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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 2010
November… the month has welcomed us with soft rain, and shimmery warm light pouring across crimson and gold vineyards. Autumn has arrived. And with it we know that peppery, just-pressed olive oil and fragrant white truffles are soon to hit our tables. Life is good.

In this issue: autumn food celebrations throughout Tuscany, new art exhibits, the latest escapades of the Florentine football team, classical music, wine, original language movies, jazz and more.

From a softly sunny Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia SUZANNE, CORSO, BEI, SANDRA, LORI, ANNA PIA, KIMBERLY and MARIO send greetings for a golden November to all.
Ciao everyone, I hope you can help.... every December 8th the American International Women’s League organizes a fabulous bazaar, held at the Scuderie Reali near Porta Romana. I've volunteered to run THE LOTTERY this year, so here I am asking you all to think about what you would like to win as a lottery prize and then donate it to us. At present I have 13 wonderful prizes from a week on the Ligurian riviera in an apartment for 4, 1,000 euro in gettoni d'oro, a dinner for 2 at the Four Seasons Florence, MacDario family lunch for 8 persons in Panzano and more..... so please help by buying tickets from any member of the AIL onlus or phone Pitcher & Flaccomio at 0552343354.
The bazaar also needs your clothing to sell, so please go through your closets (and those of your significant other, plus your kids etc.) to collect the things you no longer need. We are looking for men's clothing plus women's and children's together with purses, gloves, scarves, evening gowns, cocktail dresses, jewelry (preferable diamonds) and hats. Another idea…. ask your local dry cleaner if they have anything that their clients have not collected over the past year, maybe they would be delighted to get rid of the left clothing. Naturally, please take a moment to be sure that all is clean and in good condition, then give me a buzz or contact Julie Lombardi who is running the clothing stall this year at julielombardi@yahoo.com.
Don't forget to mark the date (Dec. 8) on your calendar so you can come and buy it all back and have fun doing it! Thanks, and I very much look forward to hearing from you.
Suzanne (tel. 055 2343354, fax 055 5609916, info@pitcherflaccomio.com)

Until December 17 Florence is giving us another crack at visiting the Vasari Corridor. There are 6 guided visits per week, two on Wednesdays and Fridays (2:00 and 4:30 pm), and two on Thursdays (9:00 and 11:30 am.). The visits are conducted in Italian and cost 14 euro per person (plus a 4 euro booking fee and the usual 10 euro Uffizi ticket). Call 055.294883 for info and bookings.

New afternoon hours for the historical market of Sant’Ambrogio in piazza Ghiberti. The stalls will now stay open through the afternoon for non-stop shopping from 8 am. to 7 pm. on Wednesdays and Fridays.

The Slow Food Movement – No Fast Food Fad! Events in Tuscany, November 2010 - The Slow Food Movement began in opposition to the ‘Fast Food’ mentality of wanting bad food, fast instead of good food worth waiting for. It was founded in 1986 to protest the opening of a McDonald’s restaurant near the Spanish Steps. The movement went global in 1989 and since that time, over 100,000 people in over 130 countries have become members.
Slow Food gives importance to the taste of food, learning to enjoy gastronomic diversity, to recognize variety in production locations, to respect the seasons, to enjoy the entire process of dining on good food in good company (and a good glass of wine doesn’t go astray either!). Italians are famous for not patiently waiting their turn when it comes to queuing up in line, but their impatience does not extend to the kitchen in cooking for hours to produce some of the most delicious meals around. But slow food cooking also means slow food production. Ingredients produced in traditional ways, in traditional areas and habitats. The zero kilometers concept, which maintains your food should come within the area you live in, not only supports local farmers, but also reduces costs in terms of price paid and environmental damage. It’s the anti-globalization concept that wants to keep farming in the hands (literally) of small producers.
If you see the famous snail sign of the Slow Food movement displayed in a restaurant or food establishment, it indicates that they are abiding by the Slow Food principles (and that you may have to wait a little longer for your meal!).
Farmer’s markets and other events are also organized by Slow Food groups around the world. Cooking courses, bread-making classes, wine tastings, lunches and dinners, festivals and other events, including information courses on natural production techniques are just some of the events on in November in Italy. On the 11th November for example, there is the Festa Orti, with dinner at the Osteria del’Ortolano – the Festa Orti being a festival to coincide with National Fruit and Vegetable Garden day! 13th November sees the Presentation of Slow Wine 2011 – looking at the history of vines, varietals and wines in Italy. For a full list of November events and other information, see www.slowfood.it (or www.slowfood.com for English).
Artiviva are proud and active supporters of Slow Food. Artviva offers a wide range of small-group Florence and Tuscany tours, bike tours, and tours in Rome and Venice. See www.italy.artviva.com for more information, or contact us via staff@artviva.com or on Italian number +39 055 264 5033.

50 Giorni di Cinema Internazionale a Firenze came together for the first time in 2007. The idea was to create a single, unique calendar of events uniting a number of already existing Florentine film festivals. The result has been an agenda of 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 “Cinema e Donne” from 5 to 11 November 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 (www.laboratorioimmaginedonna.it). The Festival dei Popoli (www.festivaldeipopoli.org) runs from 13 to 20 November, and is the oldest European film festival dedicated entirely to documentary cinema. “Lo Schermo dell’Arte” runs from the 22nd to the 25th (www.schermodellarte.org) and is dedicated to films highlighting art today, from architecture to photography to performance art, from street art to the art market. Finally, the Florence Queer Festival from the 26th to December 2, 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 (www.florencequeerfestival).

Enjoy a concert at the Accademia Bartolomeo Cristofori. 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.)
Like the modern piano, the fortepiano can vary the sound volume of each note, depending on the player's touch. The tone of the fortepiano is quite different from that of the modern piano; softer, with less sustain. The first reliable record of a fortepiano appears in the inventory of the Medici family (who were Cristofori's patrons) dated 1700. Cristofori continued to develop the instrument until the 1720's, the time from which the surviving three Cristofori instruments date. Cristofori's instrument spread at first quite slowly, probably because, being more elaborate and harder to build than a harpsichord, it was very expensive. For a time, the fortepiano was the instrument of royalty, with Cristofori instruments played in the courts of Portugal and Spain. (Wikipedia). Accademia Bartolomeo Cristofori, via di Camaldoli 7/R, tel. 055 22.16.46. All concerts begin at 9:00 pm. Ticket: 10.00 euro. www.accademiacristofori.it.
November concerts:
Tuesday 9 - VOCES INTIMAE fortepiano trio, LUIGI DE FILIPPI (violin), SANDRO MEO (cello), RICCARDO CECCHETTI (fortepiano Conrad Graf, 1825). Music of Hummel, Chopin.
Tuesday 16 - YOKO KIKUCHI (fortepiano Pleyel 1849). Music of Chopin.
Monday 22 - BART VAN OORT (fortepiano Pleyel 1849). Music of Chopin, Schumann, von Weber, Borodin, Field, Bertini and Debussy.

November 20, Saturday, 11am-12:30pm - CHAPTER MEETING at California State University, Via Leopardi 12.
Mid-November – date to be announced. Conference: La Pietra Policy Dialogues: “The Obama Administration at Mid-Term: A Transnational Analysis of the Congressional Elections”. Top media experts, political consultants and scholars will gather at La Pietra to discuss where the Obama Administration stands on foreign and domestic policy following the US congressional elections.
News from the US Consulate in Florence: VISA UNIT TO TEMPORARILY CLOSE. The visa unit at the Consulate will temporarily close, due to a construction project underway. As of late November, anyone wishing to obtain a non-immigrant visa must apply at the Consulate in Milan or Naples or the Embassy in Rome. Travelers to the U.S. are encouraged to apply for their visa just as soon as plans are finalized so as to allow sufficient time for visa processing. The Florence visa unit is expected to reopen in September 2011. This information will soon be posted on the Consulate's website.
American citizen services, such as passports, notaries, birth reports, death reports and nulla ostas, will still be offered during the construction project. Immigrant visas are processed only at the Consulate General in Naples. For more information on how to apply for a visa: http://italy.usembassy.gov/visa/vis/default-it.asp.
Chair, DA Florence.

FOOTBAAAALLL!! by Simon Clark and Anne Brooks
Forza Viola!.......... Mutu’s back and Fiorentina are rising from the bottom of Serie A; there are five teams below us. We exemplify the global economy - is this the recovery everyone is hoping for or are we facing a double-dip? We’ve argued before that Fiorentina’s malady has deep roots and recent comments from ex-coach Cesare Prandelli suggest that the club has not been so happy a ship as many had assumed. A major football club has to accommodate multiple large egos; winning can paper over the widest of cracks, not winning can cause everything to unravel. Whatever, we have just played three games without getting beaten. Is Sinisa working his magic? November will deliver the sharpest possible test.

October Results
Week 6: Fiorentina-Palermo LOST 1-2
Week 7: Sampdoria-Fiorentina LOST 2-1
Week 8: Fiorentina-Bari WON 2-1
Coppa Italia: Fiorentina-Empoli WON 1-0
Week 9: Catania-Fiorentina DREW 0-0

Serie A. We prayed for a turnaround of fortune with the week 6 game against Palermo. We lost but we stay above Roma; we believe that by the end of the season both will be challenging. No-one should underestimate the power of Palermo’s pink shirts or of their summer signing, lllic; he gave early notice by twanging the Viola crossbar with Frey rooted to the spot; on 20 minutes, he had another crack and nearly broke the net – no goalkeeper could have stopped that but why did our defence let him have a second go? Palermo ripped our defence apart for a second. Whatever Sinisa said at the break, it made a difference; 12 minutes into the second half, Santana did what he’s paid for, bewitching the Palermo defence, and Gilardino did what he is paid for, getting in first. We laid siege but, with Ljajic having a penalty saved, Palermo grew in confidence. We were doomed to crack the woodwork and not quite equalise. Just before the whistle, Montolivo thwarted a breakaway for a second yellow card; he went without protest and the points went with him.
No crisis but Roma move above us and we face the annual tetchy visit to Sampdoria – a visit that promised much but delivered zilch. We had more in the sick-bay than on the pitch but a returning hero – Vargas – roasted the Samp defence, on 6 minutes whipping in a cross that Marchionni tucked away. We lead for all but the last nine minutes, even after Vargas left the field with an injury. In a game between two under-performing, nervous teams, both keepers – Frey with two amazing saves in the first half – kept things alive. Then tsunami! On 81 minutes, Ziegler arrowed in a curving free kick that deceived Frey and put Samp level; within 60 seconds, their winner. It was either Cassano brilliance (turning Fiorentina’s defence and fooling Frey) or the result of Viola nerves (having just given away a goal, Gamberini and company rushed towards Cassano and his legerdemain left them staring at the ball in the net). We lead for 80 minutes, lose and find ourselves bottom of Serie A. But the glass is half-full – the only way is up!
So, upwards we climb. Despite the gloom, despite club protestations about the quality of the squad and Sinisa’s future, we travel to Bari for week 8 and Lo! We rediscover the winning way! We ought not to be delayed by the likes of Bari but Fiorentina’s current mindset leaves us vulnerable to anyone. What made the difference? We point to the return of Montolivo and his ability to control the pace of our game; years ago, we predicted that Monto & Donadel could make a fine combination in midfield and they did so here. Even on low confidence-drive, we had the edge but it took 34 minutes for Donadel to score the best goal of his life, looping the ball from distance over Bari’s keeper and off the post to nestle where we like to see it – in THEIR net! The rest was tense but we did the business, Ljajic more and more looking an exciting prospect and it was he who forced an error from the Bari defence and enabled Gila to remind us of his predatory speed – 2-0. Eight minutes left, we should be safe but this is Fiorentina! Stoppage time, the entire defence goes AWOL, it’s 2-1........but that’s how it stays. We are off the bottom, five clubs below us and still only 4 points off a European place – so let’s have less dismal talk!
Finally this month, we go south again to Catania. Potentially an intriguing game – Sinisa’s old team versus Sinisa’s new team, it turned out to be a curiously limp contest - more like a training session than a real game. The most exciting thing was the return of il fenomeno, Adrian Mutu. After a 9-month drugs suspension, still worrying about his 19mn euro debt and now facing legal action after allegedly busting a waiter’s nose in a restaurant, he took just 2 minutes to test the Catania keeper and was by far the most effective forward on the pitch. Otherwise, it was 90 minutes of hard labour towards the 0-0 conclusion, a conclusion that suits us fine.
Coppa Italia. We enter at the third round and vanquish the Empoli upstarts. A lotta huffin’ & puffin’ about nothin’ much........there was only ever one team in it and more people on the pitch than in the stands. Extra time should not have been necessary but we are a team whose confidence is in rehab; it shouldn’t have depended on a deflected shot in the final minute of extra time – but a win is a win! We take much from this – the assurance of our Polish goalkeeper, Boric; the liveliness of Santana; most of all, maybe, the weight of contribution from Ljajic, including a strike against the post – he is looking like a purchase to stand alongside Jo-Jo. Next up are Reggina, sitting just above Empoli in Serie B.
When a team is out of sorts, stiff medicine may be needed; if it ain’t hurting, it ain’t working.....but there are limits!. The only good thing we can say of the November schedule is that we don’t have to play Inter but we take on just about all the other heavyweights and on their grounds. The home games against Chievo (still riding fairly high) and Cesena (who made a good opening but are now in free-fall) should add up to six points. On the other end of the balance, we go to Roma (suffering like us but they can be lethal), Milan (looking like real contenders again) and Juve (never to be written-off and lifted by beating Milan in Milan at the end of October). If we emerge from that lot with, say, a single defeat and at a couple of wins, we’d say. .....................Ale Viola!

THE FIORENTINA SCHEDULE: These are the November fixtures.
Week 10: 07 Nov/home Fiorentina-Chievo
Week 11: 10 Nov/away Roma-Fiorentina
Week 12: 14 Nov/home Fiorentina-Cesena
Week 13: 21 Nov/away Milan-Fiorentina
Week 14: 28 Nov/away Juventus-Fiorentina

BUYING TICKETS - Ticket information – seating plan, prices, ticket outlets – is on the “biglietteria” section of the club’s website [www.it.violachannel.tv ]. Tickets can be purchased at official box offices and holders of TicketOne lottery franchises. Sources include:
CHIOSCO DEGLI SPORTIVI, via degli Anselmi (between P.za Repubblica/Odeon cinema). Tel 055 292363.
BAR MARISA, viale Manfredo Fanti 41. Tel 055 572723.
BAR STADIO, viale Manfredo Fanti 3r. Tel 055 576169.
ACF OFFICIAL TICKET-OFFICE, via Dupre 28 (corner of via Settesanti).
NUOVO BOX OFFICE, Via delle Vecchie Carceri, 1 (near S. Ambrogio), open M-F 9:30 to 7:00 pm, and Sat. 9:30 to 2:00 pm. Tel 055 264321
FELTRINELLI FIRENZE, Via de’ Cerretani 39/32R

2 cups whipping cream
4 soft, ripe persimmons
¼ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
2 Tbs. sugar
6 Tbs. lemon juice

Whip cream until thick but not too stiff. Puree the persimmons and combine with nutmeg, sugar and lemon juice. Add persimmon mixture to cream and whip. Freeze until solid. Serve scooped into dessert bowls.

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

A big Thumb’s Up for the new Pronto Soccorso (emergency room) that will soon be opening at Santa Maria Nuova (maybe the oldest hospital in Europe.... or almost) in the center of Florence. The medical care is excellent at SMN and the doctors and staff very human and caring, however until now the actual aesthetic side to the emergency room has been a bit of an eyesore. The new department which will be operational soon is much larger and cutting edge equipment awaits the patients. Even the waiting room is museum worthy! The facade facing the street where the ambulances will arrive is a wonderful combination of contemporary and historic, especially at night when the lighting is nothing less than stunning!

Janice V.

On Sat. 6 and Sun. 7 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. 12, Sat. 13 & Sun. 14 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. Friday the fun starts at 11:00 am. Sat. hours: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm., Sunday: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. The party continues in Reggello Sat. 28 and Sun. 29 (see Tuscany News below.)

Since 1992, Musicus Concentus has offered a detailed survey of the contemporary music scene. In addition to American and European jazz, Musicus Concentus presents musical expressions ranging from European classical to ethnic traditions and electronic music; a program drawing the best from today’s music. Concerts this month all feature the piano and will take place at the Sala Vanni, in Piazza del Carmine 14. Concert time: 9:15 pm. Tickets: 12 euro. Tel. 055 287347. www.musicusconcentus.com
Friday 5 - ROBERTO ANDREUCCI / ANTONELLO VANNUCCHI – Pianist Roberto Andreucci presents his homage to Mal Waldron, while Antonello Vannucchi celebrates the high points of his career.
Friday 12 - BEPPE CROVELLA / GIOVANNI GUIDI - Beppe Crovella is Italian jazz/rock, and Giovanni Guidi is new Italian jazz.
Friday 19 - STEFANO MAURIZI / RACHEL GRIMES - Italian pianist Stefano Maurizi with the fabulous American pianist Rachel Grimes.

From Friday 12 to Saturday 20 Florence sets out to amaze, with a goal of nothing less than creating a new Renaissance. The city will host a series of events, discussions, concerts, happenings and workshops, inviting the likes of Mario Botta and Richard Rogers to speak about the architecture and the city amongst numerous topics. Events will take place at Palazzo Vecchio and Palazzo Medici Riccardi, in private homes and piazzas, in museums, libraries and bookstores.
It all starts in Piazza del Duomo on Fri. 12 when the ancient stones will become a flowering field of grass (in memory of the famous “Miracolo di San Zanobi” when the mere touch of the saint’s coffin brought a dead tree to life in Florence center). Watch for replicas of Michelangelo’s David to appear here and there, honoring the original discussions about its eventual placement. www.florens2010.com

From Fri. 19 to Sun. 21 peek into the Scuderie di Palazzo Corsini sul Prato (Piazzale di Porta al Prato 37). There you will find an interesting new showcase for young artisans This year (the first for this event) the theme is Moda/Fashion. Hours: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Free entry.

From Fri. 19 to Sun. 21 the courtyard of Palazzo Pitti will be wine scented. Come choose tastes from more than 250 wines presented by the winemakers themselves representing Chianti Classico and Chianti dei Colli Fiorentini, Brunello di Montalcino, Nobile di Montepulciano, Vernaccia di San Gimignano and Morellino di Scansano. For ten euro you will have your own glass and a card allowing 10 tastes. Hours: Friday 4:00 to 9:00 pm, Saturday 11:00 am to 9:00 pm and Sunday 11:00 am to 8:00 pm. www.florencewinevent.com

On Sat. 20 & Sun. 21 check out Piazza della Repubblica for another chance at finding Tuscany’s best olive oil producers available right in the center of town. The village of Bagno a Ripoli brings their olive oil fair into Florence.

FORTEZZA ANTIQUARIA – Monthly Antiques Fair
Sat. 20 and Sun. 21 the gardens surrounding the Fortezza da Basso bloom with kiosks selling every sort of antique including furniture, kitchen tools, books, etc.

Sun. 21 wander around Piazza Santo Spirito (9:00 am to 7:00 pm) and indulge in more 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.

Thursday 25 is Thanksgiving. A few tips for do-it-yourselfers… cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie filling can be found at Old England on Via Vecchietti, Vivimarket on Via del Giglio, at Pegna on Via dello Studio 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 Thanksgiving menu, last year the Savoy Hotel on Piazza della Repubblica offered a special menu at lunch and dinner (enquiries.savoy@roccofortecollection.com). The lovely Four Seasons Hotel usually does something superb. And we’ve heard the new and beautiful Il Salviatino hotel is putting on a menu for the occasion.

Sun. 28 be prepared to join the marathon…. or to dodge and weave your way around Florence as the city gives itself over to 10,00 athletes from around the world. From the 9:00 am. start 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 (9:30 start).
The 2010 version features some interesting changes with a new route that will be much faster, and will have just 40 meters difference of level between the departure and the arrival point, as required by the IAAF regulations. The starting line will continue to be the stupendous panoramic terrace of Piazzale Michelangelo, a characteristic and unique point of departure for the most fascinating 42 km in the world, but this time the route leads straight down to Piazza Ferrucci on the other side of the hill. This change of direction will allow runners to enjoy the wide tree-lined avenues of Florence, at the same time permitting the passage of large groups of athletes, and accompanying them toward the old gates of the town and the spectacular Cascine Park. In previous editions this part of the course had to be faced at about 30km from the start, notoriously the most difficult for a marathon runner. With the new route, the stretch through the park is from about the 8th to the 15th km, when legs are still fresh and the mind lucid. After the park, the route turns into the characteristic atmosphere of the “oltrarno”, the left bank of the river, going right on down to Varlungo before returning back toward the heart of the town and through the center, along roads laden with history, passing buildings and monuments of rare beauty: Palazzo Pitti, the Cathedral, Palazzo Vecchio, crossing over the Ponte Vecchio before arriving in Piazza Santa Croce. For info and to sign up contact www.firenzemarathon.it

The last Tuesday of November (and December) take advantage of free evening entry into some of Florence’s most interesting museums. The following sites will be open gratis from 7:00 to 11:00 pm on Tuesday 30: Cappelle Medicee, Uffizi, Accademia, Bargello, the Museo San Marco on Piazza S. Marco, Palazzo Davanzati on Via Porta Rossa and at the Pitti Palace: the Galleria d’Arte Moderna and the Galleria Palatina.

Until Mon. 29 the Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi hosts a must-see show of photos taken during and after the 1966 flood. Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi, piazzale degli Uffizi. Hours: 9:00 am to 6:30 pm. Closed Monday. Entry: free.

RUGGITO - Antonio Ligabue: The Fight for Life
Until Jan. 16 the Gallery of Modern Art at the Pitti hosts an exhibition focused on the theme of animals, and in particular wild animals depicted in scenes of fighting and attack—the Black Widow, the Leopard, the Wildcat with Kite, Tiger Being Attacked by Snake—as well as numerous self-portraits in which Antonio Ligabue portrays his own face in a variety of aspects of physical and psychic pain. The exhibition features 80 artworks, genuine masterpieces of intense and expressive power and explosive chromatic energy.
Antonio Ligabue (b. 1899, d. 1965) was one of Italy’s most important Naïve artists of the 20th century. This overview captures many intimate and significant aspects of Ligabue’s work, and announces it in an extraordinary fashion in a single word: ‘roar.’ Both the artist’s roar and the roar of the animals portrayed. One long howl portrayed in continuation on canvas after canvas, as if to depict the harshness of the world. Ligabue takes us, with his self-portraits and savage beasts, to the archaic, prehistoric significance of art. In order to paint, and to paint himself, he needs to shout into the mirror and at himself. The painting created in this fashion is an unleashing of guttural, cutting sounds, as unruly and disheveled as the blizzards that he confronted on the wintry banks of the river Po, or perhaps, more simply, as his own life. Gallery of Modern Art (Palazzo Pitti). Ticket: euro 12.00. This ticket also allows entry to the Palatine Gallery Caravaggio e i Caravaggeschi a Firenze exhibit. Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 8:15 am. to 6:50 pm. Info: Firenze Musei tel. 055. 294883

From Nov. 10 to Jan. 10 Casa Buonarroti will host a show of 11 bronzes, copies of some of Michelangelo’s best-known works. The bronzes were created by the historical foundry Fonderia Artistica Marinelli located in Poggibonsi. The foundry has for 3 generations, produced copies of some of Florence’s major masterpieces, allowing the originals to be moved to more protected locations. The Bacco by Giambologna just off the Ponte Vecchio, the Porcellino by Pietro Tacca at the Mercato Nuovo, four bronze figures at the base of Cellini’s Perseo under the Loggia dei Lanzi, are all replicas. The show includes Michelangelo’s Pietà di San Pietro, his Madonna di Bruges, Moses, and the Madonna Medici della Sagrestia Nuova, whose original in marble is surely one of the artist’s best works. Casa Buonarroti, via Ghibellina 70. Tickets: € 6,50. Hours: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., closed on Tuesdays. Tel. 055 241752. www.casabuonarroti.it

Until January 10 the Bargello National Museum hosts the first exhibition ever dedicated to Giovanfrancesco Rustici. Born in Florence in 1475, the sculptor trained in the celebrated Garden of San Marco under the protection of Lorenzo the Magnificent, and was the heir of Andrea del Verrocchio and Benedetto da Maiano. Close to Leonardo, whose student and assistant he was, Giovanfrancesco was also friend of Andrea del Sarto, Jacopo Sansovino, Domenico Puligo and Baccio Bandinelli, and preceded Rosso Fiorentino and Benvenuto Cellini in accepting the invitation of Francis I - king of France tied to the birth of the so-called Fontainebleau School - in 1528 moving to France, where he died in 1554.
The focal point of the exhibition is Rustici's masterpiece, the Sermon of Saint John the Baptist. This group sculpture of three grandiose bronze figures, designed and executed with the participation of Leonardo da Vinci, was placed over the North Door of the Baptistery of Florence in 1511. The challenging restoration it was subjected to has restored the splendor of material and conception: an undertaking supported by the Opera del Duomo di Firenze and the generous contribution of the "Friends of Florence". The presence in the show of the monumental group sculpture constitutes an unmissable twofold opportunity: on one hand, to show Leonardo's contribution in its creation through the comparison with Leonardesque autographic works and, on the other hand, to reconstruct for the first time Rustici's artistic personality, which the latest studies have shed light on.
The show will indeed present a practically complete review of his works (glazed ware, marbles, terracottas, paintings and other bronze sculptures of middle to small dimensions) which testify to his great technical versatility and the features of his style. Alongside Rustici's works from the Bargello - such as the monumental Della Robbian Noli Me Tangere altarpiece or the Struggle of Horses and Horsemen in terracotta, inspired by Leonardo's Battle of Anghiari - the exhibition will be completed by the most significant pieces attributed to his hand, and today divided among the major museums in Europe and the United States. Bargello National Museum. Hours: Monday to Sunday, 8:15 – 5:.00 pm. Closed 2nd, 4th Monday of each month, 1st, 3rd, 5th Sunday of each month, New Year’s Day, May 1st and Christmas Day. Ticket: euro 4.00

Until January 23 Palazzo Strozzi presents one of the greatest painters of the sixteenth century, Agnolo di Cosimo, known as Bronzino (1503-1572). Bronzino embodied the fullness of the ‘modern manner’ in the years of the government of Cosimo I de’ Medici. Florence is clearly the preferential location for a monographic exhibition on Bronzino, since the majority of his paintings are still conserved here, above all in the Uffizi, but also in other city museums and in the churches. This exhibition, the first devoted to Agnolo’s pictorial work, will also avail of loans from the most important museums all over the world.
The exhibition comprises a selection of works of the very highest level: autograph works by Bronzino and other artists connected with him – such as Pontormo and Alessandro Allori. The idea is, through direct comparisons made possible for the first time, to enable a broad public to admire and comprehend the unrivalled poetic heights achieved by the artist. Finally, it will be possible to study and compare several works, most of them attributed with certainty to Bronzino, displayed to the public for the first time. The exhibition will be divided into chapters devoted to crucial phases, episodes or genres in Bronzino’s work. The show will present a wide variety of Bronzino’s masterpieces, some of them displayed together for the first time, in addition to a selection of drawings originating from the greatest museums in the world. Alongside the works conserved in the Uffizi, will be Venus, Cupid and Jealousy from the Szépmuvészeti Múzeum in Budapest, the Portrait of Young Man with a Book from the Metropolitan Museum of New York and the Holy Family and Saint John, in the version of the Louvre (Paris) and of the Kunsthistorisches Museum of Vienna. Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza Strozzi. Hours: daily 9 am-8 pm, Thursday 9 am-11 pm. Info: 055 2645155

VINUM NOSTRUM - Art, science and myths of wine in ancient Mediterranean civilizations
Until May 14 the Museo degli Argenti hosts Vinum Nostrum. From Mesopotamia to our tables, from the rite of communion to avoidable drunkenness, from distasteful habit to the gate of spirituality, wines and vines are the protagonists of this exhibit. Original showpieces, sculptures, frescoes and mosaics, accompanied by multimedia and video installations tell the millenarian history of the grapevine and of wine, and the important influence they exerted on ancient cultures. Following a chronological development, the exhibition illustrates the origin of wine-growing in the Near East, its full affirmation along with its related symbolic, religious and cultural significance in the Hellenic world, up to the wine production and large-scale diffusion practiced by the Romans.
By virtue of the abundant archaeological remains of the Vesuvian cities, the particular case of Pompeii’s vineyards is illustrated, while the exhibition devotes another section to the contribution of the Phoenicians and the Etruscans, who played an essential role in spreading vitis vinifera throughout the Mediterranean. While inviting visitors to reflect on the evolution of cultivation techniques (reproduction and genetic improvement, plowing the land, tending the vineyard, theoretical principles and practical instructions for pruning and grafting), specially selected exhibits also illustrate the religious and cultural values of the grapevine, expressed through a series of depictions regarding the divinities, rituals and festivities of wine. Sculptures and painted vases illustrate the cult of Dionysus. Elegant table-services clarify how the consumption of wine represented one of the most important moments of conviviality among patricians. A cella vinaria where wine was stored, reconstructed based on finds uncovered at Pompeii and on the precise descriptions contained in Latin literature, enable the visitor to delve into the reality of the past, through tools for the vineyard, wine amphorae and wooden barrels, baskets for harvesting, carts and more.
The exhibition itinerary aims not only at scientifically documenting the entire cycle of wine, from harvest to consumption, but also by stimulating the visitor’s senses of taste, smell and sight. Museo degli Argenti, Palazzo Pitti. Hours: 8:15 am to 6:50 pm. Ticket: € 10.00. Closed on the 1st and the last Monday of each month. Info: Tel. 055294883

Until January 9, three of Florence’s most important museums (the Pitti Palatine Gallery, the Uffizi and Villa Bardini) unite forces to offer a fascinating overview of the works and influence of one of Italy’s greatest masters Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.
Born in 1573 in the town of Caravaggio, this artist’s life is as turbulent as his personality. We know he had numerous run-ins with the law and was arrested on several occasions. For example, in 1606 a bet over a game of tennis led to an argument, at which point Caravaggio drew his sword and killed his opponent. We also know that Caravaggio's artistic influence was widespread: outside Italy he inspired painters as diverse as Georges de La Tour and members of the Utrecht School, e.g. Gerrit van Honthorst – artists who in turn later influenced Rembrandt. Caravaggio was particularly celebrated for his use of chiaroscuro, a technique using light and dark to achieve a 3-D effect.
While many aspects of this artist’s life remain a mystery, what we do know is that splendid paintings by Caravaggio - the Bacchus and the Medusa - reached the Uffizi towards the end of the XVI century. Others (two or three) were purchased by the Grand Dukes who proved to be early and staunch admirers - especially Cosimo II - of the controversial painter and of his followers. The presence of important artists in Florence such as Artemisia Gentileschi, Battistello Caracciolo and Theodoor Rombouts, and direct dealings with artists like Gerrit Honthorst, Bartolomeo Manfredi and Jusepe Ribera gave rise to an intense Caravaggesque "season" which left an extraordinary number of paintings in Florence itself.
Gerrit Honthorst (who painted the Adoration of the Shepherds, today in the Uffizi Gallery, though heavily damaged by the Via dei Georgofili bombing of 1993) was the protagonist of one of the most important episodes of the fortune of Caravaggesque painting outside of Rome; the unfinished decoration of the Guicciardini Chapel in the church of Santa Felicita. Honthorst was commissioned to execute the work with Cecco del Caravaggio and Spadarino. This exhibition presents a landmark virtual reconstruction of the work. In addition, on this the IV centennial of Caravaggio's death, the show will include more than one hundred paintings, both famous and less famous, in the light of research, with new attributions that have modified our view of this outstanding master. Galleria Palatina at the Pitti Palace, the Uffizi, Villa Bardini. Hours: the usual hours of each venue. Ticket: a cumulative ticket for the three venues will cost euro 25.00. For info and reservations: tel. 055 294883. www.unannoadarte.it.

ASTRA 2, Piazza Beccaria. Tel. 055 2343666. (These are the films usually shown at the Odeon Theatre, www.cinehall.it. The Odeon is hosting a special film fest until December).

Tuesday 2 - SALT (with Italian subtitles) 4.30 - 6.30 - 8.30 - 10.30 pm
Monday 8 - GROWN UPS by Dennis Dugan. 4.30 - 6.30 - 8.30 - 10.30 pm
Tuesday 9 - KNIGHT & DAY by James Mangold. 4.00 – 6.10 - 8.20 - 10.30 pm
Monday 15- THE SOCIAL NETWORK by David Fincher. 3.30 - 5.50 - 8.10 - 10.30 pm
Tuesday 16 - THE SOCIAL NETWORK by David Fincher. 3.30 - 5.50 - 8.10 - 10.30 pm
Friday 19- HARRY POTTER & THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1 (with Italian subtitles) by David Yates. 3.30 – 6.30 – 9.30 p.m.
Saturday 20- HARRY POTTER & … (with Italian subtitles) by David Yates. 3.30 – 6.30 – 9.30 p.m.
Sunday 21- HARRY POTTER & … (with Italian subtitles). 3.30 – 6.30 – 9.30 p.m.
Monday 22- HARRY POTTER & … (with Italian subtitles). 5.00 – 9.00 p.m.
Tuesday 23- HARRY POTTER & … (with Italian subtitles). 5.00 – 9.00 p.m.
Wednesday 24- HARRY POTTER & … (with Italian subtitles). 3.30 – 6.30 – 9.30 p.m.
Thursday 25- HARRY POTTER & … (with Italian subtitles). 5.00 – 9.00 p.m.
Friday 26- HARRY POTTER & … (with Italian subtitles). 5.00 – 9.00 p.m.
Saturday 27- HARRY POTTER & … (with Italian subtitles). 3.30 – 6.30 – 9.30 p.m.
Sunday 28 - HARRY POTTER & … (with Italian subtitles). 3.30 – 6.30 – 9.30 p.m.
Monday 29 - HARRY POTTER & … (with Italian subtitles). 5.00 – 9.00 p.m.
Tuesday 30 - HARRY POTTER & … (with Italian subtitles). 5.00 – 9.00 p.m.

Angelina Jolie is SALT, a CIA agent on the run after she is accused of spying for the Russians.
In GROWN UPS, thirty years after high school graduation, five friends (played by Adam Sandler, Kevin James , Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, David Spade and with Salma Hayek Pinault) reunite for a Fourth of July holiday weekend.
THE SOCIAL NETWORK tells the story of the founders of Facebook and features Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake.
KNIGHT & DAY stars Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz in an action-comedy centered on a fugitive couple on an adventure where nothing and no one are what they seem.
HARRY POTTER & THE…… In this seventh installment of the Harry Potter series, Harry faces new troubles; he must collect all of the Horcruxes that the evil Lord Voldemort has left behind, with no idea what or where they are, nor how he will destroy them. Worldwide opening on Nov. 19.

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.

Wednesday 3 - Christopher Smith: New light on early Rome - Once considered simply the stuff of legend, early Rome is now being brought steadily to light by stunning archaeological finds. The world we associate with Romulus and Remus was in fact a highly sophisticated, rich and complex society, capable to standing comparison with contemporary Greek societies such as Athens and Sparta. We can now show that from 1000 to 500 BC, Rome became one of the most important sites in the western Mediterranean. Yet the finds throw up as many questions and problems as answers. This illustrated lecture will use the latest archaeological evidence to shed light on a fascinating and as yet little known period in the history of the eternal city. Professor Christopher Smith is the Director of the British School in Rome.

Wednesday 10 - Pratibha Parmar: OUT in the main || stream - Using clips from her films, filmmaker and feminist activist Pratibha Parmar will discuss the role of art as a creative force for change. She will focus on her current feature documentary film about the author Alice Walker, who made history as the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her novel The Color Purple. Pratibha Parmar is an award-winning international filmmaker who is known for her pioneering documentaries and dramas. Her debut feature film, Nina's Heavenly Delights, was released in the UK in 2006, and will be screened at the XXXII edition of the International Women's Film Festival (Odeon Cinema, Florence, from 5 to 11 November). For more information please see www.laboratorioimmaginedonna.it

Wednesday 17 - Performance International - Bed among the lentils. The first series of the Talking Heads dramatic monologues, written for the BBC by the acclaimed playwright Alan Bennet, was broadcast in 1982. In Bed among the lentils, Susan slowly reveals herself to us - a vicar's wife, unappreciated, unprepared for parochial life, unsatisfied with her existence. In her mediocre existence lie echoes of our own lives. She can teach us all, and does, as she explores her own bitter sadness. The monologue is performed by Claire Kolbe and directed by Aaron Craig of the Florence-based theatre company Performance International.

Wednesday 24 - Bruce Edelstein: Bronzino and Eleonora di Toledo: a painter and his patron. Scholarly thinking on the relationship between Agnolo Bronzino and Eleonora di Toledo has recently been radically revised. Initially thought of solely as the subject of one of the painter's best known portraits and the recipient of his most outstanding work, the Chapel of Eleonora in Palazzo Vecchio, the Duchess of Florence has emerged as one of Bronzino's most important and demanding patrons. Yet this relationship remains controversial and academic debate over it is intense. Bruce Edelstein, Coordinator for Graduate Programs and Advanced Research at New York University in Florence, identifies the most significant works documenting Eleonora's patronage of Bronzino and characterises the nature of their rapport.

Wednesday December 1 - Luca Verzichelli: Modern Italian politics: a never-ending transition. One of the more puzzling phenomena of the Italian political scene in the last ten to fifteen years, at least from the British point of view, is its mix of discontinuity and instability. Almost two decades after the emergence of high expectations, many institutional mechanisms still remain uncertain and undefined. Luca Verzichelli, Professor of Political Science and Italian Politics at the University of Siena and co-author with Maurizio Cotta of Political Institutions in Italy (Oxford University Press, 2007), examines this phenomenon and makes comparisons with the non-Italian model.

Theatre info: Teatro Comunale, Via Solferino 15. Tel. 055 27791. Teatro della Pergola, Via della Pergola 12/32, Tel. 055 2479651. Teatro Verdi, Via Ghibellina 99, tel. 055 212320. Teatro Saschall, Lungarno Moro 3, tel. 055 6504112. Teatro Goldoni, Via Santa Maria 15. Tel. 055 229651. Teatro Romano, Fiesole, Tel. 055/59187. Mandela Forum, Viale Paoli 3, tel. 055 678841. Stazione Leopolda. Viale Fratelli Rosselli 5. St. Mark’s Church. Via Maggio 16. Tel. 055 294764. Church of Orsanmichele, Via dei Calzaiuoli. Tel. 055-210305. Teatro Puccini, via delle Cascine 41, Tel 055 362067. Chiesa S. Stefano al Ponte Vecchio, piazza S. Stefano 5. Viper Theatre, Via Lombardia 1.055/318056, www.viperclub.eu. Auditorium FLOG, Via M. Mercati, 24/b, 055/210804, www.flog.it Sala Vanni, Piazza del Carmine 14. Teatro Everest, Via Volterrana 4/b, tel. 055. 23 21 754. info@teatroeverest.it, www.teatroeverest.it. Teatro Politeama Pratese, Via G. Garibaldi, 33 – Prato. Tel: 0574/603758, www.politeamapratese.com. Purchase tickets for theatre, concerts and other events at the following ticket agencies: BOX OFFICE: Via delle Vecchie Carceri, 1 (near S. Ambrogio ), open M-F 9:30 to 7:00 pm, and Sat. 9:30 to 2:00 pm.. ARGONAUTA VIAGGI, Lungarno Torrigiani 33/B, Tel.055/2342777. Many tickets can be pre-purchased via www.ticketone.it, www.boxol.it.

Thursday 4
MICHELE MARIOTTI CONDUCTS (dress rehearsal) - Alessandra Marianelli (soprano), Marianna Pizzolato (mezzosoprano), Sergey Romanovsky (tenor), Nicola Ulivieri (basso). Music by Rossini. Teatro Comunale . 10:30 am. Tickets. Euro 4.

Saturday 6
MICHELE MARIOTTI CONDUCTS - Alessandra Marianelli (soprano), Marianna Pizzolato (mezzosoprano), Sergey Romanovsky (tenor), Nicola Ulivieri (basso). Music by Rossini. Teatro Comunale . 8:30 pm.
SUNRISE JAZZ ORCHESTRA – one of Tuscany’s first jazz orchestras, founded in 1994. Jazz Club, via Nuova de´ Caccini 3. 10:15 pm.
MICHAIL LIFITS (piano) – Music by Schumann, Liszt. Teatro della Pergola. 4:00 pm.

Saturday 13
LAURIE ANDERSON – This eclectic American performer is in town with her multimedia show “Delusion”. Anderson’s work combines amazing story-telling talent with music, monologues, electronic marionettes and violins. EX3 Centro per l'Arte Contemporanea, viale Giannotti 81, tel. 055. 0114971. 9:00 pm.
QUARTETTO EMERSON – Music by Haydn, Bartok, Schubert. Teatro della Pergola. 4:00 pm.

Sunday 14
QUARTETTO EMERSON – Music by Haydn, Bartok, Schubert. Teatro della Pergola. 9:00 pm.

Monday 15
MACY GRAY – A modern American queen of soul mixed with groove, jazz, hip-hop and pop. Bound to be a fun show. Saschall. 9:00 pm.

Tuesday 16
ANNA OXA – Coming back again with a new album “Proxima”. Teatro Verdi. 8:40 pm.

Wednesday 17
TOMMY EMMANUEL – World-renowned Australian acoustic guitar virtuoso. Try not to miss this one. Saschall. 9:00 pm.
GABRIELE FERRO CONDUCTS - Orchestra della Toscana. Francesca Dego (violin). Music by Beethoven, Cherubini. Teatro Verdi. 9:00 pm.

Thursday 18
GABRIELE FERRO CONDUCTS - Orchestra della Toscana. Francesca Dego (violin). Music by Beethoven, Cherubini. Teatro Verdi. 9:00 pm.
ZUBIN MEHTA CONDUCTS – Music by Verdi, Mozart, Beethoven. Concert reserved for participants of FLORENS 2010. Teatro Comunale. 8:30 pm.

Saturday 20
QUARTETTO ARTEMIS – Music by Beethoven. Teatro della Pergola. 4:00 pm.

Sunday 21
QUARTETTO ARTEMIS – Music by Beethoven. Teatro della Pergola. 9:00 pm.

Tuesday 23
LA FORZA DEL DESTINO – An opera in four acts. Conducted by Zubin Mehta. Music by Verdi. Teatro Comunale. 8:30 pm.

Friday 26
LA FORZA DEL DESTINO – An opera in four acts. Conducted by Zubin Mehta. Music by Verdi. Teatro Comunale. 8:30 pm.

Saturday 27
EMERSON & LAKE – Greg Lake and Keith Emerson bring us the best of EL&P from the 70’s, (remember the albums “Picture of Exhibition”, “Trilogy” and “Brain Salad Surgery”? Plus we may get to hear some new work from “An Intimate Night with…”. Teatro Saschall. 9:00 pm.
ZUBIN MEHTA CONDUCTS (dress rehearsal) - Albina Shagimuratova (soprano), Anna Maria Chiuri (mezzosoprano), Francesco Meli (tenor), Alexander Tsymbaliuk (basso). Music by Mozart. Teatro Comunale. 11:00 am.
ZUBIN MEHTA CONDUCTS - Albina Shagimuratova (soprano), Anna Maria Chiuri (mezzosoprano), Francesco Meli (tenor), Alexander Tsymbaliuk (basso). Music by Mozart. Teatro Comunale. 8:30 pm.

Sunday 28
LA FORZA DEL DESTINO – An opera in four acts. Conducted by Zubin Mehta. Music by Verdi. Teatro Comunale. 3:30 pm.
November is one of the best “foodie” 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 celebrations of Tuscany’s autumn treasures; chestnuts (marroni and castagne) and white truffles (tartufi bianchi), freshly pressed olive oil (olio nuovo) and the first tastes of this year’s wine (vino novello),.

On Sat. 6, Sun. 7, Sat. 13 and Sun. 14 Scarperia is the place to be. This medieval village in the Mugello area north of Florence will host two weekends 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). The fun goes until midnight, Saturday from 5:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am. Tel. 055 8468142/20, 338 255643. www.comune.scarperia.fi.it

On Sat. 13 & Sun. 14, 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. Hours: 10:00 am to 7:30 pm. On Sat. 20 & 21 the whole party moves to Piazza della Repubblica in Florence.

Sat. 20 and Sun 21, 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 historical center hosts stands and local restaurants will present special truffle menus. At Villa Pecori Giraldi there will be truffle hunt demonstrations, wine and vin santo tastings and dinners. Info: 055 8456230.

On Sun 14 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.
Corte di Valle, Via Vicchiomaggio 26, 50022 - GREVE IN CHIANTI Tel: 055 853939
Castello di Volpaia, Loc. Volpaia, 53017 - RADDA IN CHIANTI Tel: 0577 738619
Fattoria di Bacchereto - Terre a Mano, Via Fontemorana 179, 59015 - CARMIGNANO Tel: 0573 750191
Fornacelle, www.fornacelle.it. Loc. Fornacelle 232/a, 57022 CASTEGNETO CARDUCCI - (Li), Tel: 0565 77555

The weekends of November smell sweet (if you like truffles) in San Miniato (Pisa). On Sat. and Sun. 13-14, 20-21, 27-28, you will find truffle stands galore from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm each day. San Miniato is located in the lower Arno valley, halfway between Pisa and Florence. For 40 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. 27 & Sun. 28 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 best extra virgin olive oils 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.

JOAN MIRO’ - Myths of the Mediterranean at Palazzo Blu - Pisa
Until January 23, Pisa’s Palazzo Blu hosts “Joan Miró. I miti del Mediterraneo", a retrospective exhibit of the works of this Spanish (Catalan) master. The show presents over 100 pieces ranging from sculpture and drawings, to paintings and illustrations.
Born in Barcelona, Mirò died in 1983, having earned international acclaim as a Surrealist. His style was in fact, surely also influenced by Dadaism, by his frequent visits to Paris, and by his relationships with printer Fernand Mourlot and the artists he often shared shows with; Chagall, Giacometti, Brach, Cesar, Ubac, and Tal-Coat. Palazzo Blu, Lungarno Gambacorti, 9. 56125 Pisa. Tel: 199 28514. Ticket: 8 euro. Hours: Tuesday thru Friday: from 10:00 am. to 7:00 pm. Saturday and Sunday: from 10:00 am. to 8:00 pm. Closed Monday. www.palazzoblu.org

Until Nov. 14, Santa Maria della Scala in Siena hosts a fascinating collection of drawings, poetry and letters that outline the life and artistic journey of Michelangelo Buonarroti. Follow the artist through his time in Florence, his trips to Rome, and his search for the best blocks of marble from Carrara and Pietrasanta in the mountains near the Tuscan coast. The show takes us all the way into the period that Michelangelo spent working for the Pope on St. Peter’s. Santa Maria della Scala, Piazza Duomo 1, Siena. Hours: 10:30 am to 7:30 pm. Ticket: 6 euro.

Until December 5 Viareggio is hosting a show celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Liberty (Art Nouveau) movement in Italy. One of the main figures of the period was Galileo Chini (born Florence 1873 – 1956). Painter, ceramicist and graphic designer, he combined art and artisanship, renewing a Tuscan tradition of the artisan workshop for the 20th century. Paintings, ceramics, drawings and furnishings all have a place in the show. His luminescent Tuscan landscapes, that reflect serene moments spent in Versilia, reflect against the darker works done during WW2. Chini is equally well known for his ceramic production and the exhibit is rich with vases, plates, tiles and more. He worked principally out of two spaces; L’Arte della Ceramica, founded in Florence in 1896 and the Fornaci San Lorenzo, founded in 1906 in Borgo San Lorenzo, where he created the incredible decorative tiles that we see throughout Tuscany today on a fantastic, few, Liberty-style homes and buildings.
Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Lorenzo Viani, Palazzo delle Muse, Piazza Mazzini 22, Viareggio. Hours: Tues. to Fri. from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm., and Thurs. to Sun. 3:30 to 7:30 pm. Closed Monday. Tel. 0584966343. gamc@comune.viareggio.lu.it. www.gamc.it

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. The restoration began in the upper reaches of the chapel ceiling. Four monumental images of the evangelists are incised within the arches of the groin vault. Below them flow the scenes from the lives of two saints: Stephen, Prato’s patron saint on the left, and John the Baptist, protector of nearby Florence on the right. From his birth in the top register to his death on the lower register, each saints’ life is a theatrical spectacle played out with vivid imagery.
Fra Filippo Lippi was quite an intriguing character; his behavior wasn’t exactly exemplary of the Carmelite order, (Fra indicates his religious title). The Carmelites ordained him and trained him as an artist, and by the time he reached Prato in 1452 he was among the most highly regarded and frequently commissioned painters of the early Renaissance. His trysts with various women had already gained him a somewhat sensational reputation, but it is the long-running romance with nun Lucrezia Buti, 25 years his junior, that has been most noted by history. Lucrezia modeled for many of the Lippi’s Madonnas, and is said to have been the inspiration for the enchanting Salome, who dances through the final scene of John the Baptist’s fresco cycle, The Feast of Herod. The three-part banquet scene contains larger-than-life figures that feast and make merry around the dancing girl, whom many compare to the female figures in the later works of Lippi’s young apprentice Botticelli.
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

All the best,

Pitcher and Flaccomio