETTY WOODMAN: The Cheerful Vitality of the Porcelain
Until Feb. 15, the Porcelain Museum at Palazzo Pitti is stage to the refined and imaginative creations of Betty Woodman. With their unpredictable shapes and the intensity and brilliance of the colors, the unusual Sèvres porcelain pieces created by Woodman revolutionize the traditional concept of prized tableware, while preserving a classy elegance. A potter who has already made her name in New York, Betty Woodman periodically lives and works in her house in Antella, just outside of Florence, where she has had the chance to delve into the stratifications of Italian culture. Her expressive freedom enables her to renew the design of traditional forms, drawing on diverse historical and geographical sources to bring forth a new, playful language of matter, unburdened by the labor and study that nevertheless lies behind each individual piece. As she herself puts it “I seek to make art that nods its appreciation towards the history of ceramics without attempting to imitate it”.
Palazzo Pitti Porcelain museum. Piazza Pitti. Hours: 8:15 am– 6:15 (up to 24 October), 8:15 – 5:15 (from 25 to 31 October), 8:15 – 4:15 pm (November, December, January, February). Closed 1st and last Monday of each month.


November is one of the best “food” months in Tuscany. We have listed a number of wonderful fairs and festivals below, but keep an eye out for posters reporting news of all the other “sagre” celebrating Tuscany’s autumn bounty of freshly pressed olive oil (olio nuovo), the first tastes of this year’s wine (vino novello), chestnuts (marroni and castagne) and white truffles (tartufi bianchi).

Sat. 7 and Sun. 8, Scarperia is the place to be. This medieval village in the Mugello area north of Florence will host a weekend of festivities honoring one of their local specialties, the Tuscan white truffle. Buy truffles to experiment with at home. Taste Tagliolini with truffles, Bistecca with truffles and Tortelli Mugellani (pasta stuffed with potato filling). Saturday from 5:00 pm. Sunday fun starts at 11:00 am. Tel. 055 8468142, 055 843161, 338 2556443. http://www.comune.scarperia.fi.it

Sat. 7 and Sun. 8 visit the incredibly beautiful hilltop town of Volterra for demonstrations of chocolate making, to taste, buy and revel in chocolate. Even paint and sculpt with chocolate. Chocolate cocktails? What more could you ask for? The fun goes from 4:00 to 8:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm.

On Sat. 14 & Sun. 15 you will find Via Roma in nearby Bagno a Ripoli filled with the stands of local olive oil producers giving tastes and selling their best. Bagno a Ripoli is easy to get to with local ATAF buses. Sat. from 2:00 to 7:30 pm and Sun. from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm.

Sat. 14 and Sun 15, starting at 10:00 pm in Borgo San Lorenzo, you have another chance to taste and buy the local white truffles found in the Mugello area. The town’s restaurants will present special truffle menus. At Villa Pecori Giraldi there will be truffle hunt demonstrations, wine and vin santo tastings and dinners (call for reservations: 3298722160). Info: 055 8456230.

On Sun 15 toodle around Tuscany to find selected wineries open for tastings of their Vino Novello (the Tuscan version of Beaujolais). Young Novello wine, soft and fruity, may tease the palate, but also taste great older wines during this event sponsored by the Wine Tourism Movement. Even if you are the designated driver, the special celebrations are a good excuse to spend the day outdoors in an intimate and cheerful atmosphere. The wineries welcome visitors by also offering art exhibitions, wine tasting in conjunction with local produce cooked according to traditional recipes, "lunch with the winemaker" and walks among the vineyards. Check individual wineries below for their ideas.
Fattoria Belvedere. www.fattoriabelvedere.com. Loc. Belvedere. Colle Di Val D'elsa - (Si) Tel: 0577 920009
Rocca delle Macie, www.roccadellemacie.com. Loc. Le Macìe 45. Castellina In Chianti - (Si). Tel: 0577 7321 Fattoria di Piazzano, www.piazzano.it. Via Di Piazzano 5. 50053 Empoli - (FI). Tel: 0571 994032.
Fornacelle, www.fornacelle.it. Loc. Fornacelle 232/a, 57022 Castagneto Carducci - (Li), Tel: 0565 77555
Torre a Cenaia, www.torreacenaia.it. Via delle Colline, 63 - Loc. Cenaia. 56040 Crespina - (Pi). Tel: 050 643739

The weekends of November smell sweet (if you like truffles) in San Miniato (Pisa). On Sat. and Sun. 14-15, 21-22, 28-29, you will find truffle stands galore from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm each day. San Miniato is located in the lower Arno valley, halfway between Pisa and Florence. For thirty-eight years the Mostra Mercato Nazionale del Tartufo Bianco di San Miniato, has transformed the city for the month of November into an open-air tasting workshop. Apart from selling fresh truffles, laid out like jewels in various parts of the historical centre of San Miniato, they host stalls and markets where you can eat, drink and enjoy all types of Tuscan products. www.cittadisanminiato.it. Tel. 0571 418739.

On Sat. 28 & Sun. 29 head to Reggello (between Florence and Arezzo) for the freshest olive oil to be had. The entire town celebrates their annual festival with an invitation to join local producers as they present this year’s liquid gold. Taste and buy directly from the source. You can also preview the offerings in Florence (see Florence news above). Nuovo Palazzetto dello Sport, via Brunetto Latini 111, Reggello (FI). Open all day. Free admission.

Until Dec. 31, the jewel-like Oratory of Santa Caterina, just above Bagno a Ripoli will showcase twelve masterpieces from the Uffizi and other collections. In addition to frescoes by Spinello Aretino telling the story of Saint Catherine, visitors can admire works from the Repository of the Uffizi Gallery, the Museo dell’Opera di Santa Croce and the Museo Nazionale di Villa Guinigi of Lucca, by Agnolo Gaddi, the Master of Barberino and Pietro Nelli. Hope is that the Uffizi – by lending a remarkable work tied to the Oratory itself – succeeds in sharing a bit of the fame the well-known museum enjoys, enticing foreign visitors to take a trip out of town, and to consolidate the historical awareness of those who live in Bagno a Ripoli. Open: Monday – 3:00 to 7:00 pm. Tuesday to Sunday 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, 3:00 to 7:00 pm. Ticket: 5.00 euro. By bus from Florence Santa Maria Novella central station: take line number 31 or 32, get off at the Chiantigiana 7 bus stop. Easy walk to the Oratorio di Santa Caterina. Driving directions (and lots of other information) can be found on the website: www.oratoriosantacaterina.lacittadegliuffizi.it.

THE STYLE OF THE TSAR - Italian and Russian Art and Fashions Between the 14th and the 18th Centuries
Until Jan. 10, a Prato Textile Museum exhibition brings together more than 130 paintings, costumes and fabrics from the leading museums in Russia - the Hermitage, the Russian State Museum in St. Petersburg, and the Kremlin Museum in Moscow - as well as numerous Italian institutions. The exhibition illustrates the origin and development of cultural, commercial and diplomatic relations between Italy and ancient Muscovy through the privileged channel of commerce of Italian textiles and luxury goods. The first section of the show gives an overall view of Italian silk production from the late 14th to the early 16th century, displaying masterworks of textiles and painting, illustrating the importance of these fabrics in the social and cultural context of the times. The nucleus of the exhibition is devoted to the relations existing between Italy and Russia in the period between the 14th century, moment of the earliest contacts between European merchants and the ports on the Black Sea, and the early 18th century when thanks to Peter the Great, the Russian Empire opened up to western ways of life. Despite the gradual decline in Italy’s silk production during the first half of the 18th century, Italian art still remained popular and, thanks to collectors, many important masterpieces reached Russia. Many of these are now incorporated in the collections of Russia's leading museums. The exhibition ends with the display of an altarpiece of the Circumcision, originally painted by Cigoli for the church of San Francesco in Prato and transferred in the 19th century to the Hermitage.
Prato Textile Museum is Italy’s largest centre for the study, conservation and exhibition of historic and contemporary textile. Its mission is to promote the study, enhancement and exploitation of historic and contemporary textiles and all related artistic, industrial and technical aspects of interest. It represents a centre of promotion of the textile production of Prato district, an area important for textile production since the early Middle Age. The Prato Textile Museum is located in the centre of Prato, approximately 300 meters from the Castello dell'Imperatore, in Piazza S. M. delle Carceri, and approximately 800 m from Prato Centrale railway station (direction city centre). Visitors wishing to use the bus service, should take the LAM blu line towards NENNI, which departs every 7 minutes. Get off at "Piave" or "Carceri 2" bus stop.
Lo Stile dello Zar. Prato Textile Museum, Via Santa Chiara 24, 59100 – Prato. Open: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm. www.museodeltessuto.it Tel. 049 2010067. info@lostiledellozar.it Ticket: 9.00 euro.

Over five centuries ago, Filippo Lippi ascended three stories of scaffolding in the dark recesses of Prato’s cathedral. Today, the three-tiered frescoes, which cover the walls and vaults of the main chapel with stories of St. John the Baptist and St. Stephen, are visible in renewed splendor after seven years of restoration. Small, guided tours of the fresco cycle now allow the public to come face to face with Lippi. Prato Cathedral. Open Mon. to Sat. 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission: 4 euro with audio guide. Small, guided tours available by calling 0574/24112. www.restaurofilippolippi.it

Until Dec. 6, Lucca’s Center of Contemporary Art will feature 50 works by Man Ray, one of the most unpredictable, genial, brilliant, anti-conventional, contradictory, impertinent, challenging and eclectic figures in the history of 20th century art. In this show, created in collaboration with the Marconi Foundation of Milan, fifty portraits of the artist's wife Juliet Browner, who he photographed between 1941 and 1955, will be presented. The Fifty Faces of Juliet was conceived by Man Ray in the early 1950's as a book in honor of his wife Juliet, but also as a selection of photographic works begun in Los Angeles in 1941. It presents fifty photographs, original prints using different techniques and styles, some hand-colored, in various sizes that Man Ray dedicated to Juliet, the definitive muse of his life.
Many of the techniques invented by Man Ray, such as solarisation, over-development, dithering (retinatura) and grains obtained in the shooting or printing phase, were applied in the series with Juliet. Since painting remained his great passion, he thought it was a good idea to touch up his photographs with colored and treated pastels drawn directly onto the paper. It is for this reason that the series The Fifty Faces of Juliet is unique in its kind; in fact it shows all the abilities of an artist who uses every expressive means at his disposition to reach the sublimations of his own ideas. The portraits of Juliet are for the most part informal; some are focused on her face: faces that are luminous and gathered out of time, superimpositions of photographs that are dreamy and romantic, sensual and daring. Others are refined investigations into the silhouette of the female form: never ordinary, rather classical in the poses and similar to works by painters like Ingrès or Vermeer.
The Fifty Faces of Juliet is the story of a love and of a lifetime. Fifty portraits in which the image of Juliet is each time invented, rewritten, modified, exalted with the mark of the pencil, a graphic effect, superimposition of a piece of cloth, a transparent veil, a mask obscuring the face, her face framed with a large winged hat, revealed in her nudity, transformed into an embroidery. Lu.C.C.A. - Lucca Center of Contemporary Art. Via della Fratta, 36, 55100 Lucca. Hours: Tues. to Sun. 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. Closed Monday. Tel. O583 571712. info@luccamuseum.com, www.luccamuseum.com

All our best,

The Staff of Pitcher and Flaccomio

Newsletter compiled by Kim Wicks

Pitcher & Flaccomio Newsletter Copyright 2009

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